Sunday, January 08, 2012

Civil War in Israel before Likud primaries? Really?

By Tuvia Brodie

Apparently, Israel is on the verge of a civil war. It is a war that pits ordinary Israelis against the tyranny of the religious and the terrorism of the nationalist. We know about this war because the Left and the media have been feeding it to us.

But don’t worry. We are safe. The Left-media coalition will rescue us. Building on their experience manipulating public opinion during Oslo discussions in 1993, they are primed for battle. They will manipulate the news until they win again--unless we stop them.

Since October 2011, the media has fed us a double-diet of ‘nationalists attack’ and ‘the- religious-exclude-women-in-the-military’. Judging from online comments and letters-to-the-editor, Israelis are angered by behaviour they see as terrorist (the settlers) and tyrannical (the religious in the IDF). This anger serves the Left because they benefit when Israeli turns against Israeli. Even though there are few facts to support their allegations, the Left-media foments this anger because Moshe Feiglin is running against Netanyahu in a Likud primary January 31. Turning Israelis against nationalists (and the religious) is useful because Feiglin is both religious and nationalist. As Israelis turn increasingly Right, Feiglin’s voice terrifies the Left. He also threatens Netanyahu because our Prime Minister embraces the Left instead of his own Likud. Mr Feiglin is a formidable foe because he has built a powerful base within Likud, especially, rumour has it, in the ‘West Bank’-- home to ‘nationalist-settlers’ and many religious soldiers. So if the Left-media coalition can manipulate voters by simultaneously demonizing ‘West Bank settlers’ and ‘the religious’, Mr Netanyahu might see a surge in primary votes. Angered Likudniks could give Netanyahu a landslide victory. Then the Left could demand a shotgun wedding with him.

This manufactured war began when a mosque was torched in an Arab village called Tuba Zangriya, in October, 2011. The inflammatory words, ‘price tag’ (Jewish revenge for Arab attacks) were spray-painted on a wall. Immediately, the media screamed that the attack came from ‘West Bank settler-nationalists’.

Despite the fact that no evidence surfaced to identify Jews as the culprits, politicians put on brass knuckles and went to work. Education Minister Gidon Saar called the ‘price-tag’ perpetrators a cancer that must be uprooted (Nov 9). Homeland Security Minister Matan Vilnai announced that nationalist Jews were guilty.

Curiously, no one followed up on a report that an Arab elder from Tabu Zangriya doubted that Jews had torched the mosque because the offensive lettering on the mosque wall looked like it had been written by an Arab hand; and no one followed up on a second report that the Regional Police Commander could not say who was responsible for the attack—and he doubted, he said, that ‘price tag’ was the motive. That statement revealed the truth—the Left-media hype wasn’t about crime-solving; it was about attacking ‘settler-nationalists’.

Then, in December (Dec 12), we saw the ‘last straw’—nationalist youth attacked the IDF! From that point, a frenzy began. Menachem Landau, former Shin Bet official, called price-tag crimes acts of ‘terrorism’ (Dec 15). Former Defense and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eleizer demanded the IDF shoot-to-kill settler protesters (Dec 14). Tzipi Livni cried ‘war’—against nationalists and the religious who were a wave threatening to wash Israel away (Dec 16). Prime Minister Netanyahu exclaimed that we will not allow extremist groups to start a religious war (Dec 16). Leftists appeared so convinced that this was war they seemed determined to start one.

It’s a very convenient set of events—perfect for preparing Likudniks to turn against Moshe Feiglin. Think about it: if you were Likud, and you believed that those media reports were true, would you be more willing or less willing to vote for Moshe Feiglin? I suggest that you might be less willing to cast any vote to support any nationalist now that ‘nationalists’ had become ‘terrorists’.

The media enflamed this attack. From October to December, they ignored fact-finding and headlined that every mosque attack had been done by West Bank nationalists-terrorists. They didn’t ask a single question. They just cried ‘fire!’ in the proverbial crowded theatre.

The Left loved it. They were concocting a civil war. It was better than 1993. Just weeks before the Likud primary, all we could see was, ‘nationalist settlers attack again’ or (in other stories) the religious in the IDF were excluding and discriminating against women. Where were the investigative reporters identifying misrepresentations, or highlighting officials’ statements that contradicted the mass hysteria?

There were none because this wasn’t about fact. It was about attacking Israelis who represented Feiglin’s base in the ‘West Bank’: when your goal is to demonize, why investigate?

Now it appears that ‘hilltop settlers’ probably did not attack the IDF (Dec 28). Given the hysteria provoked by that attack, this latest report was astounding--and there were no headline stories or editorials about it?

In the meantime, the supposed religious tyranny in the IDF has become increasingly suspect. It turns out that before General Benny Gantz was appointed Chief of General Staff (2011), the IDF understood how to accommodate religious soldiers’ needs. Ultra-religious enlistment increased 1,000 per cent in six years. Conflict with women rarely occurred. There were virtually no accusations of discrimination or religious tyranny against women. The uproar in the IDF erupted only after General Gantz took command—and then appointed Orna Barbivai as Director of IDF Manpower. The real story here is not horrifying attitudes of the religious towards women; the real issue is the sudden, pre-mediated appearance of secularist harassment and coercion of the religious in the IDF—just as the government has decided to increase religious recruitment. Shouldn’t we see editorials and investigative reports about this?

Of course not. This story isn’t about reality. It’s about creating a witch hunt to demonize and then destroy Moshe Feiglin’s voter base.We have seen this movie before—in 1993, when the Left-media coalition manipulated Israelis to accept Oslo. They are at it again today because they fear Moshe Feiglin. They fear him because he embraces faith. He understands Jewish leadership, reality-- and Israelis. To Israelis, he is a compelling alternative to Netanyahu. The only way the Left-media coalition can defeat him is to create a feeding-frenzy.

The Left-media coalition misled you once. Will you let them mislead you again? As the idiom goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

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