With even President Isaac Herzog agreeing that Israel needs judicial reform, the weekly Tel Aviv demonstrations have had to find additional reasons to be upset with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and to brand him a “dictator.”
But those alternative reasons are sometimes at odds with one another.
More and more we have seen the anti-government demonstrators unfurl Palestinian flags and decry Israel’s “occupation” of its own biblical heartland.
When a group of protestors did so a couple nights ago, they were confronted by fellow protestors from the “Brothers in Arms” movement. Brothers in Arms is one of the IDF reservist groups refusing to report for duty until Netanyahu halts his judicial reform. But not all of them agree with the portrayal Jews in Judea and Samaria as an “occupation,” and they certainly don’t like being painted as violent subjugators.
Now: Members of “Brothers In Arms” group (ex Israeli soldiers) attacked the anti occupation block during the weekly anti government protest in Tel Aviv pic.twitter.com/jn6KQG0RPC
— Oren Ziv (@OrenZiv_) July 1, 2023
So some of the Brothers in Arms tried to forcibly remove the Palestinian flags on display, leading to a physical confrontation during which one of the rebellious reservists was reportedly pepper-sprayed by the more radical leftists.
Which in turn raised the question – why are those protesting what they claim is a “dictatorship” under Netanyahu waving the flag of a genuinely authoritarian regime in the Palestinian Authority?
Talk about hypocrisy.
You can’t claim to oppose despotism in your own country, while having no problem with a totalitarian situation among your neighbors.
And the Palestinian Authority today under Mahmoud Abbas is a totalitarian government. In the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, it’s something even worse.
Meanwhile, by comparison with the Abbas regime, it’s a joke to say that Netanyahu is a dictator. Abbas hasn’t allowed elections in over 16 years. Netanyahu was voted out of office just two years ago, and only last year managed to regain the prime minister’s chair in an undisputedly democratic fashion.
There’s simply no equivalence between the two situations. And by bringing the Palestinians into the demonstrations, the anti-government activists inadvertently expose the exaggerated nature of their cause.
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