Loudmouthed Right Should Ask Israeli People for Forgiveness

War doesn’t discriminate, but some right-wingers do by implying that some Israelis are good enough to die for their country, but not to live in it.

Uri Misgav
Uri Misgav
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Baruch Marzel, Yoav Eliasi, and Itamar Ben Gvir at a right-wing demonstration in Jaffa.
Baruch Marzel, Yoav Eliasi, and Itamar Ben Gvir at a right-wing demonstration in Jaffa.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Uri Misgav
Uri Misgav

Gilad Yaakobi loved sports, especially Hapoel Tel Aviv. Before he joined the army he made an effort to get into shape and enlisted in Golani. In one of the long conversations he had with his parents he spoke of the horror and disgust he felt over the murder of 16-year-old Jerusalemite Mohammed Abu Khdeir and its repercussions on Israeli society.

After he was killed in a clash with terrorists in Gaza, his father spoke at his funeral. On the freshly dug grave, speaking in a choked voice, his father called for a peaceful solution and expressed hope that the killing and suffering on both sides would end.

People like Gilad Yaakobi’s father, and his mother – a Meretz observer in the last election – are today a denounced, outcast minority in Israel. Had he said those things in the city square rather than the military plot at Kiryat Shaul cemetery, he and his wife would have been imprisoned behind iron security barriers and the authorities would have sent police officers to protect them. The thugs filling the social networks would have vilified them and sent them to die in Gaza with Hamas.

This is what has been happening here since the beginning of the war. But the group the Yaakobi family belongs to has been undergoing, to a large extent, a process of de-legitimization and blacklisting for years. One of this process’ powerful manifestations is the brazen, wanton attempt to forge a link between a person’s contribution to the army and state and his political positions, geographic location, socioeconomic profile and religious-secular orientation.

At the end of this damned war the rightist loudmouths should hang their heads and beg for forgiveness. Not only from Zehava Gal-on, whose son Yiftah fought in Operation Defensive Shield and in the Second Lebanon War. But also from her predecessor in the party, Haim Oron, whose grandson is hospitalized after being seriously wounded in Gaza. And from the father of Maj. (res.) Amotz Greenberg, a longtime Meretz convention member, who was killed in the operation. And from the parents of Gal Bason, who before joining the army took part in meetings of Jewish and Palestinian youth to advance the coexistence idea he believed in with all his heart – and was killed in the operation. They should beg forgiveness from them and from the many others who have now joined that awful circle known as the “family of bereaved,” who are currently cataloged here as enemies of the people, traitors and Israel haters.

According to the loudmouthed right, these people are permitted to die on the battlefield or to bury their children and husbands in a military plot, but not to express their opinion as citizens with equal rights.

Actually, the loudmouths had better just ask the whole Israeli people for forgiveness. For the sin of dissension and deceit. For years and years they’ve been telling us that secular people in general and leftists in particular no longer go to the army, certainly not to combat service. That they’re spoiled and not Zionists or patriotic. That they’re too good to sacrifice their body and soul for the state. That they leave that job to the kippa-wearers and settlement supporters. And then comes the heart rending list, which is growing longer every day, and sets the ledger straight.

Nahariya. Kiryat Ono. Kiryat Ata. Haifa. Beit Elazari. Beit She’an. Beit Shikma. Herzliya. Ashdod. Rehovot. Jerusalem. Ginegar. Netivot. Savyon. Petah Tikva. Kfar Vradim. Kfar Sava. Kfar Azar. Ginosar. Hod Hasharon. Poria. Holon. Safed. Ramat Yishai. Tel Aviv. Evron. Ashkelon. Pardesia. Modi’in. Rishon Letzion. Avtalion. Tiberias. Shadmot Dvora. Be’er Sheva. Gan Yavne. Hadera. Sde Nitzan. Eilat. Yes, and also Kedumim, Nir Etzion, Mitzpeh Hoshaya and Meirav. People from cities, moshavim and kibbutzim, secular, observant and religious, rightists, leftists and centrists. Bereavement does not distinguish between them. They all die in Gaza. They all have a right to live here.

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