Opinion

The New Coffins Along Netanyahu’s Route

Netanyahu speaks at a conference in Jerusalem, December 8, 2019.
Emil Salman

“Justice Minister Amir Ohana has ordered the attorney general and state prosecutor to stop issuing statements ‘signed by the Justice Ministry,’ which give the impression that he endorsed them or agrees with them,” Haaretz’s Netael Bandel reported Thursday.

What caused the minister to take such dramatic action? What enraged him? What led him to issue a divorce decree to the units he is in charge of? Has the State Prosecutor’s Office or attorney general issued a statement infringing on human rights? Made a declaration violating civil rights? Have they called for violence against someone or for breaking the law, matters that should be paramount to one who calls himself justice minister? Or perhaps, at the very least, they interfered in some way with the stinking political dunghill in which we are trapped?

Killing Palestinians isn’t Israel’s goal. Killing Palestine is. Listen

The attorney general’s great sin was that in the Justice Ministry’s name, he denounced a Der Sturmer-style propaganda clip, in which Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber is portrayed as one who gives money to terrorists and who in general, just like the Jew Suss, spreads her claws and terrifies the entire world. The condemnation of this filth is so searing and painful to the justice minister that he absolutely refuses to take part in it and forbids his ministry to validate it. What crazy days. The face of the Justice Ministry face is the face of Yair Netanyahu.

What Israeli civil servants, headed by senior prosecution and attorney general’s officials, are going through these days will be hard to explain in the future, when the next assassination will be taught in some laundered lesson at school and bored children will be misled into thinking that “a wild weed” arose and did “something crazy.” People of Ohana’s ilk will then say they didn’t incite, they had nothing to do with it. They walked in front of the coffin at the Ra’anana junction, you see, so they didn’t see it. And anyway, it was “Zionism” in the coffin, not Yitzhak Rabin’s body.

Justice minister Amir Ohana at a Likud party meeting, December 8, 2019.
Ofer Vaknin

What horrifying, insufferable iniquity. Senior officials who do their job and refuse to stray to appease those in power at any price, some of them right wingers, must hide behind security guards, check their cars carefully, avoid the social-media slime and pray it doesn’t reach their frightened children’s eyes. Their only sin was doing their job. The despicable incitement campaign against law enforcers Roni Alsheich, Liat Ben-Ari, Shai Nitzan, Dina Zilber and Avichai Mendelblit is one of the most brutal spectacles of our time.

Since this is how the politicians treat them, at the initiative of the corruption chief on Balfour Street, every decent Israeli must protect them with his body. Whoever doesn’t enlist in their aid now in demonstrations, petitions and protests against the government is partner not only to injustice and wrongdoing of the first degree, but also to the concrete endangering of democracy and its paramount values: equality before the law and judicial review of the lust for power, any power, that knows no boundary. Today we are all Dina Zilber.

On several occasions I’ve considered writing an article entitled “We’ll miss Netanyahu.” His pacifism and chronic fearfulness about war made me, like many others, avoid automatically loathing him. Let Sara drink whatever Champagne she wants, I thought, as long as our children don’t die in pointless wars.

But before Netanyahu’s crimes of incitement, before the awful, bitter taste of the poisonous fruit he cultivated, before the evil he did to Israeli society and its institutions, it’s impossible to stand still. This man is so dangerous, and his contemptuous, sleazy servants are even more dangerous. May they be remembered only as a deranged, obscene, insane nightmare in the chronicle of these Israeli days.