Protest near Swedish embassy
Photo: Ofer Amram

The smalltime patriot

Hagai Segal slams ministers who speak out against Swedish paper but nothing else

Anti-Semitic reports in Scandinavian newspapers are the finest hour of the Israeli smalltime patriot. Most days of the year he merely sits at his chair by the government table and voices no protest in the face of withdrawals. You will barely hear him complain when the prime minister establishes a Palestinian state or prepares to release hundreds of murderers in exchange for one Israeli soldier.


The smalltime patriot does not become outraged when the State Prosecutor’s Office endorses the positions of Peace Now during High Court of Justice hearings. In radio interviews dealing with the issue of a settlement freeze he sounds more at ease and more restrained than ever before.


These smalltime patriots did not have even one word of criticism in the wake of PM Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan speech.


When the smalltime patriot was a member of the opposition, he used to express resolute positions on almost any controversial issue. Pro-Palestinian moves adopted by the Olmert government made him lose his temper in front of the cameras. Every time a Qassam rocket was fired at the south, he demanded that one third of the Gaza Strip be razed. Yet now he modestly focuses on the matters pertaining to his ministry.


However, once some kind of Aftonbladet or Neo-Sturmer recycles blood libels from the Middle Ages, the above-mentioned patriot suddenly finds great courage and energy, just like in the good old days in the opposition. He speaks decisively on the radio, submits to interviews with a grim facial expression on television, and demands that we boycott, ostracize, suspend, and kick them hard.


Our smalltime patriot knows that slamming the Swedes will not get him into trouble with Netanyahu. He realizes that there is no risk of being reprimanded by Special US Envoy George Mitchell either.


Aftonbladet is not President Barack Obama. One can say exactly what he thinks about this newspaper and make it home safely.


פרסום ראשון: 08.30.09, 18:14
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