Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 18, 2014

On Israelis calling each other Nazis

Filed under: Fascism,zionism — louisproyect @ 5:55 pm

NY Times, January 18, 2014

The Opinion Pages|Op-Ed Contributor

Sometimes ‘Nazi’ Is the Right Word

By ETGAR KERET

TEL AVIV — “NAZI” is a short word. It has only two syllables, like “rac-ist” or “kill-er.” “Democracy,” on the other hand, is a long word with lots of syllables that is very tiring to say. It may not be as tiring as saying “freedom of expression” or “social justice,” but still, there is something really exhausting about it.

People in Israel use “Nazi” when they want the most vicious curse possible, and it’s usually directed at someone they perceive as belligerent. It could be a cop, a soldier or an elected official who, in their opinion, is acting like a bully.Such usage is offensive and infuriating. As the son of Holocaust survivors, I find it particularly rankling. This week the Knesset gave preliminary approval to a bill that would criminalize saying “Nazi” under inappropriate circumstances. The government views the word as a weapon of mass destruction no less lethal than an Iranian nuclear bomb, and so it insists on Israel’s basic right to protect itself from the threat.

Many Israelis think that passing a law against a word is stupid and juvenile; others see it as fascist and anti-democratic. Incidentally, saying “fascist” or “anti-democratic” is also seen as insulting and offensive. And I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tried to outlaw those words in the future, too.

Read full article

Watch full version of “Defamation”, from which clip above was extracted.

2 Comments »

  1. NOT FOR PUBLIC’N, JUST TO MAKE CORRECTIONS

    1) Louis, having used your link to the NYT article, I see that immediately beneath “filed under” you need, if you want it to be there, ‘NY Times January 17′, not “February 18″.

    2) You need a space after ‘Keret’ – so it doesn’t read as “Keretjan”.

    Comment by Jara Handala — January 18, 2014 @ 9:12 pm

  2. The YouTube link for Defamation is blocked in Germany. This one works in Germany (its the German dubbed version):
    http://www.ecostream.tv/stream/6bd4d80a66d6d1c4722ac395f4cdf318.html

    Comment by Johannes Schneider — January 19, 2014 @ 10:57 am


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