More than I was surprised by Erel Margalit’s video calling on people to join the Labor Party, I was surprised by the responses. In the end, Margalit is saying that the right, despite its aggressive and macho image, has produced an impressive collection of clowns.
Of course some soldiers are heroes, but the thugs on the right like Likud MK Oren Hazan, the rapper the Shadow and the hilltop youth are people who didn’t do combat service, if the army bothered drafting them at all. So Margalit is suggesting that maybe they should tone down their assaults.
After all, they’re not the people who pay the price of wars; combat soldiers do, and some of them are right wing and some are left wing. But one thing they have in common is they want to stay alive.
Margalit’s speech isn’t a macho speech at all; it’s trying to say that machismo isn’t the main thing here. If he sounds a little goonish to the left’s refined sensibilities, it may be because when people act like goons, you have to goon them back. They don’t know any other language.
We might expect the left to be happy about Margalit’s statements, because we’re finally hearing truths we don’t hear every day: Likud incites the people in the country’s outskirts against Arabs but doesn’t see to their needs. Most of its heroes are all talk; not every thug knows how to lead the country.
The happiness I felt on hearing those things came not only from what Margalit said, but from his tone. Finally somebody on the left roared like a lion. Margalit’s left doesn’t want to be part of the government, it wants to replace it, and it’s not ashamed to roar instead of whine.
But the left, as usual, prefers to say that Margalit cursed he said an equivalent of “hell,” heaven help us. This exaggerated machismo is no way to fight a battle unless you cut out everything that’s not politically correct, speak in the name of the feminist movement and talk nicely. “Please talk nicely he doesn’t speak for us!”
But he certainly speaks for me. Not because I like cursing or political incorrectness, but because I see where the left has taken us with its whining and delicateness. And I know that plenty of statements by leaders of the center (yes, I mean opposition leader Isaac Herzog’s saying Labor shouldn’t always look like it supports the Arabs) don’t necessarily stem from ideology. They stem from the longing of the speaker’s posterior for a ministerial chair.
With whining politicians on the left and ministry-craving politicians in the center, I prefer a few curse words and a little truth, the kind no one has dared speak in recent years. But alleged patriotism, alleged commitment to the country’s outskirts and alleged nationalism are the refuge of scoundrels.
Keep it up, Margalit, you certainly impressed me. But remember that your talk isn’t enough. If that tough talk doesn’t accompany a policy that seeks peace, cares for the weaker members of society, nurtures equality between Jewish and Arab citizens and improves the education system, it will be a memory of bullying that’s just as bad as the left’s sanctimonious delicateness.
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