What Happens if Israel's Extreme Right Gets Its Way?

Let’s say we silence Breaking the Silence and outlaw all groups critical of Israel. Then what?

Kobi Niv
Kobi Niv
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A visitor looks at the exhibition "Breaking the Silence," at the Kulturhaus Helferei, Zurich, June 8, 2015.
A visitor looks at the exhibition "Breaking the Silence," at the Kulturhaus Helferei, Zurich, June 8, 2015.Credit: Reuters
Kobi Niv
Kobi Niv

When regional elections were held recently in France in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, our local media was suddenly seized with concern and anxiety lest the “extreme right” there, namely Marine Le Pen and her National Front, rise to power.

However, ladies and gentlemen, dear Zionists, so concerned with the welfare of the world, don’t cast your gaze so far and look instead at your own country. Perhaps you’ll note that here, in our midst, power has long been in the hands of at least two extreme right-wing parties, Netanyahu’s La Likud and Bennett’s La Maison Juive. Compared to these two Le Pen’s National Front is a moderate left-wing party.

If Le Pen were to convert, come to Israel and set up her party here, it would assume its place not on the far right but in what is known here as the center, fitting in perfectly between the Zionist Camp and Yesh Atid. Such is the political map of Zionism in Israel – Yesh Atid, Likud, Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu are the extreme right while Kulanu and the Zionist Camp are on the right, with Meretz comprising a centrist party.

The extreme right (Im Tirtzu, Yair Lapid, Likud, the hilltop youth and the mountain elders), representing the vast majority of people in Israel, is now lashing out at some fragments of questionably leftist and inconsequential groups such as Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Haaretz and the rest of “Israel’s foes”. Their very existence and actions bring upon us terror, boycotts and salmonella, endangering the very existence of the only nuclear (according to foreign media reports) power in the Middle East.

So let’s go with the flow. Starting tomorrow, by law, with the help of God, by some hocus pocus — or a combination of these – let’s say anyone you want to will disappear. There will be no more Breaking the Silence, no more Haaretz, no B’Tselem and no Yesh Din. Great! Are you happy now?

Do you believe that after all these disappear “the situation” will improve? Or will it stay the same or perhaps get even worse?

Do you really think that if Breaking the Silence is outlawed the terror will stop? Do you really believe that Palestinians rise up, stab and shoot because of Gideon Levy’s articles in Haaretz? If B’Tselem researchers are made to wear tags stating that they are funded by foreign sources, how exactly will that improve our relations with Turkey or bring down housing prices?

No, you say, we just don’t want these elements to speak out overseas, Because of what they say there, in English, people around the world thing badly of us. If they didn’t talk abroad, in English, the world wouldn’t have a clue about what’s happening here. If the world knows nothing, nothing will happen, since if you shut your eyes or erect a separation barrier between yourself and reality, reality disappears, doesn’t it?

But then, if despite this someone writes in English on Facebook about the evils of the occupation, or posts videos of soldiers beating children on YouTube, what will you do then? Arrest them? Kill them? Do you think that if you turn Israel into North Korea Israel’s standing in the world will improve?

In short, instead of passing a law against Breaking the Silence you can take a hair from your right eyebrow and blow it under a ladder at a black cat. That will be just as effective — like chanting incantations for reviving the dead.

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