We now witness  a broad based journalistic campaign aimed at “sanitizing” the Joint Arab Knesset Party

This campaign focuses on obfuscating the embrace that members of this Arab political party, headed  by MK Ayman Odeh,  who have openly sanctioned those Arabs who have murdered Jews  and on the disgraceful attempt to portray, as a racist, anyone who opposes this insane position.

The Talmud in the Sotah tract tells a fascinating story that happened when the sons of Jacob carried their father to burial.

As they reached the chosen burial spot at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Esau suddenly emerged and tried to stall the funeral procession.

Esau claimed: This plot belongs to me.

Jacob’s sons refute  him, saying that “You’ve sold your share in the inheritance for a pot of lentil stew”.

And so, as  Jacob’s burial ceremony  proceeded, a debate was conducted as to whom the place in the cave belongs to.

What did they do? They send Naftali to run back all the way to Egypt, to bring the epistle to prove who the righteous one is.

Among those who accompanied the burial procession was o Hushim, Dan’s son, who was deaf and couldn’t hear the argument, and was not aware of the claims and explanations of the parties.

What happened? He asked. We’re waiting until Naftali comes back and we’ll make a decision, they replied.

He said to them: Until Naftali returns from Egypt, will my father lie in disgrace?

Hushim then took a stick and hit Esau on his head.

In the past I have brought here the question of Rabbi Haim Shmuelevitz, the head of the Mir Yeshiva, who argued and asked why of all the descendants of Ya’akov, it is precisely Hushim, son of Dan, who have awakened in his honor.

Did not all of the sons of Jacob did not feel the disgrace of their father lying there without his burial? Only this Midrash, Rabbi Shmuelevich explained, teaches us about the power of habit, which puts us in a state of indifference.

Many times, someone,   by necessity, is dragged into a reality that is contrary of his worldview and free will. After a long time in this state, his sense of criticism fades, and he readily adapts to situations that, in ordinary times, would have been horrifying.

Thus, the sons of Jacob stood and argued with Esau, and the argument continued and became prolonged, and they began to get used to a situation in which Jacob their father, not buried was  being disgraced.

Hushim, son of Dan, was the only one who did not dull his senses. Indeed, because of his hearing disability, he did not go into the details of the negotiations, and from a clear vision, one that neutralizes the media echo and the background noise – his grandfather’s body image as it was, was enough to shock him more than others.

The quibbles, the negotiations, the columns in the papers, the explanations for and against, and the coalition calculations – are the factors that dumb our senses  these days, too, in the face of the right attitude to take towards the Joint Arab Israeli Knesset Party.

The details seem to be clear. They have no argument concerning the fact. They are written all over  the Internet. Members of the Joint Party strive to abolish Israel as a Jewish state, abolish the “Star of David” and “Hatikva,” and give unprecedented support terrorists, abominable murderers and our greatest enemies.

Joint Party leader Ayman Ode openly admires Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Members of that party praise  murderers, head smashers,  bombers of cafes with their civilian customers, and hug Hezbollah spies.

In the face of all this, like Esau in that Cave of the Patriarchs, the Israeli press works is in the service of the Blue-and-White party, dumbing down our brains, doing what it can only to deal with everything around it, not the story itself.

“You can’t assemble such a large public”, “They represent a lot of people”, “Look at the beauty of their doctors treating Jews”, “Enough with racism.”

And further to Rabbi Shmuelevich’s explanation of Hushim, son of Dan’s case.

There is nothing dangerous as getting used to a bad situation. The same practice that brings with it the continuation of the existing situation, which some people endeavor to set permanently.

Here is an example from this week. Itai Shechter, a Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer player, shared on Monday on the social media a picture of a sign stating that “A government with the Joint Party – is a disaster for Israel”, caused great turmoil.

Maccabi Tel Aviv has issued a comment stating that “as a sports body, the club does not take any political position.” It was important for the Soccer association to explain that “soccer players should focus on ways to unite, encourage and assist one another, and to all of the society, rather than being responsible for publicity on social media that promotes polarization, schism and social discourse”.

“It is appropriate to show social responsibility”, the association added, “before publishing things that only distances one person from another”.

Here you have the price of habitual behavior. The Joint Party supports terrorists who murder Jews, and the Soccer Association thinks that opposing the “Subaro  and “Moment  Coffee shop” bombings is a matter that promotes polarization and distances people.

This is Postmodernism in its Incarnation. There is no truth and falsehood. There is no right or wrong. There is no good and evil. We are all one human tissue.

There are those who support the Jewish State, and those who demand its dissolution. There are those who salute the flag, and those who seek to remove it from the mast. There are those who sing the national anthem emotionally, and prosecuting to erase its words.

There are those who cheer Jewish immigration to Israel, and those who aspire to dilute it. And at that moment – when the soccer association thinks that a pro-Zionist and anti-terrorist stance is the one that “promotes schism” – you realize that the practice is complete. Blue-and-White parties, and its press assistants, have suddenly succeeded in completing the whitewash of the party of terror supporters.

A warm welcome

Another example of the same practice? Earlier this week, the General Security Service announced the unveiling of Hamas’ activities in Israel. In that statement, Hamas recruited an Arab Israeli civilian, who worked in the Galilee for the terrorist organization.

In the GSS investigation, according to the report, it emerged that Ayya Khatib was recruited for Hamas by two members of the organization’s military arm in the Gaza Strip.

“The two recruited Khatib, who engaged in humanitarian activities for those in need in the Gaza Strip, to finance terrorist activities and infrastructure, to carry out missions for Hamas, and later on, to gather security intelligence to promote terrorist activity against Israeli targets.

The communication between Khatib and the two terrorists was carried out operationally and secretly. In the context of their communication, Khatib handed them hundreds of thousands of shekels, defrauding aid organizations and innocent civilians, who donated funds for the purpose of reaching patients and those in need, and while exploiting the distress of their patients, permits were granted for humanitarian medical treatment and business activity for Gaza residents.

Where did the money go? According to the GSS, the money financed the construction of tunnels, the construction of a lathe and of buildings for Hamas’ ongoing activity.

Khatib was brought to court several times for her arrest.

Who found it appropriate to strengthen her and protest against her arrest?

Of course, Knesset members Joseph Jabarin and Iman Khatib are members of the Joint Arab Political Party.

“You are carrying out a humanitarian act for children and for parents”, MK Khatib was quoted in Walla news. “We will not leave her alone”, these Knesset members declared in a demonstration. “Today is one picture. Each of us can be in this place”.

I don’t know how the legal process will end with the Hamas aid. In the end, it may turn out to be all wrong, and the GSS confused and exchanged it with someone with a similar name.

All I know is that t such support from a Knesset member a suspected of terrorist activity on behalf of Hamas is something that in a normal world would receive significant media attention.

So how did this episode go along with yawning? Well, we explain to ourselves, these are the Knesset members of the Joint Party. MK Haim Katz is interested in the aircraft industry. Matan Kahana is interested in workers’ committees, and the Joint Party is interested in suspected terrorists against Jews. Everyone and their own hobbies. Why not form a government with them?

Another example of habitual behavior? A few days ago, Purat Nassar, a news reporter from channel 12, posted to his Twitter account a short video showing “a warm welcome in the Manda village to two security prisoners Muhammad ‘Abd al-Hamid and Mahmoud’ Abd al-Halim, who were released after 17 years.”

In this video, the two, riding on white horses, are seen marching on the streets of a city, with dozens of people, and maybe even more, accompanying them and giving them great honor.

Who are these two? Well, this month 16 years ago, the Haifa District Court sentenced them, after convicting them of their allegations of conspiracy to assist the enemy in war, contact with the Islamic Jihad agent, and crimes of threats.

What did the gentlemen al-Hamid and Halim do to be convicted for these charges? The two contacted a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, which sought to promote terrorist attacks against Jews in Israel.

Later, another relative joined them, set up a squad and planned to carry out shooting attacks, but later decided it was better to place explosives at a bus stop or a cafe in the Haifa area, and escape. One of the options they examined was to carry out a terror attack in Kiryat Bialik, a large and crowded mall.

“There was a picture that emerged of an organization of civilians, Israeli identity card holders, who can reach anywhere in the country easily, who can carry out terrorist attacks and kill as many civilians as possible”, The judges wrote.

Now, as mentioned, the terrorists were released from prison, returned to their home in Manda village and welcomed as heroes. Imagine that two rapists were released from prison and led on the streets of Tel Aviv riding white horses, as if they were the Jewish Mordechai in Shushan the capital.

You know what a serious riot would have erupted here, right?

But that’s exactly the price of habitual behavior.  When it comes to Arab Israelis who pay homage to those who wanted to murder as many Jews as possible, we do not care. A small tweet on Twitter teaches us about this event, and that’s enough for us.

Repeat the lie again

And back to the Joint Party. The common way of trying to make used to  treating it as a legitimate political party, and explaining to us that this is a party as all parties, and relies on one lie that the press  will make use of.

This lie is trying to make a comparison between “Arabs” and “the Joint Party”.

“What?” Many journalists ask repeatedly, “just like 20% of Israeli citizens being disqualified”? Imagine that in another country they would talk about a government without Jews”.

This lie is repeated again and again. There is no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel. There is a problem with terrorist supporters and Jewish murderers, and with people who want to erase the Jewish state here.

This genre, of the lying journalists, has a fixed method in which they respond to an argument that has never been argued, and excitedly tell us about the fine Arab doctors and nurses, as if someone has a problem with them, and as if someone once spoke against them.

I wrote here last week, and I write again: There is no problem with Arab Israelis, who are citizens of equal rights. In my view, it should also be appropriate for the Israeli government to have an Arab minister, but this minister cannot be a terrorist supporter. What’s so complicated about it?

Such a propaganda, which is a manipulative and demagogic lie, whose whole purpose is to train the supporters of terror from the commonwealth, was published this week in Haaretz.

“The Arab doctors are at the forefront of the Corona fight, and they feel there is a purpose”, the headline said, and continued: “About 20% of the medical staff in Israel are Arabs. The combination of the Corona outbreak and government establishment contacts sent them to the line of fire – in more than one sense”.

In talks with Haaretz, they talk about the harsh feeling that when they save lives, the prime minister refers to them as a ticking bomb. Does the prime minister refer to these doctors as a ticking bomb? No.

But this is propaganda. Mix truth and falsehood to fool the reader. In the long article, the Arab doctors talk about their hard work, as the reporter tries to constantly emphasize the relationship, which does not exist at all, between their contribution to society and the efforts to disqualify of the Joint Party.

“I treat everyone who comes to the hospital, I never would and I don’t care if he is Jewish or Arab,” said one of the doctors. “Why is it okay for us to be at the forefront of hospital care in Corona, but in the government, we are not legitimate?”

The Haaretz reporter could explain to her, in response to this remark, that she is quite legitimate, and the one who is not legitimate is Ahmed Tibi, who honors assassinated martyrs – but she chose not to. This is the case with this doctor, as is the case with the other doctors cited in the article.

Here, for example, is Dr. Haj Yahya Yassin, 31, a senior physician in an internal department in Sheba, who she and her husband, also a physician, live in the doctors’ quarters in Tel Hashomer. “Also this week” writes the reporter, a reminder from the house on Balfour Street, what they think about the Arab representatives in the Knesset”.

“Just yesterday, Netanyahu warned on Facebook that while he was “managing an unprecedented global and nationally responsible crisis, a galloping government to a minority government that depended on Balad, Hiba Yazbak and terror supporters, instead of joining a national emergency government that would save lives.”

My friends of Haaretz, do you read what you write yourself? After all, what did you quote here from Netanyahu? That he has a problem with people like this doctor? After all, you yourself have written that what is bothering him is “a minority government that depends on the Balad, Hiba Yazbak and terrorist supporters.”

How does this relate to the doctor you interviewed? Is she a terrorist supporter? Doesn’t it seem strange to you to blame the prime minister for racism, but is it necessarily “Arab” and “terrorist” for something that must come in one package?

And it goes on. “While Balfour [The PM residence]  paints a picture where, during an emergency, the ‘dangerous’ Arabs must be called out,” the reporter explains, “the data shows that without the medical personnel of this society, efforts to save lives would have suffered a human blow.”

Well, what will happen to this inferior propaganda? Anyone in Balfour asked to have someone from the Arab doctors you interviewed in the article? The prime minister once had a problem with which one? And how the hell the whole article, from beginning to end, not even mentioning the real problem that the prime minister and many of the country’s citizens have with the terrorist positions of the members of the Joint Party?

“The discrimination and racism towards the Arab public is rising these days, with the exacerbation of the Corona crisis”, the article repeats repeatedly.

Press Se Campaign

The attempt to produce the same practice here, which would prepare the ground for a party of supporters of terrorist attacks to join the coalition of Benny Gantz and Boogie Ya’alon, came together with the attempt to delegitimize anyone who opposes this crazy move.

A group of bereaved families and victims of terrorism, most of whom are members of the “Choosing Life” forum, raised an outcry this week against the possible reliance of a blue and white list on the Joint Party.

They demonstrated on the streets, visited the houses of Knesset members, and also sought to make their voices heard in the media. This, the latest – which echoes every plethora of plumbers, credit department executives and tax lawyers from the protests against Netanyahu, has done everything in its power to ignore this protest at best, and render it illegitimate, at best.

The Haaretz newspaper, which has been obsessed  with propaganda for a long time, published an article stating that “Likud is behind the bereaved families’ campaign, to pressure Lieberman not to enter the Gantz government”. It was not a journalism. It was an ugly political act that did not raise any evidence in an attempt to kill the protest.

Members of the Terror Victims Forum,  who were presented in Haaretz as marionettes, decided not to shut up.

“False,” wrote Inbal Runner Gilmore, whose husband was murdered in a terror attack. “I have not received any message from any party at any point. The journalists attempt to cover up their total mobilization is shameful. On the one hand, our existence is ignored and, on the other, they are trying to portray us as activated.”

“I protested against the Joint List, and will continue protesting as much as I can,” responded Elihai Ben Yishai, Ruthie Fogel’s brother, who was slaughtered by Arab terrorists, along with her husband and three of her children. “Believe it or not – no one financed / activated / sent me. I hope I didn’t interfere with the political purposes of the paper. Shame on you”.

“For this lie, your journalist’s certificate deserves to be torn,” wrote Shai Maimon, who was seriously injured in a shooting attack, to Channel 13 reporter Barak Ravid, who echoed the article in Haaretz. “I was wounded in a terror attack, and my friends are members of the bereaved families. We protested and publicized against the Gantz government, and none of the Likud spoke to us. We just experienced the terror on our flesh. You disgrace the memory of the murdered people. Shame on you!”

Like these, Meirav and Herzl Hajaj, parents of the late Lieutenant Shir Hajaj, who had been ran over and killed in the car terror attack, angrily denied the claim that anyone was activating them.

Now, let’s try for a moment to understand what is behind the claim about the connection, which is denied First of all, the bereaved families with the Likud, who politically removed them from home and taught them what to say?

The Hajaj family have been active in the fight against terrorists for a long time. Shai Maimon was behind the law to garnish  salaries of terrorists paid by the PA, years ago. Do they need someone to dictate what they think? How far and low can a newspaper go, with its mobilization for a political campaign?

Just before the closing of the column came another example of such political mobilization, this time of Channel 12, which found it appropriate to echo the plight of Jewish and Arab doctors who call “enough for racism.”

“In the midst of the Corona crisis, a new initiative of over 600 medical professionals calls to end offensive public and political discourse against the Arab population,” reported a Channel 12 reporter,

“A new Internet petition signed by health officials calls for the cessation of political and public discourse against The Arab sector”.

Channel 12 also knows full well that there is no offensive discourse against the Arab population, but rather against those who support terrorism. But if a political campaign can be enlisted to wrap its supporters in a soft paperback, why not do it?

This habit, which the press is working with all its power, is what we must fight. Terrorism must not be used to. We must not get used to supporters of terrorism as a natural phenomenon. One must not get used to the thought that supporters of terror can be a part of our society.

Author: Kalman Liebskind, Senior Correspondent, Maariv.
Translation of Hebrew article published in Maariv,  21/03/2020.
Translation: Elad Widlanski