Text size

When the Nazi regime set out to create the image of the enemy, it was found in the image of the Jew, the intellectual, the liberal, the socialist, the communist, the modernist, the homosexual, assisted by similar figures among world Jewry, whose women were lustful and who was himself was a traitor to his country who adulterated the race.

Years later, the circles from which Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's murderer, Yigal Amir, came also invoked the image of an enemy with the very same features that adulterates the race and is a traitor to his country. Half a century after the six seals of the Holocaust apocalypse were lifted and the apocalypse dispelled, it was time for the seventh seal to be removed from within. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Joseph McCarthy also used the same imagery of the enemy. Somewhat surprisingly, all of them actually found the non-dangerous leftist Jewish intellectual scattered around the world as their demon, to which now an existential wonder is now added.

The spirit of the comments of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as related by the editor of the Jerusalem Post, Steve Linde, are of the same realm. That Haaretz and the New York Times are Israel's must dangerous enemies follows the comment that the left has forgotten what it means to be Jewish. Even more serious, it is coming from the government of a people that escaped the terror of Nazi racism, a government that is dealing obsessively with racial distinctions.

The hypocrites who look askance at the those who refuse to rent or sell apartments to Israelis of Ethiopian origin are the same people who ran roughshod over Ethiopian immigrant Knesset member Shlomo Molla and passed an admissions committee law that encourages residents to refrain from allowing people who are not conducive to the "social-cultural fabric" of their community from becoming their neighbors.

It's a government that continues to fund and subsidize municipal rabbis under its auspices who called on Israeli Jews not to rent or sell apartments to Arabs. It's a government of a people who were refugees themselves that in the dead of night at Netanyahu's direction passed a law providing for the detention for three years without trial of African refugees.

And it's not just domestic issues. Netanyahu says he admires Winston Churchill, but Churchill understood the obligation to unite his people and forge an alliance in the face of an existential threat even with his adversary, Joseph Stalin. David Ben-Gurion was of a similar mind when he based Israel's defense infrastructure on moral cohesion and a true alliance with at least one world power.

When Defense Minister Ehud Barak reminisced fondly in Maariv this week of days at Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon and over the power derived from a spirit of a just cause, and called for bad spirits to be driven out, he forgot that he himself is at the source of whatever spirit prevails.

Fascist regimes have been marked by the opposite approach, of racism and internal violence and external gambles in defiance of the outside world. To the amazement of those looking on, the Netanyahu government is embracing this entire package.

American business magnate Sheldon Adelson is not just a close associate and funder for Netanyahu. There is no one closer. Adelson gave an interview to a Jewish newspaper in which he said that Barack Obama's approach toward Israel is liable to lead to its destruction. When Adelson is the main contributor of an aggressive campaign in support of Newt Gingrich's presidential candidacy and pledged $25 million for a campaign against Obama, the Israeli government is perceived as being behind it, at a time, no less, when an attack on Iran is being considered.

It is actually others of Defense Minister Barak's comments regarding the point at which Iran, including the Iranian nuclear installation near Qom, could be immune to Israeli aerial attack that show how much Israel needs the United States as a partner. It's not a matter just of American aircraft and bombs, about a halt to the regional war on the part of those with the planes and creating stability after the war, but rather that the United States is the only power capable of dealing with the entrenched core of an Iranian project on an ongoing basis.

Under such circumstances, all of Ben-Gurion's capabilities of diplomatic moderation are required, along with the use of the defiant moral weight of the likes of the refugees from the ship the "Exodus." Instead, we are getting the most extremist Israeli government possible, which is insisting on gambling and openly confronting the liberal American administration and trampling on the memory of the victims of the Holocaust through the racist abuse of Israeli citizens and those now seeking refuge here.

For Defense Minister Barak, who likes the allusion to the ship running aground, the farce involving the Italian captain of the Costa Concordia should provide a reminder of his debt to the spirit of solidarity and security. When he bargains, as Abraham did with God over the fate of the town of Sodom, over whether 5,000 or 50,000 or 500 innocent victims would be killed in a confrontation with Iran, he would do well to remember that in 1948, in relative terms, Israel sustained a high number of victims by virtue of solidarity and diplomatic moderation.

The casino ship that is Israel, which is sailing in the wrong direction, must be stopped before it faces the apocalypse. Matters are in Barak's hands.

Read this article in Hebrew.