Thursday, March 19, 2015
Benjamin Netanyahu and Stephen Harper's Netanyahu Moment
Benjamin Netanyahu is as any decent person knows, a brutish right-wing demagogue, a racist, and a war criminal.
And his victory in yesterday's Israeli election couldn't be more tragic.
Or have left the Middle East and his own country more deeply wounded.
Many Israelis called it the “gevalt campaign,” using a Yiddish expression for alarm. In the final days of a closely fought election race, Mr. Netanyahu threw all political and diplomatic niceties to the wind.
“More than a gevalt campaign it was a ‘Let’s blow up the world’ campaign,” said Gadi Wolfsfeld, a professor of political communications at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. “It was a scorched-earth policy to stay in power.”
For only a beast like him, as Joe Klein writes, could find disgrace in victory.
He won because he ran as a bigot. This is a sad reality: a great many Jews have come to regard Arabs as the rest of the world traditionally regarded Jews.
For the sake of his own future, Benjamin Netanyahu has made dreadful Jewish history: he is the man who made anti-Arab bigotry an overt factor in Israeli political life. This is beyond tragic. It is shameful and embarrassing.
But while many decent world leaders are appalled at the way he won, and what he has done to the Middle East peace process.
His good buddy Stephen Harper couldn't be more supportive....
And with good reason.
For he was, is, and always will be his most shameful stooge.
And he too is running a "gevalt" or fear campaign right here in Canada...
And as Thomas Walkom writes, is no doubt hoping that his boyfriend Benny's victory will be his good omen.
Like Netanyahu, Harper is trying to shift public attention away from the economy and onto national security, an area in which the governing Conservatives feel they have a significant edge.
For his tactics couldn't be more similar or more racist.
Netanyahu successfully frightened enough Israeli voters by raising the spectre of Arab fifth columnists trooping to the polls. Harper defines the enemy within as radical Islam. Radical Islam, in the Conservative way of telling, includes not only those potentially attracted to terror, but Muslims who choose to act in un-Canadian manner.
The existence of Islamic terrorism makes it politically acceptable to focus any generic frustration over immigration onto those who happen to be Muslim. Harper is taking advantage of this.
And what we must hope is that the next election will not be Harper's Netanyahu moment as Walkom believes it might be.
Indeed, this may be the prime minister’s Netanyahu moment. Yes, Harper has been around too long. Yes, he’s a bully. But, the Conservatives will argue, the times demand a bully — someone who calls a spade a spade and a niqab offensive.
Our guy won’t take any guff, they’ll say. He’ll send those terrorists back to hell where they came from.
For he is not making us safer, he is making our lives more dangerous.
He is a miserable coward...
And the most morally departed Prime Minster this country has ever known.
And all I can say is let's hope he does not succeed, for it is a scorched earth policy. It would leave Canada and its values in ruins.
And if we are saddled again with a bully like Harper, we will deserve the leader we get.
As Gideon Levy, the great Israeli journalist, says his people deserve Netanyahu.
If after six years of nothing, if after six years of sowing fear and anxiety, hatred and despair, this is the nation's choice, then it is very ill indeed. If after everything that has been revealed in recent months, if after everything that has been written and said, if after all this, the Israeli phoenix succeeded in rising from the ashes and getting reelected, if after all this the Israeli people chose him to lead for another four years, something is truly broken, possibly beyond repair.
Netanyahu deserves the Israeli people and they deserve him.
Which should make our task even clearer and more urgent.
We must fight fear and bigotry, as hard as we can.
We must stand up for the Palestinians and their right to have their own country.
And if our own country is to survive.
We must send this ghastly bully monster back to the hell he came from...
Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.