1. More than a week has gone by since Channel 2 reporter Ofer Hadad’s fabricated news item, billed as an interview and titled “Exclusive: First and unusual testimony from within a Jewish terrorist organization.” In reality, the interview with “A.” was staged. A. was none other than Omri Menashe, a Channel 2 employee who was dressed up and blurred, and who put on a convincing performance, including shaking knees. Walla reporter Maya Mena blew the lid off the charade, and Maariv reporter Kalman Liebskind later issued his own, detailed indictment.
We have grown accustomed to Channel 2’s well-known hatred of the settlement enterprise. We have become desensitized to the sight of Channel 2 Palestinian affairs correspondent Ohad Hemo acting as spokesman for Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas in the guise of “exclusive interviews.” (Just last week, using a recording of a Palestinian prisoner, Hemo issued threats regarding the bitter fate that awaits Israel should hunger-striking Palestinian detainee Mohammad Allan be allowed to perish).
Last week’s staged interview brought to my mind the fabricated swearing-in ceremony of the Jewish Fighting Organization (EYAL) back in September 1995. The organization was a fake group, established by Shin Bet security agency informant and provocateur Avishai Raviv. It was set up as an extreme right-wing organization but was actually designed to malign the Right for opposing the Oslo Accords. The fictitious ceremony was broadcast on Channel 1 and sparked loud admonishments and accusatory fingers (at times accusatory fists) in the best leftist tradition. All in all it was another attempt by the Left to silence opposition and curb the public trend against the ultimately bloody Oslo Accords.
We are the first to demand swift action to combat fringe elements within the Right — extremists among us undermine human morality, harm the state of Israel and sabotage the settlement enterprise. I have written in the past that the proof of this demand is not just in what we say but also in our actions — turning over to the police those bad seeds who terrorize (yes, terrorize) our land.
But even in textual terms, the words uttered by the Channel 2 employee/actor reading out lines in the threatening “interview” were nothing new. These boys are dangerous — no God or rabbi, or apparently their parents, can tell them what to do. Amazing, Channel 2. How did you come up with this astounding revelation? Any rookie commentator could have told us that. Is it not a shame to invest so much into staging an entire “interview”? You could have had your commentator Amnon Abramovich say the exact same thing and gotten three for the price of one, as he would have included everyone in the extreme Right: settlers, the ultra-Orthodox and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
2. Speaking of Abramovich, the Channel 2 oracle recently commented on Netanyahu’s cabinet, which discussed potential military strikes on Iran back in 2010-2012. He mentioned the chief opponents of the strike — Benny Begin, Dan Meridor and Moshe Ya’alon — and added venomously: “[Yuval] Steinitz doesn’t count. He really is Netanyahu’s lapdog.” Time after time, Abramovich’s mean streak comes out, with venom dripping from his mouth in the form of commentary. Disgusting. Who will even remember him?
Unlike Abramovich, whose arrogance prevents him from admitting that he has a psycho-political fixation left over from the 1980s (before the adventurous experiments of the Oslo Accords and the disengagement from Gaza), Yuval Steinitz was brave enough and honest enough to recognize the foolishness and uselessness of the Left’s diplomatic solutions in the early 1990s. He made a courageous move, together with friends, and crossed over from the Left to the conservative Right. While Steinitz was actively contributing to the Israeli political arena, Abramovich was selling the public pipe dreams and diplomatic delusions.
3. Now that former minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Foreign Ministry globe-trotting days are behind him, and he has chosen to join a strange opposition (he claims to be a rightist but joined the Left — in other words, he joined a personal opposition to Netanyahu), any restraints he may have had before have now disappeared and he will give an interview to anyone who asks. Even to the Yarka driving instructors’ union newsletter. In these interviews, Lieberman presents himself as the sole liberator of humanity and the only person on earth who “knows how to make a decision.” Oh. So he has some criticism for the “pogrom,” as he puts it, currently underway in the Foreign Ministry. It is no wonder Lieberman is upset: He only just vacated his seat and already Danny Dayan has been appointed ambassador to Brazil, Fiamma Nirenstein appointed ambassador to Italy, Mark Regev appointed ambassador to the U.K. and Danny Danon appointed ambassador to the U.N. — all excellent appointments that would never have been approved by Lieberman (unless they coincided with his own personal interests).
The man served as foreign minister for six years and did absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. World leaders ignored him when visiting Israel to “close a deal.” Diplomats looked down on him. Can anyone really say with any degree of certainty what Lieberman thinks about anything? What he truly believes? Even his routine attacks against Israel’s Arabs aren’t credible, coming across as a mere manipulation of the public’s fears. He knows the public wants to believe the image of the “strong man.” Much ado about nothing.