Opinion

Gantz Gets Tough on the Palestinians

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 7, 2020.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 7, 2020. Credit: Menahem Kahana/ via AP
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

The Iron Wall: Before we talk about current events, I’m pleased to inform you that we experienced another enjoyable Friday evening, with fresh and shiny faces on all three TV channels, who entertained us with insights and anecdotes. We went back 100 years, to the glory days of the Jewish shtetl in Eastern Europe.

How exciting to watch Jews in foreign lands, somewhere between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, gathering together without the tumult of the goyim outside, far from the threats of the antisemitic local despot, yearning for the day when they will be free in their own land. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.

For the sake of history I will mention the names of a few of the honored guests of last Friday evening: Dekel, Karkovsky, Gilat, Vardi, Tomer, Kushmaro, Rahav, Peleg, Bismuth, Daniel, Shavit, Leal, Sekular, Bar Zvi, Harris, Ben David, Eyal, Levy, Ovadia, Eisenbruch. Let us hope that next year these pure Jews will hold such an evening in Jerusalem.

Although it was a kind of Iron Wall, that’s the second side of gatherings of the “mishpucha” – isolating themselves from the goyim. The other side of the emotional outpouring is the sticky atmosphere. And anyone who doesn’t like it should look for an Arab friend to dilute the concentration of sweetness, so that the dough won’t get stuck in your throat.

All this exilic charm did not prevent Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz from attacking the members of the Palestinian people, claiming that they prefer to remain in “deep shit” due to their refusal to accept the annexation plan being granted them by Israel. The main question here is: What is the role of Gantz himself, as a former chief of staff, in creating the deep shit in which the Palestinians are living? And one more question: Will accepting the annexation plan extricate the Palestinians from the deep shit?

Gantz didn’t promise that, and it’s a good thing, since we know what Gantz’s promises are worth. He promised that he would not serve in a government with someone under criminal indictment, and here he is in a government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; he promised to establish an investigative committee on the issue of the submarine purchase scandal, but at the moment of truth he voted against.

And at present, when he is unable to force Netanyahu to cancel the annexation, all his bullying is directed against the Palestinians. The Palestinians are not allowed to oppose the annexation. The whole world, including Jews, can oppose the annexation, but not the Palestinians. And if they tweet that the annexation is a declaration of war against them – incidentally, that’s what the world thinks – another version of Operation Cast Lead (the late 2008 Israel attack on the Gaza Strip) is waiting in the attic. And this time there’s a chief of staff who has promised to make the army lethal. Watch out, Palestinians, you’ve been warned.

Gantz is tough only on the Palestinians, and now he is waiting for an opportunity, this time in his upgraded role of defense minister, for a new round of killing hundreds of residents of Gaza, so that they can adorn his magnificent journey in the election campaign that is around the corner. More Gazan victims on the altar of the elections of the lords and masters.

One can understand the man, since from the time the government was formed, with a sound of disgust and with the cooperation of the High Court of Justice, under the heading “the war against the coronavirus,” its main achievement is the meteoric rise in the number of coronavirus patients. Perhaps it should be called “the government to encourage the coronavirus.”

What a lousy situation this Gantz is bringing about: The government’s second greatest achievement is the number of unemployed, which refuses to drop, and the third achievement is the whitewashing of government corruption. Now it’s clear that the prime minister’s failure to pay taxes is no longer considered a violation of the law – because the law exempted a prime minister from paying taxes. The next stage: gifts (and perhaps commissions as well) to the prime minister won’t be against the law. That’s the government’s next brilliant step: making bribery kosher. That’s how Gantz will eliminate bribery. He promised and he’ll keep his promise.

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