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Dr. Ofer Cassif, who referred to Justice Minister Shaked as 'neo-Nazi scum'
Ben-Dror Yemini
When legitimate criticism turns into pure hatred
Op-ed: The despicable acts of right-wing fanatics may be the cause of the growing fanaticism among extreme leftists. But this radicalization dance must be stopped; otherwise, it won't just end in words.
It's becoming dangerous: We wanted freedom of expression - we got freedom of incitement.

  

 

We have already gotten used to harsh statements, but these days we seem to be experiencing one of the most serious murky waves ever. The comments are getting worse. There may be a sort of competition here, and following the despicable acts of the right-wing fanatics, the left-wing zealots are becoming even more fanatical, but this radicalization dance must be stopped. Otherwise, it won't just end in words.

 

In his book "The Discourse of Hatred," French philosopher André Glucksmann writes that we are deluding ourselves that the great, huge hatred which led to the annihilation of tens of millions has disappeared from the world.

 

According to him, the current world is characterized by three types of hatred: Against women, against America and against Israel. We know who is leading this hatred. It's the most radical branch of Islam, which is mainly massacring Muslims. But the two other hatreds are being nurtured by the centers of enlightenment in the free world. The hatred of Jews, he elaborates, has turned into hatred of Israel.

 

Prof. Amiram Goldblum's post against Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Sinking deeper into demonization (Photo: EPA)
Prof. Amiram Goldblum's post against Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Sinking deeper into demonization (Photo: EPA)
 

This refined hatred has reached Israel as well. It's a well-known excuse: We are talking about people who are concerned about the destruction of democracy and the continuation of the occupation. The arguments themselves are legitimate, but criticism requires facts, while hatred requires lies.

 

It seems that part of what used to be the Left has moved from criticism to hatred, and for that purpose it must portray Israel as a country endangering itself. It must radicalize the horror propaganda. It must move to a discourse of hatred.

 

And so they are making all Israelis partners in the despicable "price tag" ideology, turning Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked into "Nazi scum" and Benjamin Netanyahu into Adolf Hitler. The latest Democracy Index puts Israel in "a good place in the middle" among democratic countries. They don’t care about that. Because hatred, as I said, does not need facts. It needs lies.

 

As time goes by, it is becoming more and more radical. On Monday, Prof. Amiram Goldblum of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem published a short piece countering an article in which I argued that there is a fascist element in the attempt to impose "what is good for the State" via an external source, while showing contempt for the democratic choice.

 

So far, so good. It's okay to argue. But in order to justify his stance, Goldblum asserted that "Ben-Dror Yemini would have also supported Hitler because he was elected democratically - and whoever opposed Hitler and dared to call for the world's support is a fascist."

 

Goldblum claimed the obvious: If there were a Hitler here, it would have been our duty to oppose him. And that's precisely the point. Because there is no Hitler here. There is a democracy here. But the activists of the discourse of hatred need growing portions of the hatred drug.

 

Let's leave Goldblum alone, he is not the issue here. The problem is that those he addressed his post to included serious people. No one commented on it. On the contrary. Eliezer Yaari, the former director-general of the New Israel Fund, even praised him.

 

It's scary. They have created a bubble of pure hatred. They have to turn Israel into a Nazi state and the justice minister into Nazi scum. They have to sink deeper into demonization. In the past, Glucksmann wrote, this was done to Jews. Today it is being done to Israel. From within Israel.

 

In order to save democracy, there is no need to save us from the people but only from the discourse of hatred of the radicalizing margins. On the left and on the right.

 


פרסום ראשון: 12.29.15, 23:41
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