Israel's over-the-top racist, outrageous, demagogue of a foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is at it again.
In his latest rant in Haaretz (you can read it here) he "lashed out at human rights organizations, charging them with aiding terror and trying 'to weaken the Israel Defense Forces and its resolve to protect Israel's citizens.'"
And how will he combat those nasty human rights organizations? By probing "leftist organizations" and their sources of funding. He claims human rights organizations delegitimize the IDF.
Interestingly enough, Rabbis for Human Rights was not on the list of organizations initially targeted by the probe, although many (most) other human rights organizations in Israel such as Betselem, Physicians for Human Rights, etc., are on the list.
We could have chosen to keep a low profile and thank God that they weren't picking on us. But that would be the chicken way out, and as Martin Niemoller said:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Someone needs to speak up. It seems like Israel is going crazy, becoming increasingly radical as our actions get more and more disapproval from the rest of the world. I'm really afraid we're going to find ourselves like South Africa, ostracized, boycotted, cut off. It's bad enough we treat the Palestinians badly, now we're also treating Jews badly if they don't toe the line and think "right."
The Jewish tradition clearly has a long history of debate, often heated. If the rabbis of the Talmud acted like Lieberman, there would be no Talmud. The Jewish tradition calls for heated debate, fervent disagreement, and at the end we can say "eilu v'eilu divrei Elokim chayim," these and those are the words of the living God.
I am mortified by the present government: I am mortified that Netanyahu doesn't kick Lieberman out for his outrageous statements and behavior, I am mortified that the Labor party doesn't have the self-respect to ditch such a coalition of losers. Seems like everyone politician in Israel is interested in one thing: keeping his job, and the way to do that seems to be to pander to the lowest intellectual level in Israeli society.
Oy! What a time we live in…