Tue 27 Feb 2024 3:27 pm - Jerusalem Time

Thirty years after Baruch Goldstein’s massacre, his followers are now carrying out a genocide


It has been thirty years since Baruch Goldstein carried out his massacre of Palestinian worshippers in Hebron. His legacy of bloodshed continues in Gaza and the West Bank as his followers are now in power.

Thirty years ago, on February 25, 1994, the Zionist terrorist Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Palestinian worshippers and injured another 125 inside the Ibrahimi Mosque in the old city of Hebron. Today, Israel’s Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, and other admirers of the mass murderer, continue his legacy by calling for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and the West Bank. 

Last year, Ben-Gvir praised the terrorist Goldstein in a speech on the memorial day of Israeli Independence at a yeshiva (a Jewish religious educational institution), which was founded by another extremist called Meir Kahane. Kahane and Goldstein (both originally from the United States) dreamed of a Jewish theocracy that would extend far beyond the borders of Palestine. Their idea of “Greater Israel” included parts of today’s Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt as a place exclusively for Jews. To politically implement the expulsion of Arab Palestinians, Kahane founded the right-wing extremist Jewish Orthodox party, “Kach,” in 1971, which was declared a terrorist organization and banned by the Israeli government in 1994 after Goldstein’s terror attack.

Today, however, Zionist hatred towards Palestinians lives on and is stronger than ever. After all, Ben-Gvir himself was part of the right-wing Kach organization, and his speeches advocating for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, whether in Gaza or other Palestinian territories, demonstrate that he continues to remain loyal to the racist ideologies of his two idols. His party, Otzma Yehudit (“Jewish Power”), is the ideological successor to the right-wing Kach organization. 

Ben-Gvir lives with his family in an illegal settlement in the West Bank called Kiryat Arba, where Goldstein also resided and where he is buried. Apart from the fact that Ben-Gvir is not just anyone, but a leading politician in the current Israeli government, he cannot be regarded as an exception. Even before October 7, other members of the Israeli government, such as Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, used genocidal language. In March of last year, he called for the eradication of the Palestinian town of Huwwara. 

This does not prevent the United States and Germany from continuing to unconditionally support Israel’s most right-wing government in history. A few days ago, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz responded at the Munich Security Conference to the question of what evidence he relies on when claiming that Israel is abiding by international law in Gaza by stating: “We are asking that they [i.e. Israel] do so, and we are constantly discussing this question…” 

One wonders with whom the German government is engaging in these discussions. Netanyahu, who rejects a two-state solution? Ben-Gvir, who calls for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and the West Bank? Or Bezalel Smotrich, who also threatened to wipe out Palestinian cities?

Meanwhile, the next escalation is already looming, as Ben-Gvir does not cease to provoke. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan is just around the corner, and he stated just recently that residents of the West Bank should be denied entrance to the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the third most important mosque in Islam. In a speech last month at a conference in Jerusalem, he spoke about “encouraging” Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip and the West Bank — a euphemism for ethnic cleansing and a continuation of the Nakba that began in 1948.

Furthermore, Netanyahu threatens to attack Rafah during Ramadan, where 1.5 million refugees are located. In the meantime, food prices continue to skyrocket. Since the beginning of the war, around 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza. In the West Bank, the number of deaths due to violent settlers is also rising. At least 400 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, and more than 7,000 have been detained. After a shooting by Palestinian gunmen at a checkpoint in Jerusalem, in which an Israeli also died, Ben-Gvir once again advocated for the distribution of weapons to Israeli civilians and settlers.

In Israel and Palestine, the tragedy of war and occupation often resembles an Orwellian novel: a Minister of National Security distributing weapons and advocating for ethnic cleansing. Yet, irony also permeates Goldstein’s biography. Despite studying medicine in the United States, he, instead of saving lives, ruthlessly killed and injured innocent worshippers — also during the month of Ramadan. His legacy of bloodshed persists even 30 years after his death. However, in contrast to the past, his beliefs now find greater acceptance within Israeli society, extending to the highest echelons of the government


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Thirty years after Baruch Goldstein’s massacre, his followers are now carrying out a genocide