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Netanyahu. The bigger the rift, the happier it makes him
Photo: EPA
Sima Kadmon
Israelis may be gloomy, but it’s not the media’s fault
Op-ed: It takes a lot of nerve, not to mention lack of self-awareness, to call the media an ‘industry of gloom,’ when the person running this industry is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself.
An industry of gloom—that’s what Benjamin Netanyahu called the Israeli media on Monday. It takes a lot of nerve, not to mention lack of self-awareness, to say such a thing, when the person running this industry of gloom is the prime minister himself.

 

Yes, Mr. Prime Minister, we are gloomy. Gloomy doesn’t begin to describe it. And no, it’s not because we see unemployment where you see employment, and a wrecked economy when the economy is actually thriving. It’s true that the economy is thriving, that there is employment, and even that the traffic jams we are all stuck in—even as you, beyond your darkened window and security vehicles clearing the way, see only interchanges—are not the cause for our feeling of gloom. We can live with traffic jams. And we can be content with our lot in life.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The reason why we wake up every morning restless, faithless and hopeless (Photo: Reuters)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The reason why we wake up every morning restless, faithless and hopeless (Photo: Reuters)

 

It’s you, Mr. Prime Minister. You are the one depressing us. You are the reason we wake up every morning restles, faithless and hopeless. It’s you and your government, a herd of silent lambs, a group of yes men and women at your command.

 

We have had other prime ministers here, and not all of them were acceptable to everyone. We have never had, however, a prime minister who managed to split and incite his people against each other to such an extent. Not just between rightists and leftists, the religious and secular, Sephardim and Ashkenazim—you even managed to create a rift between two media organizations. Look at the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) journalists and the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) journalists. And you, the prime minister, are taking pleasure in it. The bigger the rift, the stronger the hatred, the desperation and the disappointment—the happier it makes you.

 

Yes, Mr. Prime Minister, you are the manager of this gloom factory. You are its national leader. The gloom you detect—again, the first person to detect—was created by you. Do you like going to sleep knowing that another day has passed in which you incited, offended, split and made people question their future? Does it make you happy to wake up to another morning of hostile activity against so many citizens under your leadership?

 

Consuming the media today—and moreover, being a journalist today—is pretty gloomy. How can it not be, in light of the scorn, the insult, the instigation, the incitement against people who are doing their job? Seeing, on a daily basis, the wretchedness of the people who are supposed to be outlining a way, marking a direction, imparting values—is more than gloomy. It’s depressing. It’s painful.

 

So yes, we are gloomy. One has to be completely blind not to be gloomy today—even when the economy is shining and unemployment is flourishing.

 

(Translated and edited by Sandy Livak-Furmanski)

 

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