Tachles: A modern Hebrew word of Yiddish origin that means “to the point.”
Are the horsemen of the apocalypse on their way yet? Israeli commentator Amnon Abramovich this week compared Justice Minister Yariv Levin, MK Simcha Rothman and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to those end-times figures. All three are at the center of the political storm currently engulfing Israel. All three politicians are pushing for a right-wing revolution in Israel, and are racing to enact their policies without taking into account the mood of Israeli society. They don’t even want to hear the voices of right-wing voters. According to Abramovich, this will have dangerous consequences.
He then lists a number of examples of right-wing Likud voters disagreeing with the proposed judicial reform. He quotes Likud voters who love Benjamin Netanyahu, but who now worry that judicial reform will lead to dictatorship. Many right-wing voters also do not want to see the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Aryeh Deri, return as a minister. For them, Deri is a thief who should not sit in government. Anyone who was at the demonstration in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem yesterday saw the colorful mix among the people.
There must be dialogue among the people, otherwise there will be an apocalyptic bang in the country. And that’s what most people on both sides really fear. The Bible mentions the four horsemen in the 6th chapter of the Book of Revelation as harbingers of the coming apocalypse, the Last Judgment. The four horsemen are the symbolic description of various events that will take place in the end times. War, death, famine: for many people, the apocalyptic horsemen from the Bible are messengers of the approaching end of the world. Without delving into the Christian notion of the horsemen, Abramovich presents these three key political figures as those who will bring doom to Israel.
Abramovich describes Justice Minister Yariv Levin as someone who wants to push through judicial reform at all costs, despite Israeli President Isaac Herzog the day before last calling on the coalition to freeze legislation for two weeks to give the side an opportunity to reach an agreement. Levin replied with a smile and said no chance.
Abramovich describes the chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee in the Knesset, Simcha Rothman, as cheeky. Rothmann’s alleged pathology erupted in all its shame when he demanded that former prosecutor Avichai Mandelblit be thrown in jail. The judicial reforms are debated and implemented in this Knesset committee. Under his leadership, the opposition does not really get a say in the committee. According to Abramovich, Rothmann runs over, tramples and crushes his opposition colleagues, as well as guests and senior legal experts whose position is more knowledgeable than his own. Abramovich recalls how Rothman blew the shofar next to a Muslim cemetery last year. The police commissioner warned at the time that such an act could lead to riots. But what does Rothman care, one war more or less, he didn’t even serve in the Israeli army himself.
Abramovich sees National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, unlike Levin and Rothmann, as someone who has voter appeal. Itamar screams and nothing changes under his watch. As the number of terrorist attacks mounts, Itamar yells and calls from the sidewalk that he will launch a new major counter-terrorism offensive. That’s irresponsible and he’s making a fool of himself. Because nothing is going to happen, not by his command. But in front of the camera he promises all sorts of things, just like he did during his time in opposition.
I’m less interested in how Abramovich interprets all three political horsemen. I’m more interested in the title Abramovich chose for his commentary: “Levin, Rothmann & Ben-Gvir – Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” So he knows the prophetic revelation of John in the New Testament and he relates this metaphorically to the situation in the country. And that’s the point. It’s not just Abramovich. A large part of the Israeli population understands this. If we don’t pull ourselves together, Israel will come to an end.
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