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Netanyahu’s new clothes

Analysis: The prime minister knows his ‘ethnic cleansing’ video presents him in his nakedness, but these are not easy times, and any headline—as long as it is not about the never-ending police investigation against him—will do.



“Many years ago there was an emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, ‘The King’s in council, ‘ here they always said. ‘The Emperor’s in his dressing room.'” (Source: The Hans Christian Andersen Centre)

These are the opening words of “The Emperor’s New Clothes, ” Hans Christian Andersen’s wonderful tale. We all know what happened next: One day, two swindlers came to town and announced they were capable of weaving a magnificent fabric which was invisible to fools. There was no fabric, but because no one wanted to appear stupid, everyone praised the cloth. In the end, the emperor appeared in the town square in his new clothes. Everyone cheered, until one little boy shouted, “The emperor has no clothes.”

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Our prime minister is no emperor, and he does not need a tailor either. He weaves his new clothes on his own. Over the weekend, he released a new propaganda film against the Palestinian Authority. The English is perfect, so are the words and the accent, the rhetoric resonates, and the face carries the burden of concern, just like in that propaganda film about the Arabs on the buses.

Benjamin Netanyahu is denouncing the Palestinian Authority for refusal to allow Jews to settle within its boundaries. “It’s ethnic cleansing, ” he rules. Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity: The Serbs did it against the Bosnians, the Hutu did is against the Tutsi, and of course the Nazis against entire peoples, first and foremost the Jews.

In this case, there is no need to shout, “The Emperor has no clothes.” Netanyahu is no fool: He knows the speech presents him in his nakedness. But these are not easy times, and sometimes one must do unusual things. Any headline, just not the headlines about the never-ending police investigation, about an indictment in the prime minister’s homes affair, about flights and gifts and benefits.

And so he has been running in recent weeks from one media outlet to another, from one event to another and from one photo opportunity to another, just like the emperor in that tale. The emperor is weaving and weaving, Netanyahu is digging and digging. I assume he will also read the following words, which will try to clarify why the world is rejecting this speech out of hand, with satisfaction. Anything, just not the investigations.

The West Bank is an occupied territory. I’m not the one who said it—Israel’s governments said it. Under international law, the occupying state is not allowed to transfer a population to the occupied territory. There is a world consensus about that. Our Supreme Court chose a different interpretation and allowed the settlement of settlers on state lands. At no stage did Jews agree to live under Arab sovereignty, neither in Taba and Sinai nor in the ongoing negotiations about the fate of Gaza and the West Bank. I believe their refusal was logical and justified, under the circumstances.


Netanyahu’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ video


At a certain stage, former Minister Yossi Beilin tried to sell to the Ofra settlers the idea that they would be able to continue living in the State of Palestine, with Palestinian consent. That was a double lie. Beilin’s goal was to dry them up and quietly evacuate them, not to place them in Palestine’s arms.

The settlements were created for Jews only. Palestinians were not allowed to live in them, or in the cities that were founded. Some were built on private lands, and others were built and are being built today with one goal: To thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state. Settlers of the most violent kind have taken over thousands of acres of agricultural lands, in the Shilo valley and other areas. The settlers have plenty of water, while the neighboring villages dry up until the tanker arrives.

This is what our forefathers referred to as: It takes one to know one. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. This saying also applies to what Netanyahu said in his speech about Israel’s Arabs. Only a year ago, he wildly incited against this sector, not once but twice. Now he is using this sector as a bullet-proof vest for the settlement policy, as a human shield. And he is doing it without blinking.

His flip-flopping is perfect. It appear’s the emperor’s cobbler is from Havaianas.

Ynet News



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