In what will hopefully be the zenith of neofascism in Israel, the Times of Israel published an op-ed titled “When Genocide is Permissible.” The post, written by Yochanan Gordon, called for ethnically cleansing the Palestinian population ending with the question “If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?”

Gordon’s analysis of the Palestinians as a people is, not surprisingly, bigoted. Gordon claims Gaza officials and leaders are dishonest by nature, claiming “falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change.” The charge that dishonesty is part of the very fabric of who Palestinians are and that it is an immutable racial law that will never change sounds eerily like a charge historically made against Jews that is rightly condemned as antisemitic.

The Times of Israel eventually took Gordon’s post down but later ran another post that echoed Gordon’s sentiments by Irwin Blank called “1 Samuel 15:18.” Blank’s post, like Gordon’s, also made a religious reference to justify killing Palestinians saying “G-d had demanded that Saul (or the “prime minister”) enter into battle with the Amalekites (Hamas and its savage partners) and destroy them utterly even if that means to the last child, cow and goat.” The last child, cow and goat huh? Sounds like genocide to me.

Blank offered the following in response to criticism of his piece which is still currently up on the Times of Israel website as of this writing.

I sincerely regret causing anyone to think that I am advocating genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza-absolutely not. I only mean to say that the threat posed by Hamas must be eradicated and any civilian casualties, are a human tragedy, No one is as hopeful for a true peace agreement between Israel and all her neighbors as I am.

To those whom I have offended, I apologize for your discomfiture and I meant nothing of what some of you have construed. My point is that to truly promote peace it is necessary to defend against terror and, as in any conflict of arms, innocent people do suffer on both sides. I too, wish to see a free and prosperous Gaza, as it was before Hamas gained control of that territory. but first, we must free Gaza from Hamas and free the citizens of Israel from rockets falling on our cities.

The convoluted explanation by Blank leaves little doubt that he and Gordon were rather sincere in the first instance and that wiping out the Palestinians in their entirety is not an unappealing notion.

But the unanswered question is how deep  does this sentiment go within Israeli society? With the far right forces led by Avigdor Lieberman already within Netanyahu’s government how long will it be before the views expressed by Blank and Gordon become official policy?