It's Judeo-Fascism Month in Israel
Conservative students and their mentors have just observed "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" on American college campuses. The goal, according to the David Horowitz Freedom Center, was to "draw attention to a leading issue of our time, radical Islam and terrorism."
I mention this only because, for Israelis, the event would have been easy to miss. Not only because it was taking place thousands of miles away, but because of a concurrent local campaign that is still going on. Inexorable, inescapable, it has reached every home in the nation.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Judeo-Fascism Awareness Month.
The campaign can be seen to be more effective by far than its American counterpart. Perhaps this is because it cannot be ignored. Perhaps it is because it is led by the Judeo-Fascists themselves.
They are a compelling group. You can't take your eyes off them. There is Larissa Trimbobler, who plays the beloved if dubious Sarah to Yigal Amir's Shabtai Zvi. Then there are the apostles. There is singer screed-writer Ariel Zilber, who appears either to be permanently self-medicated, or in need of being. There is Avigdor Eskin, the prince of pulsa denura. There is Yigal Amir's mother, Geula, the molder of young minds, everyone's favorite day-care provider. And then there are the disciples, the rank-and-defile, the hilltop hopheads, the gunslinger grunge and grange society of the wild West Bank, the Kahane worshippers, the Muslim-baiters.
But forget for the moment the idea that the circumcision of Amir's newborn son is to fall precisely on the 12th anniversary of the November 4 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Lay aside, for the moment, Trimbobler's stated intention to someday tell her son, not that his lifer father Yigal was a murderer, but that he "sacrificed himself for his people." Forget all that for now.
Consider instead, that like any carnival sideshow, the Movement for the Beatification of Yigal Amir has its lessons for all of us. One of them is this: It was Yigal Amir who paved the way for the disengagement from Gaza.
The fact is that, there was general agreement across Israeli society - among hardliners and centrists as well as leftists - that the only right that Yigal Amir deserved in prison, was the right to remain silent.
But for many on the left, slamming the dungeon door on Yigal Amir didn't go nearly far enough. Following the 1995 assassination, the rage of the left - as well as its guilt over its often waffling support of Rabin - was so all-consuming, that it was not enough for its members to see Yigal Amir apprehended, indicted, convicted and imprisoned for the rest of his natural life.
The left wanted to see the right as a whole punished for the murder. The left wanted to see the right as a whole suffer for the crime. The left was willing to wait as long as necessary to see the right punished. Ten years later, the left would get its chance.
When Ariel Sharon floated the notion of expelling all settlers from the Gaza Strip and several settlements in the West Bank, the left kept quiet about the longterm wisdom of Israel taking unilateral actions that bypassed the Palestinian Authority.
How better to pain the right, than to erase entire swaths of the settlement enterprise. How better to pierce the very heart of the national religious right, than to use the Israel Defense Forces to oversee the expulsion of settler families, the demolition of settler homes, the dismantlement of settler schools, synagogues, hothouses, farms and small businesses.
If revenge is a dish best served cold, you couldn't get much colder than the left. There was little concern for the plight and the fate of the settler deportees, the baffled and distraught children, the deeply betrayed teens, the suddenly unemployed and homeless parents.
The right was finally paying the price for the assassination, and the left was there to watch every moment, live and in color, by satellite.
There was little speculation on the left as to the potential consequences of the act, the effect it might have on the rise of Hamas, the chance that jihadists would exploit the pullout to attack Sderot and other border towns, kibbutzim and moshavim within Israel.
There was little willingness on the left and among leftists in the media, to go after the prime minister over a long series of corruption suspicions. After all, this was Ariel Sharon, of all people, the vaunted champion of the right, the very symbol of settlement expansion, who was taking the settlement movement apart, red roof tile by red roof tile.
Now, after a dozen years of beseeching the right for failing to search its soul over the assassination, it is high time for the left itself to look inward. Instead of monitoring and magnifying the every word and deed of the Judeo-fascist, the left should consider reaching out to and aiding the Judeo-fascists' unintended victims, the Gaza settlers, whose abandonment, trauma and continued vulnerability to Qassam attack, have served to give Israeli society serious misgivings about any future territorial concessions and settler relocation.
The peace process, if it is to begin again, must begin, at least in part, at home. If its fate is to remain stalled indefinitely, the only victors on our side will be Mr. and Mrs. Yigal Amir, and their rat pack of hagiographers.
May Yitzhak Rabin's memory be for a blessing. And for lessons we all need to learn.