Opinion

Yair Netanyahu and the Adelsons Won't Be With Us in the Bomb Shelters

Some Israelis don't fully appreciate the thuggery, arrogance and hubris of the right wing. Then the prime minister's son pulls one of his stunts

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair at a ceremony celebrating Israeli independence on April 19, 2018.
Emil salman

It’s a good thing we have Yair Netanyahu. He’s the most authentic expression of the contemporary right, and the “Fuck Turkey” picture he posted is the most authentic expression of the contemporary right’s desire to defeat and humiliate people without looking half a mile ahead.

This desire makes the right wing mark leftists, or anyone who dares not applaud the government’s policies, as enemies while trying to shut them up. It isn’t linked in any way to defending national security or Israeli interests. The opposite is true; it undermines these interests. It’s dangerous.

Something interesting happened on the day of the messianic evangelical celebration in Jerusalem, which came at the expense of the citizens of Israel and those who truly love it, and during the clashes along the Gaza border fence. Yair's father, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said something that almost slipped under the radar.

“Hamas sends thousands to destroy Israel,” he said, as if unarmed Hamas members – as hostile and with evil intentions as they may be – had the power to rock the security of the most heavily armed country in the Middle East, and all the more so to destroy it.

This is a clear lie, aggression camouflaged in hysterical victimhood – the most useful kind and a devious tool for the ultra-conservative forces that  make up the government in Israel and the United States. They mark their enemies from within and without and magnify them to monstrous proportions so they can bolster their power.

That’s why it’s a good thing that Yair Netanyahu exists. He’s a concentrated dose of the truth. Such goods of course have their satisfied clients among the pyromaniac rightists who are happy to take out their pistols and unleash a rampage. More importantly, it’s a resounding reminder for the shocked centrists, and even the bruised leftists.

People in these days of fear, wholesale line-toeing and the lack of an opposition with a backbone are starting to be impressed by the Netanyahus’ mighty power and are doubting themselves. They’ve been impressed – based on only two weeks – by “his lucky hand,” his international standing, by the fact they played “Hatikva” for him on Red Square. Yair Netanyahu is a clear reminder of the essence of the contemporary right: always with a face toward war, setting fires, starting a fight, not to be humiliated, not to lose face whatever the price.

So what exactly impresses you so much? The arm wrestling like hotheaded fourth-graders? How many times does history have to smack you – the Yom Kippur War, the first and second Lebanon wars, and many more operations that started with war drums and nice names and ended in heartbreak – for you to understand that it’s not the declarations, ceremonies, honor and glory?

Instead, you have to trust in what your heart feels, which rejects with basic human wisdom the thuggery, arrogance and hubris. It’s a good thing we have Yair Netanyahu. Do you trust him and his ilk?

Because on Judgment Day it’s not Yair Netanyahu and not Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, the godparents of Israel turning into an evangelical Republican outpost in the Middle East, who’ll be with you in the bomb shelters and stairwells of the abandoned and unprotected home front.

On the day Israel’s arrogance crosses the line, when the diplomatic collapse strikes it in full force, when Donald Trump, the reality and Twitter star, is revealed as a hollow crutch that will fail with sound and fury, you’ll be left there alone, shaking with fear with your children. Only because you didn’t have courage today.

It’s a good thing Yair Netanyahu exists. Look at him and the situation properly, because you’re leaving your future and the future of your beloved homeland in his hands and the hands of those like him.