Opinion

Netanyahu Keeps Setting New Records of anti-Arab Incitement

Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh films Netanyahu with his phone camera during the Knesset discussion on the Likud's cameras bill, September 11, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is asking the Israeli citizen – those who are Jewish, of course – to prevent the formation of “a weak leftist secular government that relies on the Arabs who want to kill us all – men, women and children – and enable a nuclear Iran that will destroy us all.”

But it seems to me that the order in the chatbot messages on the prime minister’s Facebook page is backwards. If the Arabs who infiltrate the government will first kill “us all,” then why should it enable a nuclear Iran? After all, a nuclear Iran is aimed at destroying “us,” the Arabs. Perhaps the message means annihilation as a means of confirming the kill.

I argue that whoever is writing the chatbot in Netanyahu’s name is, to some degree, infected with an affection for Arabs. He wrote that Netanyahu will prevent the formation of a “dangerous leftist government with [Yair] Lapid, Odeh, [Benny] Gantz and [Avigdor] Lieberman.” How did the hand of the writer not tremble when he included Ayman Odeh in a list of Jews – “members of the exceptional Jewish race” – as MK Miki Zohar put it, even if they are troublemakers?

>> Read more: This is how Netanyahu took over FacebookThe nasty, racist campaign that will go down in Israel's history | Analysis

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So here then is another Netanyahu record for inciting against Arabs. If we ignore the gentler incitements, like “Arabs streaming to the polls” and “Arab forgery” then until recently only the Mufti starred as an exterminator of Jews. Later he determined that the Arab parties are enemies of the state. Even that could be tolerated, after all, he was talking about parties, not the entire Arab public. But now comes the big boom: All Arabs want to destroy the Jews.

Yes, no longer is there one destroyer facing the Jewish state, but loads of destroyers. What did the Arabs do in their former incarnation to make them into the targets of accusations by everyone - from future partners like Kahol Lavan through Otzma Yehudit, Netanyahu’s ally – and the butts of a few nations’ worth of slander? The Arabs serve as punching bags for all comers. Here are the Arabs; smack them and you’ll feel better! Many people, myself included, are getting pretty fed up with repeating the mantra that if a French or Belgian leader would say the same things about Jews, the sun would go on strike and disappear at midday. But one still can’t help but discern a change in what’s happening before our eyes. Whether some light or something better might somehow emerge from this total darkness is hard to tell.

Why would I even think so? Because the cameras bill, dreamed up in the dark basements of Likud, stunned even Israel’s light-right. Never in their wildest dreams did they imagine that the Balfour gang would do such a terrible thing to them and the state; to reach a point where street fights could erupt over who could film who and where on Election Day. We were getting close to seeing political brawling in the street, and these notables realized that without connecting it to the Arabs, without the firm rock of anti-democratic decline, the whole house would burn. The extent of incitement against the Arabs seems to match the disappointment with the failure to pass the dangerous cameras bill.