Opinion

Netanyahu and His Son Laugh Up There, While Down Below Others Weep

Tchia Dov
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son, Yair Netanyahu.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son, Yair Netanyahu.Credit: Aleksey Nikolskyi /AP
Tchia Dov

I read the remarks of Yair Netanyahu, the crown prince of the shameful swamp at Balfour, and I cringe with fear. It turns out the spoiled playboy and his elected dad are sitting at their house on Balfour Street, sipping champagne, enjoying some pistachio ice cream and laughing. Some of the protesters’ voices on the street may be a little bothersome, then again, maybe not – after all, the space is air conditioned and sealed off with shaded windows made of reinforced glass. So the noise is muffled if heard at all.

LISTEN: Seth Rogen sets the record straightCredit: Haaretz

At the house where they spend weekends, that small poolside palace, the voices of the protesters don’t really disrupt their peace either. They can wet their feet in the comfort in their pool and have fun. They can watch the protesters on television and the web and make fun of them. "Aliens" - so they call them, the ruler and his son. “It’s like entertainment,” the son says, and claims his father finds it amusing.

A million unemployed, more than 500 dead and thousands of ill people who haven’t yet recovered make those in the protected castle laugh. Thousands of people who have lost their livelihoods, businesses destroyed and children who won’t be able to go to school next year – how amusing.

Students who have lost the jobs that helped them pay tuition, people who can’t pay their home mortgages, who won’t be able to pay for daycare and preschool – that’s all a joke. People in the entertainment industry who haven’t earned a cent in months, banquet hall owners, grounded pilots and crew – all are in effect a cause for laughter for the royal family.

And me – I sit at home and watch the reports on the protests every evening, and sometimes I just want to cry. I’m sad all the time, fearful for what the fate of these people may be. Etched in my mind are the burning black eyes of a young man, a participant at a protest across from Balfour, who when he spoke I could feel his despair and dread in my own heart. I can’t get the sight of his burning eyes out of my head. I saw nothing funny about him or his friends. Nor about the young female student who climbed atop a menorah and disrobed. Only despair and great sadness.

Even the members of the gang of thugs that tagged along with the protesters, cutting them and injuring them, didn’t make me laugh. They even frightened me. They really, really frightened me. I prefer not to think about what feelings this terrible scene might have evoked for the Balfour-Caesarea dwellers.

Maybe they rolled on the floor with laughter, played the clip over and over again, all the while so self-satisfied. Perhaps the father of the family explained to his admiring sons the idea behind those storm troopers. For his father was a historian and he’s apparently aware of the similarity between La Familia and the storm troopers established in Germany after World War I. The units of the unemployed thugs, who broke up gatherings and encouraged violence.

Let’s just hope that he doesn’t demonstrate to his admiring sons how with one hone call to the public security minister he can put the storm troopers in motion and back in action. Just like that, from one second to the next.

And they find it all so amusing.

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