15 Ocak 2011 Cumartesi

Lieberman's dream is Israel's nightmare


Yossi SARID        HAARETZ

Lieberman and his serfs want to turn the Jewish and democratic state into a Jewish and Soviet state: corrupt judges, bribed policemen, frightened prosecutors, submissive journalists and human rights activists in handcuffs.

The pravda must be told: The university of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is a hothouse for every repulsive crop. He left Russia, but Russia didn't leave him. His immigration to Israel was our decline. Not all Russian immigrants are molded from the same material as Lieberman, of course not. Many of them are even embarrassed by him. But too many Liebermans come from that same breeding ground.

Russia was never a democracy. The great dictators didn't die, they were only replaced or changed colors. A ruler understands the soul of his nation. The nation itself also understands, and places its neck under the yoke. Sometimes it bellows, longing for the good old days of Stalin and his shepherd's staff.

When the evil empire collapsed, it seemed that Russia was emerging from slavery to freedom. But it soon became clear that it had once again been taken hostage by graduates of the KGB. Democracy once again became terra incognita, Siberia once again became a place of exile. Anyone who wants an opposition is welcome to be exiled.

And he will even be grateful for his good fortune. Others like him - intellectuals, journalists, human rights activists who contracted dissidence - are shot like vagrant dogs, and the traces of the government-sponsored assassins cannot be found.

In the absence of Stalin, they make do with Vladimir Putin. All the world's Bolsheviks are united in their admiration for the iron man and his strong arm; Lieberman, too, is among his admirers. They share a common language, and it's not only Russian, it's conceptual: They know how to read lips and thoughts. Even when Lieberman's patriotic wrath is poured out on the gentiles, to Putin, he speaks softly. We have also learned from WikiLeaks that the Kremlin treats our foreign minister like one of theirs. Hebrew minister, who can really know your life?

He is planted not only by the streams of Russia; the forests and fields of Belarus also call him to come for a breath of air. Here, too, he will feel at home, far from the Levant and Turkey. The crazy and despotic Aleksandr Lukashenko, in his international isolation, is probably happy to meet with a guest after his own heart, to speak to him like a brother. And Lieberman, who has burned all his bridges, is happy to build a bridge to besieged Minsk.

All in all, he is enjoying life, is Lieberman. "Everything is honey," he'll say to those who are interested. You only have to know how to collect it. Here in Russia we understand that when you chop down trees, coins fly into the air, and they move among secret bank accounts.

You also have to know how to enjoy the best of both worlds - both Russian autocracy and Israeli lawlessness. Had he done to Vladimir and Aleksandr what he did to Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, he would have been silenced in the gulag a long time ago. But their Putin is not our Lilliputian.
As in the Duma, in his Knesset faction too, only those who were sorted through his sifter and found to his liking are members. Most of them are clones of the leader, and the rest won a free ticket to the Knesset by agreeing to sell their souls to Lieberman. If Barak is allowed to sit in the government with him, they are allowed to sleep in bed with him. Only the next day, bitten and itchy, will they discover the bedbugs.
Even in Shas, different voices are now being heard, but not in Yisrael Beiteinu ("Israel Our Home" ), which is not a typical Israeli home. It is sad to discover that Russian immigrant MKs from other parties also for the most part support laws encouraging racism and incitement, as though they insist on proving that an MK is always a product of a foreign landscape, as though their political education from the old home must undermine the foundations of the new one. If that is their Mother Russia, it's good to be an orphan.

Lieberman and his serfs have a dream that is a nightmare - to turn the Jewish and democratic state into a Jewish and Soviet state: corrupt judges, bribed policemen, frightened prosecutors, submissive journalists, human rights activists in handcuffs, and an opposition for decoration only.

But if we turn into Russia or become similar to Belarus, we will cease to exist.


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