Opinion

Israel's Fast Lanes to Apartheid

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich entering a cabinet meeting on August 4, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi

In her Hebrew-language op-ed of November 3, Haaretz’s Naama Riba heaped praise on Bezalel Smotrich, the caretaker government’s transportation minister, for his efforts to find a solution for this country’s heavy traffic congestion. Admitting that as a leftist writing in Haaretz she never thought a settler like Smotrich would get her excited, she enthusiastically backed his initiatives for promoting public transportation, which in her eyes, justifiably, are the only solution for this crisis.

Steps taken by the Transportation Ministry for improving the effectiveness of public transportation, such as designating new lanes and extending existing ones, are commendable and deserve support. But if we examine Smotrich’s policies more thoroughly, these moves should ring alarm bells on the left. His approach to transportation in this country shows that he isn't a politician who touts ungrounded slogans but rather is someone who gets things done, knowing how to implement his vision. As he was still laying down his ideas for public transportation, there was already a buzz, with some very impressive results.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 48Haaretz

But remember that Smotrich’s vision isn't one of improved transportation, but a horrific political one. The gist of this vision is the subjugation of the Palestinian nation and the annexation of the West Bank while flooding it with hundreds of thousands more settlers (a “settlement” resolution, as he calls it). When the Palestinians refuse to accept the denial of their national and civic rights and choose, as any other normal nation would, a path of resistance and insurrection, they can expect an extensive ethnic cleansing (a resolution by military means, in Smotrich's sanitized words).

While the scenario in which Smotrich one day attains the power to decide these things is no more unimaginable than that of an ignorant lout who humiliates women taking over the White House, his effective and purposeful conduct as transportation minister – which currently excites Riba and probably other leftists – strongly suggests how effective and target-oriented he’ll be when he fulfills his genocidal plan for “resolution” of the Palestinian problem.

Indeed, the messianic racist who excelled in paving and extending public transportation lanes for the benefit of Israel’s citizens will have no problem  organizing transportation to Arab countries for Palestinians devoid of civil rights who refuse to live under a regime of oppression and subjugation without resisting it.

Just as religious people are happy when they encounter inklings of faith among secular people, harboring a secret hope for redeeming them, secular leftists sometimes get excited when they identify islands of rational thought in religious ultranationalists. Without detracting from Smotrich’s apparent contribution to improving public transportation, it’s important to understand that for the disciples of a militant and racist theocracy like him, rational steps have a purely instrumental value because they serve only the higher purpose of establishing a state of Jewish overlords and Palestinian slaves, as per the divine edict.

This is how Smotrich’s perfectly rational conduct should be viewed in his role as transportation minister – as constituting an essential intermediate stage on his way to national leadership, as an early trial in which ideas are implemented in the real world. This is before he gets the chance of a lifetime to lead his lethal “resolution” plan, or at least to be a senior partner in its implementation.

In view of all this, leftists should ask themselves whether it’s wise to admire Transportation Minister Smotrich, given that it’s obvious the public transportation lanes he establishes and makes political gains from lead us straight toward an apartheid state governed by Jewish law.