In every country in the Western world, Avi Maoz's Noam party is cataloged as a hate group. One that built its name and reputation on spreading resentment – in the case of the Noam party and its spiritual leader – against the acceptance of same-sex families, for example.
Rabbi Zvi Tau, the spiritual leader of the people of Noam and the 'Kav' yeshivas (religious-Zionist yeshivot which are relatively dogmatic), found in 2020 the reason for the spread of the coronavirus, as quoted on the "Srugim" website: "The post-modern culture with iPhones flooded with abominable movies, with the deviant organizations that turn men all over the world into the likeness of an animal, and that polyamory is not an act of beasts?" This is a subtle expression for Tau. Another time he engaged in sowing hatred against gays by spreading lies about the smell in the home of same-sex couples. This is the spiritual authority of the new Deputy Minister of Education.
In the coalition agreements, Maoz received the authority and the budget to establish a new authority, which will deal with "Jewish identity." A dive into the party's campaign documents and interviews provided by Maoz before the elections brings up a disturbing similarity between this authority, which according to the agreements will be rich in legal advisors, and between what the Noam party called the task force to detect and neutralize foreign influences on Israel, or "Magan Ha'am."
A few months ago, I published the details of this election promise. This is a headquarters that will deal with "preventing the penetration of foreign influences" into "frameworks" in the State of Israel and harming "national resilience" with an emphasis on the education system.
And how will this happen? As part of a support unit in the Prime Minister's Office to which a minister without a portfolio will be entrusted.
According to the pamphlets distributed by Noam, this will be "in cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet and the Mossad." In other words, Noam promised to set up something that sounds like Senator Joseph McCarthy's committee to investigate "anti-American activity."
In light of another article we published in the weekend supplement, about the lists that Noam prepared and distributed among its operatives against LGBT people, the direction is completely clear. In June 2022 Avi Maoz himself explains more about the "Magan Ha'am" headquarters. It is a headquarters to discover and "neutralize" foreign influences on Israel through "cyber experts" and intelligence. Or through, mind you, "in-depth mapping of all the 'agents of change'." He defined it as "Our ticket to the coalition."
What did Maoz say at the time about reports in this case and the "blacklists"? That "it hurts when the pus is taken out." The language indicates hatred; the phrase "pus" expresses the intentions. Noam representatives denied to me that they were establishing a task force to detect and neutralize foreign influences on Israel. And they emphasized that "it was not agreed that the authority would receive assistance from the Shin Bet and the Mossad." Confidence inspiring.
Why is there a need for a dedicated website that will provide details about the external programs in the Ministry of Education – if these are made public anyway? What will a new governmental authority that is budgeted at a quarter of a billion shekels for two years provide?
The only way to understand Maoz's intentions is through what he has said and done in the past, and several relevant pieces of evidence have been detailed here – to categorize them as "left" and "foreign influence" versus "Jewish identity." The more the storm around each plan grows, the more attention it receives, the more successful Maoz and his master Tau will be in their plan.
In Noam's world, even the most Zionist and state organizations, let's say the Joint, are marked. I recently read a text on the Noam website that accuses the Joint and other organizations of "digging cultural blast tunnels under the walls that the ultra-Orthodox community built for itself." This form of expression, "explosive tunnels," is not accidental.
Faced with such developments there is only one answer: Refusal. Maoz and Noam accuse the whole world of being "agents of change," of "postmodernity." They have no idea what postmodernism is, but it doesn't matter: They are agents of hate. And in the face of such agents, the moral imperative is to refuse. And it should be demanded of civil servants, at all levels. Not to agree to any action – which may have a black flag flying over it – of McCarthy-style "identification" and "monitoring."
School principals, inspectors, heads of departments, legal advisors: you are public servants. Of the entire public. One that has Jews, Arabs, LGBTs, right, left, religious and secular. The danger that Maoz presents is not to secularism, it is to decency. There is nothing to expect from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is ready to sell everything to keep a toe in the Knesset. But from decent people – yes.