Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai hit back Monday in the Knesset plenum at Gaza Belt residents who bitterly complained about the government's handling of the constant rocket and mortar attacks against their communities.
"We, here in Jerusalem, suffered hundreds of casualties, hundreds. You know that very well," he said. "In bus bombings and other maniacs trying to hit Israel at its very core, in our Jerusalem. Did we ever complain about not sleeping at night? Or that we cannot do anything? Or that we have been deserted? Have I ever contemplated anything of the kind as a Jerusalemite?" he demanded.
Israelis living in the Gaza Belt have lived with barrages of literally thousands of rockets exploding in their communities on a regular basis, sometimes daily, since the year 2000.
I cannot imagine a statement that more dramatically exemplifies the obtuseness, callousness, and utter degeneracy of the Israeli government.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד
Somehow the threat of an incoming missile seems as damaging as the actual realization of casualties.
It would be interesting to compare the psychological damage to the inhabitants of London during the blitz with that of the mainland Europeans under the jackboot.
I suspect that the constant threat proved more damaging in the long run.
I also suspect that it is comparing apples and oranges. The hundreds were a few years ago. The incoming presents from the Arabs are now. Now. Now.
"We've suffered, now it's your turn" is cold comfort indeed.
When I heard him make those idiotic, callous, and disgusting statements, I remembered when his political party (which was responsible for creating the situation in Jerusalem, after they invited the arch-terrorists into Israel and supplied them with weapons) told everyone who was "whining" that the murdered citizens in Jerusalem were "victims for peace".
As long as he retains his political seat, what does he care?
As Jameel pointed out to me. In Jerusalem, you still at least had the option to not get on the bus, or not go into the shopping mall.
These people are unsafe in their own homes.
On the radio this morning (Galatz on Ben Caspit’s show) Vilnai argued he was trying to do something else. He was trying to place the rocket attacks on the south in the context of the terror all Israelis have faced throughout our history, that he wasn’t trying to tell the residents of the south to stop whinging, but rather was saying “chin up old chap, stiff upper lip, we need the ol’ Blitz spirit” and all that.
To me, that seems a bit of a stretched interpretation of the words he actually said, and it’s not the first time he’s used outrageously stupid language this year is it? But perhaps “I cannot imagine a statement that more dramatically exemplifies the obtuseness, callousness, and utter degeneracy of the Israeli government.” Is overstating things too much.
YB: When Gilo was being shelled from Beit Jala, Israel's Minister of Internal security, Uzi Landua moved his office to Anafa Street -- the primary street that was getting hit.
THAT is an example of how a government can express solidarity with a community/neighborhood/city instead of saying, "Stop being such crybabies" (though that seems to be a theme from the Labor party, since Rabin said that same to "complaining" settlers who were getting shot left and right...from the weapons he gave them).
Jameel, I'm really not defending Vilani or his choice of words, all I'm saying was that he claimed he meant something else, so maybe it wasn't quite the example of "obtuseness, callousness, and utter degeneracy" that you first thought.
Governments expressing empathy and solidarity are of course important, and maybe I'm just an old cynic, but all to often for me it just rings hollow, like all the talk (from all sides of the political spectrum) that "we must do everything to bring the boys back home/ end the threat of the kassamim" etc.
Of course he's trying to backtrack and claim he meant something else, because he was too obtuse and callous to understand what he was saying before he said it.
YB; The only thing worse than government sympathy is goverment apathy and callousness.
Yellow Boy: Jameel, I'm really not defending Vilani or his choice of words, all I'm saying was that he claimed he meant something else, so maybe it wasn't quite the example of "obtuseness, callousness, and utter degeneracy" that you first thought.
Just for the record, I was the one who thought so (I wrote the post, not Jameel).
And yes, I still think it is a prime example of the government's "obtuseness, callousness, and utter degeneracy". It follows a logical progression, as Jameel and Joe already indicated, from Rabin's labeling as "whiners" the Jews who were getting murdered by terrorists whom he had imported, and Peres' offhand dismissal of bus bombing victims as "sacrifices for peace" (along with his criticism of the media for even bothering to cover the bombings). Vilnai's comments, however, take the cake. And his pathetic attempt at spin control this morning is laughable.
Looking at things purely from the perspective of Matan Vilnai's own self-interest, he made two big mistakes in uttering his statements yesterday:
(1) He disregarded the fact that residents of Sderot and the western Negev have not yet undergone the demonization process to which he and his colleagues subjected the residents of Gush Katif. (Although his statement itself suggests that such a process is already underway.)
(2) He forgot that the media has not bestowed upon him the icon status of Rabin or Peres, or the "etrog" status of Sharon, that would have allowed him to make such a statement in spite of (1) with impunity.
Politicians of all stripes have a long history around the world of back pedaling furiously when there is public anger at their words by saying "That's not what I meant to say." Here's a bulletin for them: either say what you mean the first time out or don't complain when others believe that you mean what you say when you say it.
Post a Comment