Photo: Gil Yohanan
Yair Netanyahu. Just a stupid cartoon?
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Ben-Dror Yemini

Right failed test in its response to Yair Netanyahu’s meme

Op-ed: The Zionist left and the sane right should present a clear and united stance when it comes to manifestations of anti-Semitism: Neither forgiveness nor understanding, and definitely not justification. But instead of condemning the prime minister’s son over his Facebook post, the Right is pointing an accusing finger at the Left.

Let’s assume, just assume, that the person who posted the meme wasn’t Yair Netanyahu, but the Swedish prime minister’s son. And let’s assume that instead of a food chain controlled by George Soros, through a reptilian Jew, ending with Meni Naftali, we would have received the exact same cartoon with characters describing Jews’ control over the White House. And let’s assume the Swedish prime minister would refused to condemn his son’s actions, and Swedish journalists would have explained there was nothing wrong with the post.



What would have happened? We all know the answer: The Israeli president and prime minister would have issued angry condemnation statements and called for a special United Nations General Assembly meeting to discuss the rise in anti-Semitism.


It didn’t happen in Sweden, it happened in Israel, and the reactions are terrifying. I listened very closely to the Right’s speakers after the meme was posted. “How dare you talk about Netanyahu Jr.?” said journalist and former Knesset Member Yinon Magal. “After all, the Left is ridden with anti-Semitism. After all, it persecutes everything that is Jewish.” Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism, said other speakers who are supposed to be representing the Right. And anyway, why are you making such a big deal about some stupid cartoon?


The meme posted by Yair Netanyahu on his Facebook page. Shared by America’s top anti-Semite, David Duke
The meme posted by Yair Netanyahu on his Facebook page. Shared by America’s top anti-Semite, David Duke


In recent years, I have repeatedly dealt with the issue of global anti-Semitism, which does involve self-hating Jews sometimes. In a pro-BDS article, a Haaretz columnist wrote recently: “It’s time to explain the objection to the occupation with action—even, Heaven forbid, if it offends our notorious sensitivity to money.” The old anti-Semites wouldn’t have said it better. Another writer from the same paper blasted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for cooperating with Satan. Israel, if anyone needs an interpretation, is Satan.


David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and the top anti-Semite in the United States, shared Netanyahu Jr.’s meme, meaning he supports and approves it. The same Duke also shared articles written by radical left-wing people from Israel and the world. He can recognize pure anti-Semitism when he sees it. One of those writers’ articles got the following headline: “The conference of the Elders of Zion.” Yes, as far as he’s concerned, the AIPAC conference is a fulfillment of the famous anti-Semitic libel. And to complete the picture, that same writer travelled to Malaysia after being personally invited there by an overt anti-Semite, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.


There are too many people in the global Left who identify with Hamas and Hezbollah, despite their blatant anti-Semitism. The list is long. There is anti-Semitism in the Left. It has been condemned by the Right, and rightfully so. Most of the public media ignores it. Even worse, some of the people who are helping spread the anti-Semitic propaganda are the media’s darlings. They are invited to more and more panels as legitimate commentators. This is a disgraceful phenomenon, which is only taking place in Israel.


Anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne won’t be invited as a panelist on current affairs in France. Anti-Semitic politician and journalist George Galloway, a former member of Parliament in Britain, isn’t invited to BBC panels. But their likes in Israel are honored.


So yes, I do understand the Right’s claims against the Left, but the claims have nothing to do with the conclusions. Does the entire global Left or the entire Israeli Left identify with these manifestations of anti-Semitism? Of course not. Does anti-Semitism in the Left legitimize anti-Semitism in the Right? Does every sickening phenomenon in the Left justify a sickening phenomenon in the Right? Have we lost our common sense that much that every public debate must begin and end with right and left? Can’t you condemn blatant anti-Semitism without the foolish distinction, at least in this context, between left and right?


For many years, I must confess, I have been writing about the blurred line, which I doubt ever existed, separating anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. But my criticism is over the fact the radical left is moving closer to the radical right. These two phenomena are connected by racists like David Duke. The Zionist left and the sane right should present one clear and united stance in this context. Neither forgiveness nor understanding, and definitely not justification. But the Right has failed its first test. It’s finding it difficult to condemn. It’s showing understanding. It’s directing an accusing finger at the Left. And that’s sad. Because every foolishness by the radical left in the first act is a foolishness of the Right, not just the radical right, in the third act.


פרסום ראשון: 09.12.17, 15:45
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