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The Most Dedicated Teachers of Antisemitsm Live Among Us

Amira Hass
Amira Hass
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Yair Hirsch's house at the Kida outpost.
Yair Hirsch's house at the Kida outpost.Credit: Hadas Parush
Amira Hass
Amira Hass

The most consistent teachers of antisemitism, the ones who brainwash Palestinian children with horrible and infuriating conclusions about Jews, live among us. They are Civil Administration officers and inspectors, Jerusalem municipal officials, Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Border Police officers. And let’s not forget the architects, engineers, builders and settlers. They are all our messengers, flesh of our flesh. Our loved ones.

The textbooks they use are Israeli cabinet resolutions and reality. Page after page, day after day, one military order after another, give their Palestinian students various and sundry reasons not to love us, the Jews.

It is not an abstract Jesus “crucified by the Jews” that the young ones see, but rather a sobbing grandmother, a quietly outraged father and a huge bulldozer roaring away with torn tarpaulins, broken planks and dented hinges dripping from its jaws. And they, little antisemites that they are, link this experience to recollections they’ve heard about the great expulsion and destruction committed by the Jews 75 years ago. Those cheeky kids don’t know that historical memory is exclusive Jewish property.

There isn’t enough space here to list all of the antisemitic topics included in the textbooks that have and are still being drafted by successive Israeli governments, and whose teachings are disseminated by soldiers, the Civil Administration and the Jerusalem municipality. So we will mention only two salient features that can be attributed to the Jews, according to those teachers. One is land gluttony. The other is the double standard.

Take the Kida settlement outpost. It has been in the news recently because Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit approved the appointment of one of its residents, Yair Hirsch, as Interior Minister director general, even though there is a demolition order pending against his home, which was built illegally according to Israeli law (and not only international law and human logic).

Kida has five sister outposts that have over the past 20 years similarly seized land belonging to the Palestinian villages of Jalud, Qaryut, Turmus Aya and al-Mughayir. They are the progeny of the settlement of Shiloh and the settlement outpost Shvut Rachel, and beloved siblings of the Amihai settlement, built for the Amona evacuees.

They all violate international law and faithfully represent the Jewish appetite for Palestinian land; land for grazing and hiking, farmland, the potential for growth and expanded construction. The violence of outpost residents, under the auspices of the Settlement Defense Forces, its orders and the Oslo Accords, have separated villagers from their land. This in itself is an example of what goes on throughout the West Bank.

The gluttons stuff themselves with Palestinian land, and boast of their humanity for allowing its legal owners to remain in their crowded homes and make a living working for the Jews. Palestinian space must be Jewish, and anyone who says otherwise is an antisemite. How did Mendelblit, the king of Jewish-Israeli law, put it? Hirsch is eligible for the job despite living in an illegal structure, because Kida’s land will soon be declared “state land.” Declaring Palestinian land state land is the Zionistically correct term for organized armed robbery.

The other ostensibly Jewish characteristic, the double standard, is expressed by the regular, routine data on home demolitions. Thus, for example, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that between July 27 and August 9, the Israeli authorities razed or confiscated 57 Palestinian structures, depriving 97 people, 67 of them children, of their homes.

In the year to date Israel has destroyed 592 Palestinian structures, 90 of them in East Jerusalem. The explanation – that they were built without a permit – is possible because of our talent for double standards. Palestinians may not build on Palestinian land, but we, the Jews, may build on Palestinian land with or without permits. And anyone who objects is an antisemite.

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