Netanyahu Voters, Here's What He Thinks of You

Tzvia Greenfield
Tzvia Greenfield
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Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Makor Rishon Economic, Society and Innovation conference, Jerusalem, December 8, 2019.
Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Makor Rishon Economic, Society and Innovation conference, Jerusalem, December 8, 2019.Credit: Emil Salman
Tzvia Greenfield
Tzvia Greenfield

Nathan Eshel’s pronouncements in recordings aired on the investigative TV series “Uvda” are so important for the public discussion in Israel that it’s worthwhile to clarify once again what he actually said. The man who is closest to Benjamin Netanyahu, who serves as the prime minister’s closest proxy in political horse trading, openly admits not only that Likud’s campaign strategy is based solely on inciting hate – “This hatred is what unites our camp” – but also that he and his boss operate on the appalling assumption that the only people in government who Netanyahu voters admire are thieves.

Eshel ostensibly speaks on their behalf when he says: “You went into politics because you went to steal, and you have to be a man. ... If you didn’t steal, who are you? Why did you come? ... Now, in this community – I even call it this non-Ashkenazi community. Yes. What riles them? … They hate everything. We’ve succeeded in driving them crazy.”

Bibi went gunning for his only real rival

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These terrible words, which throw mud not at the genuine and the imagined enemies of the prime minister, who has long since gone off the rails, but at hundreds of thousands of Likud supporters, who for some reason continue to vote for him and to keep him in power, came from the mouth of Netanyahu’s closest adviser, as he explains to his interlocutor how to understand Likud voters and how best to work with them.

If there is a moment when the shocking truth behind the inflammatory speeches is revealed, then this is the moment. Likud voters must finally recognize the fact that the prime minister’s close adviser is presenting to them Netanyahu’s real thoughts about them, his electorate, who vote for him with such enthusiasm and devotion, and these thoughts are humiliating and racist. Eshel’s remarks indicate that Netanyahu is convinced that his voters want him to steal as much as possible, because otherwise – why is he there?

This defamation is intolerable, and we can’t ignore it and go on with business as usual. These horrifying statements, which cast terrible aspersions against half the nation, must not pass above the heads of Likud supporters and evaporate into thin air. This is their time to understand that the rot and the poison that have spread throughout the prime minister’s home and among his advisers and sycophants contaminate not only the rival camp but also themselves.

In Netanyahu’s opinion they are presumably not only “backward right-wingers,” as the son of Shas Chairman Arye Dery dubbed the party’s voters, but they also encourage theft and every kind of governmental corruption, in the name of hatred, of course.

According to Eshel, they believe the purpose of government is not to build hospitals and to guarantee that there are outstanding medical teams who will take care of them, and not to promise residents of southern Israel peace and quiet instead of the missiles and rockets that are landing on their heads, nor to allow them to reach their destinations safely and efficiently when traveling on the roads, instead of being stuck in endless traffic jams and being exposed to violence and rudeness.

All these issues presumably don’t interest them at all. What’s important to them is only that “their” prime minister and his family will succeed in deceiving everyone, in stealing and grabbing whatever they can reach.

These things were said by a man who knows Netanyahu well and expresses his feelings better than anyone else. Won’t Likud voters stand up for their dignity? On Monday, they and anyone who is horrified by these contemptuous words have an opportunity to uproot the hatred and the insanity that have become entangled in our lives under the years of Netanyahu’s rule. Go out now and vote to replace Netanyahu. Don’t stand on the sidelines.

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