The anthropologist’s nephew, head of a Jewish Stasi

Once upon a time Bernhard wrote Wittgensteins Neffe – Eine Freundschaft (W’s Nephew: A Friendship).

A little later a Jewish-British forum hosted a talk, ‘My Son, the Anthropologist’, about how the speaker had distressed his mother by choosing not to practise law, or ever be even a doctor or a capitalist. Early in his career he was recruited by a man he would greatly admire, an African, Max Gluckman. Max was the driving force behind the institutionalisation of fieldwork in British central & eastern Africa. When asked if he was a Marxist he replied, no, I’m an Engelsian.

Max’s brother, Colin, had emigrated to Asia, to Palestine, becoming Israel’s third State Attorney, the state’s chief juridical advocate, perhaps best known for the trial arising from the 1956 Kafr Qasim massacre, the slaughter by the police of tens of Palestinian-Israelis, mostly children & women.

Speaking of children, by then Colin had had a son, Carmi. Uncle Max must have been delighted. But Carmi was to become neither an anthropologist nor a lawyer. He joined the local mukhabarat, visiting the Ottoman Al-Quds jail seized by the Israeli state in 1967, observing & interrogating Palestinian prisoners. In time he was working abroad, in Lebanon, a fixture at the hell known as Khiam. He was charged with devising the interrogation – torture – training programme for their Lebanese stooges. Carmi was such a good & appreciated worker that he became head of Shin Bet’s training division in 1989. The next year he headed Northern Command, with obvious more direct responsibility for Khiam. In 1995 he became the domestic spy supremo, but he wasn’t there long, being the fall guy when Rabin was murdered.

Carmi is surely proud of his work on behalf of Jewish-Israeli supremacism. Uncle Max would view it with a marked disgust.


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