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LAND OF PALESTINE / Let Israel's Right Do Its Dirty Business
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 30/03/2017

Let Israel's Right Do Its Dirty Business

Gideon Levy جدعون ليفي גדעון לוי


It was very pleasant living with a military dictatorship out back and bits and pieces of freedom on display in the front window. Now the right is shattering that window.

Just let Culture Minister Miri Regev get the job done. Let Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan realize the vision. Don’t let anyone stop Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Compile more blacklists and proceed accordingly.

The Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts is already putting its commitments in writing, and this is a good thing. In other words: Let them plug the last holes that make it possible to breathe freedom here, and put an end to the deception.

Only when the air runs out is there a chance that the real resistance will arise. Not the resistance that comes from the fringes, but the resistance that comes from the mainstream, which still slumbers away, oozing with self-satisfaction.

The last cracks that the right is busy filling now are what enabled this accursed slumber to persist: After all, they made “Five Broken Cameras” here, and showed “The Gatekeepers.” And now “Megiddo” is airing and there’s also the Al-Midan Theater – so it’s not so bad here in the only democracy. We needn’t open our eyes.

It’s time for this movie to end. It’s a bad movie. We’ve lived in it long enough. It’s what let us get through the first 50 years so pleasantly. Because of these air holes, the pressure cooker never boiled over or exploded. The Zionist left knew what it was doing: It wanted to preserve the existing situation, just like the right did, but it took a cleverer approach. It understood that if Israelis went around crowing, “There are Arabs in the Knesset, the Supreme Court, and look at our quasi-subversive film industry” – all could continue unhindered.

The right is now determined to disturb this serenity. And we mustn’t stand in its way.

Of course, one can understand those who are now crying out: Look what they’re doing. The lurking danger is real and immediate, and will wreck a lot of nice things in Israel. It will be hard to produce movies, to put on plays and publish books that touch on the reality and grapple with the truth. It will be hard, maybe impossible, to make opposing voices heard. But this is a necessary price to pay. There is no other way.

For what have we had up to now? The Cinematheque, Channel 8, the Acre Festival, Haaretz and a small political fringe. It doesn’t add up to much. The majority was with Channel 2, Habima and Yedioth Ahronoth.

Eran Wolkowski, Ha'aretz

A brainwashed, blind and indifferent majority that wanted nothing to do with those fringe elements. An ignorant majority convinced that democracy is only about majority rule, and anyway, the Jewish part takes precedence over the democracy part. Now the time has come to do away with the last remaining irrelevant signs of that other regime that never really existed here.

The voices of resistance failed to convince and mobilize the majority. They only served it as a fig leaf. Now the right in its foolishness wants to tear off the veil. I say let it do its dirty business. Israel will be called a tyrannical state. Israelis and the rest of the world will acknowledge that its tyranny isn’t directed solely at its disenfranchised subjects in the occupied territories, but also against its own citizens and guests. It will no longer be able to portray itself as a democracy and representative of the West. Democracies do not have blacklists. Democracies do not boast figures like Regev, Erdan and Shaked.

But democracies also do not maintain occupations – though too few Israelis recognize this. Thus could a shift in consciousness be fateful.

When Isaac Herzog proposes that negotiations with the Palestinians only start 10 years from now, and Yair Lapid says our children will be the ones to engage in confidence-building measures, it’s clear once and for all that there’s no hope.

You don’t have to be a Marxist to realize that in a situation like this, things have to get worse before they can get better. Perpetuating the illusion will only bring ruin. There’s no point in fighting Regev, because the alternative to her is Lapid, who may not be interested in compiling blacklists but would only perpetuate a bleak reality, one that is cloaked by a misleading disguise.

It was very pleasant living this way – with a military dictatorship out back and bits and pieces of freedom on display in the front window. Now the right is shattering that window. Let it go right ahead – then maybe we’ll really see ourselves.


Courtesy of Ha'aretz
Publication date of original article: 30/03/2017
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Tags: Zionist censorshipPalestine/Israel

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