How Did Zionists Come to Behave Like Nazis?


The images are hard to fathom. How have well educated, well fed young Israelis been won to commit atrocities in Gaza similar to those perpetrated by Nazis against Jews? How do we explain the images of the military spending two weeks destroying Al-Shifa hospital, killing patients – including babies and children – unarmed civilians, medical and humanitarian workers? How do we explain watching soldiers shoot starving civilians approaching aid trucks or old women waving white flags? Ah, the government even had to explain how its soldiers shot down their own escaped hostages who were half-naked, unarmed, waving a white flag and yelling in Hebrew? I’m sure there are some soldiers who are revolted by what they’ve seen and whose words are suppressed if they try and speak them. But they must be the very few.

In Israel, 99% of the population is said to be in favor continuing the present level of force in Gaza. There may be large anti-government demonstrations, but that is only because the October 7 Hamas action caught Israel unprepared and/or hostages have not been rescued, it is only a tactical disagreement. Actual demonstrations against the occupation and the war involve only a very few, who are quickly and brutally beaten by the police.

Of course, the theory put forward to justify Zionist brutality in Gaza by the Israeli establishment and parroted by most of the world’s media and government, is that all Jews in Israel were traumatized by the holocaust, by the murder of six million  of their number. And it was an unspeakably horrible event. What is also taught to all Israelis is that a holocaust is just waiting to happen again and cannot be prevented and Israel is seen as the only safe haven from the slaughter. Anti-Semitism is seen as different in character from other examples of racism and mass killing, something that cannot be explained by political or economic motivations.

In the US, the European settlers were won to the mass displacement and killing of Native Americans by viewing them as savages, as of lesser humanity. Later, many white Americans were won to endorse the enslavement of Africans as anti-black racism was purposely and successfully propagated. From 1915-16, the Turks murdered something like 1.5 million Armenians in the hopes of controlling their eastern provinces by stoking Muslim antagonism to Christians.

In Germany, building upon a long history of anti-Semitism, the Nazis appealed to German working class, suffering from defeat in WWI and rabid inflation, to believe they were the master race and that their enemies were Jews (among others), not capitalists. However, this is not the way the Holocaust is viewed in Israel. Instead of being seen as a horrific tactic of fascistic capitalism, it is seen as part of the inevitable role of Jews as the victims of mass slaughter – a dynamic that will continue forever and is unchangeable.

The Origin Stories

The origin of the inevitably of genocide is sometimes traced back to the biblical story of Amalek. In the time of Moses, the Amalek were said to have launched a merciless attack against Jews traveling to the promised land and God told Moses to annihilate them. Hundreds of years later, Saul did so, but he spared the king, whose descendants went on to kill all the Jews then living in Persia. In November, Netanyahu publicly compared Hamas to Amalek and said “You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible. And we do remember.” 1

Other versions of the unique fate of Jews claim that Jews are God’s chosen people with a divine destiny to inhabit the promised land. Thus anyone else living there, for no matter how long, was an interloper in divinely ordained Jewish space. Moreover, the Arab failure to recognize this right makes them anti-Semitic. Some Zionist historians try and trace Islamic anti-Semitism to the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad.2 A more secular view, that existed in my family, is that Jews are resented because they are superior. Thus they are hated by all non-Jews and racism of Jews against “inferior” races is justified.

There is no guilt for what Jews have done to Arabs – they are the wrongdoers. One concrete example is the tale that all Jews immigrating from other Middle Eastern or North African countries in the 1940-50s did so because they were expelled, so that Israel took in as many refugees as Palestinians left in the Nakba. The reality is that the Jews came for a variety of reasons, including Zionism and false flag anti-Semitic incidents created by Zionists. Those that were expelled were usually in retaliation for the Nakba.

Israelis are primed to accept these narratives by the way they learn about and interact with Palestinians (if they do at all). An 80 year old Israeli friend of mine in Jewish Voice for Peace told me she never spoke to a Palestinian until she was 65, when her daughter brought her to a demonstration for a Palestinian family that had been evicted from their home in Jerusalem. Since the end of the Second Intifada in 2004, the separation wall and inability of most Palestinians to even work in Israel has ended almost all inter-group contact.

Throughout Israel one can see ruins of destroyed Palestinian villages destroyed in the Nakba. At many sites there are signs purporting to describe the history that completely obliterate Palestinians. For example, Bar’am National Park in northern Israel is renown as the site of ruins of two ancient synagogue, but the site also contains the remains of the Palestinian village of Kafr Bir’im, from which the residents were driven in 1948 and which existed since at least the 1800s.


Elsewhere the remains of Palestinian villages are described as Roman ruins.

As described in detail in another article on this blog, the Zionist plan has always been to eradicate the Palestinians from Palestine. To some this is God’s biblical plan and to others merely a necessity in view of the perceived threat of genocide against all Jews by all Arabs. In this view it is not only necessary to expel all Palestinians but it is justified, necessary to kill them. Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, summed up many sentiments that are as strong today:

·      “[The Arabs] see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?”

·      “After the formation of a large army in the wake of the establishment of the state, we will abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine. “

·      “We must expel the Arabs and take their places.” 3

Indoctrination Begins Early

In textbooks, from kindergarten through high school, Arabs are not pictured as playing any role in Israeli society. In images, they are only depicted as subservient, criminal and backward and often as terrorists. Palestinians are described as foreigners or migrants, and the refugee camps which many inhabit are an “ecological disaster” inflicted on Israel. Maps depict Israel as all the land from the Jordan to the sea.4

In Goliath, Max Blumenthal describes how children are indoctrinated into worship of the military from a preschool. In some elementary schools, “It is good to die for your country” is written atop every blackboard. Picture book exercises depict images of military hardware. Posters read Who Wants to Kill Us and give choices including the Pharoah, Nazis and Arabs. Female soldiers on leave, but in uniform, often assist in classrooms and portray the army as a loving family. All but very few students grow up looking forward to their involuntary military service.5

The teaching of history to older children and its depiction throughout the society is falsified to present Jews as heroic and just in their battle to defeat murderous Arabs. The Nakba, or expulsion of most Palestinians from Israel in 1947-8 is depicted as flight of anti-Semitic Arabs from the newly declared Jewish state, rather than as a planned massacre and expulsion. Very few Israelis or international Zionists have any idea about the true story. A friend in Tel Aviv who has taught high school for many years told me would be fired if he ever mentioned any accurate history. Every year, about 40,000 thousand Israeli high school students visit Auschwitz to see firsthand what the world wishes to do to them.

Every Jewish Israeli, save the Orthodox, is enlisted in the IDF at the age of 18, men for 3 years and women for two, with men remaining in the reserves for decades. The army “serves as a symbol of Israeli strength, efficiency and effectiveness,” according to the Jewish Agency.

There have always been a small number of leftist or pacifist students who refused to serve, known a Refuseniks. They are almost always sentenced to repeated sentences adding up to about 5 months in military prison. Refusal also usually leads to being ostracized by many Israelis and to losing employment prospects. Whereas 230 teens had signed a letter September, 2023 refusing to serve, only a few have actually resistedsinceOctober.7

What to Expect

Many Jews around the world are indoctrinated with the same Zionist world view as Israelis. The Israel lobby, AIPAC and wealthy donors ensure that all critics of Israel are branded as anti-Semites and suffer consequences, as documented in the previous blog article. However, the genocide in Gaza is beginning to weaken this movement, among anti-Zionist Jews and the general public and grow activism amongst Muslims. So strong is the opposition to the support of Israel that politicians from the US to Turkey have had to at least utter words of rebuke.

However, these rebukes will not lead to a divorce from Israel by Western leaders no matter what tactics Israel continues to use. Israel is too important as the most reliable pro-Western military in a region of the world central to the shipping, pipelines and sources of fossil fuels and inhibition of nationalist, fundamentalist or pro-Chinese movements in the area. Nor can we expect the Palestinians, under divided leaders, none of whom represent the interests of the masses of the workers, to attain a victory. Only a world-wide working class led movement for an anti-imperialist – a communist – society can bring a better world for all of us.

Ellen Isaacs is a physician, anti-war and anti-capitalist activist, and co-editor of She can be reached at [email protected]

Recent articles referred to on

1.Fighting Zionism in Education

2.You Can’t Justify Zionist Persecution of Palestinians with a False Narrative About      Arab Jews

3. Ethnic Cleansing Was Always the Zionist Plan





4.    Goliath, Max Blumenthal, Nation Books, New York, NY 2013, pp 281-4



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