Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Nuking "Amalek"?: The Israeli nuclear threat and evoking Iranians, Germans as "Amalekites" in religious Zionism

Nuking "Amalek"?: The Israeli nuclear threat and evoking Iranians, Germans as "Amalekites" in religious Zionism

by Sean Jobst

March 17, 2015

In the midst of all the fear-mongering about a "nuclear-armed" Iran - brought to us by the very same people who warned about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq - lost in the entire debate is that Israel itself possesses over 200 nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Also lost in the debate is the fact that Israel and its "amen-corner" in the U.S., U.K. and other governments and media have been fear-mongering about a nuclear Iran, but each one of their fears has never materialized.

Although Israel has neither confirmed or denied it, leading some to call it "Israel's Worst-Kept Secret", the history of Israel's weapons program makes for an interesting read of intrigue, duplicity and complicity. They haven't been able to hide this secret - despite the complicit silence of the pro-Israel media and the double-standard of Western politicians - because news just keeps popping up. Such as when Israel gave nuclear secrets to China. Or when Israel purchased German-made nuclear submarines. Or even Israel's plans to build an "ethnic bomb", that would be aimed against Iraqis.

Along the way, we meet such figures as Hollywood director Arnon Milchan, who worked to secure centrifuges for Israel's nuclear site of Dimona; media mogul Robert Maxwell, who as chairman of the London Sunday Times worked for MOSSAD and was complicit in the capture of Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu in Rome in 1986; and Democratic Party fundraiser Abraham Feinberg's early role in stealing nuclear secrets for Israel, a story within a story that actually ties into the little-publicized story of the IRS's probing of links between certain American Jewish non-profit organizations and West Bank settlements.

Israeli editorial calls for nuking Iran and Germany

In a recent editorial written in Hebrew for the right-wing Israel National News, author Chen Ben-Eliyahu called on Israel to use nuclear weapons "to assure the job gets done." In an editorial written on March 10th, Ben-Eliyahu wrote: "If Israel does not walk in the ways of God's Bible, it will receive a heavy punishment of near complete destruction and doom and only a few will be saved."

Chen Ben-Eliyahu

Evoking the Old Testament tradition of the Amalekites (see Genesis 36:9-12), which according to the Talmud (Sanhedrin 20b) obliges Jews to "utterly destroy the seed of Amalek," Eliyahu identifies this Amalek with the Iranians and even named Iranian leaders Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and current President Hassan Rouhani as direct descendants of Amalek.

So who exactly are the "Amalekites" and what is their role within the Talmud? It certainly portrays a collective hatred exhibited throughout that book, but has certain murderous connotations as cited by the courageous anti-Zionist, Jewish writer Dr. Israel Shahak: "Talmudic ruling: 'It is forbidden to multiply the seed of Amalek'....Amalekites, meaning that one is permitted to murder them until their remembrance is blotted out from under heaven.'" (Dr. Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of 3,000 Years, London: Pluto Press, 1994, pp. 77, 84)

Eliyahu's Orwellian double-speak is not lost on honest observers, asserting "They don’t miss an opportunity to discuss the need for the annihilation of Israel," while he demands Israel "destroy" Iran: "We must make it clear to the Iranians that Israel will wipe out their nuclear program and Tehran and Isfahan as well. If [an Amalekite enemy] rises up to destroy you, rise earlier to destroy him: twenty, thirty nuclear bombs will do to assure the job gets done."

As if the ink from his blood-soaked mind wasn't sadistic enough, he went on to demand that Israel also destroy the country which it has milked out of "reparations" since the 1950s and whose current Chancellor is one of the most pro-Israeli in its history: Germany. "Twenty, thirty atomic bombs on Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dresden, Dortmund and so on to assure the job gets done," Eliyahu writes. "And the land will be quiet for a thousand years."

A record of hate-speech

Alarming as Eliyahu's editorial may seem, he is merely continuing a tradition of a long tradition of certain orthodox Jewish rabbis and Zionist leaders, in identifying Germans as "Amalekites" whom should be hated "collectively", a claim certainly manifested in many anti-German racist theories, such as those of American-Jewish writer Daniel Goldhagen. While researching this issue, I found a debate within orthodox Jewish circles, with some saying the biblical Amalek have already been "wiped out," while others make various efforts identifying them with modern-day nations - including the Germans.

The latter efforts particularly proliferate among the most extreme fanatical sects, including the followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane or those who believe in the cabbalistic "Bible-Code," which has even given rise to some anti-German conspiracy theories, such as by Hebrew University's Dr. Moshe Katz, or even racist efforts to identify Germans (particularly my own southern German people) with biblical bogeymen. This trend actually preceded Hitler and the National Socialists.

In 1898, German Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Palestine, where the leading Haredi Hasidic leader, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld (1849-1932) refused to meet him based on a tradition he cited from his teachers, that Germans were descended from the ancient Amalekites. ("The First Word: Are Jews still commanded to blot out Amalek?," The Jerusalem Post, March 16, 2006).

Rabbi Chaim Sonnenfeld

Rabbi Sonnefeld cited his authority as the 18th-century Talmudist and kabbalist Gaon of Vilna, who identified Germans with Amalekites based on the linguistic similarities with the Talmud's description of "Germamia" as a nation descended from Amalekites (Megillah 6b). (Elliott S. Horowitz, Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006, p. 79)

"In the early 1900s Rabbi Hayim Soloveitchik of Brisk argued that there was a possibility of contemporary war against Amalek....Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik used this position in the early 1940s to contend that the Allied war against Nazi Germany could be understood in Jewish law as a war against Amalek." (Alastair G. Hunter, "Denominating Amalek: Racist stereotyping in the Bible and the Justification of Discrimination," in Sanctified Aggression: Legacies of Biblical and Post Biblical Vocabularies of Violence, eds. Jonneke BekkenKamp and Yvonne Sherwood, London: T&T International/Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003, pp. 92-108)

Gaon of Vilna

This tradition of evoking "Amalekites" to describe the entire German nation exists as an undercurrent among holocaust discourse. In The Hague, Netherlands, appears a memorial by Dick Stins entitled "Davidster" which carries - in Hebrew and Dutch - the verse: "Remember what Amalek has done to not forget." (Deuteronomy 25:17,19). Another verse (Samuel 1:15,33) was cited by Israeli President Itzhak Ben-Zvi in his own handwritten letter to Adolf Eichmann's wife, denying her requests for clemency. (Yoseph Carmel, Itzchak Ben Zvi from his Diary in the President's office, Ramat Gan: Masada, p. 179)

Germans as "Amalekites" in contemporary Zionist thought

In March 1986, the Israeli army's chief rabbi on the occupied West Bank, Rabbi Shmuel Derlich - who was tied to the army leadership's general hate ideology against the Palestinians - distributed a 1,000-word pastoral letter to religious soldiers, calling for the total extermination of Amalek:

"Derlich wrote that it is the duty of 'a king in eradicate Amalek without leaving any must show no pity for any creature from the nation of Amalek - man, woman, child....There is no doubt that in the last generation we met the Amalekite the form of the German nation,' he wrote." (Jerusalem Post, May 17, 1986)

Why doesn't the media ever show us images like this?

Rabbi Meir Kahane (1932-1990), the extremist New York-turned-Israeli rabbi who founded the terrorist group Jewish Defense League and the Israeli Kach Party, who - contrary to those who tout Israel as a "democratic" country - asserted that democracy was incompatible with his interpretation of Judaism, and inspired a whole ideology of hate among Jewish fundamentalist settlers on the West Bank, wrote shortly before his death:

"When it comes to the Amalek of our times, Germany, there is an on-going war, a never-ending war, a war for generations....There can never be forgiveness or contact or relations or anything to do with them. They are beyond the pale and daily, the Jew must pray for the ultimate destruction of a German people that never received an iota of the punishment they deserved....If the Almighty ever allows me to become Prime Minister of Israel....there will be nothing but an Amalek whose memory we will blot out as much as possible until the great day when the Almighty finishes the mitzvah of vengeance." (Rabbi Meir Kahane, "Halachic Overview," The Jewish Press, October 12, 1990, p. 49)

Rabbi Meir Kahane

Israeli nuclear threats

In the mid-1960s, Israeli leaders coined "the Samson Option" to refer to their willingness to pursue a nuclear option. This threat was effectively used by Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in 1973, to get U.S. President Richard Nixon to send more military supplies to Israel. In 1998, Yossi Ben-Aharon made similar threats against Iraq, threatening that "it should be made absolutely clear to the Iraqi dictator from the outset that any attempt against Israel will trigger, at the very least, a devastation of Iraq's western provinces." (Yossi Ben-Aharon, "Repeat Performance," Jerusalem Post, February 9, 1998).

Israel's nuclear reactor at Dimona

Ariel Sharon threatened: "Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches." (Quoted in Mark Gaffney, Dimona: The Third Temple? The Story Behind the Vanunu Revelation, Brattleboro, VT: Amana Books, 1989, p. 165). Sharon's political opponent, the Labor Party's Yitzhak Rabin (who received the Nobel "Peace" Prize in 1994), threatened Syria in a 1991 Knesset speech:

"What had we told them? If you send missiles on Tel Aviv, Damascus will be turned into a ruin. If you send missiles also on Haifa, not only Damascus but also Aleppo will cease to exist. They will be destroyed root and branch. Without dealing only with missile launchers, we will devastate Damascus." (Quoted in Israel Shahak, Open Secrets: Israeli Foreign and Nuclear Policies, London: Pluto Press, 1997, p. 46)

An increasing threat

The threats are not limited to neighboring Arab countries, but extends to elsewhere as Mordechai Vanunu has warned about Israeli blackmail to "bombard any city all over the world, and not only those in Europe but also those in the United States." Zionist narratives are based on a paranoid fear that the whole world is "hateful anti-Semites," such as when author Moshe Holczler threatened that the world will only be saved "if the world were to acknowledge its collective guilt against the Jewish people." (Moshe Holczler, "Open Your Eyes, World," The Jewish Press, November 23, 1990, p. 12)

"Israel must be like a mad dog"

After 9/11, Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer - who warned of "genocidal radical Jewish nationalists" - advocated bombing the German city of Hamburg: "As someone said to me, if they wanted to destroy militarily the centre of al-Qaeda, the best way probably would be to destroy Hamburg."  (Australian Jewish News, March 7, 2003, p. 17). In an interview with a Dutch weekly in 2002, Martin van Creveld, Dutch-born Israeli professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, threatened:

"We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: 'Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.' Our armed forces are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under." (Elsevier, Amsterdam, no. 17, April 27, 2002, pp. 52-53; cited in David Hirst, "The war game," The Guardian, September 20, 2003)

Martin van Creveld

Nuclear threats from...or against Iran?

In the same interview, van Creveld admitted there was no REAL Iranian nuclear threat, even to Israel: "We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us. We cannot say so too openly, however, because we have a history of using any threat in order to get weapons … thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the U.S. and Germany."

Reviewing the Israeli media, Dr. Shahak explained: "Provoking Iran into responding with war or measures just stopping short of war, is also elaborated by many other commentators." He elaborates: "Since the spring of 1992 public opinion in Israel is being prepared for the prospect of a war with Iran, to be fought to bring about Iran's total military and political defeat. In one version, Israel would attack Iran alone, in another it would `persuade' the West to do the job. The indoctrination campaign to this effect is gaining in intensity." (Israel Shahak, Open Secrets: Israeli Foreign and Nuclear Policies, London: Pluto Press, 1997, p. 54)

He cites an interview with Daniel Leshem, retired senior officer in Israeli Military Intelligence and member of the Center for Strategic Research at Tel Aviv University, published under the title "Iran needs to be treated just as Iraq had been" (Al Hamishmar, February 19, 1993). In the interview, Leshem advocates provoking a war between Iran and its Gulf Arabian neighbors:

"Hence Leshem believes that Israel should make Iran fear Israeli nuclear weapons, but without hoping that it might deter it from developing their own; he proposes `to create the situation which would appear similar to that with Iraq before the Gulf crisis'. He believes this could `stop the Ayatollahs, if this is what the world really wants'. How to do it? `Iran claims sovereignty over three strategically located islands in the Gulf. Domination over those islands is capable of assuring domination not only over all the already active oilfields of the area, but also over all the natural gas sources not yet exploited. We should hope that, emulating Iraq, Iran would contest the Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia over these islands and, repeating Saddam Hussein's mistake in Kuwait, start a war. This may lead to an imposition of controls over Iranian nuclear developments the way it did in Iraq." (Israel Shahak, Open Secrets: Israeli Foreign and Nuclear Policies, London: Pluto Press, 1997, pp. 54-55)

That same issue also printed an interview with a "hawkish" Tel Aviv University professor named Shlomo Aharonson, who links Israeli threats against Iran to efforts to prevent a Palestinian state. Aharonson concludes, "We should see to it that no Palestinian state ever comes into being, even if Iranians threaten us with nuclear weapons. And we should also see to it that Iran lives in permanent fear of Israeli nuclear weapons being used against it." (Quoted in ibid., p. 57)

Warmonger Benjamin Netanyahu


We are left with a clear pattern of Israeli threats and a willingness to use nuclear weapons. This has coincided with its own propaganda efforts to inflame the world against Iran, whom they regard as the foremost enemy of Israel. To achieve this, they are helped by certain American neoconservatives and others, who place the interests of Israel over their own country. Netanyahu has employed numerous tactics to sabotage any negotiations between the United States and Iran.

The truth behind all the saber-rattling is that Iran has not attacked any other country in over 200 years. Israel certainly cannot say the same! Through a media campaign of vitriolic hatred of Iran, they mask the reality of a beautiful country where the vast majority of people are peaceful, with the same basic concerns in life as other people. This same campaign lies against Iranian leaders, falsely claiming they want "to wipe Israel off the map", a direct mistranslation of the original Farsi, even while masking their own activities wiping out the Palestinian people!

Yet, we should have serious concerns of our own about the hate-ideology that has been nurtured within the Zionist state. This is an ideology that seeks and advocates war with its neighbors, that uses a twisting of the Torah to pursue a racist agenda towards other peoples - Palestinians, Iranians, Germans. While various extremists who ascribe themselves to other religions - particularly Islam and Christianity - receive the disdain, opposition, condemnation and attention of the world, this fundamentalist element of Judaism remains ignored for fear of being labelled "anti-Semitic."

Does opposition to the extremist elements of other faith-traditions automatically translate into a hatred of the entire religion? It would seem that all of us - Gentiles and anti-Zionist Jews alike - are forced to adopt the Zionist narrative of nationhood. This fundamentalism in service of a political ideology, manifesting in a hateful warmongering agenda, will lead to the abyss and very well take the world down with it, if we don't speak out against it.

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