|The Ideology Behind Hebron Massacre |
By Prof. Israel Shahak
It is wrong to assume that the mass murder in Hebron stemmed only from the opinions of a small group of extremists on the fringe of the Israeli political spectrum, the supporters of the late Meir Kahane.
The ideology which inspired the killings is the same as that of the "Jewish Underground" of 1984. The members if this movement, who attempted to blow up the mosques of the Temple Mount, were caught red-handed while fixing bombs, timed to explode exactly on the beginning of the Sabbath, to nine Arab buses, so as to avoid the killing of any pious Jew. Daniel Ben-Simon (Davar, 27 February) quotes,for the first time, the real aims of the "Jewish Underground", and compares them with the better known aims of Kahane.
While interrogating one "Jewish Underground" member, the Shin Bet were stunned by the downright Satanic idea underlying the plan to demolish the mosques on the Temple Mount. As the man explained to his interrogators, "the demolition of these mosques would have infuriated all the hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world. Their rage would inevitably have led to a war which in all likelihood would have escalated into a world war. In such a war the scale of casualties would be formidable enough to promote the process of Redemption of the Jews and the Land of Israel. All the Muslims would by then disappear, which means that everything would be ready for the coming of the Messiah."
On the other hand, says Ben-Simon, "in one of his 12 books, Kahane
justified the extermination of the Arabs as the surest way to bring about
the "True Redemption of the Jews". The Redemption can occur in all its
splendour, even right now, if all Jews resolve to keep the
Commandments of the Lord. But the Redemption can also
The Philosophy of Gush Emunim
The sympathy which Baruch Goldstein enjoys among the Gush Emunim, whose
influence is more pervasive than that of the Kahanists, can only be
explained by a shared ideology. However, Gush Emunim leaders enjoy Rabin's
friendship and strong influence in wide circles of the Israeli and
diaspora Jewish communities.
The fundamental tenet of Gush Emunim's thinking is the assumption that
the Jewish people are "peculiar". Lustick discusses this tenet in terms of
their denial of the classical Zionist claim that only by undergoing "a
process of normalisation", by emigrating to Palestine and forming a Jewish
state there, can the Jews become like any other nation. But for them this
"is the original delusion of the secular Zionists", because they
measured that "normality" by applying non-Jewish standards. According to
Gush Emunim, "Jews are not and cannot be a normal people", because "their
eternal uniqueness" is "the result of the covenant God made with
them at Mount Sinai".
All we need is war
Let me omit the many other horrifying facets of Gush Emunim ideology
except one comment of Harkabi which I find particularly prescient.
Proponents of the view that due to God's help Israel is stronger than all
other nations hold that "Israel need have no fear of future wars, and can
even provoke them at will. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner wrote:'We must live in this
land even at the price of war.
Harkabi and Lustick make it clear that Gush Emunim assumes that the reason for Arab hostility towards the Jews are theological in nature. Hence the conclusion that the Arab-Israeli conflict cannot he resolved politically. Lustick quotes a prominent rabbi, Eliezar Waldman, then a Knesset member, now the director of the main yeshiva in Kiryat Arba, who said "that by fighting the Arabs, Israel carries out its divine misssion to serve as the heart of the world" and to save it, "while Arab hostility springs like all anti-Semitism, from the world's recalcitrance" against being saved by the Jews, or even from Arabs seeding "to fulfil their collective death-wish".
Gush Emunim's plans for governing non-Jews in Israel are also based on "theological" principles. According to Rabbi Aviner; "Is there a difference between punishing an Arab child and an Arab adult for disturbance of our peace? Punishments can be inflicted on Jewish boys below the age of 13 and Jewish girls below the age of 12...But this rule applies to Jews alone, not to Gentiles. Thus any Gentile, no matter how little, should be punished for any crime he commits." From this dictum, it is only a short step to slaughtering Arab children.
Even Israel's Supreme Court compared Kahane to the German Nazis. The prominet Orthodox dissident, Professor Yeshayahu Leibovitz, said that the mass murder in Hebron was a consequence of "Judeo-Nazism". But Gush Emunim's ideology is no less like that of the Nazis than Kahane's.
Source: MEI, No. 471, 18 March 1994