Netanyahu exposes his profound racism in one glorious tweet

Netanyahu exposes his profound racism in one glorious tweet June 1, 2024

This tweet from the official X account of the Prime Minister of Israel is problematic on many, many levels. Here are just a few.

But first, of course, the tweet, referencing an interview he gave for French TV:

“I say: Our victory is your victory. Our victory is the victory of Israel against antisemitism. It is the victory of Judeo-Christian civilization against barbarism. It is the victory of France.”

While we wait for the full thirty-minute interview to be translated to English, there is more than enough to talk about right here in these few statements.

“Our victory is your victory”: That is, “when Israel wins, you, France, win too.”

“Our victory is the victory of Israel against antisemitism”: That is, “Israel’s battle is against antisemitism.”

“It is the victory of Judeo-Christian civilization against barbarism”: That is, “We, the civilized world of Christians and Jews, are fighting the Muslim barbarians.”

“It is the victory of France”: That is, “Let’s pretend France isn’t on record opposing my attack on Rafah. Let’s pretend Macron didn’t scold me for bombing the daylights out of Rafah last week. Let’s pretend there have not been massive pro-Palestine rallies in Paris for days. I will forgive all of that if you’ll be on my team. It’s going to be the winning team.”

Netanyahu has abandoned the issue of actual antisemitism

When he says the battle in Gaza is Israel v. antisemitism, he knows it’s a lie. Netanyahu knows that Hamas exists not because Palestinians hate Jews, but because Palestinians want justice. October 7th was not an attack on Jews, but on the regime that keeps Palestinians under unbearable oppression.

by Liam Edwards via Unsplash - racism
by Liam Edwards via Unsplash – racism

International law supports the efforts of resistance groups against an occupying power, even to the point of armed resistance

The problem is  Zionism – the racist ideology under which Israel dispossessed 750,000 Palestinian people,  exiled them to Gaza and other locations, and continues to oppress and ethnically cleanse their population

Netanyahu is not alone in fixating on criticism of Israel as though it is a textbook case of antisemitism. The Anti-Defamation League does the same. State legislatures all over the US – and Congress, and President Biden – do too. Perhaps most egregious, so does mainstream media (also see this, this, this).

As long as we focus on the alleged antisemitic nature of protest against genocide, Israel is safe – Israel can go ahead with its genocide. Cops, and university presidents, and politicians, and world leaders, and wealthy donors, and assorted scumbags can demonize dissent so that Israel can go ahead with its genocide.

But actual antisemites can also go about their business. (The Anti-Defamation League, the self-styled “world’s leading anti-hate organization,” claims a sharp rise in antisemitism recently, but what’s really happening is a sharp rise in protest against Israeli genocide. The ADL gets in bed with actual antisemites when it suits their pro-Israel agenda.)

“Barbarism” is code

Netanyahu claims that Israel’s so-called victory will be”the victory of Judeo-Christian civilization against barbarism.” This is thinly-veiled Islamophobia of the worst kind.

Israel considers itself Jewish (although 20% of its population is non-Jewish), but 45% of its Jewish population are atheists. Going by the numbers, Israel’s closest ally, the US, is of course a “Christian nation” – so is France – although both countries are multi-confessional, of course.

Palestinians are, of course, largely Muslim. 10% of France is Muslim. That is to say, Palestinians and 10% of French citizens are NOT Judeo-Christian. That is to say, barbarians.

Hence, Netanyahu’s dog-whistle message is, “We, the civilized world of Christians and Jews, are fighting the Muslim barbarians, and winning.”

Calling a group “barbarians” is a dangerous form of dehumanization – painting them as not just unwelcome, but a collective threat to civilization that must be eradicated. This is nothing less than incitement to violence on the part of Netanyahu.

“When Israel wins, France wins” implies that once the barbaric Muslims are gone, both places will be better off.

Nobody is a barbarian

It is important to resist temptation at this point. We must not say, “Netanyahu/Israel is the barbarian.” Dehumanization is counterproductive in the search for peace and justice.

Rather, it is instructive to look at actions.

Some of the actions taken by members of Hamas on October 7th were inexcusable and disgusting.

But the actions taken by Israel in the following eight months, and the policies, and the statements and choices, were also inexcusable and disgusting – all the moreso because Israel makes claims to be “children of light” and have “the most moral army in the world.” All the moreso because it has gone on for so long, with so much violence. All the moreso because Israel prides itself on its religious roots.

We are to judge ourselves and others not by intentions or labels, but by actual actions.

And, Netanyahu, you have nothing to be proud of. You will have no victory to boast of when all of this is over.

As I recently wrote, I have for the time being washed my hands of Christians who refuse to engage with the issue of Palestine, and for now (at least until the end of this horrific war) I will be writing about the significance of what is going on “over there” from a global and historic perspective.

I’m here for anyone who cares to have an intelligent conversation about reality, instead of living in a silo of confirmation bias.

I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter. I write about the Palestine-Israel issue regularly, and other issues relevant to progressives or those considering becoming progressive. If you would like to comment on this post, please pop over to my Facebook page. All of my posts are there and open to constructive comment. I welcome your thoughts.

If you are interested, here are some of my earlier posts on the Palestine issue:

Further reading on the Palestine-Israel issue:

Posts about my Gazan family (in chronological order):

FEATURED IMAGE: by Liam Edwards, via Unsplash

About Kathryn Shihadah
I was raised as a conservative Christian, and was perfectly content to stay that way – until the day my stable, predictable world was rocked. A curtain was pulled back on conservative Christianity, and instead of ignoring the ugliness I saw, I confronted it. I began to ask questions I never thought I’d ask, and found answers I’d never expected. Old things began to fall away, and – behold! – the new me has come. What a gift to be a new, still-evolving creation. I found out that it’s better to look at the world through Progressive Lenses, with Grace-Colored Glasses. You can read more about the author here.

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