Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Naftali Bennett and Yair Golan, July 7, 2019.

In a Thursday morning interview on the Knesset Channel, Meretz MK and Deputy Minister of the Economy and Industry Yair Golan said about the residents of Homesh in northern Samaria who clashed with local Arabs: “These are not people. They are subhuman.”

The term “subhuman” or Untermensch was in wide use in Nazi Germany until the spring of 1945. It was the Nazi term for non-Aryan “inferior people” such as Jews, Roma, Poles, Serbs, Russians, black people, and the physically and mentally disabled. All of them had to be exterminated – and many were.


Now, pay attention to the rest of the Meretz MK and Deputy Minister’s diatribe Thursday morning about the Jews of Homesh: “They are despicable people and the perversion of the Jewish nation. They must not receive any support at all. They must be removed forcefully from that place and law and order must be restored there. This nationalist and extremist rampage will bring disaster on us. These are people who want to annex millions of Palestinians.”

Yes, the blood of the Israeli nation must be purified and that perverted scum must be controlled – if not eliminated.

The Torat Lechima Twitter account responded with a picture of “Lt. Col. Dvir Diamond, Commander of 101st Battalion, a graduate of the Homesh Yeshiva. Lost an eye in the 2014 Gaza war. According to Yair Golan – a ‘Subhuman.'”

This is not the first time Yair Golan’s Nazi worldview was exposed.

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, then-IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan said that “if there’s one thing that’s scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here (in Israel) among us in the year 2016.”

That line was a career-ender for Golan, who enlisted in the IDF in 1980 and was an inch away from succeeding Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the comments “outrageous” and said they “do injustice to Israeli society and create contempt for the Holocaust.” Culture Minister Miri Regev called for his resignation. But the then-opposition leader and today’s President of Israel Isaac Herzog praised Golan for showing “morality and responsibility.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has the power to recommend to his coalition partner to fire Golan (due to the coalition agreement, Bennett can’t fire Golan himself), although at a great cost to his coalition government, tweeted in response: “Yair Golan’s remarks about the settlers in Homesh are shocking, generalizing, and bordering on a blood libel. The settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria is today’s pioneering.” And Bennett cited a verse from the Book of Maccabees (1:16), the response of Simon the Hasmonean leader to King Antiochus: “We did not take a foreign land nor do we rule over foreign property, rather it is the land of our fathers, which was in the hands of our enemies.”

At which point Golan doubled down and tweeted: “I referred in my words to the destroyers of graves, attackers of the innocent, destroyers of other people’s property. What’s the proper way to treat such people, what’s the correct name for such people? It’s time to tell the truth – this is not our Judaism.”

Turns out not only right-wingers were repulsed by Golan’s blatant antisemitism. Labor Chairwoman and Transport Minister Merav Michaeli was also shocked. She tweeted: “Words have power. We are the first to know this, so the use of the word ‘subhuman’ is irresponsible and requires an apology. Even when serious acts are condemned, it should be done in respectful and non-generalizing discourse, regardless of the depth of the ideological gap.”

I’m waiting for President Herzog’s response. In 2016 he praised Golan’s antisemitic blast as moral and responsible. Is he ready to take it back?

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