Photo: Hagai Nativ
Martin Sherman
Photo: Hagai Nativ

Deceit and double standards

Lapid’s anti-settler article reflects supremacy of political correctness over facts

Last week I published an article which pointed to the vehement and irrationally obsessive enmity towards the Jewish settlers and settlements across the 1967 "Green Line". The very next day, this claim was vividly illustrated by an article "This land isn’t Israel" by Yair Lapid which provided dramatic endorsement for my argument. In it, Lapid, a somewhat ionic figure in the shallow mindless glitz that has become dominant norm in today's Israeli media, launched into a toxic tirade against the Jewish population living across the 1967 lines.


In his "masterpiece" of malice, he sternly warns an entire population, the overwhelming majority of which are demonstrably law-abiding - perhaps the nation's most law-abiding - citizens, residing in government approved towns and villages - that due to the alleged actions of a unspecified number of youthful hot-heads, they have been excluded from being part of Israel and part of the Israeli people. According to Lapid "…they define the place they live in as “not Israel.” This is a lawless land, lacking respect, where people who are different than us live and conduct themselves in line with codes we don’t understand. It is a land that has rejected all the basic values that hold us together."


However, in his closing sentence, Lapid lets the cat out of the bag. For he does not call on his allegedly recalcitrant fellow-Jews to recant so that he can welcome them back into the fold of his self-prescribed version of Israel as his self-prescribed version of Israelis. Oh No. For Lapid, his self-perceived distortion of reality serves only as a facilitating factor – an excuse – for the implementation of political agenda, Israeli withdrawal and concessions to the Palestinians.


In what is perhaps a seminal exhibition of a flat learning-curve, Lapid - undaunted by the calamity of Oslo and catastrophe of Disengagement - issues a menacing prognosis: "These people create a situation whereby, when the day comes, and the agreements are signed on the lawn in Washington, it will be easier to give up this land, which isn’t really ours; this land where not only the laws and landscape are different, but also the people.”


The deceit and double standards that permeate Lapid's latest piece are hardly surprising. For example, in ascribing to the allegedly recurring clashes with security forces, a "reject(ion) all the basic values that hold us together " he could just of easily included the left-wing radicals who regularly assail and hurl abuse at the IDF forces charged with facilitating the construction of the security barrier. But for some reason they are not to be excluded from Lapidian Israel.


Proud of disengagement?

Lapid cites incidents such as "daily infiltrations to the evacuated settlement Homesh" as evidence of the settlers "contempt (for) the law, and refus(al) to accept the State’s authority," conveniently omitting to mention that many of leading figures in the endeavor to resurrect Homesh are secular citizens living inside the Green Line including former combatants in elite army and Air Force units, residents of Moshavim and Kibbutzim, well known doctors and lawyers. Would Lapid "excommunicate" all of them as "not Israeli"?


And when he accuses the settlers of lacking "respect (for) IDF soldiers" can it be amnesia or intent that causes him to overlook the considerable contribution the settler youth make to the IDF; not only did they perform admirable acts of courage and daring during the last war, they were one of the sectors that sustained the highest combat casualties in the fighting – in stark contrast to Lapid's Tel Avivian milieu, which sustained among the lowest.


Moreover, Lapid's characterization of the "lawless land" in which settlers reside could perhaps be better applied to the Negev where the Bedouin reside and where there is almost a total collapse of the rule of law, or to the Arab villages in the north where flouting of the building code and illegal construction is arguably the rule rather exception. But does Lapid suggest that this should result in the inhabitants of these areas being declared "not Israel."? Not on your nelly! Run the risk of being dubbed a "racist" and ostracized as by his trendy mates in the elegant haunts of up-market suburbia? Perish the thought!


Incredibly, Lapid still sees reason to be "proud" of disengagement, since it showed that "the State is still able to implement something once it decides to do it." It is difficult to fathom what twisted logic could induce the belief that one could take any pride in…a perfectly executed blunder.


But after all, perhaps that is Lapidian logic in a nutshell - giving politically-correct fantasy precedence over empirically-correct fact.


פרסום ראשון: 08.24.08, 17:20
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