What’s eating Gideon Levy?

“Haaretz” correspondent, Gideon Levy, refuses to partake in the national cheer following the capture of the weapon ship Klos C. In his column from yesterday (Sunday), he describes the media festival that followed the seizure as no less than a “national orgy”. He is annoyed by the endless self-patching on the back, and he is generally irritated by the disproportionate coverage that the story has received in Israeli media in recent days.

To be sure, Levy might have a point there: I, for one, was also embarrassed by the endless chatter in Israeli media, which probably continued longer than it should have. But as I delved into Levy’s argument further, and as much as it was expected – it hit me: it is not the national joy that eats Levy, not even the lack of proportionality in its coverage. It’s the fear, the dread, that we might be reminded of some of the Palestinians’ true intentions with regard to the state of Israel. After all, the last thing that the Gaza Strip needs in its current condition are rockets for a range of 160 km.

Consider this for a moment: what is this seizure telling us? According to Prime Minister Netanyahu, it reveals yet again Tehran’s hypocrisy: arming terrorist groups on the one hand, while signing pacifying agreements with the West on the other one. According to Levy, the capture tells us a different story: it unveils not only the unhealthy nature of Israel’s media and society, but also Jerusalem’s own two-facedness: seizing arms shipments on the one hand, while selling weapons to “almost every dark regime” on the other.

So, this is where we stand: Bibi is depicting the ship’s senders, Levy is occupied with the ones who caught it, but none of them bothers to talk about the near certain recipients: the Palestinian militant groups. For Netanyahu, this is the result of well-known priorities: for him, Iran was and still is the number one threat, which accounts for the neglect of Palestinians in his recent statements. With Levy, on the other hand, it’s a different story: he just doesn’t like us being reminded that there are bad guys on the other side of the fence. For him there will always be only one “Bad Guy” in our neighborhood – and that is the Jewish State. Israelis are bad, and Palestinians are good. Don’t let any missiles’ shipments confuse you on this one.

This tendency – to overlook facts which don’t fit their worldview – is a regretful characteristic of Israel’s radical Left: each example or indicator pointing towards the Palestinians’ desire to continue the conflict with Israel in the aftermath of the latter’s withdrawal from the territories is immediately being hushed – for whatever ridiculous excuse that is required for that cause. And just to be clear – I too believe that Israel will have to leave these territories, sooner rather than later. But that has nothing to do with my view of the outcomes of such a move.

Levy has never let facts confuse him in terms of making this separation. Arafat being implicated in terror? Oh, that’s just “Israeli pettiness”. Fatah seniors commit to the Theory of Phases? Oh, such statements are made for “internal means”. And rockets imported to Gaza Strip after Israel has already evacuated it? “A militaristic national orgy of the Israeli media”. Of course, Mr. Levy – that’s the important thing here.

All in all, the capture of the Klos C serves as another example of the dissonance that the radical left refuses to deal with. It reminds us yet again that the real problem here is not about the territories and not about the settlements: it’s about Palestinian militants who continue to arm themselves regardless of any Israeli withdrawal, or intention to withdraw. And when that truth receives ‘exaggerated’ exposure on your Television screen – that irritates Gideon Levy. For who knows, you might accidently come across it.

About the Author
Ron Gilran is the COO at Levantine Group, a Tel Aviv based risk-consultancy. You can follow him on Twitter @RonGilran.​