The Israeli left:
a) has won two elections in the last 42 years
b) is generally estranged from Torah
c) is intolerant of divergent views (while claiming to be liberal and pluralistic)
d) all the above
If you answered “d,” congratulations, but don’t let it go to your head. It was kind of obvious, especially after last week’s tirade by former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit, who called Netanyahu supporters — the vast majority of Jewish Israelis — “ignorant people, with zero understanding.”
Not only are they stupid, Shavit said in an interview with Maariv, but their “moral standards are almost nonexistent” and their “threshold for normality is at the level of grass” (whatever that means).
Shavit also claims expertise in religion, ruling that the notion that settling Yehudah and Shomron could be the fulfillment of a mitzvah “is not true Judaism.”
Shavit, who ran the Mossad from 1989 to 1996, is certainly entitled to believe that the creation of a Palestinian state is in Israel’s interest and that Benny Gantz, a political novice, and Yair Lapid, an experienced politician with a track record of failure, would be preferable to Binyamin Netanyahu to lead the country. What he’s not entitled to do is insult those who disagree with him.
But the left, in Israel and the United States, suffers from an intolerable arrogance. It believes in democracy but only when the right guys win the election. And that obviously doesn’t include leaders elected by “ignorant people, with zero understanding.”
Not surprisingly, Shavit’s ad hominem attacks extend to those who are clearly not ignorant. IDF Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, recently wrote an article opposing territorial concessions. In response, he was denounced by Shavit as politically motivated. Indeed, the entire BESA team of researchers had been “painted since its foundation by political colors in line with the number of its skullcap-wearing associates.”
Shavit’s words are representative of many on the left who believe that the religious right, especially the Sephardim, are primitive, messianic and superstitious.
In the end, the personal attacks only backfire, as they stir the “mindless” masses to go to the polls and vote. That’s what happened in 1981, when entertainer Dudu Topaz attacked religious Sephardim from development towns as “chach-chachim” (riffraff) and in 2015 when left-wing artist Yair Garbuz called them “amulet-kissers, idol worshippers and bowers … at the graves of saints.”
This false sense of superiority has, on the one hand, allowed the left to evade blame for its dismal record at the polls for most of the last 40 years. But it also ensures continued failure at the polls, which is good news for Israel.n
Sign up for HAMODIA'S
Breaking News Emails*