A letter to a young man (the daily page, 42)


 25 April, 2020.

The daily page (42), a letter to a young man.

This post was inspired by my friend Limor Moyal and I dedicate it to her with love. Translation from Hebrew by Ossi Goodbeer. Translation editor: Uri Goldstein.

You were born in the late 1990’s, perhaps in the early 2000’s, into a reality where Benjamin Netanyahu is a permanent fixture. Like the sun rises every morning in the east and sets in the west and the planets revolve around him. One time this party and the next time another. One time votes are stolen by a man and then by a woman. So I have something to tell you. It was not always like this. Netanyahu is not the sun, the moon, or the stars. He is not some constant, arbitrary and permanent force of nature. He is all around a shitty human being, who advanced from an immigrant student at an American university to a speaker for Israel on campus, from there to the Israeli ambassador to the UN and then to the position of opposition chairman, minister of finance and Israeli prime minister.

He was a brilliant young man with incredible oratory skills in Hebrew and English. He used his acting abilities  to further his rhetorical skills and he has constantly practiced them ever since, before any important speech of his. He is also smart. But his wisdom is that of a marketing man who has become a Machiavellian ruler. He learned to divide, tear apart and incite, make false promises and manipulate  audiences, minorities, communities and individuals to build his power and rule.

And when that was not enough for him he also, allegedly, learned to act like a mobster. Gathering embarrassing personal information about his competitors, attacking each of his opponents in their soft underbelly, threatening. Thus, he emptied the right-wing party, the Likud, from its core values, dwarved all those around him and he became an omnipotent ruler in a party of base-spirited underlings who abide by his command and worship his tyranny.

It was not always like this here. There used to be leaders here. They were leaders of flesh and blood who were at times successful and at times wrong. But above all there were leaders who led by example and by the mutual responsibility of Israelis to each other and by the vision of maintaining the state of Israel as a democratic Jewish state, as the only national home of the Jewish people around the world and also – of making the Jew a laborious person, who builds and settles his or her country.

You were born into the reality that Benjamin Netanyahu already torn, corrupted and shaped in his own image. The reallocation of Israel’s natural resources to tycoons of which boasted as an economic success and the accelerated development of natural resources, the royalties of which will be redirected back to Israelis, the privatization of the state of welfare and social services and their abandonment to third-sector organizations and to messianic Christian organizations to fill the gaps in government activity. You grew up in a land where the fallen, soldiers missing in action and hostages are abandoned, while at the same time millions of dollars are delivered in suitcases to the terrorist organizations holding them. A country where terrorist organizations talk to the Israeli government through rocket barrages, incendiary balloons and Molotov cocktails, setting all of Israel’s agricultural farmland in the communities surrounding Gaza on fire.

You grew up in a country where the socio-economic gaps have become unbearable, and for the elderly and the holocaust survivors, for families with children and people with special needs have been thrown into the social fringes of the country.

It was not always like this. Throughout the ruling years of the labor party, until the governmental upheaval in 1977, the state of Israel acted as a socialist state. As in every country it also had manifestations of corruption and power, discrimination, and racism, but it was a welfare state that cared for its citizens health care and nutrition, education and culture. It was a country that had a great deal of power and officials, but the government and the Histadrut were committed to addressing human welfare, while at the same time protecting Israel and its development. Netanyahu did not establish the state of Israel. His father and family left the country. He received an American college education, and changed his name. Only the death of his elder brother in battle, brought him and his parents back to Israel, gradually making him what he is today – a criminal defendant and tyrant in the making.

It was not always like that.  There was hope here once. There was Yitzhak Rabin, who struck a historic peace deal with Arafat, until he was assassinated by Netanyahu’s incitement as chairman the opposition. Ahud Barack was here. He moved the Israeli soldiers out of Lebanon after 20 years of bloodshed, and excited the faith of the people in hopes of change, and he went to create a peace plan with the Palestinian. Unfortunately, it did not work out. The Palestinians too have an exceptionally large side in this rift, in the failure to end the conflict between the two peoples in the Israeli’s left rift. But now the circumstances are different, now most of the arab population in Israel, especially its younger generation, wants to integrate into Israeli’ society and its government. Most young people also despise some of the factions that make up the join Arab Israeli party and seek at the same time as maintaining their identity as Arabs- a deep and substantial connection with the Jews of Israel. But their strong desire to integrate was met with Netanyahu’s continuous, determined, and planned incitement against the Arab sector, with the aim of undermining any chance of his replacement and the collapse of his rule.

You were born into a world where Netanyahu Is seen as a pillar. You may be afraid that if he is removed from his chair, left the country or is in prison, Israel will collapse. But no. Israel will collapse only if it continues to sit on its throne and will be redeemed if it goes away. Because Benjamin Netanyahu of 2020 is a shocking version of Netanyahu in his youth. He has been charged with aggravated indictment, knowingly and deliberately tattooing the law enforcement, law and judicial bodies in the state of Israel to evade justice. As such, all his decisions during the corona crisis are questionable and all his decisions bear a heavy shadow of interest, and of political and personal gain. Do not be afraid of Netanyahu’s downfall because even when he settles in a prison pit or in the depths of infamy and forgetfulness- the sun will shine here. Then we will emerge from great darkness into a time of recovery, awakening and growth. Young friends, we really have no other country. Maybe on a trip after the military service you fell in love with India, South America, or Australia. Like you, I have also traveled in many countries, met different cultures, fallen in love with all kinds of wonderful cities. But one thing is certain – we have no other home. At the end of the day, anti-semitism has not subsided, and it rears its head in Europe and in the United States alike. We have no other country, this is the only national home we have, and so it is worthy of fighting for its existence, battling  the forces threatening it from the outside – and with the corrosive forces destroying it from within.
Netanyahu is not the sun. He is a worm. He is gnawing at the foundations of Israel’s democracy, as a bookworm does in the dark. When you open the book, you discover its swarms and the pages drop to your hand crumbling.

It’s your time to take to the streets, for the 2020 protest, with masks and gloves to keep you healthy but with such fervor that the fight cannot be subverted with all kinds of seductions and trickery, as has happened before. Although Netanyahu is a worm, he is very skilled.


אילן שיינפלד

כתיבה וקריאה הן בעבורי אורח חיים וגם הכרח. אני אדם המגלה את עולמו במלים. התחלתי לכתוב בגיל ארבע-עשרה, ומאז אני כותב שירה וסיפורת, מחזות ותסריטים, ספרי הדרכה בכתיבה ועוד, למבוגרים ולילדים.

כתיבת תגובה

האימייל לא יוצג באתר.

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