Opinion

Netanyahu Hates the Opposition, Socialist or Not

What does Bibi have to be offered to recognize the Israeli opposition? A suitcase with $1 million in unmarked bills? A flight to a country without extradition agreements?

Students walk past a painting of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on a wall in Caracas on January 29, 2019.
AFP

Stop the presses: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recognized the opposition. And he did this without an “if they give, they’ll get” – the famous line he has used with the Palestinians. I’m not referring to the Israeli opposition, God forbid, but to the opposition in Venezuela, a country drowning in corruption, hunger and violence under President Nicolas Maduro.

Netanyahu’s support for the Venezuelan opposition was born of a demand by Donald Trump. The United States’ role here isn’t too surprising. Throughout the 20th century it brought down democratic Latin American governments and gave rise to murderous juntas (with which Israel was happy to cooperate, even when they persecuted Jews). And all this happened only because those elected governments were – how terrible – socialist.

This time at least it looks like Israel is on the right side, because Maduro’s “socialism” is designed to conceal his true intentions: the establishment of a dictatorship of looters under the army’s sponsorship. This “socialism” is basically the only difference between him and the regimes that have received U.S. support. If Maduro had operated the same way but under American sponsorship and without the red flag, Trump wouldn’t have even gotten up from the sofa.

It’s clear that Netanyahu, as a protégé of Trump, had no choice. Still, let’s imagine for a moment a situation in which some country, as remote and unimportant as it may be, declares its support for Netanyahu’s opponents. What a geyser of shouts and censure would erupt in Israel. For such things the right invented the expression “diplomatic terror,” the last desperate resort after the failure of the terror on the buses, the knives and the car-rammings.

Netanyahu is crazy about oppositions – just not his own. He helped the rise of Viktor Orban in Hungary (with a little help from political consultants Arthur Finkelstein and George Birnbaum, the Jews who revived the blood libels, how Jewish of them, in return for money).

But Barack Obama, who gave Israel more money and weapons than all his predecessors, was rewarded with a spit in the eye only because that’s what Sheldon Adelson wanted, and Bibi even hosted Mitt Romney during the election campaign for his second term. If Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay thinks he ate shit – as he put it – from Tzipi Livni when they co-led Zionist Union, he should ask Obama what was on the menu served up by Bibi.

Now Netanyahu plans to host the heads of the Visegrad Group, the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. The forum is considered the ultranationalist indicator of the European Union, shorthand for a gang of thugs who hate Jews, blacks, Muslims, women, the academic world and the legal system (which is controlled, as we know, by Jews, blacks, Muslims and women).

The group is an opposition to the EU and aspires to restore Europe to the days that led to world wars and the horror in the Balkans. The son of a historian should have known that nothing good would come of a retreat to ultranationalism (okay, maybe not the son of this specific historian). But Netanyahu doesn’t care, as long as his allies promise to buy dubious surveillance technology from us, not intervene in the territories and support the chest-thumping against Iran.

That’s business. Sometimes the deal includes submarines or a news website, sometimes it’s a free newspaper or cigars. What deal does Netanyahu have to be offered to recognize the legitimacy and right to exist of an Israeli opposition? A suitcase with $1 million in unmarked bills? A helicopter taking him to the airport, from which he’ll fly to a country without an extradition agreement? The next crowdfunding campaign is awaiting instructions.