Smotrich - There is a Limit

It's time to call Bezalel Smotrich by name

Precisely as someone who is rooted in the development cities, in a beloved right-wing family and connected to the voters of all parties, including the voters of this bloc, I say - there is a limit. These people must be isolated and condemned

(Photo: Haim Goldberg/Flash90; small photo: Gil Yaari/Flash90)

Human beings are adaptable creatures. We prefer tranquility and security over noise and uncertainty, especially during the hot Israeli summer. This can explain why we tend to react mildly to something that should merit a stronger response. A Native American saying goes, "If you don't pay attention to whispers, they'll turn into shouts."

So, we didn't pay attention when the person who established an organization to track down unfamiliar village residents in the Negev led a procession of animals in Jerusalem. He stated that Ben Gurion's mistake was not finishing off the Arabs in 1948, defended his wife who didn't want to share a hospital room with Arab women, and called for the destruction of a village and all its residents. He eventually gained control over our public funds.

We also didn't raise our voices when he transformed the territories of the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, for the first time ever, into Israeli civilian territories rather than ones under the authority of the Defense Minister. The clear implication is the de facto annexation of the occupied territories and around three million Palestinians lacking rights within them.

We also turn a blind eye when this individual leads a coalition that brings convicted criminals and supporters of terrorism into the government and Knesset, alongside rabbis, Knesset members, aides, and faction heads. It's not surprising that those accused of racially motivated murders receive a warm embrace. Support for Jewish terrorism. What a shame and disgrace. And all under the banner of "Religious Zionism." I am proud of my guidance and partnership in Bnei Akiva. How can one bear the misuse implied of the title "religious Zionism"?

Our Treasury Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, no longer needs to conceal all of these things. He no longer needs to hide behind the one who appointed him (and was pushed by him, thanks to Bennett and Shaked), and tell us what an excellent transportation minister he was (for half a year, come on…). Now he's withholding funds from the most impoverished authorities in Israel. Why? Because they are Arab. Now he's canceling education budgets for the marginalized population of East Jerusalem. Why? Because they are Arab.

As someone who grew up in the Mafdal party, which vanished this week into the faction of the Treasury Minister and into the Likud areas, which has turned into the party of fear and silence, it hurts even more. In the 1980s, Likud marginalized racism in the Knesset and outlawed Kach. In 2023, they are embracing them strongly and bowing down to them. How do I know? Because the Likud government is proposing high education budgets for East Jerusalem. Because the mayor, on the Likud's behalf, thinks it's a grave mistake to cancel them. How do I know? Because Netanyahu and his office led the 5-year plan for the Arab society. When Smotrich speaks about the 'anti-Zionists' who received the funds, for the benefit of the poorest authorities in Israel, the people who made that decision, led by the Prime Minister, remain silent and hide.

Especially before the days of Elul, the days of self-reflection, it should be stated clearly: a political bloc that would behave in such a manner towards Jews/Blacks/Women/LGBT (and fill in the gaps) in any other country would be given a very clear label, related to the darkest periods of humanity and our people. Just as we pointed fingers Haider, Le Pen, and their likes in many countries. In Israel of 2023, these actions are considered legitimate, turning into restrained and calculated public discourse.

As someone rooted in development towns, from a beloved right-wing family, and connected to voters of all parties, including this bloc, I say – there's a limit. These individuals need to be isolated and shunned. Not the large audience that voted for them. Not the electorate in the development towns (in Sderot, my city, in which a quarter of the voters voted for them), but they themselves. Because of universal morality. Because of Jewish history. And because of the biblical Jewish morality that repeatedly demands us to love the stranger. Because of our prophets' vision that demands us to embrace the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow, to embrace the weakest in our society.

I pray for a complete and sincere repentance from these individuals. The path of the wicked shall perish. However, we cannot wait. Over light, it is said, light will come. For hatred, destruction, and racism, we call them by their names. Without flinching. And thus, we will begin the necessary repair for all of us in Israeli society.

==========

The author is the founder of the Periphery movement, CEO of Kol Rabani for Human Rights and a rabbinical student at the Hartman Institute

0 Comments

Do not send comments that include inflammatory words, defamation, and content that exceeds the limit of good taste.

Israel-Gaza War, Politics

New war cabinet formed, without Smotrich or Ben Gvir

Following the departure of Gantz and Eizenkot from the government, a new war cabinet has been formed, comprised of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Gallant, Strategic Affairs Minister Dermer, and Shas party chairman Deri.

Liran Vainshtain, JFeed Staff | 13.06.24

IDF, Conscription Law, Opinion

Anger over revival of conscription law, the shameful decision of the Knesset

The continuation of the controversial draft bill in Israel serves as a slap in the face to soldiers who have been serving since October 7th.

Eliana Fleming, JFeed Staff | 13.06.24

Israel-Gaza War, Hamas, Hostages, Opinion

Has Bella Hadid gone crazy? 

Bella Hadid glorified Hamas for making a birthday cake for an Israeli hostage that they kidnapped and tortured.

Gila Isaacson, JFeed Staff | 13.06.24

Israel-Gaza War, Hostages

Why Gazan civilians don't reveal the location of Israeli hostages

If Palestinian civilians know where the hostages are, why don't they tell Israel?

Gila Isaacson, JFeed Staff | 13.06.24

Israel-Gaza War, IDF, Opinion

The Relentless Spirit: Why wounded Israeli soldiers want to return to the battlefield

Driven by duty, comradeship, and resilience, wounded IDF soldiers are eager to return to the battlefield.

Gila Isaacson, JFeed Staff | 11.06.24

Israel-Gaza War, Lebanon, Hezbollah

Analysis: Why Israel is putting off going to war with Lebanon

Although Israel desperately wants peace in the North, it has not yet committed to an outright war with Lebanon.

Gila Isaacson, JFeed Staff | 10.06.24

Israel-Gaza War, Palestinian State

Smotrich: Gantz got everything he wanted - except this

Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich addressed Benny Gantz's decision to leave the national emergency government, saying that there is nothing Gantz demanded that he didn't get - except a Palestinian state.

JFeed Staff | 10.06.24

IDF, United States

Israel signs deal buying third F-35 squadron from US

With this deal, the IDF will have 75 of one of the most advanced fighter planes in the world.

Liran Vainshtain, JFeed Staff | 04.06.24

Israel-Gaza War, Norway, Ireland, Spain

Smotrich to Netanyahu: To retaliate against states recognizing Palestine, you must do this

The Finance Minister appealed to the Prime Minister today demanding he take a number of immediate steps in retaliation for the decision by Norway, Ireland, and Spain to recognize a Palestinian state.

Avi Woolf | 22.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, Northern Front

Smotrich: Either Hezbollah stops firing and retreats to the Litani - or the IDF should create a security buffer for the north

The age in which residents rely on papers and promises which have nothing behind them and which ultimately blow up in our face is over."

JFeed Staff | 19.05.24

Humanitarian Aid

Smotrich reveals: Goods entered Gaza contrary to the cabinet's decision

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is demanding a clarification from the Prime Minister and the war cabinet about the resumption of trade between PA-controlled territories and Gaza contrary to the cabinet's decision.

JFeed Staff | 16.05.24

Israel-Turkey

Israel's payback: 100% customs tax on products from Turkey

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is pushing for tariffs on imports from Turkey in response to Erdogan's dramatic measures against Israel.

Yehuda Klein, JFeed Staff | 16.05.24