One day, I quarreled with a player from an opposing team. Suddenly, after a few unkind words were exchanged, he called me a "Nazi." Without thinking twice, I punched him in the face and he dropped to the ground.
After he recovered, he apologized to me. “Don’t be angry at me,” he said. “I lost my temper in the heat of the moment, and I know, of course, that an Israeli and a Jew must not use this word against another Jew.” He walked up to me, embraced me, and again said, in tears: “Please, forgive me.”
The youngsters known as the “hilltop youths”, who are insane in my view, do not refer to IDF officers and soldiers as “Nazis” after losing one’s senses. They do so deliberately, after giving it some thought. Regrettably and shamefully, they most certainly mean all the curse words they hurl at our troops.
In order to use these epithets against the officers and soldiers of the army that safeguards the State of Israel – which is the Jewish state if I’m not mistaken – one must be a wholly remorseless and reckless individual; one who deserves no forgiveness. The State of Israel’s authorities must adopt a firm hand against these “hooligans,” who crossed all the existing red lines, and also non-existent ones.
These delusional figures, who have lost their minds as result of their hatred for the IDF, must be punished with the full severity of the law. If we do not have the proper laws, we should legislate them immediately. Quite a few states in the world, including Germany and Austria, have laws against racial incitement, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. It’s patently clear that directing the epithet “Nazi” at a soldier is a form of wild incitement that is no different than anti-Semitic incitement.
I’ve been living in Israel for almost 64 years now and I’ve seen and heard much and experienced outrageous moments, such as people putting on the Yellow Star at a protest or claiming that the Germans treated them better than our own security forces. Every time, I condemned these phenomena in writing, yet only now am I starting to realize that that the despicable outbursts by the “hilltop youth” are certainly a product of planning and thinking. They inherited it from their no-less-despicable predecessors, who took the liberty to slam IDF soldiers years ago without authorities waking up and taking action.
All of us must wake up, now before it’s too late, because if not now, when?