Opinion

Enough With the Israeli Right’s Self-pity

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a special Knesset session in memory of late Israeli prime minister Yitzak Rabin in Jerusalem on October 26, 2015.
AFP

What Prof. Mordechai Kedar said at a demonstration of support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Petah Tikva’s Goren Square shocked many people. But anyone who has had any contact with right-wingers knows this isn’t a lunatic-fringe idea or a slip of the tongue. The view that Yigal Amir didn’t kill Yitzhak Rabin, and that people who don’t belong to the right were actually behind the murder, has always been deeply rooted there.

As early as the winter of 1996, I can remember my father returning from synagogue tainted by conspiratorial nonsense from which, if you nevertheless tried to connect it to some kind of coherent storyline, it emerged that Shimon Peres was the murderer. On the other hand, not long ago, a rightist voter told me it was actually the Clinton administration that murdered Rabin, because he planned to withdraw from the Oslo Accords, and that all the evidence for this can be found on the internet.

Who has been concealing this truth? The omnipotent lords of the left, of course, who operate the machinery of deception and sorcery from their marble palaces on high.

People attend a rally commemorating the 24th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in Tel Aviv, Israel November 2, 2019.
\ CORINNA KERN/ REUTERS

Nonsense like this reflects the infantile inability of parts of the right to bear responsibility for the murder of an Israeli prime minister. To bear responsibility for the fact that a murderer grew up among them, one of several, and that this particular murderer desecrated Israel’s national existence and undermined the symbol of its sovereignty more than any Arab terrorist ever has. In 40 years of ruling, the right hasn’t managed to grow into the role of sovereign ruler, which, among other things, includes accepting responsibility for mistakes and errors, weaning itself from its obsessive self-pity and ceasing to cling to the role of the victim.

Erez Tadmor, one of a group of young people close to Netanyahu, also spoke at that demonstration in Petah Tikva. Tadmor said, “The left set up the state and left it in ruins; it left most of Israel’s citizens oppressed. Two countries were built here – the country of the owners, of the hegemony, the elites, and a second country of the second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-class citizens – and that’s us, the majority of the people...

“They are the pampered children born with a silver spoon in their mouths, the ingrates, the people who were born to the right families, from the right neighborhoods ... Their children no longer serve in Golani, the Border Police or Givati,” Tadmor continued, referring to two infantry brigades. “A few still do. But their children exploit the army to network. They go to 8200,” the army’s premier intelligence unit. “They milk whatever this country has to give, by every means.”

When you set aside the shudders caused by hatred this intense, you can also see how saturated Tadmor’s words are with inferiority feelings compared to “the masters’ children,” who can take any resource they desire from “the people.” And this is a man who wrote the prime minister’s speeches and served as a senior advisor to the ruling Likud party’s election campaign.

There’s an abundance of outside agencies that can be blamed for the right’s weakness – the courts, the prosecution, the media and even the police, led by that well-known leftist Roni Alsheich. But the hidden message is that right-wing impotence is a chronic disease that can’t be cured, and the right isn’t capable of breaching its enemies’ walls despite sweeping support from the people. The right doesn’t believe in itself and its excellence. And given the persistence of this feeling, one has to consider the possibility that it’s on target.

It’s not by chance that Kedar and Tadmor both made their remarks at a demonstration of support for Netanyahu. In recent years, he has surrounded himself with people like his son Yair, who wrote on Twitter yesterday, “We inhabit the reality of a Kafka book.” The younger Netanyahu is the most boorish embodiment of someone who simply refuses to recognize his power and runs wild without self-awareness in the name of a false victimhood.

The good news is that, to risk a cautious guess, this overflowing filth is what explains developments like Benny Gantz, who wasn’t the main name on the list of potential rivals liable to endanger Netanyahu. The public – whether rightist or leftist – has had it with the ugly din of this violent self-pity. The public – whether rightist or leftist – wants Avner, Netanyahu’s other son, not Yair.