Richard Silverstein / Tikun Olam
The Yediot Achronot conference attacking BDS has become a veritable carnival of hate. Everyone from delusional Hollywood celebrities (Roseanne Barr) to cabinet ministers, to the leader of the Opposition have pledged fealty to the cause. Two of the speakers are under criminal investigation for corrupt political or financial dealings.
But the apogee came yesterday when Intelligence Minister Israel Katz called for the “civil targeted killing“ of BDS leaders like Omar Barghouti. The phrase he used (sikul ezrahi memukad) derives from the euphemistic Hebrew phrase for the targeted killing of a terrorist (the literal meaning is “targeted thwarting”). But the added word ” civil” makes it something different. Katz is saying that we won’t physically murder BDS opponents, but we will do everything short of that.
We are entering dangerous territory when an Israeli cabinet minister engages in wordplay that implicitly places a bull’s-eye on the backs of non-violent activists. If there are Israel apologists out there who dismiss the significance of such rhetoric they are sadly mistaken. In this torrid political environment in which Israeli leftists have become criminals and wounded Palestinian youth may be summarily executed in the street, it is only too easy to forsee Palestinian activists like Barghouti having a bounty on their heads.
Does anyone doubt there are scores of Yigal Amirs out there who’d be pleased to strike a blow for their hateful cause by putting a bullet in the head of a Palestinian?
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