The Nazi Propaganda Minister, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, calls his boss, Adolf Hitler, by hell-phone.
"Mein Fuhrer," he exclaims excitedly. "News from the world. It seems we were on the right track, after all. Anti-Semitism is conquering Europe!"
"Good!" the Fuhrer says, "That will be the end of the Jews!"
"Hmmm ... well ... not exactly, mein Fuhrer. It looks as though we chose the wrong Semites. Our heirs, the new Nazis, are going to annihilate the Arabs and all the other Muslims in Europe." Then, with a chuckle, "After all, there are many more Muslims than Jews to exterminate."
"But what about the Jews?" Hitler insists.
"You won't believe this: the new Nazis love Israel, the Jewish State -- and Israel loves them!"
THE atrocity committed this week by the Norwegian neo-Nazi -- is it an isolated incident? Right-wing extremists all over Europe and the US are already declaiming in unison: "He does not belong to us! He is just a lone individual with a deranged mind! There are crazy people everywhere! You cannot condemn a whole political camp for the deeds of one single person!"
Sounds familiar. Where did we hear this before?
Of course, after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
There is no connection between the Oslo mass-murder and the assassination in Tel Aviv. Or is there?
During the months leading up to Rabin's murder, a growing hate campaign was orchestrated against him. Almost all the Israeli right-wing groups were competing among themselves to see who could demonize him most effectively.
In one demonstration, a photo-montage of Rabin in the uniform of an SS officer was paraded around. On the balcony overlooking this demonstration, Binyamin Netanyahu could be seen applauding wildly, while a coffin marked "Rabin" was paraded below. Religious groups staged a medieval, kabbalistic ceremony, in which Rabin was condemned to death. Senior rabbis took part in the campaign. No right-wing or religious voices were raised in warning.
The actual murder was indeed carried out by a single individual, Yigal Amir, a former settler, the student of a religious university. It is generally assumed that before the deed he consulted with at least one senior rabbi. Like Anders Behring Breivik, the Oslo murderer, he planned his deed carefully, over a long time, and executed it cold-bloodedly. He had no accomplices.
OR HAD he? Were not all the inciters his accomplices? Does not the responsibility rest with all the shameless demagogues, like Netanyahu, who hoped to ride to power on the wave of hatred, fears and prejudice?
As it turned out, their calculations were confirmed. Less than a year after the assassination, Netanyahu indeed came to power. Now the right-wing is ruling Israel, becoming more radical from year to year, and, lately, it seems, from week to week. Outright Fascists now play leading roles in the Knesset.
All this -- the result of three shots by a single fanatic, for whom the words of the cynical demagogues were deadly serious.