American Jewish efforts to intervene in Israeli politics in order to halt efforts towards judicial reform are both wrongheaded and dangerous. According to JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin, Jewish groups that are taking sides in an Israeli domestic dispute are helping to fuel civil unrest there and moving towards a tragic schism within the broader Jewish world.
Tobin is joined by Dr. Iddo Netanyahu, the physician, author and playwright who is the younger brother of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yonatan (“Yoni”) Netanyahu, the hero of the 1976 Entebbe rescue mission.
Iddo Netanyahu, who, like his brothers, served in Israel’s elite General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Maktal), speaks about his family’s experiences and his own life. But he also seeks to put them into the context of Israeli history. Most specifically, he sees the movement to topple the current government as the latest in a long list of efforts by the Israeli left to delegitimize its foes that date back to the pre-state era.
Saying that his own career as a writer had been hurt by his political views, Netanyahu notes that “the platforms of expression in Israel” in terms of art, theater and film are “controlled by the left,” and that they stop anyone who doesn’t share their opinions.
As a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces (like his older brothers, he served in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit), he takes particular umbrage at the threats by some reservists to refuse to serve because of their disagreement with the government.
“To threaten Israel” in this manner is unacceptable, Netanyahu says, calling it a “military coup of sorts” and asserting that despite the left’s false claims, judicial reform would make the country more democratic.
America “didn’t invent political correctness” or “cancel culture,” he says. It was present in Israel “well before it arrived in America.”
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