What Netanyahu learned from Orwell

Opinion: Taking his example from Animal Farm, the Likud leader groomed his underlings to make sure he remains on top; and now all that Israel is left with is disorder and chaos, purely in an effort to mask the prime minister's legal troubles
Tzur Shezaf|
Sometimes, in order to understand the bigger picture, one must look at events as a series of links in an overarching chain.
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  • Armored vehicles violently dispersing protesters; a nine-year-old Palestinian losing his eye to an IDF rubber bullet; a military bulldozer fighting with young Gazans over the body of a terrorist as the whole world watches and cringes; and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett blockading impoverished Palestinian farmers.
    Each one of these chapters could stand alone as a short horror story, but when put together they create a disturbingly dark novel whose epilogue will be witnessed by the whole country on the morning of March 3.
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    ג'ורג' אורוול
    ג'ורג' אורוול
    George Orwell
    (Photo: AP)
    The author of this book, the currently unelected prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is without a doubt an avid student of George Orwell and has worked to make the late writer's dystopian fiction a reality in the annals of Israel.
    In Orwell's Animal Farm, the dastardly pig Napoleon trains a band of vicious dogs as his subordinates, loyal only to him.
    One day, he orders the dogs to attack the other pigs who helped him run the farm after ousting Farmer Jones, and in doing so assumes control of its inhabitants, keeping his authoritarian regime in place with the help of the hounds.
    Animal Farm is of course just a novel and has nothing to do with our lives. And what could Orwell, a low-level British bureaucrat from Burma who wrote a little novel called 1984, say about our world?
    To paraphrase the great Leo Tolstoy: "Happy democracies are all alike; every dictatorship is evil in its own way."
    It's hard to miss the disturbing similarities between Napoleon and his hounds and Netanyahu and his subordinates.
    A caretaker premier who lacks the moral legitimacy to hold any real authority dishes out government roles to suit his own ends, putting the recipients in his debt in order to help him win the elections or end the political deadlock.
    The first in line was Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who has made sure that the Israel Police has not had a permanent commissioner for nearly a year and a half - further facilitating control over those investigating Netanyahu.
    Next was the Education Ministry, which was given to a homophobic and radical minister.
    After that came the Transportation Ministry, which was given to a racist West Bank settler.
    And nominations continue. Next in Netanyahu's crosshairs was the Justice Ministry. The sycophantic and malleable Amir Ohana was given the reins, tasked with shattering the state prosecution overseeing Netanyahu's indictments for multiple corruption crimes.
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    בנימין נתניהו אמיר אוחנה
    בנימין נתניהו אמיר אוחנה
    Amir Ohana and Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Amit Shabi )
    The biggest dividend Netanyahu received from appointing Ohana was the launch of a politically motivated investigation into the former company of his boss's main political rival Benny Gantz, excusing it by saying that the Blue & White chairman is not personally involved.
    But the one that really takes the cake, was the "temporary" nomination of the new defense minister.
    One of Israel's most sensitive and most crucial ministries was handed over to the darling of the West Bank settlements, who punished the Palestinians by embargoing their produce and preventing them from building on their lands for "security reasons."
    There are also other nominations in the background that deserve notice, mainly that of Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, who refused to investigate how Netanyahu's Likud party came to leak the entire country's voter registry.
    But even this is not the heart of the darkness.
    The real story is that Netanyahu has three criminal indictments, a trial that begins two weeks after the March 2 elections and a master plan to boot - namely disorder, chaos, unrest, dominating the public discourse and constantly creating new political spin.
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    לאחר תקרית הירי בגבול עזה: קרב על לקיחת הגופה של הפלסטיני
    לאחר תקרית הירי בגבול עזה: קרב על לקיחת הגופה של הפלסטיני
    IDF troops drag a militant's body away from the Gaza fence using a bulldozer
    Everyone seems to have forgotten about the German submarines, the sale of military technology to Egypt, the missing billions from the natural gas fields, the pink champagne, the Cuban cigars and the tentacular reach into every media outlet in the country in an effort to control public consciousness.
    As a wise old pig once said, "Man serves the interests of no creature except himself."
    In his hubris, all that we are left with is a one-eyed child, wounded protesters and a body dangling from a bulldozer.
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