The invocation of Amalek in Israel: from extremist religious rhetoric to a totalitarian project culminating in the genocide in Gaza

This AURDIP report focuses on a fundamental aspect of the anatomy of the ongoing genocide in Gaza. It shows that the invocation of Amalek in Israeli public discourse has shifted in recent decades from extremist religious rhetoric to ideological indoctrination in the social and political arena. At the end of a long process initiated in 1967 in the aftermath of the Six Day War, it has now become a political agenda leading to the development of an increasingly violent and aggressive policy of colonization and apartheid, culminating in the ongoing genocide for which Amalek has become the code name.

Report of the Association of Academics for Respect for International Law in Palestine (AURDIP)

This article focuses on a fundamental aspect of the anatomy of the ongoing genocide in Gaza, namely the invocation of Amalek. Genocides are not easily decreed; they require an ideological base and a set of cultural or religious references likely to make them acceptable to a significant part of society. In this paper, we show that the invocation of Amalek in Israeli public discourse has shifted in recent decades from extremist religious rhetoric to ideological indoctrination in the social and political arena. At the end of a long process initiated in 1967 in the aftermath of the Six Day War, it has now become a political agenda leading to the development of an increasingly violent and aggressive policy of colonization and apartheid, culminating in the ongoing genocide. This genocidal invocation of Amalek is not limited to the most extreme elements of Israeli society, such as the Prime Minister, but even extends to academic circles. For example, Ariel Porat, professor of law and president of Tel Aviv University, has also taken up this rhetoric. Israeli soldiers, trained and indoctrinated in this ideology, immediately understood their Prime Minister’s call, making Amalek the code name for the ongoing genocide. It is not surprising, therefore, that the South African legal team is giving prominence to this issue in its pleadings before the International Court of Justice. For them, this invocation of Amalek is a key element in establishing Israeli genocidal intent in the proceedings brought by South Africa against Israel concerning the application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip.

During his January 11, 2024 plea to the International Court of Justice to establish Israel’s genocidal intent towards the Palestinian people, South African lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi recalled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s October 28, 2023 address to the Israeli armed forces, urging them to “remember what Amalek did to [them]”. As Mr. Ngcukaitobi rightly points out, this scriptural reference to Amalek – Israel’s mythical and archetypal enemy – is neither accidental nor coincidental in the Prime Minister’s mouth. He repeated it a few days later in a letter addressed to the same armed forces on November 3, 2023, adding this comment: “This is the war between the sons of light and the sons of darkness. We will not give up our mission until the Light has conquered the Darkness – good will conquer the extreme evil that threatens us and the whole world”. As the AURDIP has already pointed out, the President of Tel Aviv University echoed this rhetoric in a speech delivered on November 7, 2023 at the university:

“In this war, our soldiers are being killed. But the State of Israel vowed to obliterate the memory of Hamas. “Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, as you left Egypt” – this is what we learn from the book of Devarim [Deuteronomy]. And then there is the divine command to the people of Israel: “You shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under Heaven. Do not forget”. This is what should be done with Hamas, and I am convinced that this is what the State of Israel will do. The comparison between Hamas and Amalek flatters Hamas. Amalek did not commit horrible actions as the Hamas assassins did.”

Ariel Porat, President of Tel Aviv University

Here again, Ariel Porat was merely expanding on what he had written on October 14, 2023 in a letter addressed to the students and all the members of the university in which he had already mentioned Amalek, without associating it with Hamas. In fact, such a reference to Amalek was mobilized by some Israeli politicians as early as the first days following the terrorist attack on October 7. On October 16 MP Boaz Bismuth wrote on social networks: “We must not forget that even the “innocent citizens” – the cruel and monstrous people from Gaza took an active part in the pogrom inside the settlements of Israel, in the systematic murder of Jews and the shedding of their blood, in the kidnapping of children, the elderly, and mothers, and in spooning babies and burning them alive! It is forbidden to show mercy to cruel people, there is no place for any humanitarian gesture – the seed of Amalek must be wiped out!” Therefore, the reference to Amalek was explicitly associated with an injunction to take revenge on the entire population of Gaza from the outset. The statements made by the Minister of National Security, Itamar ben Gvir, on November 10 leave no doubt in this regard: “To be clear, when we say that Hamas should be destroyed, it also means those who celebrate, those who support, and those who hand out candy– they’re all terrorists, and they should also be destroyed!”

During November 2023, this assimilation between Amalek and the Palestinians spread massively throughout Israeli society, particularly via various propaganda songs. The most striking example is undoubtedly ‘Harbu Darbu’, a hip-hop song written by the duo Ness & Stilla which was an instant hit, becoming the most listened-to song in Israel as soon as it was released. Explicitly referring to Amalek, it also called for the murder of supporters of the Palestinian people such as Bella Hadid. On December 7, Israeli army soldiers were filmed singing and dancing, claiming that they had come to Gaza to “wipe out the seed of Amalek” and that “there are no innocents”. Various publications by Israeli soldiers on social networks convey the same message, encouraged and supported by part of the Israeli press.

Like Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Norman Finkelstein saw as early as December 15, 2023 a clear genocidal intention behind the rhetoric used by the Israeli Prime Minister. He made this clear during a live television debate in which he opposed Alan Dershowitz:

“And then there is Mr. Netanyahu, the prime minister. Not on one occasion, not from the spur of the moment, but twice in national addresses to the nation, very soberly, Mr. Netanyahu said: “Remember what Amalek did to you. This is war between the sons of light and the songs of darkness.” Now, as Professor Dershowitz surely knows, because he attended Hebrew School, I grew up a few blocks from him, he surely knows that in the midst of a war, in a country that is schooled in the Bible, when you say your enemy is Amalek, you are calling for the destruction, the killing, of every man, woman, and child. So, with all due regard to Mr. Derhowitz, this issue of human shielding is totally beside the point because it doesn’t even come into play in this situation. The orders from the get-go, denying food, water, electricity, and fuel to the entire civilian population, the order from the get-go to turn Gaza into a place that is not able to sustain human life, the order from the get-go in this battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness, I repeat, I do not believe it requires a rocket scientist to figure out that from day one, Israel has been waging a war on genocide in Gaza.”

However, the Prime Minister’s Office is officially denying that such an imputation of genocidal intent was made, in response to South Africa’s plea of January 11, 2024 to the International Court of Justice. According to the press release from Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, this is an “absurdity” showing “a deep historical ignorance”, insofar as the reference to Amalek was only intended to describe the October 7 attack perpetrated by Hamas, and not to call for genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. The proof would be that the scriptural reference used by the Prime Minister is mentioned in a permanent exhibition at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as at the memorial in the Hague for Dutch Jews murdered during the Holocaust. However, “obviously neither reference is an incitement to genocide of the German people”, says the Bureau; “so too Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reference to Amalek was not an incitement to genocide of Palestinians, but a description of the utterly evil actions perpetrated by the genocidal terrorists of Hamas on October 7th and the need to confront them”.

The charge of “a deep historical ignorance” levelled against the plea delivered before the International Court of Justice in The Hague is, however, a deliberate historical falsification on the part of the Israeli government. By reducing the use of this rhetoric to a mere memorial function, it aims to conceal the precise and new significance that such a reference to Amalek has taken on in a growing proportion of Israeli society, particularly since the Six-Day War. It was this contemporary usage and its obvious connotation that Norman Finkelstein was referring to in his debate with Alan Dershowitz, and his reaction is far from isolated. As early as November 3, Joshua Shanes – a specialist in Hebrew studies at the College of Charleston – publicly voiced his concern and said that it was “incredibly dangerous and irresponsible and deliberate” for Netanyahu to invoke Amalek, given the ongoing war and it how is understood by the far right. He added that calling the enemy Amalek will make it more difficult for people who try to defend the position that Israel is not “involved in a crime against humanity or a genocidal act.” He also stresses how misleading is the line of defense adopted by those who claim to equate Amalek only with Hamas and not with the Palestinian people, insofar as Amalek is unambiguously described as an entire nation: “If someone says, ‘I just mean the bad members of the Palestinians. I mean Hamas…,’ that’s not the effect it has in the body politic. The effect it has is: We have to wipe these people out.” In fact, as Gili Kugler points out in a contribution to the Journal of Genocide Research in 2021, “the title Amalek is still heard in the discourse of right-wing extremists as a code name for the Palestinians”.[1] The use of this ‘coded’ rhetoric is linked to a properly genocidal interpretation of the biblical injunction rooted in a messianic tradition which, after long being confined to the most extremist circles, has now spread to a large part of Israeli society.

It is certainly not our intention here to venture into the field of theological exegesis or hermeneutics. However, a few basic points do seem necessary in order to understand the extent of the historical falsification that constitutes the official defense of the Prime Minister’s Office. It is well-known that Amalek is mentioned mainly in the Deuteronomy and the Book of Samuel. Deuteronomy states:

Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget! (Dt 25.17-19)

In the Book of Samuel, the injunction to remember Amalek’s attack is supplemented by an explicit call for military vengeance addressed to Saul:

I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” (1 Samuel 15.2-3)

But Saul incurred the wrath of God precisely for not obeying his command, when he chose to spare Agag, the Amalekite king, “and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good” (1 Samuel 15.7-9). The divine command was therefore a call for a war of extermination:

The Lord sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out ” (1 Samuel 15.18-19).

When the Israeli Prime Minister officially addresses the military forces with a reference to Amalek, he is of course alluding to the genocidal dimension conveyed by both Deuteronomy and the Book of Samuel, supported by a literalist and ideological interpretation of this call for divine vengeance.

A huge exegetical effort[2] has been made over the past centuries to gradually empty the meaning of Amalek and the ‘mitzvah of genocide’ of any historical content or practical significance, and to give it a purely eschatological, mythological or psychological meaning, among others. The liturgical correlate of this millennia-old hermeneutical enterprise is crystallized in the symbolic ritual of ‘Shabbat Zakhor’, which takes place every year on the feast of Purim. According to another tradition, still in use today in certain ultra-Orthodox circles, scribes, as part of a customary hand-warming exercise, would also write the word ‘Amalek’ and then immediately erase it, usually by drawing lines over it or scratching the paper with a scraper.[3] More generally, Martin Jaffee shows “that the crucial turn in rabbinic tradition regarding Amalek is the absolute denial of the possibility of identifying with certainty any existing nation as the ‘seed of Amalek’.” [4] However, since the creation of the State of Israel, and particularly since 1967, this long and rich hermeneutical tradition has been called into question in certain extremist and messianic Zionist circles such as Kahanism.

Since the Six-Day War, the injunction to remember Amalek has been used, in the context of the policy of Eretz Israel, as an injunction to eradicate the Palestinian people by some extremist movements in the wake of Meir Kahane. The ideology developed by the founder of the Jewish Defense League has been analyzed as a contemporary resurgence of the theology of revenge. According to the analysis proposed by Adam and Gedaliah Afterman, which we follow here, it is based on the following three fundamental pillars:[5] 1° According to Meir Kahane, the people of Israel constitute a collective being ontologically rooted in the divinity which, since its origin, has faced a mythical enemy, designated under the name of Amalek, manifesting itself in various incarnations over the course of history. 2° Still according to him, this ontological rooting of the people in the divinity would make the people the mirror of the divinity: from then on, any attack on the people of Israel would in reality constitute an attack on the divinity, so that its defense and vengeance against its enemies would be a religious duty. 3° Finally, according to Kahane, the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 provided the instrument for deploying this process of redemptive vengeance. Let us quote the conclusion drawn by the two authors:

“Based on these three pillars, Kahane argues that carrying out vengeance against the metaphysical enemy “Amalek” (hostile Gentiles) is fundamental to saving God and his people, both of whom almost ceased to exist as a result of the Holocaust. The establishment of the Jewish state, with its institutionalized power and military might should, on Kahane’s view, be placed at the service of redemption-bound revenge. Kahane goes so far as to justify acts of vengeance even against innocent people by arguing that they belong to the mythical enemy that must be eradicated as a condition for the redemption of Israel and its God. (…) This theology of revenge is based in part on the relatively widespread notion of the ontological difference between the souls of Gentiles and Jews.”[6]

However, it would be a historical mistake to reduce this ‘return of Amalek’ to the extremist and racist ideology of Meir Kahane’s followers, banned in Israel since 1985 and officially considered terrorist since the 1994 Hebron massacre. We can see that the identification between Amalek and the Palestinian people gradually spread in different circles beyond Kahanism itself in the years following the Six-Day War. As early as 1969, for example, it was mentioned in the columns of the newspaper Mahanaim by a certain Shraga Gafni, who wrote:

“As to the Arabs—the element that now resides in the land is foreign in its essence to the land and its promise—their sentence must be that of all previous foreign elements. Our wars with them have been inevitable, just as in the days of the conquest of our possessions in antiquity, our wars with the people who ruled our land for their own benefit was inevitable… In the case of the enemies, who, in the nature of their being, have only one single goal, to destroy you, there is no remedy but for them to be destroyed. This is ‘the judgment of Amalek.”

In 1974, it is still found in a book by the Rabbi of Ramat Gan, Moshe Ben-Tzion Ishbezari.[7] What some specialists have described and denounced as a ‘return of Amalek’ is in fact symptomatic of the growing spread within Israeli society of a messianic ideology analyzed in 1984 by Uriel Tal, against which this eminent Israeli historian who deeply studied the Third Reich warned. Saul Friedländer stressed the fact that “from the 1970s on, Tal was increasingly drawn to write and speak up about what he perceived as the disastrous convergence of religion and nationalist politics within certain factions in contemporary Israel. He was one of the first Israeli intellectuals to draw attention to the fundamental link between the political messianism that arose following the Six Day War and certain trends in Jewish religious thought.”[8] Uriel Tal presented the conclusions of his research in the inaugural lesson of a seminar held in Tel Aviv on March 11, 1984 and organized by the ‘International Centre for Peace in the Middle East’. Based on explicit statements published by supporters of Gush Emunim or in colonialist press organs such as Nekuda, he set out to decipher the implementation of an ideological agenda whose supporters he described as follows:

“We are not dealing with a band of crazy prophets, nor with an extreme minority on the fringe of society, but with a dogmatic school of thought and methodical doctrine, which inevitably leads to a policy which cannot tolerate the concept of human and civil rights, because the conception of the totality of the dimensions of time and place leaves no room for tolerance. (…) In light of the analysis of its ideological foundations, we find ourselves confronted with a structure familiar to us from twentieth-century political messianism. There is as yet no place for comparison of content, but with regard to the structure of the conception – as distinct from its content – it is impossible not to notice an analogy to totalitarian movements of this century.” [9]

Now, as for the content of this totalitarian messianic ideology, Tal distinguished three positions concerning the Palestinians, conceived by its supporters as “somewhat like three possible degrees of a solution: the restriction of rights; the denial of rights; and in the most extreme case, the call for genocide based on the Torah”.[10] These three degrees correspond, according to Tal’s critical analysis, to the gradual application of an ideological agenda which, according to its supporters, should not be immediately made explicit, but should instead be gradually disseminated so that it becomes gradually accepted in ever wider circles of society. Thus, with regard to the second degree – the denial of rights – Tal points out that, in the minds of these ideologues, “as the issue would shock the public at the moment, one should try to refrain, as a temporary measure, from explicitly talking about the expulsion of the Arabs; yet the attitude in principle is that there is no place for Arabs in the land”. As for the third degree, it “is based upon the positive commandment from the Torah of the eradication of any trace of Amalek, i.e., actual genocide”.[11] It is in fact this third stage that has been prepared since the Six-Day War by identifying the Palestinians with Amalek. Its practical consequences were made explicit in 1980 by Rabbi Israel Hess in an article published in Bat-Kol, the student newspaper of Bar-Ilan University, entitled “The commandment of Genocide in the Torah” (February 26, 1980). This article met with little critical response until Uriel Tal drew the attention of the intellectual world to its existence and implications;[12] it is now impossible to find a copy of this article.[13] As it is currently impossible for us to access this fundamental text, we will content ourselves with quoting the presentation provided by Uriel Tal himself:

“The third position concerning the question of the non-Jew’s human rights is based upon the positive commandment from the Torah of the eradication of any trace of Amalek, i.e., actual genocide. This solution was suggested by Rabbi Israel Hess in his article, “The Commandment of Genocide in the Torah” (Bat Kol, the student journal of Bar Ilan University, Feb. 26, 1980), and apart from several colleagues such as Uriel Simon and other members of Oz ve-Shalom (the dovish religious group), we do not know of any dissenting reaction on behalf of the rabbinical teachers of this trend. Their silence is particularly significant in this instance, as we are dealing with a community for whom, because of its political structure, its leadership is not just the guide but also the one who grants absolution, because according to their outlook, the function of the Chief Rabbinate and heads of the yeshivot is to react to reality and to demonstrate to man the error of his ways (the rabbis in the yeshivot are thus called “supervisors”). Rabbi Hess proclaims that “the day will come when we will all be called to fulfill the commandment of this religiously commanded war, of annihilating Amalek” the commandment of genocide. The manner of carrying this out is described in I Samuel 15:3: “Go now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him but kill man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

This duty of carrying out the annihilation of Amalek is based, according to Rabbi Hess, on two arguments: the one concerning racial purity, and the other concerning war. The racial justification is as follows: according to Genesis 36:12, Amalek is the son of Timna, who was Eliphaz’s concubine. Yet according to I Chronicles 1:36, the same Timna was the daughter of Eliphaz and thus Amalek’s sister. Rabbi Hess thus concludes that Eliphaz cohabited with his wife (who herself was somebody else’s wife), begat his daughter Timna by her, took his daughter as a concubine, cohabited with her, and thus Amalek was born. Thus, the rabbi tells us, it is impure blood which flows in Amalek’s veins and in the veins of Amalek’s descendants for all time. And as for the second, Amalek is the enemy who fought against Israel in a particularly cruel manner, Hess says, personifying boundless evil, because when the Children of Israel were walking along their way, exhausted, Amalek attacked and killed them, man, woman and child. According to this conception, in the opposition between Israel and Amalek there appears the opposition between light and darkness, between purity and contamination, between the people of God and the forces of evil, and this opposition continues to exist with respect to the descendants of Amalek for all time. And who are his descendants for all time? These are the Arab nations.”[14]

The final words of Uriel Tal’s analysis were a stark warning against the catastrophic spread of such an ideology in Israel:

“The danger of this totalistic outlook lies in its leading to a totalitarian conception of political reality – because it leaves neither time nor place for the human and civil rights of the non-Jew”.[15]

This cold description is sufficient enough to show the nature of the ideological and historical background to the rhetoric used by the Israeli government since October 7. Uriel Tal pointed out that these messianic ideologues “do not quote one verse or another merely in order to justify ideology, but on the contrary, political reality itself is actually molded by the logos.[16] Indeed, historical experience has taught us, in the twentieth century as well how great is the strength of the logos, of ideology, not only as justification for political interests, but rather as an active factor which motivates the emergence of political, military and economic interests.” [17] In a letter to Isaiah Berlin dated June 26, 1981, he explained his thinking as follows:

“Freedom is self-government you said […] so much so that even once the unknown has been uncovered, the choice between its use, abuse or relinquishment remains on the shoulders of the true freedom-seeker. It is this choice which indeed was abandoned in the Third Reich and – I shudder at the thought – in current Israel.”

Here, we will simply recall that the text of Uriel Tal’s inaugural lecture was published posthumously after the historian’s sudden death on June 6, 1984.

We had access to another extract from the article by Rabbi Israel Hess, quoted by Amnon Rubinstein and reproduced by Nur Masalha in the following terms:[18]

“Against this holy war God declares a counter jihad… in order to emphasise that this is the background for the annihilation and that it is over this that the war is being waged and that it is not a conflict between two peoples… God is not content that we annihilate Amalek – “blot out the memory of Amalek” – he also enlists personally in this war… because, as has been said, he has a personal interest in this matter, this is the principal aim.”

In the wake of Hess’s article, the identification of Palestinians with the ‘Amalekites of today’ became commonplace in the publications of the messianist and colonialist Gush Emunim movement, and is even found in the ranks of the Israeli army.[19] It is also this identification that motivates Baruch Goldstein, the perpetrator of the Hebron massacre in 1994. It continued to spread over the following years among the settlers, as shown by a report by Jeffrey Goldberg in the New Yorker Magazine in May 2004, in which he reported these remarks:

“Moshe Feiglin, the Likud activist, told me, “The Arabs engage in typical Amalek behavior. I can’t prove this genetically, but this is the behavior of Amalek.” When I asked Benzi Lieberman, the chairman of the council of settlements—the umbrella group of all settlements in the West Bank and Gaza—if he thought the Amalekites existed today, he said, “The Palestinians are Amalek!” Lieberman went on, “We will destroy them. We won’t kill them all. But we will destroy their ability to think as a nation. We will destroy Palestinian nationalism.”

Some twenty years ago, the former minister Shulamit Aloni denounced on several occasions this extremist messianic ideology propagated not only among the settlers (“It’s no coincidence that in the settlements the Palestinians are called “Amalek”, and the intention is obvious to everyone”), but also in school education: “Many of our children are being indoctrinated, in religious schools, that the Arabs are Amalek, and the bible teaches us that Amalek must be destroyed”.[20]

Forty years after Uriel Tal’s warning, this totalitarian logic, whose rhetorical invocation of Amalek has become nowadays the name, has infiltrated the whole of Israeli society, affecting soldiers, academics and politicians alike, culminating in the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Despite all the warnings it has systematically ignored, the international community has so far persevered in its blind support for a monstrous regime of colonization and apartheid, at the cost of profound contradictions with the universal values of human rights it claims to defend. Despite countless irrefutable pieces of evidence documenting the unspeakable atrocities committed by this regime and its army, this blindness persisted long after the genocide had begun. Today, however, the wall of impunity is finally beginning to crack, thanks to the courage of South Africa and other countries of the South who have taken their case to the International Court of Justice in the name of respect for international law, and to the courage of young people around the world who, in many universities, are mobilizing to denounce the ongoing genocide and to demand an immediate break with the regime guilty of such a crime against humanity.

Association of Academics for Respect for International Law in Palestine (Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine – AURDIP)

[1] Gili Kugler, “Metaphysical Hatred and Sacred Genocide: The Questionable Role of Amalek in Biblical Literature”, Journal of Genocide Research, 23-1, 2021, p. 1-16 (cf. p. 2 n. 5).

[2] On some of these strategies, see for instance Michael J. Harris, Divine Command Ethics: Jewish and Christian Perspectives, London, 2003, p. 134-150.

[3] See for instance Elliott Horowitz, Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2006, p. 107.

[4] Martin S. Jaffee, “The Return of Amalek: The Politics of Apocalypse and Contemporary Orthodox Jewry”, Conservative Judaism, 63-1, 2011, p. 43-68; cf. p. 49.

[5] A. Afterman & D. Afterman, « Meir Kahane and Contemporary Jewish Theology of Revenge”, Soundings, 98-2, 2015, p. 192-217; cf. p. 203.

[6] Afterman & Afterman, “Meir Kahane and Contemporary Jewish Theology of Revenge”, p. 204.

[7] These references are quoted by N. Masalha, The Bible & Zionism: Invented Traditions, Archaeology and Post-Colonialism in Israel-Palestine, London and New York, 2007, p. 150-151; cf. S. Jacobs, “Rethinking Amalek in the 21st Century”, Religions, 8.9, 2017, p. 1-15.

[8] S. Friedländer, “Uriel Tal: In Memoriam”, in Uriel Tal, Religion, Politics and Ideology in the Third Reich. Selected Essays, New York, 2004, p. vii.

[9] Uriel Tal, “Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel”, The Jerusalem Quarterly, 1985, p. 44-55 repris dans M. Saperstein (ed.), Essential Papers on Messianic Movements and Personalities in Jewish History, New York, 1992, p. 492-503; cf. p. 498-499.

[10] Tal, “Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel”, p. 499. We would like to highlight Uriel Tal’s choice and use of the term ‘solution’ to designate here the extremist ideology that he was the first to denounce, and whose analogy with that of the Third Reich he explicitly emphasized (see his letter to Isaiah Berlin quoted below).

[11] Tal, “Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel”, p. 500.

[12] But see E. H. Yoffie, “Promoting Racism in Israel” (15 April 1983), Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. 13 (252), p. 91–93.

[13] Cf. Jaffee, “The Return of Amalek: The Politics of Apocalypse and Contemporary Orthodox Jewry”, p. 67 n. 36: “My efforts to turn up a copy of this article have failed. The Bar Ilan library does not have a copy of this issue of Bat Kol, and my requests for copies from Israeli colleagues yield nothing. I do know that Rabbi Hess chose not to have the essay reprinted in his “collected essays” prior to his death in the late 1980s”.

[14] Tal, “Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel”, p. 500-501.

[15] Tal, “Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel”, p. 503

[16] Uriel Tal uses the term logos in the generic sense of ‘discourse’, and more specifically ‘ideological discourse’: see the next sentence.

[17] Tal, “Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel”, p. 496.

[18] Quoted by Nur Masalha, Imperial Israel and the Palestinians, Londres, 2000, p. 131-133.

[19] See the many references quoted by Nur Masalha, “Reading the Bible with the Eyes of the Canaanites: Neo-Zionism, Political Theology and the Land Traditions of the Bible (1967 to Gaza 2009)”, Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Vol. 8, No.1 (May 2009), p. 55-108.

[20] Shulamit Aloni, “Murder under the cover of righteousness: There is no fixed Method for Genocide”, Peace Research, 35-1, 2003, p. 29-31; cf. p. 30.