Opinion

Threats of an Israeli Civil War Are a Form of Blackmail

Joint list co-leaders Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi, October 10, 2019
Tomer Appelbaum

The Arabs are a threat to this country. No, not the Arabs, it’s their party, that party of terror supporters. Benjamin Netanyahu knows them well, but it’s not the same, now that their voice is part of the equation.

Even Orli Levi-Abekasis prefers the indicted guy to the Arab voice. So what if she promised otherwise? If you insist on including the Arab voice in the coalition, we’ll have no choice but to launch a civil war. Blood will be shed here, and who knows what kind of embittered souls might emerge and what they might do?

Bibi limps to election 'victory.' But he didn't winHaaretz Weekly Podcast

It’s blackmail to use the threat of terror. Contact with the Arab community fueled the incitement against Yitzhak Rabin, who dared rely on Arab Israelis’ votes. That was Netanyahu’s strategy then as it is now.

The only hurdle to forming a government now is Netanyahu himself. If a government supported by the Joint List of Arab parties is a disaster, a prime minister who cares about the country would step down to let another government be formed, even if he was convinced he was being wronged. He wouldn’t lead the country to a fourth election at a huge cost or, heaven forbid, into the arms of the Arabs. Does that scare you? Then leave.

It’s never the spokespeople who dirty their hands, it’s always other people, drunk with fury and fear over their country being stolen by “supporters of terror” and by a crazy former military chief. The perfect murder. Afterward, all that’s needed is to ask angrily how anyone dare blame a whole camp.

I’m not out to warn that this will in end in bloodshed. Blood has already been shed. Someone beat up an activist from the Movement for Quality Government in Israel who demonstrated against Netanyahu. It’s the demonstrator’s fault. Another person scratched leftist activist Jonathan Pollack with a knife while accusing him of being a leftist. Another leftist was attacked with an iron bar near a rally for Netanyahu in Netanya. A few youths broke two of his teeth. Demonstrators yelled “go to Gaza.”

Blood has already been shed, not to mention the “political murder around the corner,” as Benny Gantz warned this week. But who’s counting? Anyone calling for a civil war knows that the first victims in such a war are civilians, not politicians and the other spineless creatures at their service. They pull out the pin and keep their mouths shut when someone blows up. This is the behavior of a crime family, and it’s now being directed out in the open by the guy running the country.

Save me your labored arguments about left-wing terror. It’s not leftists who are threatening a civil war, it’s not leftists attacking right-wing supporters with iron bars, and it’s not leftists who are silent when these things happen.

Enough. Your ass-covering ploys are showing. It’s not just Gantz who’s under threat, it’s Arab lawmakers as well, and there’s no reason to believe someone won’t seek their blood first. Yeshiva students have already been filmed striking images of Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi. The education minister hasn’t been heard on this matter.

Arabs have always served as fuel in times like these. The result is known. People will do some encouraging from the stands and someone else will do the dirty work. The only question is whether we’ve learned anything from the previous round. For 25 years we’ve seen the same method applied. It’s time we stopped fearing Arabs. They’re not the problem.