Photo Credit: MK Simcha Rothman’s Facebook
MK Simcha Rothman with a friend, July 13, 2021.

“I’m not angry with Pollard who believes in Ayelet Shaked again, even though she formed a government with terror-supporters,” Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rothman wrote Tuesday afternoon, responding to the old spy’s surprising endorsement of the Zionist Spirit leader (Jonathan Pollard Endorses Ayelet Shaked: She Knows She Made Mistakes).

Rothman went on: “I’m not angry with Pollard for falling into her net again, even though she, to solve a relatively small political crisis, promised Ra’am and Meretz thousands of permits for Palestinian ‘family reunifications’ in Israel, de-facto ‘right of return.’”


He added: “I’m not angry with Pollard who is ready to believe again in Shaked, who formed a government that created the terrible and threatening precedent of paying salaries to terrorists out of the Israeli taxpayer’s money,” and noted: “This was not done by turning a blind eye, neglect, nor by mistake. This was done above the table, loud and clear. The government that Ayelet Shaked established turned me, you, and all the citizens of Israel into supporters of terrorism.”

“But I’m not angry with Pollard,” Rothman reiterated, confessing: “I’m not mad at him because I also once believed in Shaked. Because I, too, supported her, and I was ready to invest many hours, days, weeks, and months in her political and public success. I also used to think that every failure or loss on her part was just the result of weakness or her failing to withstand pressure. And she always promised that next time it would be different, stressing there was no other choice.”

“Her loud protests convinced me there was sincerity behind them,” Rothman continued, reminding those of us who follow Israeli television of Shaked’s sometimes shrill voice one mustn’t mention lest one wants to be accused of misogyny (loudly).

“And you know what? Everything may be true. It may be that Ayelet Shaked’s actions are not evil, her convictions are not malicious, and she is not even misguided by stupidity. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter,” Rothman said. “She can be an arch-villain, a con artist working her magic on the people around her, or she can have a pure heart and only want the best for her nation, but fails to deliver – The outcome is still the same.”

Citing Pollard’s comment that “we need Shaked free and clean of all bad influences,” Rothman surmised that “he probably thinks only bad influences brought about her shocking results,” arguing: “Let’s say he’s right.
The essence of political leadership is about successfully dealing with bad influences, and whoever fails in this, cannot be a leader, even if ‘her heart is in the right place.’ This is true for any political leadership. This is doubly true for the political leadership of the Israeli right.”

In the end, Rothman said, those who want right-wing policies do not have the luxury of electing weak people as their leaders. Because to push a right-wing agenda one must fight against the hostile media, the biased state prosecution, the anti-settlements IDF brass, and security apparatus, academia, and what he dubbed the High Court of Justice Party. All of the above require enormous strengths. In Shaked’s case, he argued, her miserable failure to implement her ideological principles means she simply isn’t fit for the job.

The left has it easier, according to Rothman, who strikes a bitter note here: “It can choose hollow presenters with nothing to show as their achievements (one Yair Lapid comes to mind – DI). The government’s system will make sure that everything they attempt would flow in the desired direction, leftward.

“No bogus organization is going to petition the Supreme Court to stop the nomination of some notorious liar as the head of a committee for purity and morality. No newspaper will present them as dark and primitive, even if they appoint a homophobic Islamist as chair of the Knesset Interior Committee (Ra’am MK Waleed Taha). No restraining order will be issued against them should they move the official Prime Minister’s residence to Ra’anana. They won’t be indicted for appointing their spouse to a cushy job, then follow up with another cushy job for a sister-in-law (Lapid again), ‘because she is simply the most suitable.’”

“But we can’t afford these failures,” warns Rothman. “We on the right need leaders, not weaklings. When a right-wing leader was blackmailed by the system, we lost Gush-Katif (PM Ariel Sharon who was facing criminal charges). We paid dearly for weak right-wing leaders.”

“But I can’t be mad at Pollard for believing in Shaked,” Rothman concluded. “I can’t be mad at him, because I used to be like Pollard. It’s over for me. I hope it will be over for him too, sooner rather than later.”


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