Opinion |

Israeli Right Wing Hates Corruption, Loves the Occupation

There are degrees of corruption, as there are degrees of evil. You can’t demonstrate against a minor evil while supporting the great evil

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
Israelis protest at a right-wing demonstration against corruption in Jerusalem on December 23, 2017, holding placards reading in Hebrew "and our camp was pure" and "I am Israeli."
Israelis protest at a right-wing demonstration against corruption in Jerusalem on December 23, 2017, holding placards reading in Hebrew "and our camp was pure" and "I am Israeli."Credit: GALI TIBBON/Bloomberg
Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy

There is no legitimate right wing in Israel. The pretensions of the demonstration in Jerusalem Saturday night to represent a “moral right wing” is pure arrogance. There is nothing law-abiding or democratic about keeping 4 million people without rights. There is nothing in common between the Israeli right wing and morality; it’s all about undermining morality. It’s anti-morality.

The demonstration by the right Saturday night can be likened to improving the service in a slaughterhouse so the butchers will feel better. It’s hypocritical to call it a moral battle. A right-wing demonstration that supports the continuation of the dispossession, the detentions, the abuse and the pointless killing, but under better administration, breaks the record for hypocrisy and a lack of self-awareness.

A pro-occupation right wing that demonstrates against corruption is monstrous. This right with makeup on, that everyone is swooning over and waiting for to bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is more dangerous than the honest right, more corrupt in its deceptions.

Yoaz Hendel or Isaac Herzog, Aryeh Eldad or Israel Harel are no less corrupt than Netanyahu. To be sure, they’re more humble, more just in their thinking, but at the end of the day they’re eager supporters of continuing the occupation. What’s corrupt about that? What could be more corrupt than supporting the abuse of millions of people? What could be more corrupt than encouraging humiliation, abuse and killing?

Moshe Ya’alon is against corruption? Is there any joke worse than that? So he lives on a kibbutz, doesn’t wear ties and used to milk cows. He’s modest, rides a bicycle and doesn’t smoke cigars. He’s a straight-talker whose father was a laborer from Kiryat Haim.

Where exactly is the decency of the man who was responsible for so much bloodshed for the sole purpose of cruelly maintaning the occupation? This man, who doesn’t believe in any arrangement with the Palestinians and supports the infinite perpetuation of the apartheid, this man can preach against corruption?

Or the new road warrior, Yoaz Hendel. What does he have to do with the fight against corruption when he calls for annexing the main settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley to Israel, leaving the remainder as apartheid provinces until the end of time?

What does Israel Harel, another member of the “moral right,” have to do with observing the law? It’s commendable that he comes out against the prime minister, writing in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition last week that “it’s not done.” But it’s much more “not done” to steal land, to dispossess its owners, as Harel did for most of his life in his former settlement home, Ofra. The same of course goes for the settler Eldad.

It has been years since the right held a demonstration over ethics, and for good reason. The right realized that with such a log in its eye, it had no reason to demonstrate. Now after having lost all shame, the right can demonstrate against corruption, win the applause of the hypocritical ostensibly liberal camp and feel just and righteous. See, there’s no contradiction between morality and the right, how beautiful our moderate right-wingers, O Israel.

There are degrees of corruption, as there are degrees of evil. One cannot demonstrate against a minor evil while supporting the great evil. Transgressors cannot lead the battle against corruption. Would anyone accept Arye Dery or Ehud Olmert as spokesmen for the right’s demonstration against corruption? So why do they accept Harel and Hendel? They support the commission of crimes that are infinitely worse than any of Netanyahu’s sins.

Someone who dispossesses and occupies 10 minutes away from Kfar Sava can’t be moral and law-abiding in Kfar Sava. Saturday night’s demonstration was done in the name of properly performing Israel’s racist segregation project. It called for replacing a prime minister who is suspected of corruption with humble, honest people, all of them as racist and ultranationalist as he, all of them in favor of continuing the greatest crime of all, but modestly and honestly.

We shall continue to detain children and shoot at protesters, but we shall do so with a prime minister who is humble and as straight as an arrow, like Gideon Sa’ar.

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