From Burning Anger to Less Hostility

It has been three months since my 1,200th “final” article was published in November 2020. Since that time I have tried to maintain silence, though there has been a burning flame, now increased to burning fire, burning with anger at the despicable political charade within our country. We have become a circus, a nation of clowns, led by an elected puppet-master who rejoices in pulling the strings.

It is not only anger and disappointment with the lack of humanity of Prime Minister Netanyahu but has increased with anger at the lowliness of the Likud Knesset members who have prostituted themselves in the name of a power which they hold but do not deserve.

And I put the blame squarely on the one and only group which has made our democracy into a funeral for its death. I blame our citizens who re-elected the Netanyahu regime, a corrupt regime, which glorifies only its own ego at the expense of our suffering citizens.

It is not enough that we have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the past elections. The worst is yet to come.

Netanyahu has enlisted the lowliest individuals into his coalition, people who have been weaned on racism and fascism, people who bring shame and disgrace upon freedom-loving Israelis, people who declare an intention to deport from Israel every non-Jew, who intend to deprive 20% of our minority population of the rights of Israeli citizenship, people who seek to return us to the 16th century mentality of narrow and un-enlightened religious leaders.

Bibi has taken into his bed a Smotrich and a Ben-Gvir in his proposed coalition. Ben-Gvir hates our Arab population and make promises to deport them from the Israel of their birth to other Arab countries. Smotrich represents the ultra-orthodox parties and seeks more power to oppose the secularist groups. Both Smotrich and Ben-Gvir are very far from democratic principles.

The Kahanists must pay a high price for their criminal intentions. Their “false god”, the American racist and fascist rabbi, Meir Kahane, was assassinated for his bitter hatred of non-Jews and particularly of Arabs, both Muslim and Christian. Ben-Gvir and the Otzma HaYehudit party share his racist ideology to our disgrace.

We remember and are duty-bound never to forget the dangers of racism and political venom. The years 1933-1945 stand out clearly in our minds what can happen to a people and to a nation when madmen are elected to lead a government.

Americans who remember their history can never forget for a moment the brutal assassination of America’s most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln, nor the admired president in our time, John F. Kennedy. Nor can any one of us, devoted citizens of Israel, ever block from our memories the insane political assassination of a deep lover of peace, the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

We must never permit cruelty and hatred to win over kindness and love. It is for those acts of the heart that we were chosen to be “Am Hashem”, the people of God.

Netanyahu will do anything to get re-elected. He has chosen a Muslim to be a member of the Likud and has created an artificial and a hitherto unknown ministry in service to our Arab communities headed by a Muslim Likudnik.

I do not object at all to Israeli Arabs serving as loyal members of our and their government. Those who have demonstrated their loyalty, respect and obedience to the laws of the Jewish State of Israel are deserving of the same rights and honors as Jews.

But Bibi has alienated democratic members of our government and in spite of his history of blatant anti-Arabism, he now runs to the Joint List, particularly to the former Ra’am faction, for their support.

The Arabs who once, in his own words, were “running to the election polls in droves”, are now viewed to be welcome as long as they promise him their support for his re-election.

Not an autocrat who revels in iron-hand rule at the expense of our once glorified history as a democratic nation for every citizen of Israel, ultra-orthodox, haredi or secular, Jew or no-Jew, with equality for all under our laws.

Netanyahu has lost forever the support of his “buddy”, the impeached past president Trump, and he cannot rely upon the friendship of Joseph Biden who dislikes Bibi, who opposes settlement expansion in the West Bank and who will cause Netanyahu or the next elected prime minister what my mother used to call “agmat nefesh”, loosely translated as sleepless nights.

Israel will be deprived of much American support under the Biden presidency who receives the support of AIPAC which has turned away from Netanyahu and looks forward to marching to a different tune.

American and other diaspora communities are vigorously opposed to more of a Netanyahu regime. His partnership in an Abrahamic Alliance has very little influence upon non-Israeli Jews. And Bibi will never receive a Nobel peace prize for all his well-intended efforts.

In my several communications with Jewish leaders outside of Israel, more than 70% object to a re-elected Netanyahu and wish to see the demise of the Likud party under its present leadership, but who would approve a return of a Menachem Begin style of popular government with respect for one and all in our country. It is the Jewish kavod, the respect which is due to all alike.

There is a flame within my heart and soul, a fire of anger which burns in me. I am no longer comfortable to live in a country which is murdering our democracy. Under such a regime I feel shame and disappointment in being an Israeli citizen.

On the day of the March election I will be observing my 88th birthday. Not celebrating. Only observing. Not too many more years remain in my life. But if the elections put an autocratic and fascist-racist government in power, I have decided to leave Israel and to surrender my Israeli passport. teudat zehut, and all the blessed privileges of an Israeli citizen in order to spend my final years in a democratic country where freedom of thought, religion, and right to protest are allowed under the law.

Once, not too many years ago, we had such blessed privileges in Israel. They have rapidly disappeared in the past few years.

For me personally, it is better to die in a democratic country rather than to exist for more years in an egoistic dictatorship.

Anger burns within my heart and soul. But I vehemently disapprove of hostility. I pray that good fellow- citizens of Israel when they go to the polls in mid-March (I have not decided to vote or not to vote) will long for the return of a Begin-style government with respect for all. We must put the Netanyahu autocracy out of political power forever.

If America can deny Donald Trump any political future, can we Israelis do less with an indicted criminal Netanyahu?

At age 88 knowing that the days and years of my life are soon coming to an end, I pray that I may yet live to see the return of democracy and respect for all our citizens, Jews and non-Jews, equality and dignity for all in our beautiful State of Israel… a happy home for ALL its citizens.

We are one nation, “Am echad”. Let us once again be the pride of the entire world. And please God, let my burning anger metamorphasize into renewed love, respect and reborn faith in my fellow man.

Turn my dream into reality. Ken yehi ratzon. Insh’Allah. Please let it be. Amen.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.