Opinion |

Cast Your Ballot for Benny Gantz

From Gantz's beautiful Israel, there's hope and peace. It’s an illusion that allows Israelis to feel so good about themselves after a hundred years of dispossession and 50 years of occupation

Gideon Levy
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Benny Gantz with Druze protesters against the nation-State law, January 14, 2019.
Benny Gantz with Druze protesters against the nation-State law, January 14, 2019. Credit: Meged Gozani
Gideon Levy

Vote for Benny Gantz. He’s the Israeli dream come true. He’s what most Israelis want. He’s what those Israelis who think themselves beautiful dream of. He’s the center at its worst. He’s the product of his propaganda videos. He shoots and he dreams, slaughters evilly and hopes for the best, destroys and demolishes – and speaks of peace.

What do we want, after all? Just to kill as many Arabs as possible and to speak of peace as much as possible. Gantz will deliver. He’ll bomb and shell mercilessly while also being enlightened. Is there a better way to describe the essence of Zionism? Look into the lovely eyes of the bad candidate; that’s exactly how we want our next leader to look.

>>Read more: Gantz’s Stone Age | Editorial ■  Did Netanyahu challenger Benny Gantz really kill 1,364 'terrorists' in Gaza?

Israeli evil has already led to the commitment of plenty of war crimes. But it’s doubtful we’ve ever seen such pride in the killing of human beings and the destruction of their homes. Funerals as sales promotions? Bombed-out neighborhoods as an elections gimmick? Numbers of dead as propaganda spin? Gallons of blood on one’s hands as something to be proud of?

Israel, as usual, is more up in arms about a legitimate billboard claiming that a few journalists “won’t decide for us,” than about Gantz’s horror clips.

When it comes from the right, especially from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then it’s always “incitement.”

But such abject incitement to murder is legitimate because it’s coming from Gantz’s beautiful Israel. He has so many scalps on his belt to present to the bloodthirsty. He’s the Israeli chief of general staff who ordered the murder of the Palestinian chief of general staff. Look at the pictures, how terrific!

It’s not difficult to imagine a meeting of strategic advisers with the innocent candidate. We’ll opt for the military uniform and the combat record. We’ll opt for Gaza and Ahmad Jabari and we’ll take votes from the right and from Yesh Atid. Take it from us. After all, you’re not Yair Lapid, who did his army service as a journalist at Bamahane; you’re a warrior. And the candidate nods in agreement. He’s a good guy and it’s all tactics; trust the advisers. Let him be elected, and he’ll make peace.

But to get elected, one must engage in lowly incitement. “Only the strong can win,” as a slogan for a centrist party, along with “Israel before everything,” which can’t help but sound like “Israel uber alles.” And this is the good candidate, the sweetie, not the Satan Netanyahu, who we must do everything to get rid of. Vote for Gantz.

Vote for Gantz because in contrast to Netanyahu, he speaks of peace. He says he doesn’t want another generation to grow up here without hope – and the eyes start tearing. “It’s no shame to yearn for peace,” he says in his incorrect Hebrew, sending a pleasant tingle crawling up your spine.

Finally someone is speaking about hope and peace. But it’s immediately gone: Apparently we’ll still have to send “our boys,” ho, our boys, to fight in another 50 years, too. There’s no choice, you understand; there’s no partner and there are Palestinians who were born to kill.

How Israeli, how Zionist left, how centrist it is to say everything and yet not say anything, to have your cake and eat it, too. Israeli fascism and militarism all wrapped up in one shiny package. It’s not the sadism of the Border Police, it’s the pilots, who speak nicely and bomb from the cockpit. That’s why candidate Gantz is so outrageous. There’s Naftali Bennett and Betzalel Smotrich with their unbridled fascism. Avigdor Lieberman as the bully of the markets. Netanyahu as the one doing everything to maintain his vision of the eternal status quo. And then, as usual, the illusion breaks forth, worse than anything on the right.

It’s an illusion that allows Israelis to feel so good about themselves after a hundred years of dispossession and 50 years of occupation. It’s an illusion that enables the crime to continue for such an extended period, because we have a sympathetic candidate like Gantz.

Maybe peace in 50 years. And how will we get there? With a lot more operations like Protective Edge and more assassinations, more murders and more funerals. After all, that’s how you make peace with Arabs. Just ask Gantz.

Vote for him. He’s you.