At the end of the fifty-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, neither Israel nor Hamas had achieved their stated goals there: the armed resistance was still standing (despite the massive damage the territory and its people sustained) and the crippling Israeli siege was not lifted. Rather, this essay argues, it was Israel’s far right that emerged the victor. Not only did religious nationalists and secular extremists outflank the right-wing establishment, they justified the brutality of their actions in the military battle zone with messianic pronouncements, and fanned the flames of genocide in the public arena. The far right’s wartime success represented the culmination of a strategy Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has called “politicide,” a coinage denoting the partial or total destruction of a community of people with a view to denying them self-determination.
Max Blumenthal is a journalist and the author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (New York: Perseus Books Group, 2013) and Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party (New York: Nation Books, 2009).