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“Today we are Nazis,” says member of Israeli Jewish extremist group

By Ali Abunimah and Tamara Nassar
19 May 2021
photo: Oren Ziv Picture-Alliance/DPA

Israeli Jewish extremists used instant messaging services to organize armed militias to attack Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Voice messages, texts and other communications indicate they coordinated attacks in cities where Palestinians live in close proximity to Jews – including Haifa, Bat Yam and Tiberias in the north, and Ramla and Lydd – Lod in Hebrew – in the center, to Beersheba in southern Israel.

Settlers from Jewish-only colonies in the occupied West Bank also joined the coordinated attacks, with the apparent knowledge and collusion of Israeli officials.

They communicated via WhatsApp and Telegram, as well as Facebook groups.

In many cases, extremist organizers said they relied on either the active or passive support of Israeli authorities.

Israeli research organizations Fake Reporter and HaBloc intercepted messages from some of those groups and reported what they found to Israeli police as a “ticking time-bomb.”

“It’s painful to know that despite our attempts, very little was actually done,” Fake Reporter said.

“No one in the authorities could claim that they did not know,” HaBloc said.

“We are Nazis”

In screenshots from the groups posted by Fake Reporter, members talked about types of weapons and made plans for where to meet up in order to attack Palestinians and burn mosques. They engaged in virulent racism and incitement against Palestinians.

The messages were released in the context of recent attacks by extremist Jewish Israelis on Palestinians, their homes and businesses as Israel escalated its attacks on the occupied West Bank and Gaza over the last week.

“We are no longer Jews today,” one user wrote in a Telegram group titled “People from Holon, Bat Yam and Rishon Lezion go out to bring war.”

“Today we are Nazis.”

These towns are suburbs south of Tel Aviv.

Videos posted by HaBloc and apparently filmed on 12 and 13 May show people in or heading to Bat Yam, some chanting “Death to the Arabs.”

On 12 May, a large mob of Jewish Israelis dragged a Palestinian out of his car and viciously beat him as the attack was broadcast live on television.

The victim, Said Musa, was severely injured before he was evacuated for medical treatment.

“They asked if I was an Arab, I thought they needed help and I said, ‘Yes, how can I help?’” Musa told an Israeli journalist

In a WhatsApp group titled “Death to the Arabs in Haifa – War Group,” participants were instructed to bring Israeli flags and to meet at the entrance of the Old City of Acre, masked.

In another WhatsApp group titled “Fucking the Arabs, Afula Branch, Death to the Arabs” with 165 members, one posted a picture of a spear gun.

He also wrote, “molotov cocktails, this is the weapon for today.”

In a video posted in the same group, two masked men, one holding two massive knives, says, “Stabbings in the head, terror today.”

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