If everything was to be in their own image, and if the state was to look the way they want it to, it is very doubtful that they would want to live there.
I write “they” because I do not know how to define them; it has not been limited to the moderate and radical right for some time. Nor has it been only the center and the center-left. Nor just the national anthem. It’s almost everyone now. An evil spirit has wrapped itself around everyone, and it is the true zeitgeist of Israel in 2014. If, as looks likely, it takes complete control, they will not want to live in this new Israel of theirs either, which they created with their own hands.
The new State of Israel will no longer tolerate any opinion that is different, any alternative idea. Subversive ideas are out of the question; even asking questions that few people ask will be utterly prohibited. The people will speak in unison, like in a chorus, as uniform as the Red Army Choir. The media, too, will speak in one voice, declaimed right out of the statements dictated to it by government and army spokesmen.
None of this is a dream. The nightmare is already here. “Quiet — we’re shooting” during times of war and also during times of calm. Criticism will be confined to clearly limited subjects: classroom size and the price of cottage cheese may be criticized,; so can tycoons and the coffee prices at Ben-Gurion airport. The theater and cinema may be criticized too, all within the bounds of good taste, of course.
Exposes about mayors and singers who cheated on their taxes and politicians who fired their maids are allowed, but not a word about war crimes. The fighting press will fight against road accidents, but never, of course, against the rules of engagement. Writing about crime families is fine, but writing about the crimes of the occupation and the settlements is off-limits. The weather forecast will not be subject to censorship at all.
In times of war, the situation is different, of course. When the cannons roar, we may not even let out a peep. We may criticize the army and the defense establishment, but only from one direction: Why didn’t they let the army win? Let it “do its job,” beat the hell out of them, bombard them, crush them even more, conquer even more, cut off the electricity, tighten the siege and ramp up the killing, pain and devastation as much as possible; to exalt the might of the troops, to praise the daring of the pilots. To bring the Arabs back to the Stone Age and Gaza to the Middle Ages. That is allowed. The most moral thing on earth — as much as possible; doubting it is forbidden. One may also cry victim without limit. Ignorance will be crowned as a national goal. Haaretz will be outlawed.
Describing the suffering of the other side will be prohibited in the new Israel. At most, Rorschach pictures from the cockpit, with no faces and with no blood, will be allowed. Hinting that the other side may be in the right will be punished with imprisonment; identifying with its pain will be treason, with its proper sentence. Until the death penalty is instituted — it is on its way — life imprisonment and maybe stoning in the city square, as the majority wishes. The majority also wishes to conquer Gaza, bomb Iran, piss on international law, throw out the Arab members of Knesset, all the Arabs of Israel, all the left-wingers.
That is how it will be, as it wishes. The new Israel will not shrink from any of it. It will also become even more religious as a state run according to Jewish law: We already have signs of a holy war in God’s name in Gaza. Homosexuality will continue to be permitted — it is good for tourism, but “homo” will become an official curse word. The new justice system will finally be honest with itself: One law for Jews and another for Arabs will be in the law books, not just in court.
The new Israel will become a pariah throughout the world. The last convoys of support, which arrived thanks to the voice of resistance still being heard from it, will vanish utterly. That’s nothing for us: America is in our pocket, and even if it is not, that is no big deal. Israel will become a Jewish state under siege, completely Jewish. Without Arabs, without leftists, without a press, without criticism. And now, answer honestly: Would you want to live there? It is almost here already.