Chris Hedges: Israel’s Willing Executioners

Hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to flee, once again, after more than half of Gaza’s population took sanctuary in the border town of Rafah. This is part of Israel’s sadistic playbook.

When You’re Smiling – by Mr. Fish.

By Chris Hedges

Run, the Israelis demand, run for your lives. Run from Rafah the way you ran from Gaza City, the way you ran from Jabalia, the way you ran from Deir al-Balah, the way you ran from Beit Hanoun, the way you ran from Bani Suheila, the way you ran from Khan Yunis. Run or we will kill you.

We will drop 2,000-pound bunker buster bombs on your tent encampments. We will spray you with bullets from our machine-gun-equipped drones. We will pound you with artillery and tank shells. We will shoot you down with snipers.

We will decimate your tents, your refugee camps, your cities and towns, your homes, your schools, your hospitals and your water purification plants. We will rain death from the sky.

Run for your lives. Again and again and again. Pack up the pathetic few belongings you have left. Blankets. A couple of pots. Some clothes. We don’t care how exhausted you are, how hungry you are, how terrified you are, how sick you are, how old, or how young you are. Run. Run. Run.

And when you run in terror to one part of Gaza we will make you turn around and run to another. Trapped in a labyrinth of death. Back and forth. Up and down. Side to side. Six. Seven. Eight times. We toy with you like mice in a trap. Then we deport you so you can never return. Or we kill you.

Let the world denounce our genocide. What do we care? The billions in military aid flows unchecked from our American ally. The fighter jets. The artillery shells. The tanks. The bombs. An endless supply. We kill children by the thousands. 

We kill women and the elderly by the thousands. The sick and injured, without medicine and hospitals, die. We poison the water. We cut off the food. We make you starve. We created this hell. We are the masters. Law. Duty. A code of conduct. They do not exist for us.

But first we toy with you. We humiliate you. We terrorize you. We revel in your fear. We are amused by your pathetic attempts to survive. You are not human. You are creatures. Untermensch.

We revel in our libido dominandi – our lust for domination. Look at our posts on social media. They have gone viral. One shows soldiers grinning in a Palestinian home with the owners tied up and blindfolded in the background. We loot. Rugs. Cosmetics. Motorbikes. Jewelry. Watches. Cash. Gold. Antiquities. We laugh at your misery. We cheer your death. We celebrate our religion, our nation, our identity, our superiority, by negating and erasing yours. 

Depravity is moral. Atrocity is heroism. Genocide is redemption.

The Sadist’s World

Jean Améry, who was in the Belgian resistance during World War II and who was captured and tortured by the Gestapo in 1943, defines sadism “as the radical negation of the other, the simultaneous denial of both the social principle and the reality principle.

In the sadist’s world, torture, destruction and death are triumphant: and such a world clearly has no hope of survival. On the contrary, he desires to transcend the world, to achieve total sovereignty by negating fellow human beings – which he sees as representing a particular kind of ‘hell.’”

Back in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya, Ramat Gan, Petah Tikva who are we? Dish washers and mechanics. Factory workers, tax collectors and taxi drivers. Garbage collectors and office workers. But in Gaza we are demigods.

We can kill a Palestinian who does not strip to his underwear, fall to his knees, beg for mercy with his hands bound behind his back. We can do this to children as young as 12 and men as old as 70.

There are no legal constraints. There is no moral code. There is only the intoxicating thrill of demanding greater and greater forms of submission and more and more abject forms of humiliation. 

We may feel insignificant in Israel, but here, in Gaza, we are King Kong, a little tyrant on a little throne. We stride through the rubble of Gaza, surrounded by the might of industrial weapons, able to pulverize in an instant whole apartment blocks and neighborhoods, and say, like Vishnu, “now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

But we are not content simply with killing. We want the walking dead to pay homage to our divinity. 

This is the game played in Gaza. It was the game played during the Dirty War in Argentina when the military junta “disappeared” 30,000 of its own citizens. The “disappeared” were subjected to torture – who cannot call what is happening to Palestinians in Gaza torture? – and humiliated before they were murdered. It is was the game played in the clandestine torture centers and prisons in El Salvador and Iraq. It is what characterized the war in Bosnia in the Serbian concentration camps. 

This soul crushing disease runs through us like an electric current. It infects every crime in Gaza. It infects every word that comes out of our mouths. We, the victors, are glorious. The Palestinians are nothing. Vermin. They will be forgotten.

Israeli journalist Yinon Magal on the show “Hapatriotim” on Israel’s Channel 14, joked that Joe Biden’s red line was the killing of 30,000 Palestinians. The singer Kobi Peretz asked if that was the number of dead for a day. The audience erupted in applause and laughter.

We place “booby-trapped” cans resembling food tins in the rubble. Starving Palestinians are injured or killed when they open them. We broadcast the sounds of women screaming and babies crying from quadcopters to lure Palestinians out so we can shoot them. We announce food distribution points and use artillery and snipers to carry out massacres.

We are the orchestra in this dance of death.

In Joseph Conrad’s short story “An Outpost of Progress,” he writes of two white, European traders, Carlier and Kayerts. They are posted to a remote trading station in the Congo. The mission will spread European “civilization” to Africa.

But the boredom and lack of constraints swiftly turn the two men into beasts. They trade slaves for ivory. They get into a feud over dwindling food supplies. Kayerts shoots and kills his unarmed companion Carlier.

“They were two perfectly insignificant and incapable individuals,” Conrad writes of Kayerts and Carlier:           

“…whose existence is only rendered possible through the high organization of civilized crowds. Few men realize that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings. The courage, the composure, the confidence; the emotions and principles; every great and every insignificant thought belongs not to the individual but to  the crowd; to the crowd that believes blindly in the irresistible force of its institutions and its morals, in the power of its police and of its opinion. But the contact with pure unmitigated savagery, with primitive nature and primitive man, brings sudden and profound trouble into the heart. To the sentiment of being alone of one’s kind, to the clear perception of the loneliness of one’s thoughts, of one’s sensations – to the negation of the habitual, which is safe, there is added the affirmation of the unusual, which is dangerous; a suggestion of things vague, uncontrollable, and repulsive, whose discomposing intrusion excites the imagination and tries the civilized nerves of the foolish and the wise alike.”

Rafah is the prize at the end of the road. Rafah is the great killing field where we will slaughter Palestinians on a scale unseen in this genocide. Watch us. It will be an orgy of blood and death. It will be of Biblical proportions. No one will stop us. We kill in paroxysms of excitement. We are gods.   

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor and NPR.  He is the host of show “The Chris Hedges Report.”

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27 comments for “Chris Hedges: Israel’s Willing Executioners

  1. May 17, 2024 at 01:17

    Back in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya, Ramat Gan, Petah Tikva who are we? Dish washers and mechanics. Factory workers, tax collectors and taxi drivers. Garbage collectors and office workers. But in Gaza we are demigods.

    We may feel insignificant in Israel, but here, in Gaza, we are King Kong, a little tyrant on a little throne. We stride through the rubble of Gaza, surrounded by the might of industrial weapons, able to pulverize in an instant whole apartment blocks and neighborhoods, and say, like Vishnu, “now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

    Here is are some very interesting insights that the late writer and psychotherapist Alice Miller has about female Nazi concentration camp guards, who they were and how they came to be very cruel to the Jewish children in the camps. This is an excerpt from a long article titled The Political Consequences of Child Abuse. Alice Miller, in her numerous books and web site articles, advances the thesis that the trauma from abuse, mistreatment, and humiliation of a child, particularly if such trauma is repressed and remains unconscious (which is the case for the vast majority of the world’s population), has very serious consequences later in a child’s life.

    Binjamin Wilkomirski, the author of a harrowing and intensely illuminating book about his childhood in the concentration camps, once confided to me in a personal encounter some observations made with the eyes of an imprisoned but extremely wide-awake child on the behavior of the female camp guards. He said that it had taken him 50 years to inquire who those “blokowas” really were, those women who had so openly and unreservedly relished the job of tormenting and humiliating Jewish children and subjecting them to every conceivable variety of mental and physical cruelty.

    To his astonishment, perusal of the trial records revealed that most of them were young women between 19 and 21 who had formerly had quite ordinary jobs as seamstresses or sales clerks and whose biographies contained nothing in any way unusual. During the trial they unanimously claimed that they had not been aware that Jewish children were human beings. The conclusion that immediately suggests itself is that ultimately propaganda and manipulation are sufficient to transform people into sadistic executioners and mass murderers.

    This is not an opinion I share. On the contrary. It is my belief that only men and women who had experienced mental and physical cruelty in the first weeks and months of life and had been shown no love at all could possibly have let themselves be made into Hitler’s willing executioners. As Goldhagen’s archive material shows, they needed next to no ideological indoctrination because their bodies knew exactly what they wanted to do as soon as they were allowed to follow their inclinations. And as the Jews, young or old, had been declared non-persons, there was nothing to stop them indulging those inclinations. But no amount of indoctrination alone, at school or wherever, will unleash hatred in a person who has no preconditions in that direction. It is well known that there were also Germans, like Karl Jaspers, Hermann Hesse or Thomas Mann, who immediately recognized the declaration that Jews were non-persons as an alarm signal and the rallying cry of untrammeled barbarism.

    For people like the “blokowas,” exposed to emotional confusion in their early childhood, the declaration was a highly convenient expedient. … Those young women could turn the children into precisely what they needed to feel powerful and could thus vent on their victims the old, unconscious rage slumbering within them.

    • May 17, 2024 at 10:36

      The link to the article is at


      The quote is from about 2/5 of the way down the page.

  2. Alice Darwin
    May 15, 2024 at 19:12

    By committing Nakba 2.0 in full view of the world in a modern communications age, we also are shown the truth about Nakba 1.0.

    Nakba 1.0 did not occur in such a communications age, and there have been lies and half-truths told about it ever since. So, it was always a matter of picking between two stories. I had my beliefs, since I naturally reject obvious BS like “they just voluntarily left and gave us their homes”, but still, its good to know the truth, especially in a post-truth world.

    Nakba 2.0 is showing the world exactly what happened in Nakba 1.0.
    That’s the lesson of this Nakba Day.

    • Valerie
      May 16, 2024 at 20:22

      I love you Alice Darwin. Your revelatory and justified denunciation of all events is undeniable.

      “Nakba 2.0 is showing the world exactly what happened in Nakba 1.0.”

      The only difference being, there was not the video/photo/audio testament there is today.

      That will be the Zionists downfall.

  3. Alice Darwin
    May 15, 2024 at 18:18

    There was once a generation of Americans, who knew that when they saw the picture of a young girl on fire from napalm running down the road, that all the Americans around them who were working their corporate jobs and watching Walter Cronkite on the news explaining everything … that all of these Americans who were willing parts in the machine, that they were as responsible for the crime in the picture as the fascist who pushed the button that dropped that napalm on civilians.

    That’s why Joe Biden always hated out guts. We knew who he was, and the rest of his ilk. The people who were more worried about the vast profits of overseas investments and whether the stock market would continue to go up, than about the crimes they were committing to grab those vast profits from overseas investments for themselves. The only change is that they’ve now rejoined the Democratic Party. They went from putting “Lt Calley is a Hero” stickers on their gas-guzzling cars to chanting Four More Years for Reagan to chanting Four More Years for Biden.

    Meanwhile, the leader of Slovakia, who had been opposing Genocide Joe’s drive for World War for the World Domination of Wall Street, was shot with the intent to kill him. Joe Biden of course has plausible deniability, like this scum always does.

  4. hetro
    May 15, 2024 at 15:40

    Reference to the Israel Channel 14 show and Joe Biden indicates how widespread now is the transparency of the pose that he actually cares (other than getting re-elected), taken by the Zionists here as sheer political hype, which of course it is, while simultaneously showing them as grotesque in making humor out of butchering innocent civilians. People with this behavior are at an intense level of hatred, which is a mixture of fear, paranoia, and revenge.

    That this behavior also afflicts a large portion of the American population, and its Congress, obnoxiously demonstrated recently by Lindsay Graham’s “nuke ’em like Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” is a deeply disturbing sign of mental sickness and the threat of chaos coming to the globe again.

    “Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” is an ancient prescription for everything from road rage to marital disaster to heinous war atrocities, as we are witnessing. We must fight it in ourselves as well as attempting to consider what must be done in the present disastrous setting of wars threatening to expand.

  5. CaseyG
    May 15, 2024 at 13:09

    And Netanyahu leads his Nazi empire—why are we supporting Nazis, Joe Biden?

    • Alice Darwin
      May 15, 2024 at 18:27

      “why are we supporting Nazis, Joe Biden?”
      Are we really asking the guy who was once known as “The Senator from MasterCard” why he is supporting Nazis?

      Bankers are always a prime power source for fascists. Bankers, and their Industrialist Partners, along with the military and the police, form the traditional power base for fascist movements. Joe Biden declared which side he was on a long, long time ago.

      Heck, this is the guy who used to brag about what great friends he was with Jesse Helms. Those of us who remember both Joe Biden and Jesse Helms are not at all surprised that this man would lead a war to make Europe Safe for Swastikas as well as using ethnic cleansing to clear some beachfront property for Hunter Biden and Jared Kushner want to invest in with their oil sheik friends. Same old Joe.

  6. Kathleen
    May 15, 2024 at 11:45

    One way or another, I believe Israel will be punished for the new holocaust it has launched on the Palestinians. But so will we, for paying for it.

    • Alice Darwin
      May 15, 2024 at 18:38

      We’ve done a lot more than just ‘pay for it’. That’s another lie that Joe Biden tells, downplaying the NATO interconnections between militaries, and the ‘intelligence sharing’ that we otherwise brag about. These are weapon systems that are networked together. An American carrier knows what an Israeli F-35 is doing. Not to mention supplying all those bombs that leave the fragments with English lettering on them embedded in human bodies. Nothing says “Freedom” like a bomb fragment pulled from a victim, with made “Made in America” still readable.

      When Iran responded to the genociders, after their illegal bombing of Iranian territory in Damascus, the USA fought alongside the genociders in the field. America will have to answer for a lot more than merely “paying for it.” Most of the rest of the world refers to this as an “American-Israeli Genocide”, or just as an “American Genocide” committed by Israeli proxies. With Americans engaged in combat to protect the genocide and make sure it continues, there isn’t much doubt about it.

  7. Randal Marlin
    May 15, 2024 at 08:13

    Shame, shame, shame on Joe Biden, if he does not stop this in its tracks.
    I think of the US. helicopter pilot who stopped the re-enactment of My Lai by placing his helicopter between U.S. forces bent on mass murder of civilians, and warning that his own soldiers would fire on them if they persisted.

  8. May 15, 2024 at 05:48

    Thank you Chris Hedges! the ordinary evil is chilling ;it lurks here. last night in Atlanta:–>>> ‘libido dominandi’–>> Fireworks celebrating Israel Independence Day OR celebrating—>>’Depravity is moral. Atrocity is heroism. Genocide is redemption’—>>Our community is stunned at the violence we witnessed as Emory Professors and students were brutally assaulted by riot gear cops.

    • Kate Jamal
      May 15, 2024 at 15:15

      CRINGE at the phrase “Israeli Independence Day” – I want to ask them, which colonial power did you earn independence from?!?

      • Alice Darwin
        May 15, 2024 at 18:49

        You mean Nakba Day, correct?

        Since this surreal society twists words to twist emotions and beliefs, it is wise to develop a habit of mental substitution for propaganda phrases. So, if some fascist says “Israeli Independence Day”, I hear “Nakba Day”. Its a method to try to stay sane in a lying, manipulating society that only cares for profit.

        Its like now when I hear “anti-semite’, today I hear in my head “principled and moral person who opposes genocide”. Its what they are really saying, so just make sure you hear it correctly, with some internal substitutions as needed. But, keep on your toes … they lies keep changing and changing, so new substitutions will undoubtedly be required tomorrow.

  9. Vera Gottlieb
    May 15, 2024 at 05:21

    I don’t wish to get old but…still, I hope to live long enough to see israel what it is due. Now I know what the feeling of hatred feels like.

  10. WillD
    May 14, 2024 at 22:16

    If there was ever a case for direct forceful military intervention in the actions of an out-of-control country, this is it!

    Perversely, this is the one case where the collective West sits back and either actively supports the sadism and barbarity, or makes feeble noises about how it should stop. Western media has been working overtime to hide the war crimes and justify Israel’s action, but the students are having none of the lies, and are being attacked and vilified for their resistance.

    Why the Arab states aren’t taking action is a huge concern, to me anyway – since they are in a position to gang up on Israel and intervene. But I know that they have all been threatened by the US and other Western countries and told to stay out of it. They also fear starting a major middle-east war that could escalate even further if Israel/US uses nukes.

    So the bloodshed continues, and anti Israel, anti-Zionism and of course, anti-semitism dramtically increase around the world making Israel by far the most loathed country. It seems the bloodlust has infected a large portion of the Israeli population, not just the militrary and settlers.

    I can’t say it doesn’t deserve such loathing.

    • Alice Darwin
      May 15, 2024 at 19:24

      So, who in the Arab world do you want to act? The American backed military dictatorship in Egypt that overthrew democracy and killed hundreds if not thousands in doing so? The American backed Royal government of Jordan. The American backed Oil Sheiks who host giant American military bases and whom America still wants to entice into a new Persian Gulf War. The same oil sheiks who’ve been dropping American bombs on the people of Yemen for a decade, until America took over the job personally?

      Its not really threats or intimidation that keep these criminals working together. But, the people of the Arab world are very clear about what they believe. Unfortunately, they, like Americans, desperately need a Democracy Movement.

  11. Jimm
    May 14, 2024 at 22:08

    Great description of state terrorism on a mass scale. This is not war, there is no cease fire to be had, no diplomacy to carry out. This is shock and awe style terrorism, plain and simple. The Christian response to this is to condemn it. The so called Christian Zionist is actually only a Zionist.

    • Alice Darwin
      May 15, 2024 at 19:29

      The Christian response is to beat all the weapons into plowshares … or at least uses those needed semiconductor chips for new electric cars like the ones that Joe Biden just banned from America to protect Detroit in his modern Hoovernomics.

      A Christian nation would not have a military to even consider intervening in a distant fight, and certainly would not have mass stockpiles of bombs and missiles to supply to the genociders,. A Christian nation would not have a large Merchants of Death industry working overtime to make more and more death.

      Zionism isn’t the only flaw in American Christianity, or whatever it really is despite the name, since it doesn’t have much to do with what Jesus tried to teach.

      • Valerie
        May 16, 2024 at 20:37

        And what has really been adhered to in the supposed teachings of Jesus?

  12. kolokol
    May 14, 2024 at 21:13

    Pg 60-61.

    “Zionist leaders in Germany welcomed Hitler’s rise to power, because they shared his belief in the primacy of ‘race’ and his hostility to the assimilation of Jews among ‘Aryans’. They congratulated Hitler on his triumph over the common enemy – the forces of liberalism. Dr. Joachim Prinz, a Zionist rabbi who subsequently emigrated to the USA, where he rose to be vice-chairman of the World Jewish Congress and a leading light in the World Zionist Organization (as well as a great friend of Golda Meir), published in 1934 a special book, Wir Juden (We, Jews), to celebrate Hitler’s so- called German Revolution and the defeat of liberalism”

  13. Drew Hunkins
    May 14, 2024 at 16:24

    “Back in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya, Ramat Gan, Petah Tikva who are we? Dish washers and mechanics. Factory workers, tax collectors and taxi drivers.”

    Jewish supremacists. Go ahead Chris, you can say it — Jewish supremacists.

    Not all Jews are Jewish supremacists.

  14. Drew Hunkins
    May 14, 2024 at 16:18

    Right now Israel’s chock-full of psychopathic neurotic freaks. Ninety percent of the population has no problem with the pulverization the Netanyahoo regime’s carrying out against the Palestinians in Gaza. A majority of Israel’s citizenry feels that 10/7 is equivalent to the Nazi Holocaust!

    The Israeli public is becoming more and more paranoid and unhinged by the minute. This is a warning sign as desperate people do desperate things.

    Netanyahoo, believe it or not, is actually one of the more rational and sane people in the Israeli gov’t at this point in time.

    • Alice Darwin
      May 15, 2024 at 19:39

      And about 70% of Israelis appear to be demanding a war to the north in Lebanon. There is actually a succession movement in that part of the country, because they feel like the central government has abandoned them by not blowing up Lebanon at the same rate as Gaza.

      Israel is now demanding a demilitarized zone. And of course, this zone has to be in someone else country. The snowflakes demand to feel safe as they sit on stolen Lebanese land in the Golan, and to them this now means Israeli control of the southern 20 km of the neighboring country. If Israel did have a cease-fire in Gaza, it appears highly likely that they would use this to then attack to the north.

      There is no peace party in Israel. The ‘opposition’ to Netanyahu is the general who killed so many Arabs in Gaza with Obama’s permission, support and supplies. There is no peace party, or like in America, it gets votes down in the margin of error. The world does not have a partner for peace in Israel. And unfortunately, not in America either.

      • Drew Hunkins
        May 16, 2024 at 10:17

        Excellent and very informative comments Alice.

        Stay strong.

  15. Valerie
    May 14, 2024 at 16:04

    “We are the orchestra in this dance of death.”

    Certainly they have excelled in the “Danse Macabre”. I’m sure Camille Saint-Saëns never imagined his wonderful music would represent a genocide. But the title ultimately fits the actions of the warped Zionists of Israel. (Formely Palestine)

  16. firstpersoninfinite
    May 14, 2024 at 14:34

    Well done, Chris Hedges. A perfect description of the monstrous demand for an earth-bound divinity among evil leaders and delusional citizens. We have entered the age of POTUS becoming Caesar, and the laws of the nation no longer being based upon precedent. The laws of the future will not be in the books or the courts except as the laws of permanent Empire, written for ourselves without any constraining jurisdiction. The new laws are now being laid down for us: no hate speech, except for that hate speech which goes against those who dare to challenge the “rules-based order”; no rule at all but the rule of money; no freedom but the freedom to constrain oneself, lest you be constrained by others who know better; transparency for those at the top to keep those in line who fall out of line, not for the sake of “saving democracy,” but for the sadistic effects of power in an empty world swimming thick with caviar and corpses. But no matter how much the hegemon of the US and its lackey countries seek to extoll their power and virtue, there will be no war against China, no war against Russia, no war at all against any country that can’t be overthrown in a week or ten days, because we don’t have the power to do it. The US can’t win a war even when there is no one left in the country we’ve attacked who can fight back against it. The US and its flunkies are dividing the world into two parts to have complete control over the part we can control. It is a destroy and hold operation. Oil from the Middle East means Israel is a “democracy.” The European Union becomes complicit as we weaken their economies with sanctions against non-European countries, which means they will become willing trading partners by default. If the US had the power to rule the world, it would not be censoring its critics and lying about its policies. It wouldn’t need to. Like a living cell, the splitting of the globe has begun, and the US is just hoping that the DNA we rightly possess from centuries of genocide, slavery and serfdom for anyone challenging it will the dominant DNA it receives.

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