Unlike King George VI who inspired his people in its hours of despair, ‘King Bibi” added to his people’s despair by smearing judicial overhaul protestors as misguided and uncivil delinquents
By David E. Kaplan
At 11.00am on Israel’s ‘National Day of Paralysis’ when hundreds of thousands of people from across the country were converging on the Supreme Court and Knesset in Jerusalem, and Bibi was preparing to get to Ben Gurion Airport to visit the UK, I was attending the unveiling of a good friend at a cemetery in Ra’anana some 30 days after his sad and untimely passing. One of the first tributes about the late Danny was that if he were alive today, he would, if he could, “even in his wheel-chair and oxygen tank”, be in Jerusalem protesting with those masses.
Such is the ‘Passion of the People’ against what is happening in Israel today, that it permeates Israeli gravesites.
Bibi has long since been treating his premiership as his throne; his family as royalty, and any attempts to ‘dethrone’ him, as tantamount to treason to be countered by any means possible. Morality and ethics does not come into play – only survival, personal survival. Yes he has in the past “done good for Israel” but what he is now doing is neither good for Israel nor good for the Jewish world. Worse – as he is constantly cautioned and counselled – it could prove catastrophic for Israel’s security, its economy and even its global status. An early warning sign on all three of these concerns was its unsettling of the monumental Abrahams Accords – one of Bibi’s star achievements, which could end up before all our eyes a “falling star”!
The build-up to Bibi’s speech was in itself telling. We knew he was going to speak but we did not know when or what he would say. To paraphrase ‘The Great Barb’, “To suspend or not to suspend, that is the question,” was on most people’s minds. And even if he did suspend the rush to vote in the Knesset on one of the core components of the controversial judicial overhaul, the next thought was: “What is his game plan?”
In the minds of the protestors, the commodity in short was –TRUST.
“Were totally out of stock!”
And it appears it will remain so after ‘The King’s Speech’.
The words that flowed from Bibi as he stood solemnly at the podium had only one effect on me – revulsion.
Imperious, King Bibi began by posing as wise King Solomon who three thousand years earlier, “here in Jerusalem,” faced in a famously biblically recoded judgment two mothers who came before him claiming a baby as theirs’. While Bibi continued that “King Solomon commanded that a sword be brought and that the baby be cut in half,” and that “one woman was prepared to render the baby in two while the other woman absolutely refused and insisted that the infant stay alive and whole”, we knew where this was leading.
While King Solomon was wisely seeking the truth, to separate the true mother from the false pretender, Bibi, on the other hand, was cunningly arming himself with the Bible to defame much of the people of Israel.
It was sickening and despicable.
Like a conniving smooth-talking charlatan, the Prime Minister went on:
“Today as well, both sides in the national controversy claim to love the infant, to love our country,” and like King Solomon being aware so “I am aware of the enormous tension that is building between the two sides.”
In other words, while Bibi’s judicial overhaul supporters are the “true mother”, the one responsible for causing this tension – of splitting the nation today like splitting the baby of 3000 years ago – are the irresponsible protestors. Asserts King Bibi:
“There is an extremist minority that is prepared to tear our country to pieces. It is using violence and incitement, it is threatening to harm elected officials, it is stoking civil war, and it is calling for refusal to serve, which is a terrible crime.”
The hypocrisy of this man, when his so-called democratic coalition is only being held together by the extreme theocrats who advocate for their followers to defiantly NOT SERVE IN THE ISRAELI ARMY!
Is it any wonder that his words stir a bile reaction?
Characterising the opponents of his judicial overhaul as an “extremist minority” because by his reasoning, the vast majority voted for him in the last election, is it any wonder he is not believed beyond his diehard sycophants when he says he only wants “to strengthen democracy.”
With the credibility today of a snake-oil salesman hawking his questionable wares, anything and everything about Bibi today is questionable.
While defaming those that are opposing his assault on democracy, Bibi had only praise to his protestors who arrived later in the day and who he warmly addressed as “… not second-class citizens. I appreciate that you turned out today in the streets of our capital in order to make your democratic voice heard. Nobody will silence your voice, our voice.
I must say something else: You came spontaneously, unorganized and unfinanced, not pushed by the media, with all your heart and soul. You have touched me.”
What outright lies.
The protest was organized by right-wing groups that included Regavim, Im Tirzu, Ad Kan, Bezalmo and Torat Lehima. What’s more, advertisements for the protest that were published online stating that the Right is in an “emergency situation,” warning that “they will not steal the elections from us” were shared on Twitter by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir who added:
“today we stop being silent. Today is the day the Right wakes up. Share it forward.”
And these very protestors who King Bibi so fondly admired and refers to them as “our voice” held up signs reading:
“leftist traitors”, “Kahana was right”, “I am a second class citizen” and “they’re stealing the election from us.”
It is so frightening and sickening that even high-profile defenders of Israel have spoken out. These range from former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said Israel’s government was “courting disaster” and Miriam Adelson, wife of the late American casino magnate and a mega Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, who said Netanyahu’s hasty rush to enact changes was “naturally suspect” and that “bad motivations never bring good outcomes” to David Friedman, the former US ambassador to Israel who is close to Netanyahu, describing the past few days and weeks as “one of the hardest things I’ve had to watch”. He continued:
“We see the whole of Israel as a miracle and as something that is at the core of our Jewishness, and watching that social fabric disintegrate was more painful than if Israel were attacked by an enemy from the outside.”
Bibi’s speech exposed where he is taking this country under his mismanagement. I disdain to use the word leadership, for this ship -of-state has his passenger understandably paranoid – an unsteady captain and an unstable crew and no one too sure whose hands are on the wheel! Is it any wonder why we collide daily into avoidable icebergs?
If there was any doubt in the minds of level-headed citizens of Israel – irrespective of their politics – why this judicial overhaul must stop, it is evident in the score card to date of this three-month coalition government under Netanyahu. Bibi has botched it.
The glaring incompetence and clumsiness that characterises Bibi’s coalition shows exactly why Israel needs a STRONG and INDEPENDANT judiciary – to protect the country from THEM!
While there is much controversy over President Joe Biden nixing inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu anytime soon to the White House, I myself don’t blame him.
Once seen as Israel’s savior and now little more than a cynical politician who will stop at nothing to retain his power, I would not have him over at my house either!
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