Uri Misgav is merely one of thousands of the “Jews of Conscience” living in Israel. Like most israelis he is a man of no fixed religion, much less Judaism but nevertheless a humanist with universal values. Another reason not to judge all israelis with the Netanyahu-settler stick.
Mercifully, the newspaper Haaretz consistently gives people like Misgav a regular pulpit from which they bravely attempt to pull Israel back from the downward trajectory it is presently on. His latest sally is a public scold of the racist MK Bezalel Smotrich who can’t stand a Palestinian woman being in the same maternity room with his wife. Misgav fearlessly resurrects (Only an Israeli Jew would dare do this) the shocking appellation of the great polymath Yeshayahu Leibowitz who 40 years ago bestowed the descriptor “Judeo-Nazis) on israeli settlers. Leibowitz broke the taboo-and bravely pointed out that these thugs were indeed acting like Nazis.
The Smotriches spoke of the holy and pure moment of the birth of a Jewish child. Of the demand that Arab hands not interfere and pollute this holiness and purity. Of the refusal to share the physical space with Arabs, because Arabs are by necessity enemies. Of the baby that is born to an Arab mother and in another 20 years will murder the baby of the Jewish mother. This is not just ordinary racism. Racism is always offensive and it is important to fight it. But racism has its degrees, too. This is the vocabulary of the master race. Of racial purity and its holiness. Of inferior races that could pollute the master race. Of the lebensraum cleansed of the enemy’s impurity. Of infants who will grow up to be murderous enemies because they belong to the enemy race. This is a Nazi way of thinking. The Smotriches and their followers are Judeo-Nazis.
One wonders if this column will receive wide distribution in Jewish-American circles. The author continues his April 12 column:
What is not understandable, and what is unforgiveable is the attitude towards Smotrich. This is the true mirror he set up for Israeli society this week: Not everyone is like him, but everyone accepts his existence as something legitimate. The only thing that needed to be done was to boycott him. To ignore his existence. Not to share a word with him. Certainly not a smile or handshake. Even the media did not stop interviewing Smotrich and his wife with chilly politeness. In the previous century Likud tried to prevent Meir Kahane from running for Knesset, and after he was elected most MKs boycotted him. After that his movement was outlawed.
Look at what happened in Israel over the past year. The Tekuma faction chose Smotrich in second place on its slate in its primaries. The party that calls itself Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) recognized the results and adopted him. After that, along came Benjamin Netanyahu and promised voters they were a natural partner. Promised and kept his promise. The result is that the Judeo-Nazi faction is represented in a party that received the justice and education portfolios. But it does not end here. Netanyahu has a coalition of 61 Knesset members. Smotrich’s vote keeps it alive. He was also appointed a deputy Knesset speaker and runs some of its sessions. The Judeo-Nazi faction sustains the government of Israel and serves as a deputy head of its parliament. It would be interesting to see what we would have said if this had happened in a different civilized country, shall we say Germany.