If you sort of cherish your extremist brethren, this piece is not for you.
All extremists provoke to get to an escalation because they are apocalyptic doom preachers. These can be Bible thumpers, or Marxists, or anyone in-between. They all trust that only total anarchy can bring utopia/paradise. Meanwhile, we all pay a heavy price for them pouring oil on the fire.
We have suffered this at decades of Rabin assassination commemoration. It started innocently and idealistically with young people wanting to hold on to the vision of a peace process. But every time, it was hijacked by a few bitter, hateful comments about Jews who were supposedly not on the right side of history. Year after year and counting, these speakers turned what should be a show of unity for the good into a divisive manifestation sawing hatred and promoting stereotypes. More than a yearly opportunity lost, they got the whole thing uprooted—what a terrible loss.
In the first years, it was understandable if family members of Rabin would speak out bitterly. But, over time, it turned out this had nothing to do with the delayed mourning of a loved one. The hatred continued, and others, self-appointed leaders of the true left, would keep on bashing the right.
A murder that should show and warn that hatred can kill is abused every year to assault whole sections of Israeli society. Thank you, Bennett for pointing this out. Netanyahu is blamed for contributing to the shooting, but this questionable guilt is used as an excuse to attack him for 25 years. His security detail must be the best in the world. Not just against foreign adversaries or local enemies but also against Jews who disagree with him!
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And then, at the other end of the spectrum, we just had one of the smartest and most vile Israeli politicians again provoking an Arab attack.
Granted, he was bothered by the State for decades. He learned Law and got himself off unscratched in dozens of court cases. Often, he would then demand compensation which typically he was granted. Then, he became a Member of Knesset. He could not be stopped running for office because he learned exactly how far he could go without committing a crime.
And, he precisely knows how to provoke, wreak havoc, and come out the accuser. Mind you, he’s not an innocent bystander of passer-by suddenly attacked. He’s the deliberately in-your-face spewing hatred guy until he’s punched in the nose only to scream: assault, I’ll sue you!
Now, let this be clear: There is no justification for anyone laying a hand on him, period. However, what will happen? The prosecution will either not indict his opponent or a judge will let it go or only give a minimal penalty.
That way, he just moved the goal post. A little hitting of a Jew by an Arab is not so bad, it turns out. From what used to be a no-no, it became just something not done but still reasonable. Thank you to the provocateur.
Of course, Antisemitism can never be blamed on Jews. We don’t blame the victim. Just like sexual abuse of a woman is never ‘provoked’ by her dress. But, setting out to claim Arabs they have no place in democratic Israeli (or at least, should be subordinate) is more than revolting. It should be illegal.
Anti-democrats the world over keep abusing the system to erase equality. But, democratic freedoms are not stand-alone rights. They’re reserved for those who want to uphold democracy for all. To go anti-anti-democrats is pro-democracy. Outlaw all words or actions by people against the system! This is true for him as much as for the anti-Zionist parties in the Knesset.