Both Israel and Turkey Splurge on a Purge, but What's Netanyahu's Excuse?

But if Erdogan justifies his monstrous purging campaign with the claim that he is preventing another coup, what can Netanyahu say?


It is not only Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is purging the ranks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not hesitating to do so as well, by means of entirely democratic legislation of course. A law to purge the Knesset of Arab MKs was passed with a resounding majority. And before that, the law to oppress left-wing NGOs was approved, mandating that human rights organizations must declare, morning, noon and night: “We’re agents of a foreign country.” And the prime minister is not satisfied with all that, and is cunningly and aggressively taking over the media as well.

Well, dear members of the right, enjoy another 40 years of quiet. Rejoice over the occupation and the discrimination, without any bother from the Arabs, the NGOs and the media. And you, dear Arabs, don’t hesitate to elect anyone your heart desires, and the Jewish majority won’t hesitate to expel those you elected, in a festive Chinese torture ceremony. At the moment we have two types of elected officials: Those who are always under the threat of expulsion, and a more exalted type, those with the power to expel.

But if Erdogan justifies his monstrous purging campaign with the claim that he is preventing another coup, what can Netanyahu say? After all, those whom he imagines to be involved in a conspiracy against him are actually acting against the real opposition. For example, MK Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid, is carrying out a character assassination, not targeted this time, of Breaking the Silence and the family members of its leaders. And MK Mickey Levy, also of Yesh Atid, lunges like a lion with all his venerable 65 years at MK Haneen Zoabi (Joint List), in order to remove her from the speakers’ dais in the Knesset.

On the other hand, I naively thought that MK Eitan Cabel, a senior member of the Zionist Union, was signing up his colleagues to boycott the speeches of MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi), the ultimate racist ideologue, or against MK Oren Hazan (Likud), whose past, according to journalistic investigations, is a stain on public life. But very soon it became clear that Cabel is also totally preoccupied with a heroic battle against Zoabi.

After watching, somewhat belatedly, the disgraceful events in the Knesset surrounding Zoabi’s speech, I wondered why the Joint List doesn’t exploit this parliamentary lynching in order to show the world the wonders of Israeli democracy: They let the Arabs be elected to the Knesset, in order to conduct rounds of entertaining abuse afterwards, in the style of the gladiators’ arenas of ancient Rome.

In what parliament — democratic of course — do they let a speaker take the podium, and at the same time allow another parliamentarian to “accompany” her speech shamelessly? During Zoabi’s entire speech MK Hazan didn’t stop cursing and spewing invective, and everyone around him was pleased. In the end they punished Zoabi, of course, and Hazan emerged a hero.

Any thinking person in the world would be horrified at the ugly attack, but here in Israel the feelings of revenge are insatiable. In the Knesset of the Jewish majority, nobody demonstrated even an iota of solidarity with Zoabi, who was facing a lynching, while the shouting made it almost impossible to hear her speech. And MK Cabel is not satisfied with the hangman’s noose prepared by the right and organizes a boycott, as though he had returned to elementary school, and Haneen Zoabi is the most unpopular girl in class.

But still there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. In spite of everything, Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot will appoint Col. Eyal Karim to the position of chief military rabbi. After examining the rabbi’s philosophy it turns out that he hasn’t left out a single abomination: from permitting the rape of the enemy’s women (only the pretty ones, of course) and the murder of the enemy’s wounded, to incitement against the LGBT community and disdain for women’s judgment. If this appointment really does go through, Islamic State can chalk up another glorious conquest — this time in the Kirya military complex in Tel Aviv, the very heart of the Zionist entity.