During Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza, MK Shaked essentially called for the genocide of Palestinians. In a Facebook post on July 1–a day before Israeli extremists kidnapped Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir and burned him alive–the lawmaker asserted that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and called for its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”
Her post consisted of an excerpt from an article by Uri Elitzur, the late right-wing journalist and leader of the Israeli settler movement, which seeks to colonize Palestinian land in contravention of international law. Elitzur also served as a speechwriter and advisor to Netanyahu.
The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started.
I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to define reality with the simple words that language puts at our disposal. Why do we have to make up a new name for the war every other week, just to avoid calling it by its name. What’s so horrifying about understanding that the entire Palestinian people is the enemy? Every war is between two peoples, and in every war the people who started the war, that whole people, is the enemy. A declaration of war is not a war crime. Responding with war certainly is not. Nor is the use of the word “war”, nor a clear definition who the enemy is. Au contraire: the morality of war (yes, there is such a thing) is founded on the assumption that there are wars in this world, and that war is not the normal state of things, and that in wars the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.