I am one-of-Them.
‘Them’ as in “It’s either us or them”, in one of Likud’s unforgettable, and unforgivable, campaign slogans.
It’s a strange identity for me. While I’m hardly ashamed of being one-of-Them – since Them, after all, include some of Israel’s most esteemed, in whatever field one can think of – it’s still a bit strange to be placed apart from, rather than included as a part of, my people in Israel.
You see, coming on Aliyah from the U.S. for the Zionist reasons I did, was in order to be a part of my own. My own is Jewish, Zionist, secular, democratic, social-democratic, rodef-shalom, ohev-Yisrael; respectful of others, realistic, confident.
Over time, My own has shrunk significantly and, in this election, My own has become Them, with no less a voice than that of my Prime Minister saying so. He leads Us and my Prime Minister has framed Them. I and My own are Them.
My Prime Minister has shown his nature for many years: speaking on a balcony over Kikar Zion; whispering in the ear of ‘Maran’; admonishing in the US Congress. He mongers hate, he strokes fears, he demonizes and demoralizes, belittles and besmirches.
And yet, while I listen and I hear, I know that my Prime Minister’s word is not his bond. His words are vacant. He has no bonds. He can no longer be My own Prime Minister.
So why should I be bothered? Because Us were led to support my Prime Minister, this utter mockery of leadership. By its vote, Us aligned itself to its Prime Minister’s, its leader’s, crassness, his bigotry, his nastiness, his vacancy.
However, Them is aligned differently and I am one-of-Them.