It’s called “The Eternal Jew” and it features a caricature of a Jew with a hooked nose stooping to collect gold coins in exchange for spreading treacherous lies on behalf of a powerful benefactor.
Trafficking in familiar anti-Semitic tropes, it looks like a classic Nazi-era cartoon. But in this case, the producers are a group of Israeli West Bank settlers.
Offended? You’re not alone.
The video, released Sunday by the Samaria Settlers’ Council, shows a German-accented man named Herr Sturmer reading a newspaper titled Hasmol, Hebrew for “The Left.” The Jewish character enters the room and takes an assignment from Sturmer to bring him “something on children.” Sturmer flicks a gold coin, which the Jew stoops to pick up. In the next scene, the newspaper headline reads, “Israel kills twenty years old palestinian babies [sic].”
The Jew then accepts more gold coins in exchange for more exaggerated headlines about the Israeli army and checkpoints. Finally, Sturmer orders the Jew to “take care of himself.” In the next scene, the Jew hangs himself from a tree.
The video ends with the text: “The Europeans might look different to you today, but to them you look exactly the same.” Beside the message are logos of several left-wing Israeli human rights groups, including B’tselem, Peace Now and the New Israel Fund — all of which receive funding from European sources.
Needless to say, this has ticked a lot of people off.
Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer sent a letter to Israel’s attorney general asking that the Samaria group be investigated for criminal incitement, alleging that the clip encourages attacks on Peace Now staff.
“This case clearly crosses the line separating freedom of expression from incitement to violence and physical injury,” Oppenheimer wrote.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Peace Now also said that since 2008 the Samaria Settlers’ Council has received $1.6 million in public funds via local government bodies.
But the targeted organizations aren’t the only ones upset about the video. The Anti-Defamation League released a statement calling the video “a nod to anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda.”
“Israelis across the political spectrum were absolutely correct in condemning this unacceptable and incendiary piece of propaganda, which uses offensive Nazi analogies and anti-Semitic stereotypes to incite hatred and divide society,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. “Holocaust analogies are never acceptable and should certainly not be used to make a political point.”
Even vocal settler advocate Dani Dayan, a Samaria resident and former head of the settlers group the Yesha Council, came out against the video. In a Facebook post, Dayan wrote that “the committee does not represent me. I am convinced that it also does not represent the vast majority of Samaria settlers.”