MK Yair Golan, who is in a losing battle to become the next Meretz chairman against returning Champion Zehava Gal-On, on Thursday commented on the shootout between IDF soldiers and Arab rioters in Joseph’s tomb Wednesday night (Shootout, Dead Terrorist as Knesset Candidates Visit Joseph’s Tomb). Golan, formerly the IDF Deputy Chief of Staff, told Army Radio: “Joseph’s tomb is a crazy hallucination, I’ve been there many, many times, it’s disturbing. Just to think that IDF soldiers can be killed to secure groups of Haredim who don’t even serve in the army.”
Rabbi Yitzchak Goldknopf, who replaces retired MK Yaakov Litzman as leader of the Hasidic faction in United Torah Judaism, showed the political world he comes equipped with a sharp sense of humor when he responded: “It’s scary to recognize in our midst terrifying processes reminiscent of events that took place in Germany 80 years ago.”
To those of you who read this publication for the first time, Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, speaking at a 2016 commemoration of the Holocaust, said he sees in today’s Israel evidence of events that took place in Europe before the Holocaust, the same blood-curdling processes that took place in Germany and the rest of Europe “70, 80, and 90 years ago, and discovering evidence of their taking place here, among us, in 2016.”
Others were less funny and angrier. MK Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionism), who also entered Joseph’s tomb Wednesday night, responded: “Yair Golan continues to adhere to the anti-Zionist approach and rewards terrorism. After calling the IDF an occupation army, he denies our deep connection to Joseph’s tomb. Those who don’t want us in Joseph’s tomb, don’t want us in the Galilee, the Negev, and the center.”
In 1996, when Ofir Sofer was an officer in the Haruv Battalion, he rescued wounded people from Joseph’s Tomb during the Kotel Tunnel riots. He was seriously injured, and as a result, he suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder and is a disabled veteran. He was awarded the Medal of Valor for his actions.
The campaign in Meretz is getting more desperate, with accusations and counter-accusations from both camps that make the national-religious and Haredi alley fights look like polite tea parties. The Gal-On side suggested on Wednesday that a Bedouin vote broke working for Golan packed a crate full of 1,600 votes for his man. Golan declared this was a typical Zehava Gal-On move, and the other side immediately accused him of using Trump-like methods.
Both candidates accused one another of dragging the most left-wing Israeli party to the precipice of the vote threshold, citing polls that show the other causing the party to disappear. The primary vote will be on August 23.