Mainstream media often remind us that right-wing Israeli “extremists” endanger lives and will ignite the “fusebox” known as the Middle East. That said, left-wing political factions and fringe players well outside the political center of Israel are celebrated by the media.
In the impending Israeli elections, it’s considered a fait accompli that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu (heralded as “King Bibi” only a few months ago by Time Magazine) will receive the people’s unprecedented mandate to once again serve as Prime Minister. Netanyahu is projected to be head of state virtually unopposed. Imagine the worldwide media applause if he were a flaming liberal.
Scared and insecure? The Israelis are confident that they now understand the true nature of the Arabs after years of working for peace – as the woman quoted in the lead of the article describes. And Israelis are secure that a strong Israel will keep them safe and are voting as such.
Shamefully appearing as a news article rather than an editorial, the article refers to the deputy speaker of the Knesset, Danny Danon, a member of Likud, the largest conservative political party, as an “extreme right-winger.” The basis for this hateful rhetoric: “[H]is top priority is ‘loyalty to the land of Israel’ and [he] says ‘it is a fatal mistake to try to appease Europe or America.’” Rather than celebrating nationalism as was done during the “Arab Spring,” being loyal to one’s country and representing the largest political party in the country for many years, makes Danon an “extremist.” His task as an elected official is to protect and be loyal to his nation and resist political pressures that his electorate deems are a danger to his country. That is quite mainstream anywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, real Israeli extremists are quoted, mentioned and celebrated throughout the article – and their names are Amos Oz, who is described as “a celebrated author,” Uri Avnery, referred to as a “veteran peace activist,” and Avraham Burg, “a former speaker of the Israeli parliament and chairman of Molad, a left-wing think-tank.”
In reality, Oz is an extremist with views well outside the consensus of Israeli politics who sent an imprisoned terrorist a personalized signed copy of his book and was barred from appearing at Assaf Harofeh Hospital to give the keynote speech at an awards ceremony. He has called for boycotts of certain areas of Israel and shamefully said that the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, “is moving in the direction of Qum, in Iran,” referring to his nation’s religious nature. He seems devoted to harming Israel regularly using slick public relations campaigns.
His fellow extremist, Uri Avnery, supports dialogue with Hamas, the terrorist organization dedicated to destroying the State of Israel, in direct opposition to America’s policy on the group. Wouldn’t one opposing American interests be deemed as an “extremist” – especially when his political views have barely any support amongst a democratic electorate? During the Lebanon war 30 years ago, this dangerous man was accused by members of the cabinet of treason for meeting the enemy in Lebanon during a time of war. The radical organization Gush Shalom, which he formed, has perhaps a handful of supporters and calls for Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis to be released from jail.
Burg is a disgraced former politician who has had numerous financial scandals and was forced to the sidelines as part of the Israeli democratic process. He has suggested amending Israel’s Law of Return and once said “to define the State of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end. A Jewish state is explosive. It’s dynamite.”
Oz, Avnery and Burg cannot win at the ballot box and so they travel the world demonizing Israel, as their countrymen have rejected them. The media’s lauding of these dangerous extremists who oppose American and Israeli policies neglects the reality on the ground and the will of the people. America, Israel and Europe face a grave enemy of terrorists and despots, and encouraging these Israeli extremists is dangerous for the delicate situation in the Middle East.
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