The mutilating of the bodies of Jews, beheading and amputating of their organs were known in the 1948 War of Independence. Ilana Hadani-Danieli recalls the destiny of her brother, Amos Danieli, one of eight soldiers whose bodies were left on the battlefield when Battalion 52 of the Givati Brigade had retreated from the Arabic village of Tel Arish near Holon (April 28, 1948): “Many days passed until the extent of the atrocities were discovered—remains of bodies and severed limbs of five soldiers. Due to the vandalism, they could not be identified, so they were buried in a mass grave in Tel Aviv. The grave was later opened, and five of the dead were identified using advanced technology. Three soldiers, including my brother Amos, are missing to this very day.” (Documentation: Hilla Altshuler)
Palestinian Arabs’ lust for Jewish blood was documented two decades earlier in the 1929 riots, in which helpless Jews were slaughtered in the Jewish Quarter of Hebron. Photos of children with crushed skulls, men whose eyes were extracted and their hands cut off while still alive, and mutilated bodies of those who were burned to death are kept in the Jewish Quarter Museum in Hebron.
These atrocities go hand in hand with the Palestinians’ explicit intention to exterminate the State of Israel. Palestinians often deny the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis but strive for the continuation of this Holocaust, which Hitler was unable to execute in full.
Documented connections between the Palestinian National Movement and Nazi Germany cannot be denied. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, who is considered the first leader of the local Arabs in British Mandate Palestine, publicly stated that Nazi Germany was the defender of the Muslims in their struggle against the plot of the Jews to take over Palestine. His cooperation with the Nazi regime matured in a meeting with Hitler on Nov. 28, 1941, which was commemorated in a joint photograph—the only photograph of Hitler with a religious leader, Christian or Muslim.
The Führer tasked his Palestinian ally to establish a force of Muslim volunteers to carry out the “Final Solution”—the extermination of the Jews throughout the Middle East. This was a realistic plan, as the armies of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy occupied large areas in North Africa, and were stopped in Egypt only at the end of 1942.
The cooperation was based on a common ideology—the total extermination of the Jewish people at every site. Hence, the war that the Palestinian Arabs started in 1948 was a direct continuation of the genocide of the Jewish people, which had been interrupted by the defeat of the Nazis in 1945. Palestinian aggression included the mutilation of bodies to dehumanize the victims by erasing their human image. As in Nazi Germany, the desecrated bodies belonged to Jews, whose Torah defined man as the image of God. Desecrating the bodies of Jews is, therefore, a statement of heresy in the belief that all human beings were created in the image of God.
Despite the evidence, Israel has turned a blind eye to the “final solution” planned by the Palestinian organizations from the beginning of the 20th century and supported by Nazi Germany, Arab countries, and nowadays, by Iran. Even more so, we deluded ourselves that an independent Palestinian state would dwell alongside the State of Israel and not in its place.
The Oslo Accords in the 1990s, in which Israel allowed the Palestinians to establish an independent state, were based on denial and self-deception. The denial started after the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel’s intellectual elite depicted the Palestinians as helpless victims of Israeli aggression. Simultaneously, the role of the new Nazis was given to the “inner enemy”—the settlers in Judea and Samaria, who “robbed” the Palestinians’ land.
The most vocal representative of this accusation was the philosopher Isaiah Leibovitz, who coined the phrase “Judeo-Nazi” regarding Israel’s hold on Judea and Samaria. One of Leibovitz’s successors, Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan, claimed on Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2016 to have recognized “horrifying processes” like those that “happened in Germany 80 years ago … violence and moral deterioration” among the settlers. During his tenure as deputy minister of the economy, Golan called the settlers of Homesh in Samaria “subhuman” (Jan. 6, 2022). The term “subhuman” erased the human image of the settlers and marked them as evil. Their dehumanization is spiritually connected to their being religious Jews, who epitomize the biblical faith in the image of God.
Peace activists who share Leibovitz’s and Golan’s opinions still adhere today to the belief that the “settlers” have hindered the “good” Israelis from making a peace alliance with peace-seeking Palestinians. The fact that Hamas did not spare them does not change their mind. Dr. Yael Ra’anan, an activist in the “Women Making Peace” organization, hid with her 12-year-old daughter in their shelter in Kibbutz Kissufim. To her daughter’s question: “Mom, what will you do if they enter the shelter?” she answered: “We’ll tell them that we are the good ones, and it will be fine” (“The peace activists,” Channel 13, Dec. 8, 2023). Ra’anan testified that she still believed in the alliance with the “brothers beyond the fence,” which Israel had caused them “suffering and hatred and did not give them hope.” Thus, simply, she justified the murderers and denied the Holocaust that they had planned for her and her daughter.
The denial was not interrupted even in captivity. Eighty-five-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz, who had been abducted from Kibbutz Be’eri, met Yahya Sinwar in the underground tunnels of Gaza: “I asked him why was he not ashamed to do such a thing to people who have supported peace all these years” (Nov. 29, 2023). The logic in her question is similar to that of a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz, asking Adolf Hitler why was he exterminating the Jews who had been loyal German patriots.
Even more so, professor Eli Tzur, a historian from Kibbutz Zikim, called in these very days when our soldiers are fighting in Gaza, “to save Israel … to eliminate the Orthodox as a political power … to eliminate these scums. The basis of Israeli society’s disease is the activity of the ultra-Orthodox and the settlers. If we fail in dealing with them … the end of the State of Israel will come” (from a Zoom meeting of the Kibbutzim Researchers Forum, March 11, 2023).
Bottom line: On the Black Sabbath 2023, quite a few settlers came to the aid of the kibbutzim under attack. Among them were the brothers Elhanan and Menachem Clemenson, and their nephew, Itiel Zohar, from the settlement Otniel in Judea. The three fought for 16 hours and rescued about 100 people from the inferno until Elhanan was killed and Menachem was wounded. Their cousin, Pedaya Mark, who had lost his father in a deadly attack near Otniel, was killed a few days later while fighting in Gaza.
Will the “peace” pursuers repent now? Will they sober up from their delusions and acknowledge the settlers as human beings created in the image of God? After Black Saturday on Oct. 7, it is now clear that the ability of Israeli society to overcome the horrors depends entirely on this question.