Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry MK Yair Golan (Meretz) on Tuesday was a guest at the Zionism and Judaism Seminar in Jerusalem that hosted twelfth-graders from the town of Nesher near Haifa. The seminar also featured MK Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionism).
During a conversation with the students about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a student named Raz said, according to Golan, that if the Palestinians “make problems – give them on the head, and if they sit quietly – they’ll receive good treatment.” In response, Golan said that “Raz is dangerous to Israel’s security.”
יאיר גולן בשיחה עם תלמידי תיכון מקיף נשר שעתידים להתגייס בשמה הבאה, אומר על אחד מתלמידי השכבה שהציג את דעתו בפניו: ״הוא מסוכן לביטחון ישראל״. pic.twitter.com/qdR4nhkvsI
— Hallel Bitton Rosen | הלל ביטון רוזן (@BittonRosen) February 16, 2022
So far, that’s the way Israeli media described the event. But from reports on the event, it appears that Raz and the MK had been clashing before the crescendo, which is why Golan turned to his ideological rival (or heckler?), with a challenge: “Imagine that you are the prime minister, how would you act when confronting this conflict?
The kid answered: “If I were the prime minister I’d leave the situation as it is, but an Arab who carries out a terror activity in the State of Israel against Jews, his and his family’s ID card would be revoked, and he would be given a month to find a different country, while, of course, he is incarcerated.”
And that’s when Golan said: “This student, Raz, endangers the state’s security.”
The boy got up and told the MK: “In my opinion, you are Ocher Israel, and it’s not worth it for me to sit here and listen to you.”
“Ocher Israel” means literally “polluter of Israel,” as in introducing filth to the clean water of Israel. The colloquial meaning is a Jewish hater of Israel – it only pertains to a Jewish person.
The news item I read, on the Likud TikTok account, was that the young man was punished by his group’s manager who sent him home, although this part sounds farfetched because he lives in Nesher, so he probably rose home on the bus with everyone else, and many a high-five were exchanged.
One of the many negative responses on Twitter, the most apt, came from Yossi Fuchs’ Channel 14’s legal counsel. He wrote: “What a miracle that this man was not appointed Chief of Staff.”
It’s all I can think about as I watch this strange remnant of Bolshevik Israel shed one peal after another in exposing what a real danger he was to the security of Israel. He was caught early, thank God. Major General Yair Golan, who was Deputy Chief of Staff at the time, a job that often leads to the top command, was blocked and retired from service following his 2016 Holocaust Day speech when he drew a parallel between Nazi Germany in the 1930s and Israel today.
Golan articulated: “If there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here (in Israel – DI) among us in the year 2016.”
His comparison between Nazis and Israelis caused outrage, as many Israelis suggested it was he, Golan, who forgot the lessons of the Holocaust. Then-Prime Minister Netanyahu said Golan’s comments “do injustice to Israeli society and cheapen the value of the Holocaust.”
So he kissed the chief of staff post goodbye. Pheew…
The Nesher municipality issued a statement saying: “During a conversation with the students, MK Yair Golan expressed himself inappropriately and contemptuously towards a student. In a conversation that took place today with the MK, he was told that the education system in the city expects him to take responsibility for his unfortunate statement and apologize for it unambiguously.”
Let’s wait and see. OK, wait a little longer. OK, much, much longer.