Beauty and the little snakes

16 May

A 2015 poll conducted by, I kid you not, the Israeli Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery found Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked the Knesset’s best looking female politician. You can see why.

But then, I don’t suppose odious opinions carry much weight in Plastic & Aesthetic Surgeryland. If they did, the poll might have found itself some other beauty queen.

One day before Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khudair was snatched outside a mosque, taken to a forest outside Jerusalem, bludgeoned with a crowbar, made to swallow petrol then doused in the rest and burned alive by Israeli Jewish youths, Shaked had taken to FB with what Electronic Intifada describes as a call for genocide.1

It is a call for genocide because it declares that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and justifies its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”

It is a call for genocide because it calls for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”

The post by Shaked, a senior figure in the Habeyit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party that is part of Israel’s ruling coalition, was shared a thousand times and had five thousand “Likes.” Her many admirers, not all of them members of the Israeli Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, have pointed out she was quoting someone else with her ‘little snakes’ post.

So that’s alright then.

Here’s what Ayelet Shaked posted:

This is an article by the late Uri Elitzur,2 which was written 12 years ago, but remained unpublished. It is as relevant today as it was at the time.

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.

And the morality of war knows that it is not possible to refrain from hurting enemy civilians. It does not condemn the British air force, which bombed and totally destroyed the German city of Dresden, or the US planes that destroyed the cities of Poland and wrecked half of Budapest, places whose wretched residents had never done a thing to America, but which had to be destroyed in order to win the war against evil. The morals of war do not require that Russia be brought to trial, though it bombs and destroys towns and neighborhoods in Chechnya. It does not denounce the UN Peacekeeping Forces for killing hundreds of civilians in Angola, nor the NATO forces who bombed Milosevic’s Belgrade, a city with a million civilians, elderly, babies, women, and children. The morals of war accept as correct in principle, not only politically, what America has done in Afghanistan, including the massive bombing of populated places, including the creation of a refugee stream of hundreds of thousands of people who escaped the horrors of war, for thousands of whom there is no home to return to.

And in our war this is sevenfold more correct, because the enemy soldiers hide out among the population, and it is only through its support that they can fight. Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. 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.

There are celebrations of mourning and honor in two homes of two despicable murderers. I assume they have put up outdoor mourning structures, and all the dignitaries of the city come to honor the mother and father who raised the devil. Those two houses should be bombed from the air, with intention to destroy and to kill. And it should be announced that we will do this from now on to every home of every martyr.

There is nothing more just, and probably nothing more efficient. Every suicide attacker should know that he takes with him also his parents and his house and some of the neighbors. Every brave Um-Jihad who sends her son to hell should know she’s going with him, along with the house and everything inside it.”

Prevention cannot be focused. That’s how it is in wars. Whatever’s focused cannot prevent. It is not we who started this dastardly war and it is not we who can stop it. The keys to the ceasefire are in the hands of the members of the Palestinian nation. We can only singe their fingers until they wish to use them.


Around the time of Shaked’s little snakes post, TD Richard Boyd Barrett was grilling Israel’s Ambassador to the Irish Republic. So you know where he’s coming from, here’s what Wiki says:

born 6 February 1967, an Irish Solidarity–People Before Profit politician … Teachta Dála  for Dún Laoghaire …  [and] chair of the Irish Anti-War Movement … He opposed the Iraq War and … has campaigned to reverse job losses … and voiced opposition to Ireland’s bank-bail outs …

Here’s six minutes and twelve seconds of Boyd Barrett, setting out the case against Israel:

* * *

  1. Shaked’s post is not, of course, the only significant antecedent. Three days earlier, three Israeli Jewish teens had been murdered, making Khudair’s incineration an act of indiscriminate (except in the racist sense) revenge. For a bizarre example of asymetric justice at play in “the middle east’s only democracy” see this codicil of the aftermath.
  2. Uri Elitzur was a leader of the settler movement and speech writer for Benjamin Netanyahu.

6 Replies to “Beauty and the little snakes

  1. It’s interesting that Shamed uses examples of justification of Israel’s actions through recent U.K and USA actions. No mention of what the horrrs of the Nazis did to Jews

    A brilliant video

    • Good point there, Jawed. Reminds me of how a South African interior minister, apartheid era, once said he’d swap all his Pass Laws and other draconian legislation (aimed at the ANC) for a few clauses in Britain’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (aimed at the IRA).

      Yes, great video. Like the one with Noura Ekerat you shared on FB the other day, and I pinched for this post.

  2. Thanks for posting this. Boyd Barrett is an almost irrefutable argument for the Irish form of PR: an eloquent voice for socialism and human solidarity in the parliament, what a concept!

    • I confess, I’d never heard of the guy before – but can trump him in one respect. This TD for Dun Laoghaire was born in 1967. An eleven year old me was at that ferry port, a few miles south of Dublin and a few north of the beautiful Wicklow Hills, for a two week holiday in 1964. So I got there first!

      Then again, I’ve yet to subject an Israeli Ambassador to close questioning …

  3. Ayalet Shaked is a monster, a wolf in sheeps clothing and representative of the worst criminal abusers of Human Rights. When people speak of beauty as being only skin deep, she is the poster girl, underneath she is pure evil.
    That the British and US knew what monster they were unleashing against the Palestinians in the form of Irgun, Stern and Levy gangs was bad enough but the British also trained and armed 500 Israeli thugs to indiscriminately murder Palestinians and attack Christians – especially the Chaldonians was unforgiveable. The Israeli regimes is far worse than apartheidism, it’s akin to the nazi terror campaign against Jews and we made Germany pay restitution for the campaign but the neo nazi Israeli extremists have never been brought to task, rather the reverse, they are given carte blanche to mistreat the Palestinians. Israel is only legal within the 1947 borders established in the Balfour agreement and beyond that they are Human Rights violators and nothing more than a criminal enterprise occupying a land to which they have no rights.
    The Imperialist western powers are quite happy to promote double standards with regard to Israel, a reflection no doubt of their own hypocrisy when dealing with people who simply get in their way.
    If ever justification were needed for regime change, Israel is it.
    Long live Hezbollah and I hope Nasrallah – sec.gen. is victorious against the murderous illegal Israeli occupiers, it’s time someone, somewhere stood up to the extremist zionists and their hideous reign of terror.

    • Ha! My original choice of title was along the lines of beauty being skin deep but instead I embraced my inner tabloid headline writer – figuring the juxtaposition of beauty and an animal that inspires visceral fear and loathing would draw in the punters!

      I’m glad you brought in British complicity. America’s goes without saying. What gave the anti apartheid struggle greater bite was widening the focus, in the eighties, from apartheid’s vileness to western imperialism’s venal complicity. Naming and shaming Barclays Bank (among others) was a shrewd move. It’s too early to tell but my sense is that the Gaza massacre will be looked back on as a milestone analogous to Sharpeville; a nail in the coffin of Israel’s own apartheid that cancelled out decades of assiduously cultivated Hasbara.

      I understand your wanting to use the word ‘monster’ but that’s not the way I’d go. One, it plays into the hands of the Israeli right and, ignoring the fact Shaked and her ilk hold no appeal for Israeli liberals, undermines them. Two, more importantly it dehumanises her. She is a human being in all the fundamental ways, including that very human need to see ourselves as Good People. Which brings me to a point I intend to write about. There are two extraordinarily powerful narratives in play here, not one, and they collide almost head on. (I say ‘almost’ but there are those in the zionist camp, Shaked for sure, who want that word erased and are happy (a) to perpetuate the falsehood that Palestinians want, en masse, “to drive Israelis into the sea” and (b) to conceal the fact even Hamas recognises the 1967 borders.) Hyperbolic language has its appeal – don’t think I’m not tempted! – three days after May 14, 2018. I myself used the word ‘odious’ but was careful to apply it to her views, not her. She was raised to believe with every fibre of her being in Israel as bastion and beacon of hope and safety to a people subjected to just about the most systematic horror show in recorded history. Don’t get me wrong: that raises all manner of issues, including zionism’s abuses of the Holocaust, I can’t even scratch the surface of in what’s already too long a reply. But I do think that to make any progress we have to acknowledge (among other things) that there are two narratives here and not one.

      Last thought, which brings me back to paragraph two. The narratives are not only reconcilable, with compromises, but would have been reconciled decades ago if not for Western imperialism, most toxically but not exclusively the USA. It suited imperialism to (a) allow Israel’s back door entry to the nuclear club and (b) have Israel as its regional enforcer. One of the most nightmarish aspects of all is that even if (b) changes, (a) won’t.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *