Opinion |

The Israeli Culture Minister's Warped Sense of History

Miri Regev foolishly distinguishes between true history – the Jews' – and fallacious history – everyone else's. Well, she likes Donald Trump at least.

Kobi Niv
Kobi Niv
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Culture Minister Miri Regev on Simhat Torah holiday.Linking Zionism and religion.
Culture Minister Miri Regev on the holiday Simhat Torah. Credit: From Miri Regev's Facebook page.
Kobi Niv
Kobi Niv

During Hanukkah, Culture Minister Miri Regev conjured up another embarrassing surrealistic event; it happened while she was dedicating the new Pilgrim’s Way an excavated Roman road leading from Jerusalem’s Siloam Pool to the Temple Mount. She said the site revealed the “historical roots” of the Jewish people in their homeland, and she assailed U.S. President Barack Obama for his country’s vote on the settlements at the UN Security Council.

“Mr. President Barack Obama, I’m standing here on a road my forefathers trod 2,000 years ago; no other people in the world has such a connection to its land – not the Ukrainians, not the New Zealanders, not the Angolans. No other people in the world has a connection to its land like the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel.”

Really? How do you know we’re the most connected to our land? Because that’s what your fourth-grade teacher told you?

What do you know about the history of Angola or New Zealand? What about China and Japan, which also voted “against Israel”? China has been around from before your God created the world, so are the Chinese less connected to their land than we are? When it comes to ignorance and arrogance, no other nation is like us.

And after that, on the very same day, the minister went on TV and added: “Who is Obama? With all due respect, he’s history. We have Trump, we have the Almighty.”

Now it turns out that according to Regev there are two kinds of history. One kind is true, just and permanent. This one belongs to the Jewish people, their Trump and their God, and it’s only mentioned with awe, such as in “the history of the Jewish people.”

The other history is mendacious, distorted and ephemeral. This is the history of non-Jews and/or anyone who didn’t vote for Donald Trump and/or anyone who doesn’t believe in our deity, a history that’s mentioned with derision and contempt, as in “so what, who is Obama anyway? He’s history!”

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev visits the "Pilgrims Way", a 2,000-year-old route which is currently being excavated in the City of David on December 27, 2016.Credit: GALI TIBBON/AFP

Another example: “The Palestinians don’t understand that after 70 years their desire to return to their homes is history, not like the Jewish people, who made history by returning to their land after 2,000 years.”

In this foolish distinction between true history, ours, the good and just, and the fallacious history of everyone else, logic breaks down. The way of the world is such that, whether you’re a believer like Regev or a nonbeliever who counts for nothing, ultimately every tomorrow becomes a yesterday and every future becomes the past.

For all those joyous people in Israel celebrating Trump’s election victory, we should remind you, despite the contemptible comparison (you can shut your eyes before reading the next clause) that Hitler was also once the future. When Germans indirectly elected the lying, racist, insane and extreme right-wing Hitler as their leader, they too were joyous, seeing their future in rosy colors.

His first years in office proved that their choice was right – the economy stabilized, unemployment disappeared, the army grew and the leftist Jews were removed from academia, the justice system and the world of culture. Later they were deported and killed. Everything seemed fantastic.

But everyone knows how it ended. Seven and a half million Germans (10 percent of the population) died, and Germany was destroyed, occupied and divided. But, as minister Regev says, that’s all history, so let’s all give a cheer.

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