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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


"That speech was too much, so we came. The way he talks! And those jokes and jibes at the police! Who does he think we are? And how can you have a state without a police force?

So said an elderly couple to me from Samaria, ‘Mizrahim’ [1], that have been Likud [Netanyahu’s party] voters for many years.

I didn’t vote for Likud, but the PM’s speech insulted me too. When he speaks to us this way, it’s because he thinks it speaks to us. This insolence and mockery, the eyebrow impersonation, [He thinks] that’s who we are.

Hundreds of people stood in Zion Square today, holding signs and calling for for the preservation of society's gatekeepers and of social qualities such as humility.

They’re not who Netanyahu thinks they are. They’re not full of hatred and contempt, unlike most of his speech writers. They’re not as witty and insolent as his ammunition of defenders on Facebook. They’re positive people. By the way, they’ll be glad if Biton turns out to be innocent, Danon honest, and Netanyahu guiltless. They’re just unwilling to accept the insanity of personal legislation, and attacks on the police and other systems of governance. They think there’s an actual state to be run, and not everything revolves around a PM, and whether he’ll remain in his seat or not. This evening, there were many Israelis showing signs of positivity; may my place be with them."

– Tehila Friedman, West Jerusalem activist

Selected Comment:

“Incredible. After the complete failure of the protest which was promoted by the media this past week, to which barely a few hundred people came, most of them not right-wing, you’re not hiding from shame?
I’m proud of the Right; this time it was not a part of the hoax, there's an understanding that he was being played, thus responding properly to Noni Moses and the Right’s ‘purifier’ attempts – with contempt. Well done, people of Israel.”
"A few hundred people participated in the Right’s protest this evening [Saturday, December 23] in Jerusalem. People’ll tell you that it was insignificant, but don’t buy into that. The protest was significant, because it expressed the sentiments of a fringe group within the Right that has strong values and understands that Netanyahu in his current state symbolizes a grave threat to Israeli democracy. This is incredibly significant and should not be taken lightly.

Why should it not be taken for granted? See this letter from Rabbi Drukman that was published this evening by Yair Sharki. Drukman’s message is simple: for the Land of Israel receiving bribes is allowed. As is granting bribes, engaging in corruption and threatening the police. Everything is allowed in order to preserve the Right’s control in the Land of Israel.

[…] He said aloud what everyone else has been thinking: yes, Netanyahu is corrupt, but he’s our best chance at keeping Judea and Samaria. And that’s worth everything. Behind this message lies great fear that the settlements are in immediate danger, a completely justified fear. Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria is temporary, and the settlements are built on sand. The Right feels that reality and is frightened by such prospects of losing control over the settlements.

With this in the background, the appearance of a few hundred right-wingers in a protest against the Right’s government is significant. It signals that their disgust for Netanyahu has surpassed that fear. This is a benchmark moment.

Of course the protest shows that there’s an honest and righteous Right in Israel. This is an important piece of news in and of itself."

– Tomer Persico, West Jerusalem activist

Selected Comment:

“’Of course, the protest shows that there’s an honest and righteous Right in Israel.’
I would like to believe this sentence, but the Right in Israel has denied millions of people of their rights by placing them under military control for the past 50 years. The Right does not just simply support this situation, they are completely dedicated to its preservation. How decent can they be? What does decency and righteousness mean if such wrongs can be put under their wings?”

0202 Editor’s Notes:
These posts are connected to an affair that has been playing out in Israel over the past few weeks. Netanyahu and close associates have been under investigation for charges of corruption. On Tuesday, December 19th in a speech, Netanyahu attacked his critics from the media, and spoke of the investigations with an almost comical disregard. There have been many protests against Netanyahu throughout Israel. The protest referenced in this article was held by right-wingers in Jerusalem.
[1] 'Mizrahim' – Jews whose families originate from Arab countries.

#Netanyahu #Corruption_Charges #Protests