I can no longer stand by while Israeli politicians like Ayelet Shaked condone the deaths of innocent Palestinian women and children
She is young. She is pretty. She is a university graduate and a computer engineer. She is also an Israeli Parliamentarian – and the reason why I am on the brink of burning my Israeli passport. Because behind that wide-eyed innocent face lurks the Angel of Death.
Ayelet Shaked represents the far-right Jewish Home party in the Knesset. This means she is well to the right of Benyamin Netanyahu, just in case you thought such a thing was not possible.
On Monday she quoted this on her Facebook page: “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
A week earlier, just before 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair was snatched and burned alive, Shaked wrote: “This is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. The reality is that this is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started it.”
So even before the boy died horribly she declared him to be the enemy, and afterwards, without any apparent hint of guilt or remorse, she was calling for the deaths of innocent women and their unborn babies.
She made me think about my mother’s sister Klara and her three small children who were living in Krakow in 1939 when the Germans invaded. They decided that the Jews – all Jews – were the enemy and had to be eliminated, not least the women and the little snakes they were raising. “Why? Ask them – they started it”, as the Nazis would say if asked.
I never met Klara or her children who had perished by 1942. I did meet my uncle Romek, who survived by working in Oskar Schindler’s factory, and his wife Yetti who survived because she spoke good German and was able to pretend she was a fine German woman who had kicked out her Polish Jewish husband, as she smiled prettily at every Nazi she came across.
My father’s brother Shmuel and his young family also perished before I was born, taken in Holland, to where they had escaped from Berlin, to the same camp Anne Frank died in.
I know what it is to have been helpless victims, living and dying under racist oppressors’ boots, and I know that today’s Israelis are no longer the victims but the perpetrators of the current crisis. Yes, Hamas are dreadful hate-filled killers and woe betide Israel had they had the wherewithal to carry out their intentions. But the fact remains that it is Israel which has the tanks, bombers, artillery, nuclear warheads and missile defences of Goliath, while ordinary Gazans had nothing a week ago and even less today, as even hospitals and schools were bombed.
Shaked got what she wanted: the death toll in Gaza is nearing 100, one in four being children. Hundreds more have serious injuries in a place where hospitals have also been bombed and medical essentials are running out.
In Israel, in spite of Hamas’s best efforts, not one death has been recorded, nor any serious injuries, although a wedding party was disrupted and got on the television news.
And, as the bombs rain on Gaza, Israeli teens have taken to tweeting scantily-clad selfies alongside their political sentiments. In two now deleted tweets, one wrote “Death to all of you Arabs you transfag”, while another proclaimed “Arabs may you be paralyzed & die with great suffering!” Another teen simply tweeted “Death to these f****** Arabs”, and attached a photo of themselves pouting alongside it.
Seeing these angelic faces of evil spouting such genocidal rhetoric, I pick up my Israeli passport and a box of matches. “Not in my name, people. Not in my name!”
These are the images from Gaza that are too graphic for many US news outlets to publish (DAY 5 UPDATE)
Editor’s Note: This page will be updated to reflect new information.
Israeli air strikes have killed approximately 135 Palestinians in total. Nearly 1,000 more have been wounded in five days of attacks.
Those numbers don’t convey the horror of what’s happening right now in Gaza. Neither do most of the photographs you’ll find in news media. Streets and buildings have been blasted to rubble, yes. People are broken and mourning. Those things must be documented. But too often, we hide from the most graphic scenes of violence and death.
This page will do that documenting, and it will be updated as new images continue to appear. This is the cost of war.
Israeli leader Netanyahu vows to ignore international pressure to cease military campaign in Gaza as Palestinian death toll rises above 100
• Fourth day of Israeli air strikes in Gaza Strip kill at least 11 more Palestinians, as the total death toll rises above 100
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that there was ‘still more to go’ in the conflict
• International leaders including President Obama have urged Mr Netanyahu to halt the Israeli offensive
• Palestinian militants today warned airlines flying in and out of Tel Aviv that they plan fresh rocket attacks
• Mahmoud Abbas says Israeli land operation in Gaza is imminent, claiming plans already have government approval
• Claimed Israeli army could move into area within hours during a meeting with representatives in the West Bank
• News comes as fresh wave of rocket attacks strike Israel, this time fired from Lebanon and hitting northern towns
• It is the first time missiles have been fired from Lebanon during four-days of rocket attacks by Hamas supporters
By JOHN HALL and STEPHANIE LINNING
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that he would press forward with his country’s military offensive In the Gaza Strip, telling reporters that there was ‘still more to go’ in the conflict that has already claimed more than 100 lives.
He defended the attacks by Israeli forces in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, saying that they are part of a determined effort to halt rocket fire by Palestinian militants.
His comments come amid growing pressure from a number of international leaders to cease the military campaign – which has seen Israel attack more than 1,000 targets since Tuesday.