PM Benjamin Netanyahu has an interesting habit. He takes every action that he fears might actually make a difference and believes may act against him and attributes it to the so-called “Leftists”.
One of the biggest absurdities this habit has spawned is Netanyahu asserting that MK Avigdor Liberman, a person so right-winged that he continually promotes a death penalty for terrorists law, is part of the left.
The actions of the current protest are another example. Last week (and once again as these words are being written) he not only hinted that all protestors are leftists, but also outright claimed that these leftist protestors hate Judaism, an absolutely abominable statement of its own accord. This strongly echoes his 1997 saying “the left forgot what it means to be Jewish”.
I would like to address one of the NEXT set of victims, people that up until a year ago supported the current coalition leader with their vote.
In the first few weeks of the protest it seemed that only an insignificant minority of this group held an opinion that the government was going too far. That it did not serve the people anymore, but only themselves.
In recent weeks we’ve come to witness their numbers growing steadily, as groups like “the democratic right”, “the liberal right”, and “Judaism Democracy” started appearing with organized stands and branded shirts. They are waking up and they want their voices heard loud and clear.
I had multiple chances in the past few months to discuss the various subjects of current Israeli politics, economy, and security with these individuals.
I would like to share a few insights gained from these encounters.
I obviously do not represent each and every person in this group of people, however all the insights I will share with you here are the direct conclusions of personal and group discussions with its members.
Here we go:
The Israeli right and religious wing used to think that the protest was dominated by the radical left.
As they obviously don’t want to be associated with the radical left, it probably delayed them joining the rallies quite a bit. After joining, they realized that the radical left is quite marginal. In other words, the rallies are big enough so that there are rarely any encounters between the two groups.
They can tell a spin when they hear one.
It is very common for the coalition to use any news story, big or small, to justify their actions, belittle and demonize anyone who opposes them, and gaslight the Israeli population as a whole.
The a priori knowledge of past lies and half-truths uttered by Netanyahu and other members of his party makes it easy for them to cast these aside and focus on the facts.
They know the current so-called “right” is actually not the real right.
In fact, they thoroughly resent the prime minister for hijacking the term and capitalizing on it as it is explicitly important for many of them to be identified as right-wingers.
They ask questions like “How can the economic right support extreme welfare (for the Haredim)?” and “How come the coalition keeps financing our haters?”.
They made me question my affiliation.
I find myself agreeing with them time and time again. We share opinions about the reform, tradition, progress, international relations, duty and difficulties of public servants, and plenty of other subjects. It seems to me that we only differ when we treat the edge of our opinion spectrum as its center.
When they are eventually attacked by Netanyahu, they will be branded as leftists, or fake rightists, or anti-Semitic haters of Judaism. These are all patriotic people who love this country and want the best for all of us.
I trust that when the time comes, they will toss away Netanyahu’s fake dividing propaganda and even gain strength from it. Strength that will bring the true change that Israel needs.