Op-Ed: Netanyahu’s return to power with a coalition of racists is appalling. But Israel’s problem runs deeper than the prime minister is willing to admit
Bibi Netanyahu is a racist. Of course he is. In his prime ministerial memoirs, published this Sunday, the former prime minister declares “Jews are not my friends” and tells the story of how he and a friend went to the home of an Arab family in the early 1980s. The family were trying to build a house on disputed land, but were being prevented from doing so by the Netanyahu family. The Netanyahu family were also trying to build on land they owned, but the owner had not consented to the construction.
Netanyahu’s friend called to ask what they should do. They decided to go to the site and confront the owner of the disputed parcel of land. Netanyahu says this man was a “professional negotiator,” but the evidence suggests otherwise. He was one of the prime minister’s supporters, and was therefore a “follower.”
The confrontation started well, with Netanyahu and his friend entering the courtyard of the disputed plot. But soon, there was a “storm of anger by both sides,” according to the memoir, and he says that the then prime minister “ordered” him to withdraw, to leave his friend alone. Netanyahu’s son Moshe later told me that as he was walking away from the man who tried to intimidate him, he asked the man, “Why did you attack my father?” The man replied that he had no problem with Netanyahu. But the prime minister didn’t believe him, so he ordered the man to leave.
The next day, an angry mob attacked the family. “They began coming from all sides,” Netanyahu told his readers, “shouting ‘Zionists to the gas chambers.’ They threw rocks and broken chairs.” The man who tried to intimidate him was dragged behind the family�