Israel’s right-wing Channel 14 exposed a secret WhatsApp group whose members are the founders and leaders of the protests against Benjamin Netanyahu. In the group, high-ranking politicians, ex-IDF chiefs of staff and former prime ministers are looking for new ways to revive protests against judicial reform. Among other things, they plan to blockade Ben-Gurion International Airport. The sole aim is to overthrow Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition government. Basically, this was already known before, but now everything can be seen on a screenshot of the WhatsApp group. It’s not the chat that’s the problem, it’s ignoring the person with a different opinion that’s the problem. The exclusive WhatsApp group of former prime ministers also includes Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.
Barak recently called for civil war in the media if judicial reform is not stopped. The former Israeli Army Chiefs of Staff on this chat group are Dan Halutz and Moshe “Bugi” Yaalon. Together with other political and business leaders, they are considering how to revive the protests and planning their next step. These people really don’t have a single good word to say about Benjamin Netanyahu. They have only one goal: to run him out of office. But that’s not just their problem, it’s a national problem. No one seems to have the patience to listen and understand the other. Everyone is fixated on their agenda. The left see nothing but wrong in every right-wing and religious idea, policy and claim. Conversely, the right shows no respect for the left. They all sit in their bunkers and don’t want to hear anything from their brothers and sisters who have different opinions. Few manage to break out of their bubble.
In the chat, former prime minister and convicted criminal Ehud Olmert directly refers to what he has said in the past: “At the beginning of the protest I said that the struggle is not taking place in seminars and academic speeches. We must fight head on, hand in hand. I was told that I spoke too aggressively. But it seems that these words have not lost their validity, quite the contrary. Without violence and breaking the law, but like in war.”
After Ehud Barak called for unrest in the media, he also wrote in the chat that it was urgent to continue with full force. “All beginnings are difficult and we are at the beginning of a new phase. It’s difficult but necessary. We must not take a break now, under any circumstances.” Former IDF chief Dan Halutz stated: “Friends, if we don’t mobilize thousands of participants to make a real impact, then we might as well call it a day. We must make every effort to build up a powerful force. I am donating three vehicles to this cause.” In the chat, the idea of blocking Ben-Gurion Airport was raised. “Unless there are 500 vehicles, there will be a fiasco,” Halutz said.
Ishai Hadas, a key figure in the WhatsApp group, revealed the truth about the number of participants in the protests when he wished for 35,000 participants. “We need 35,000 people. If the operation center’s media system isn’t capable of staging drama, it won’t produce the volume needed. We must take the risk of issuing an ultimatum and a dramatic countdown.”
TV interviews show how committed Barak is. He gives the impression that his heart is in it, but doesn’t get personally involved. The exact plan is presented in the chat. The organizers begin to talk practically, detailing the difficulties, listing one by one the penalties facing the protesters in Israel. Barak proposes a fund to pay the fines in an emergency, as long as people come. The organizers fear failure and conclude: “If Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is not fired a second time, thousands will not come.”
A strong leader always has and always will have powerful enemies among the people. So it was in history and so it is today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is imperative that the people learn to listen to each other, even when they disagree with one another’s views. Blind hatred in the population, as it became clear in the WhatsApp group, is always self-defeating.
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