Political incitement against Bennet and his coalition – editorial

Something rotten has fallen on the Likud Party and some of its right-wing supporters.

There is no expectation that the party and its fallen leader Benjamin Netanyahu will sing praise for the current government headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, but neither should it incite against him.

Yet what happened last Tuesday night, at a right-wing rally in Habima Square in Tel Aviv, was just that: incitement, hatred and poison, all directed at Bennett and his coalition.

“This government is a terrorist government,” shouted Likud deputy Miri Regev.

“Bennett, the megalomaniac, liar and thief who took control of the country through fraud and deception,” continued Likud’s Galit Distal Atbaryan.

“This government wants to bring down the Jewish government in Israel,” said MK May Golan.

And if that wasn’t enough, Gadi Yevarkan, also from the Likud, shouted, “These people will be remembered for generations as worse than our enemies,” over the current coalition members.

These words of incitement came from members of a party that is led by a person currently on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Yevarkan is the biggest hypocrite. He joined the Knesset in 2019 as part of Azul y Blanco. When that didn’t work, he jumped off the ship into the Likud. Ideology is clearly not what drives his agenda.

Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Zionist Religious Party was featured at the rally as a “legend” and to the tune of Sarit Hadad’s “Ata Totach” (“You are amazing”).

He called MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) a terrorist and said he was proud that his party blocked the establishment of a government with the “Islamic Movement”, referring to Ra’am, and in contradiction to the Likud’s denial that it ever offered Ra Soy a place in his coalition.

That was probably the sincerest comment at the rally. Netanyahu and the Likud have long denied that the party has held negotiations with Ra’am to ensure its support for the bloc that the former prime minister was trying to form to prevent Bennett and Yair Lapid from forming a coalition. Ben-Gvir actually spoke the harsh truth: that Netanyahu had no problem negotiating and making generous offers to Mansour Abbas, whom his party members now refer to as a member of Hamas.

PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett and his coalition ministers attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Isaac Herzog at the Knesset on Wednesday. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM / THE JERUSALEM POST)

What these people are doing is not only poisoning our political culture, it is also undermining the potential success of one of the greatest experiments in this nation. In their battle to delegitimize Bennett and his coalition, they are willing to do almost anything, including damage the healing needed between Jews and Arabs in this country.

If they were citizens who really cared about this country, they would vote against the budget but still celebrate the allocation of billions of shekels to the Arab sector in this country. They would fight the government’s policies, but they would also understand that Abbas’s decision to join an Israeli coalition took guts and has the potential to change the Jewish-Muslim dynamic in this country forever.

But as they demonstrated at the Tuesday night rally, their desire to overthrow Bennett and his coalition partners and regain the leadership of the country is far more important than the possibility of progress in Jewish-Arab reconciliation. They do not care that there are two million Arab citizens in this country who need the help of the government to fight crime, improve infrastructure and ensure a better future for themselves and their children. And they would never grudgingly admit that the state finally having a budget after three and a half years is vital to the stability of the country.

While politicians like Regev, Yevarkan, Golan and others will not only stop their campaign to delegitimize this government, it is up to ordinary citizens to explain that they will not let these MPs’ vile contempt for democracy sway us. These politicians can kick and scream all they want. Israel’s democracy is stronger.


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