Likud MK David Bitan, the chair of the Likud faction in the Knesset, is one of those big, fat Mafia type enforcers who roam the ranks of political parties throughout the world. Or alternatively, I suppose you could liken him to an obese, overeager poodle. Bibi’s poodle. The Facebook image posted here compares him to a different animal: a sewer rat. Besides his girth, he has a big, fat mouth as well. The latest spew emitted from it came, ironically, on the day of the Yitzhak Rabin memorial in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square.
The Likud hated Rabin in life and continue to hate him in death. In fact, Bibi Netanyahu is directly responsible for Rabin’s death as a result of a bloodthirsty speech he made from a balcony in Jerusalem’s Zion Square only two week’s before Yigal Amir assassinated him (Amos Gitai’s most recent film, Rabin: the Last Day, portrays that fateful day–Amazon download ). The Israeli far right detests every memorial to Rabin, every event marking his death or honoring him. So today of all days, Bitan tells all Israel in a speech that Rabin’s murder “was not political.” Instead, it was meant to “stop a process.” Of course, the “process” was peace with the Palestinians, which the far-right felt was worth killing for. Bitan refuses to consider turning the memorial into a state event because, he claims, it’s been hijacked by “leftists.” Leftists like the plain vanilla Labor pols who offer their bromides about peace at these events which have long since lost any real significance.
Honoring Rabin is something like the way many American’s commemorate Martin Luther King Day. Many of us don’t honor him or what he stood for that day. And there are far too many tepid statements made about brotherly love, peace and harmony. Instead of dealing with the cold, hard, facts of ongoing American racism. It’s just the same with Rabin. Israeli liberalism died with Rabin. Amir killed it. But Shimon Peres nailed the coffin shut by abandoning Rabin’s goals as his successor. And the rest is history, written by the far-right victors.
But Bitan has opened his big mouth on another important subject. Like Sen. Joe McCarthy, the Likud firebrand has discovered leftists lurking in the new state media enterprise which is scheduled to replace the existing Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Just as McCarthy waved supposed lists filled with the names of “card-carrying members of the Communist Party” working in the State Department and U.S. military, Bitan, according to Haaretz, gave a speech yesterday in which he:
Withdrew a note from his shirt pocket containing the names of IPBC staff members, saying “we are following their Facebook posts. Tomorrow, I will tell the media what they’ve published.”
Scandal in the heart of the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation. Traitors, seditionists, Israel haters and, worst of all, Arab lovers. We await the news with bated breath and will join him for the hangings in Rabin Square.
This would all be hilariously funny if it weren’t so pathetic. But there’s yet another odd twist to the story: Bibi waged a massive campaign against the current IBA, claiming during and after the election that it was out to “get” him and riddled with, you guessed it, leftists. He vowed to bring the media to heel and exert control over it is much the same way that he defanged the Israeli independent media when his mob patron, Don Adelson founded Israel HaYom (Bibiton), all-Bibi-all-the-time.
Now, all of a sudden, Bibi has fond feelings for IBA and wants to ditch the new initiative. However, there are other MKs who still support the new venture. So Bibi and his mafia henchman, Bitan, cook up this new scheme to prove the IPBC is even more riddled with leftists than the old IBA. I tell you, you can’t tell the conspiracies without a scorecard!