Haaretz writer Uri Misgav has published a powerful blog post about right-wing nationalist Orthodox Jewish responses to the horrors in Paris. (Unfortunately, it’s only available in Hebrew.)
Their responses are repulsive in so many ways. They are consistently characterized by a horrible kind of schadenfreude, even rising – in Misgav’s words – to a level of “pure joy.”
Rabbi Dov Lior, until very recently the chief rabbi of the Kiryat Arba settlement (near Hebron) and head of one of its largest yeshivas, said this at the funeral of two recent victims of a Palestinian murder:
The evil ones of Europe deserve this for what they did to our people seventy years ago.
Misgav also describes the reaction of Motti Karpel, a founder of the racist organization, “Jewish Leadership”:
[He] described the massacre as “the punishment for the crime.” Karpel, who until 2010 edited the official journal of the Yesha Settlers’ Council, “Nekudah,” wrote that “Arab-Islamic terror grew in our environs. From here it began to spread out, to intensify and to upgrade, becoming a worldwide threat, in no small part due to European silence and even winking encouragement. Today they are paying the price. There is a judge and there is a judgment.”
I remember that “judge.” Didn’t he begin his career of “judgment” with a flood and burning up a few towns? I guess he’s still in that business.
One of the worst came from Prof. Hillel Weiss, a faculty member at the Orthodox Bar-Ilan University. Misgav quotes him:
In order to deal with terror we need to shut down the Haaretz-type newspapers throughout the world. The ideologies of equality, appeasement, the acceptance of the other, and anti-racism are destroying the world. The conversation needs to change and it will change in blood.
Jewish Home party MK Yinon Magal posted this on Facebook:
For years we’ve been struggling almost alone with Islamic extremism. For years we’ve been warning the entire world…. Praise God that that finally, slowly, we are beginning to understand, and the world is beginning to understand, that the problem is not us.
Misgav also reports that the publicly funded Samaria Settlers’ Council has announced that they will be distributing thousands of French flags in solidarity. Sounds nice, no? The flags, they said, will be manufactured by a settlement-based company and will proudly bear the slogan, “Manufactured with love in the territories of Judea and Samaria.” The intent, of course, is to call out the French and EU for their newly adopted policy of requiring that products of the territories be marked as such.
Misgav closes by decrying the right wing leadership of Israel for remaining silent in the face of these statements:
[It]…has adopted the false and refuted narrative that conflates ISIS with the Palestinians and war with terror and Jihadists with the marking of products from the territories.
Finally, it should be pointed out that Misgav has cited only a few and only from the nationalist religious right. Over the past few days I have been following Israeli Hebrew language mainstream coverage. Though there was certainly less of this disgusting schadenfreude, there was a significant – and related – strain of “we told you so” coming from reporters.
If I had started a drinking game for every time an Israeli reporter said that “the writing was on the wall,” I would have died of alcohol poisoning.