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Photo: AFP
Picture of Netanyahu surrounded by Likud ballots
Photo: AFP
Ben-Dror Yemini
Inner elitist must be crushed
Op-ed: Hostility to ideological rivals reeks of old European racism and blind hatred, but Election Day results show right-wing, more than left, has matured politically.

Let's set Israel aside for now and take comfort in the troubles of others – even if the sorrow of many is the comfort of fools. Yes, Europe is in trouble too. The Islamists are a threat not only to Israel, but also to the West and the world at large. It's frightening. Muslim immigration is continuing unabated. And the numbers include more and more Jihadists. They are becoming citizens. They’re having an effect and they are scary.

 

 

The European right-wing is trying to deal with the problem. Some of these right-wingers – including intellectuals, professors, artists, and journalists – are crossing red lines. Below is a small selection of statements testifying to the moral decline and sense of helplessness.

 

A well-known professor, who features almost daily on panels on leading television stations, wrote: "If we hadn't opened our legs indiscriminately to all these immigrants from third-division countries who only want to cover themselves in veils, eat hummus, receive state allowances and have orgasms from blowing up infidels, Britain could be a wonderful place. This is not wishful thinking but a cold and calculated analysis. Britain is now paying the price of its immigration policy."

 

Bedouin voters in Rahat (Photo: AP)
Bedouin voters in Rahat (Photo: AP)

 

A popular dramatist published an open appeal to a Muslim neighbor: "Hi there, Fatma, you and your grandchildren can go on rotting away in your neighborhoods and your mosques and your schools. I'm sick of you. I have family in America. I have an American passport. I'm getting out of here. And you? You can go to hell."

 

A renowned British author wrote in the wake of impressive achievements by a party affiliated with Muslim immigrants: "Every community has the government it deserves. Long live stupidity, wickedness and false consciousness. Drink cyanide, fucking Neanderthals. Only death will save you from yourselves."

 

Zionist Union activists on election night (Photo: AP)
Zionist Union activists on election night (Photo: AP)

 

And a well-known Jewish-British journalist didn't pull his punches, against the Palestinians this time, following Mahmoud Abbas' reelection as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization Council: "Following years during which he has remained consistently opposed to a Jewish state, Abbas deserves the Palestinians and the Palestinians deserve Abbas. A significant number of Palestinians are now completely detached from reality. This is the result of all the years of indoctrination and incitement. The Palestinian nation needs to be replaced."

 

Okay, if you haven't cottoned on just yet, let's clarify things: Statements such as these are indeed being heard in Europe. But statements to this effect weren't made there. They were made here, over the past few days, in the wake of the election results. Not condescension but racism. Left-wing punks have said more serious things too. The selection above includes statements only from a professor, dramatist, author and journalist. All kin of the "enlightened camp". All prominent participants in the public discourse. Some are respectfully invited to feature on panels on the television stations to voice their learned opinions.

 

Let's assume, just assume, that it's okay to allow them to make their voices heard. Let's assume that abhorrent and blunt racism is a part of freedom of speech (provided it is aimed at Likudniks and Mizrahim, and not illegal immigrants or Arabs). The strange thing is that they really think they are enlightened and progressive. They really think they are fooling someone when they talk about respect for the other and equality.

 

Netanyahu on election night (Photo: AFP)
Netanyahu on election night (Photo: AFP)

 

And it's sad. Because they aren't leftists. They simply think they are. But they are identified with the left. In general, reports about enlightened-racists like these include the phrase: "They don't represent the left." I'm sorry, but I cannot write that. Because they do indeed represent a large portion of the left. Because the left gives them a platform. Because the left doesn't denounce them. Because the left doesn't label them for what they truly are – despicable racists. And as long as they continue to get back slaps at social gatherings with leaders of the left, and as long as they continue to be guests of honor on distinguished panels in the media and academe, and as long as they go on publishing articles and receiving salaries from newspapers for thinking people – there's no point in asking why the Zionist left isn't able to make a comeback. When you stop being racist, or embracing racists, you will have the right to pose the question. And in fact, when that happens, the question will no longer be relevant.

 

Likud campaign headquarters (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Likud campaign headquarters (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

 

The wailing and whining coming from the left camp is also a sign, of course, of another affliction – a complete detachment from reality. Because Benjamin Netanyahu's masterful campaign, and it was indeed masterful, didn't win over voters from the center, and certainly not from the left. To the contrary actually: Netanyahu's swerve to the right dealt a severe blow to the extreme right. One of Netanyahu's most blatant statements was that the new regional circumstances rule out the option of a Palestinian state. Oh, come on. It may be an unnecessary thing to say; but racism? A second statement concerned the fact that the Arab were voting in droves. The left said the same at least a thousand times, in previous elections, about the ultra-Orthodox voting en masse. It was an uncalled-for statement, especially coming from the prime minister. But it was Election Day. The man was in a panic. It wasn't racism. It was a slip of the tongue at most.

 

The results could have been a lot worse; for example, if Bayit Yehudi had won 18 seats and the Likud just 20. If that were the case, a government led by Isaac Herzog would have become a realistic option – because unlike in previous elections, in which the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox commanded a majority, they wouldn't have done so this time. Had that happened, the left would have been cracking open the champagne. But something different happened: The extreme right, more so, and the ultra-Orthodox weakened. The Likud strengthened. From a political perspective, Netanyahu won.

 

IDF soldiers voting (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
IDF soldiers voting (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

 

On the left, throughout the election campaign, it wasn't a matter of opposition to Netanyahu's political path. It wasn't hostility. For many, it was hatred. And hatred blinds. Too many on the left created a demon and believed we were dealing with a monster. The Israeli public at large was elsewhere. It has matured. It is no longer divided into two camps.

 

The terrible days of the election campaigns of the 1980s have passed almost into oblivion. But the hostility-turned-hatred reinstated the camps. There were many, very many, who were one foot here and one foot there. A sign of maturity. They keep kosher but also think it's time to wean ourselves of the dreams of a Greater Israel. But the hatred drove them away. It backfired.

 

And if it wasn't clear before, then the election results popped the cork. Not only intense hatred of those who think a little differently, but primarily racism of the old and ugly European kind. The racist demon has emerged. It'll take some hard work to crush it.

 


פרסום ראשון: 03.20.15, 23:31
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