I am shocked by the filth that recently reportedly has emerged from the mouths of spokespersons for our high-salaried MKs on the left side of the aisle.
Let’s say I’m a left-wing Israeli and I want to vote for a party that carries my ideas and is represented by honest and decent people. I don’t know one. No wonder hardly anyone votes for these parties.
But I prefer to think that these people are not dishonest and rude. Rather, they might be upright but don’t know a better way to talk. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and teach them how to speak.
(I suspect one of them to be very dishonest but we’ll ignore that for now. Especially because people are not the problem; a culture of verbal abuse is.)
Maybe, the Knesset could “reward” use of the old wrong words with financial penalties and for limited times, blocking them from debates.
Here are recent pronouncements, followed by respectable alternatives.
- OLD: Netanyahu “always does and gives in to the haredim over and over again because surrender is his art. The main thing is to keep his chair, everything is really little politics.”
NEW: I understand that Netanyahu needs to give in to the haredim because they are part of his coalition like they in turn also give in on other points confirm the coalition agreement. Though I hate that they have a voice in Israeli politics and I don’t. I wish we could put me in charge.
- OLD: “A prime minister cannot attack the legal authorities in such a way only because he is terrified of the accusations against him. It is a danger to democracy, a danger to the rule of law, and a mortal blow to our common life. There is no doubt he must transfer the premiership to another member of the Likud until elections.”
NEW: Also our Prime Minister has the full right, like every citizen, to dispute accusations of him having violated the law, as long as he’s not convicted. If I were him, I wouldn’t even step down when an indictment is filed. In fact, it would be better if he wouldn’t, because otherwise, real suspicions might not have their day in court because mere suspicions might be insufficient to topple a government.
- OLD: “When the Israeli prime minister tells the lie that the Israel Police is making cases fit [for convictions], this will also be the line of defense of the next head of a crime organization [in a trial]. If you are ever in distress and need the police, remember it’s Netanyahu that is trying to weaken this agency. Israel is not a corrupt country, but Netanyahu is corrupting Israel. Truth is a lie and a lie is truth. When you see Border Police forces fighting terrorism, remember who Netanyahu is slandering. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is not a right [that can be used] to undermine law enforcement agencies in Israel. Chaos is good for Netanyahu, but Israel is more important than he is.”
NEW: It is a serious accusation when the Prime minister says that the police tries to have him go to trial on a ploy. We hope for the country that both are not true – there was no twisting by the police and there was no criminal act by the PM – that it’s all a misunderstanding or simple difference of opinion. Until he’s convicted, he must be held as innocent and he’s entitled to defend himself in public against accusations made in public.
- OLD: “The PM is such a crybaby and so detached from the truth. We have become tired of a prime minister who is immersed in criminal investigations and attacks on the gatekeepers appointed by him. Time has come for another kind of leadership. That will show that it’s possible to change, that will protect the rule of law and deal with the real problems of the public.”
NEW: If I were in the shoes, I would also complain about the constant slandering that he receives in the press. His volume of defense is rather very modest compared to how much and how viciously he’s attacked around the clock. But even if he were oversensitive to criticism, he’s entitled to his sensitivities and those have nothing to do with the things he should be judged for: his plans, policies and actions. When he says that the police is not fair, he longs for the same thing as all of us: a fair police.
- OLD: “Tonight we saw an anxious and frightened prime minister who has a heavy cloud of corruption floating over him. He no longer has the moral or public mandate to make crucial decisions for the State of Israel.”
NEW: As a member of the opposition, I’m frustrated that for so many years, no election was able to remove him from office. But integrity demands that I admit that so far he’s not convicted – not even indicted – and so he is as innocent as everyone else. We hope that he will fall because the public wants a change in the rule of our country, not because our PM will be convicted of a crime unrelated to a judgment about his policies.
- OLD: “Netanyahu is a criminal who has adopted criminal behavior and the language of the underworld. The victory of light over darkness will be when Bibi goes home.”
NEW: This whole investigation is, of course, unpleasant but I am proud that in Israel no one is above the law. Let’s all hope that the PM comes out clean.
As Rabbi Vorst (Amstelveen, the Netherlands) says: When one points a finger at someone, most likely three fingers are pointing at himself and his thumb accuses Heaven – something to think about. All accusations, in the end, just backfire, as this poll shows clearly.
If you want to win, stop pointing fingers towards others.