Sunday, February 22, 2009

Begin as a "Non-Person"

From Sarah Honig's column in the Jerusalem Post:

Deflecting attention from the issues via character assassination is very prevalent in our politics and certainly predates the state. Even before becoming Israel's first premier, David Ben-Gurion was already a master practitioner surpassed by none. He spoke of Ze'ev Jabotinsky as Vladimir Hitler - no less (for the attention of those pure souls among us who shudder at any Nazi-allusions). Ironically, Ben-Gurion was lots closer to Jabotinsky in no-nonsense realism than generally acknowledged and eventually ended up implementing the very policies which Jabotinsky presciently advocated - hence, perhaps, BG's psychological hang-ups.

When not branding Menachem Begin an abhorrent fascist, Ben-Gurion rendered him a non-person and referred only to "that man seated next to Dr. Bader." This isn't irrelevant ancient history. Ad hominem propaganda is endemic, if not genetic, to Israel's left-wing dialectics, where the merits of an opponent's assertions are sidestepped by besmirching him.
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