In a development that harkens back to the Nuremberg Laws and the old racialist broadsides of Rabbi Meir Kahane, MK Danny Danon has proposed a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist: he’s claimed that over 1,000 Jewish women have complained about being kidnapped by Palestinians and forced to become sex slaves. The settler internet portal Arutz 7 reports on a Knesset hearing at which Danon deliberated on this imaginary social cataclysm (if you know Hebrew you really must watch the video documenting the drivel and ranting of the MKs and witnesses). A member of the committee, Danny Simon, asked a policewoman testifying whether she was aware of any such problems. The officer said she knew of none. Nevertheless, Danon insisted on persevering.
The racist pandering tenor of his comments was instructive:
The kidnapping of young [Jewish] women and turning them into sex slaves is the sign of a third world country and not of Israel in 2011. We must act immediately to save these women and prevent their being introduced into this vicious cycle.
Danon called for offering greater authority to government officials to deal with the problem, while another witness called for official legislation outlawing “seducing” or having sex with a minor. The director of another NGO claimed that [Jewish] girls aged 11 were raped and were now residing in Bedouin villages. Another that Jewish girls were “bought” by Arabs “with money.” Yet another complained of crafty Arab men who tempted girls by posing as Jews. Those who described the “phenomenon” said it affected girls who were immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia and those from poor backgrounds.
One crusading solon, Nissim Zeev regaled the panel with the “true” story of a girl from Beitar Illit who was enslaved in the nearby [Palestinian] village of Hussan. The “Arabs” allegedly published a claim that they’d “taken” a settler girl and converted her [to Islam]. He suggested a law that would prohibit the conversion of anyone under age 21. Of course, Zeev provided no proof of his claim.
The hearing featured videos purporting to document Arab men flirting and seducing Jewish women and bragging “like roosters” (I kid you not–that’s what the Hebrew says) of their romantic conquests. Another MK said these were grave criminal acts and having sex with a minor should be outlawed immediately (I’m certain it already is, but why should we stand in the way of such pandering?). Another Knesset member suggested setting up a cross-ministerial database which would list the name of every “endangered” girl so that all the various relevant authorities could endeavor to “protect” her. Yet another reminded his listeners of Golda Meir’s saying that every Jew who assimilated was added to the toll of the six million murdered in the Holocaust. MK Anastassia Michaeli touchingly remembered herself at the age of 13 or 14 in Russia along with fellow girl students who were tempted by boys to drink cola and eat pizza. It’s clear that such deviltry led immediately to the defilement of these poor girls.
Where do you begin with crap like this? It’s beyond McCarthyism. At least he only claimed there were imaginary Communists on the government payroll. These idiots have added the even more lurid claim of interracial sex between Jews and Arabs, which ups the ante for their Jewish constituents. You may certainly say that this merely attests to the idiocy of a few Knesset members, and not the racist convictions of an entire population. But anyone who doubts that large numbers of Jews share these unfounded fears, doesn’t know the tone of discourse inside Israel now. The hysterical racism highlighted by the statements above is a perfect symptom of the sickness currently afflicting Israel.
I’ve always been shocked and fascinated by the obsession of the far-right (Jewish and non-Jewish) with sex and race and the intermingling of the two. There is enough fear and hatred of such things to fuel entire political movements. And such fears have characterized movements like Nazism and Jewish ones like Kahanism and far-right Israeli nationalism. I don’t normally like to make such comparisons unless they are apt and precise. In this case, there’s no escaping the direct echoes of Nuremberg and this Knesset hearing.
H/t Zohar Eitan.
This article appeared at Tikun Olam