Rivlin slams Haaretz column for ‘defamation,’ ‘vast hatred’
President joins denunciations of Op-ed in left-wing daily which called religious right ‘more dangerous than Hezbollah’
ed note–this may seem inconsequential to the rest of us, but it is actually of vital importance in understanding events that play directly into our own lives in a very real and very dangerous way.
As we point out here on a regular basis, what the world is witnessing right now is an almost play-by-play repeat of what took place 2,000 years ago with Judea’s ‘Great Revolt’ against Rome. At the heart of this ‘great revolt’ was a handful of religious nutcases who would not be swayed by their more-rational counterparts into abandoning the suicidal business of fighting the most powerful military/political/economic power at that time, the Roman Empire. The religious nutcases–mirrored images of what we see today in various parties such as Likud, Beteinyu, and other hard-core right wing groups–believed that the god of the Jews would bless their efforts with victory over the Romans in the same way that these modern day Zealots and Siccari–the 2 groups who revolted against Rome–believe that the resurrection of the State of Israel is a sign that the ‘god’ of the Jews are to finally create the Judaic world empire discussed in various Judaic prophecies as laid out in the Torah.
This being the case, in the same sense that the saner elements within Jewry were opposed to their less-sane religious counterparts 2,000 years ago, likewise today we see the same ideological struggle playing itself out. The Jews of the ‘left’ understand that Israel is–once again–picking a fight with Rome that it simply cannot win and that if something is not done to rein in these nutcases on the right, then a repeat of the events of 70 A.D. are inevitable.
The problem however with all of this is that what makes today’s situation different from that of yesterday is that the Jewish state has weapons that it did not possess in 70 A.D.–economic, financial, media, political, and, if need be–nuclear, and therefore this is the reason that the left cannot reason with the right wing because the right wing now believes that it holds the ultimate ‘trump card’–it’s ability to destroy the world–and that it will be this–the threat of Armageddon–that the Jewish state uses in preventing any further obstacles to its 5,000 year old dream of the Messianic age.
Times of Israel
President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday denounced as “defamation” a column in the left-wing daily Haaretz opining that Israel’s national religious community was worse than the terror group Hezbollah.
“Yossi Klein’s words are defamation that exposes a vast hatred and undermines any capacity to dialogue or criticize,” the president wrote on Twitter.
“Religious Zionism is part of this land, better and more rooted than all its slanderers,” he added.
The column by Yossi Klein (Hebrew) in Wednesday’s edition of Haaretz accused the national religious community, usually characterized by its hawkish views and attachment to the settlement enterprise, of deceitfully attempting to take over and subvert the country while carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
“The national religious are dangerous. More dangerous than Hezbollah, more than drivers in car-ramming attacks or kids with scissors. The Arabs can be neutralized, but they cannot,” Klein wrote in his column. “What do they want? To rule the country and cleanse it of Arabs.”
Earlier Thursday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called for a boycott of Haaretz for publishing Klein’s piece.
“Haaretz already some time ago became a platform that gives broad expression to the viewpoints of Israel haters, but the publication of the piece by Yossi Klein, a frustrated and unimportant journalist who also failed as an editor, crosses all the red lines,” Liberman wrote on Facebook.
“I call on every citizen of Israel to stop purchasing and to stop reading the Haaretz newspaper immediately.”
On Wednesday, following the publication of Klein’s opinion piece, Haaretz drew widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum, most notably from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The article in Haaretz is disgraceful,” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook late Wednesday. “The national religious community is the salt of the earth. Their sons and daughters serve in the army and national volunteer service for the State of Israel and the security of Israel. I am proud of them like the rest of the country’s citizens. Haaretz needs to apologize.”
Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken, whose paper prides itself on being a voice of dissent, said the column was similar to one he had published six years earlier accusing the national religious community of practicing apartheid, a piece that also drew fire at the time.
“I can’t figure out what all the excitement is (Pavlovian, I must say) over Yossi Klein’s column,” he wrote on Twitter.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the right-wing Jewish Home party that is seen as a political home for many in the national religious community, told Channel 2 news that he had received complaints from two families of fallen soldiers saying that the article was harmful.
“Not national religious, or leftists, or Arabs or any other group deserves a writer making an abusive, stupid accusation like this,” he wrote on Facebook. “Before it ends in blood, Haaretz, stop.”
Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, called the column “anti-Semitic,” asking rhetorically if a number of national religious Israelis, including fellow lawmakers, were more dangerous than the terror group.
But the backlash to the column also drew its own backlash, with opposition leader Isaac Herzog and MK Shelly Yachimovich, both of the Zionist Union party, accusing Netanyahu of using similar language against Arabs, union members and others.
Herzog nevertheless said the column deserved “every condemnation” and Yachimovich called it “inciteful, infuriating and full of indiscriminate hatred.”
However, MK Tamar Zandberg from the leftist Meretz party criticized the uniform responses of politicians on both sides ends of the spectrum:
“I would be more excited by the nationalist shock over Klein if Bennett or [Netanyahu] — you know what, [Herzog] or Shelly — would tweet when leftists are called traitors or chicken shit.”
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