Opinion

A Clear and Present Danger

Protesters hold a sign reading "Minister of darkness" as they call for Israel's Education Minister to resign over comments in support of gay conversion therapy, in Tel Aviv, on Sunday, July 14, 2019.
Oded Balilty,AP

While left-wing parties are wasting time and perhaps missing the last opportunity to block Israel’s slide into anarchy, the head of an extremist right-wing party, appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as minister of education, has announced that he supports depicting homosexuals as deeply flawed, psychologically and as individuals.

Moreover, he openly supports apartheid against Palestinians – and perhaps Israeli Arabs, too? It’s been a long time since the public has been witness to such an alarming disparity between the prattle and absurd arrogance of the left, which is standing on the brink of extinction, and the religious and ideological madness of a small group of zealots which has taken over our lives, all because Netanyahu, wishing to avoid criminal prosecution, has handed over control of the country to them.

It’s hard to decide what’s worse: the ignorance and shamelessness of Education Minister Rafi Peretz, who doesn’t hesitate to determine that a large group of citizens, supposedly with equal rights but who do not conform to rules he regards as the norm, is worthy of being sent for re-education, or the evil and ignorance he demonstrates in his declaration that it’s time to completely take control over the Palestinians and their land while imposing apartheid and a denial of their most basic civil rights.

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Ultimately, these two positions regarding homosexuals and Palestinians are not different than the discriminatory and humiliating attitude this extremist right-wing group has toward women. Everything converges toward this high-handed policy, based on a narcissistic and distorted view of the world: We are the rulers, and this is why the view of the world as we see it is the only one possible. It’s not that we’re evil, ignorant and complete fools, and that the last 250 years since the founding of modern democracies just passed over our heads since our religious seminaries taught us nothing. It’s that reality as we see it is the only objective one. We’re not only rabbis. We’re also pilots and programmers; we speak softly and smile pleasantly. How can others not understand that we’re so right? We’ll try to teach them patiently. But in any case, make no mistake – we rule, and, accordingly, we’ll do everything required.

It’s clear to any decent person that this dangerous bunch, which now represents the religious Zionist camp, which used to be totally sane, is a miniscule and delusional group which has managed to overcome many reasonable people who truly wish to be decent Israeli citizens. This accident happened, as is well-known, due to the enthusiastic embracing of the idea of the Greater Land of Israel, which landed the religious Zionist camp in a legal quagmire, an insoluble emotional and intellectual one. This right-wing public owes itself some stock-taking, trying to figure out how it allowed a zealous religious Zionist minority to take over the lives of this public and its children.

The same thing applies to the other side of the political map, which must also account for the serious damage caused by the radical left that took over its social and political consciousness.

This accounting, on both sides, is now a secondary issue. What is much more vital and urgent is the need to understand that if the left doesn’t pull itself together immediately and link its two tiny parties (or three, if Ehud Barak survives) in order to salvage every possible vote, the result could be a disaster the likes of which we’ve never seen.

The serial losers on the left, who believe that this time too they’ll scrape by and pass the electoral threshold, could allow Netanyahu to remain in power. The horrible result would be that Israel would be completely taken over by these fanatic religious Zionists and supporters of Meir Kahane. This would lead to an openly apartheid regime. Does the Zionist left realize what’s at stake here?