Opinion

Yair Netanyahu Is a Compassionate Vegan

Veganism and apartheid is the spirit of Israel in general, particularly in Yair’s generation

The Netanyahu family, 2018.
From Benjamin Netanyahu's Facebook.

Aside from his rude and aggressive sniping at journalist Amnon Abramovich and the left in general, Yair Netanyahu’s Facebook page looks like that of a garden-variety, pro-animal rights vegan. In keeping with the vegan agenda, he deals mainly with morality. More precisely, with the moral rights of animals – preventing cruelty toward them. Judging by the quantity, the pace and the intensity of sharing videos from organizations such as Total Liberation and Anonymous for Animal Rights, compassion for pigs, cows and dogs seems to be at the center of Yair’s world.

With the same moralism with which he lectures to the left, he preaches to meat-eaters. In Yair’s posts, sweet, lovely and innocent chicks are the pure victims of evil. Whom do they resemble? Besides the animal family, there is another family of pure victims that appears on Netanyahu’s Facebook page: Yair and his parents, Sara and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He defends them and himself unflinchingly and angrily, against the shaming and blood libels they suffer from the media and the left, who for 30 years have drunk their blood through a straw, he claims. It sounds like torture, just like the suffering and torture of a pig to slaughter.

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It’s hard to avoid the impression that Yair’s Facebook page is devoted to the war for justice; justice for the pig and for his mother, for humanity, for the cow and for his father; for basic empathy for suffering — his and the chicks.

Veganism and apartheid is the spirit of Israel in general, particularly in Yair’s generation. Many young Israelis like him have compassion for the dog and the chick, but they have much less for the Palestinian living under occupation, the homeless person sleeping on a bench or the persecuted refugee. Often they have no compassion at all for them, and in today’s pervading atmosphere of racism they even hate them and treat them with terrible arrogance. On the Israeli morality scale, animals are just slightly beneath the Jews, and far from the Arabs and the Sudanese and the anonymous and stinking slab of flesh lying on the sidewalk, groaning.

Yair calls Abramovich, an army veteran with 100-percent disability due to extensive burns, “that garbage pail.” Yair dehumanizes him, denying him any sense of humanity for his political views and criticism of his father’s regime. Never mind that Yair tramples on freedom of the press and democratic norms. What stands out in his narrative is that he wouldn’t call a dog, cow or pig a garbage can. The content on Yair’s page makes clear that he does not lack compassion. On the contrary. But his morality is devoted to animals, himself and his parents, pure victims, while a person who was burned inside a tank is “that garbage can.”

The popularity of veganism in Israel is always jarring, particularly when measured against the rising fascism in the public sphere, a kind of masquerade of morality at a time when an enormous moral crime is being committed against human beings, not chicks, in the name of Israeli society as a whole. But it is particularly interesting when Yair waves his banner, because he is consistently extreme, in social media and in the dog park, displaying tremendous aggression — almost spitefully — toward people with whom he differs politically. His missionary veganism shows how in his own eyes he’s a compassionate, kind-hearted person. He is fast attaining the role of a presenter in the Israeli vegan community. Israeli society embraces veganism on the one hand and racism with the other, marching with them both into the abyss.