Opinion

The Unique Vapidity of the Bibi-ist Right

The Netanyahu regime is a populist, Peronist right. It’s doubtful it can even be called fascist; fascism is an ideology with core values that can be challenged

Uri Misgav
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(FILES) A picture dated on February 25, 2018 shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office. 
Israeli police arrived on March 2, 2018 at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's home where media reports said they were to question him for an eighth time over allegations of fraud and bribery. / AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON
(FILES) A picture dated on February 25, 2018 shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office.Credit: GALI TIBBON/AFP
Uri Misgav

How do they look at themselves in the mirror, the new right-wingers? The prime minister is suspected of receiving a million shekels’ worth of “gifts” and of bribery deals valued in the billions with communications and media tycoons. The closest of his confidants – at this point he himself isn’t yet a suspect – are involved in offenses including paying enormous sums for unnecessary military hardware, charging ungodly commissions and approving the sale of advanced submarines to Egypt. And the new right-wingers salute. Not a Nazi salute, heaven forbid, only with blind faith.

If God gave 10 measures of hypocrisy to the world, the Israeli right took 4,000, as if not a single bone of honesty or integrity remained in its body. It’s a Bibi-ist, populist, Peronist right. It’s doubtful that it can even be called fascist; fascism is a frightening, organized ideology with core values that can be challenged and must be fought.

The new Israeli right has no fixed values. Everything is fluid. Benjamin Netanyahu and his inner circle are sunk in four serious criminal investigations? It’s a “witch hunt.” When Ehud Olmert was under investigation for much more minor offenses, there was a duty to fight corruption.

The voices calling for Netanyahu’s ouster are growing? “Prime ministers are replaced at the polls.” So what if Golda Meir left after the Agranat Commission, Yitzhak Rabin amid the dollar account the first time and an assassin’s bullets with encouragement from the balcony the second time, Menachem Begin racked by depression and Olmert plagued by investigations. Olmert, under a cloud of suspicions, saw his foreign-policy moves portrayed as lacking legitimacy – by the man who, while under police investigation, bombs Syria, threatens Iran and takes a trip to Washington.

When people agree to testify for the prosecution against Netanyahu, his chamberlains call them “stool pigeons” and “Judas.” They’re also against electronic surveillance, and even supported a bill against it. But when someone sees fit to leak to Channel 10 News parts of a text-message exchange between a judge and a prosecutor, that’s kosher. Exceptions such as Yoaz Hendel or Israel Harel, who are ultranationalist and pro-settler in ideology but insist on remaining decent human beings, will be called “token right-wingers.” Screamers who make the reverse journey will be admired as having seen the light.

The new right also established, through deceit, a propaganda television station that provides extra income for propagandists from other media outlets. The flagship show is called “The Patriots,” even though its stars support Netanyahu and the occupation – the two main factors whose perpetuation threatens to destroy Israel.

The new Israeli right, with its fluidity and lack of integrity, of course worships Donald Trump, who built his financial and political capital on fraud as a way of life. He also identifies with ultranationalists, fascists and neo-Nazis in eastern and central Europe, with the exception of that irksome Holocaust and denial of it. He looks to Vladimir Putin. He even has his own Pravda, funded by gambling money. It’s like the story of the McCarthyist organization Im Tirtzu, which had the gall to steal its name from Theodor Herzl while relying on donations from evangelical Christians.

Last week the family news outlet declared open warfare on the rule of law. In a cartoon, the police commissioner was depicted as a fat tailor sewing case files for Netanyahu. A special poll – of the family newsletter’s readers! – found a decline in their trust in the judicial system. A law professor who’s a college dean volunteered to write that “the wheels of injustice move quickly.”

Meanwhile, the public security minister declared that he supported “both the police and Netanyahu” (a logical impossibility). The justice minister, who holds dear Zionism and the nation, switched to importing judges, appointing to the Supreme Court a lecturer who emigrated 15 years ago and whose son didn’t serve in the army. It’s made-in-Israel hypocrisy, under the inspiration of the great charlatan, an atheist who ends every speech with the words “with the help of God,” even though he and his supporters clearly aren’t guided by God or any other moral compass.

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