Just when I think that the IDF and Israel’s far-right religious leadership cannot get any weirder, they surprise me yet again. The IDF distributed to its soldiers a pamphlet endorsed by a far-right pro-settler rabbi and written by the American Orthodox movement. It contained this little bit of Jewish conspiracy theory paranoia:
The Pope and the cardinals of the Vatican help organize tours of Auschwitz for Hezbollah members to teach them how to wipe out Jews, according to a booklet being distributed to Israel Defense Forces soldiers.
Officials encouraging the booklet’s distribution include senior officers, such as Lt. Col. Tamir Shalom, the commander of the Nahshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade. The booklet was published by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in cooperation with the chief rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, and has been distributed for the past few months.
The booklet, titled "On Either Side of the Border," purports to be the testimony of "a Hezbollah officer who spied for Israel…The story is narrated by a man named Avi, who says he changed his name from Ibrahim after he left Hezbollah and converted to Judaism. Avi says he was once close to Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and describes Hezbollah’s purported close relationships with the Vatican and European leaders.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in a statement: "The book was received as a donation and distributed in good faith to the soldiers. After we were alerted to the sensitivity of its content, distribution was immediately halted."
"Distributed in good faith???" What narischkeit. It was distributed in bad faith. It is a racist piece of utter nonsense. Anyone with half a brain in their head could see that. Don’t IDF officers have half a brain? Or do they just not give a good goddamn what is conveyed to its soldiers (in the IDF’s name) about Arabs?