After 60 days of war television, after a charged and loud meeting with the families of the abductees and after another press conference of the war cabinet headed by Netanyahu, the astonishing fact can already be determined: television studios are using the war as an excuse to exclude voices of support for Netanyahu, who is still the national identity center of a huge camp.
If this has not yet been understood, let us say it explicitly: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the head of the Cabinet of the State of Israel, even yesterday saw only hosts, journalists and commentators on television who would criticize him. With the exception of Channel 14.
In all the rolling broadcasts that deal with his management, his decisions and his political future – how come not a single name comes up to support the prime minister?
It's not about the atmosphere, it's about facts: In almost two months of fighting, the Israeli public can't remember even a host, a panelist, a commentator of any kind or even a guest in the studios who would support the prime minister's moves. In what has already accumulated to thousands of hours of broadcasting, the new systems that determine who will be invited to the Israeli screen do not have a single character who will throw a word of support to whoever ends up having the last word in the room. Not a voice that will resent the fact that saying "this is life" has nothing to do with the victim of the attack in Jerusalem, and not a voice that will answer the constant smear machine on every panel.
But Netanyahu is not the whole story, the story is his constituents.
It was Menachem Begin who said, "It was good for Irgun blood to repel a British assailant carrying bombs, destruction and killing, but how many times was the Irgun slandered?" These words are more relevant than ever today. The blood of Netanyahu's voters is good for dropping bombs, destruction and killing in Gaza – but their political voice is not good enough to have a minimal presence.
Since October 7, his right to political representation has been taken away from him, and the right to take part in political discourse has been closed to him. In the "Together We Will Win" studios, representatives of the Mizrahi national public are also excluded, and even worse, the right to support and defend their elected official is excluded.
At a time when the very cautious commentator in taking a political position, Amit Segal, must be careful even in the face of Rafi Reshef's gentleness, and when on Channel 13 News broadcasts commentator Dr. Avishai Ben-Haim disappeared from the screen due to reserve duty, the national camp and the "Second Israel" have no foothold. And if this is not proof of the violence of the First Israel, which dominates the political discourse, against the Second Israel, which in time of war deserves only to run through the alleys of Jabaliya, then what is?
Remember to speak sensitively
On Network 13's "War Zone," commentator Mickey Rosenthal told Eliyahu Libman, who worries about his kidnapped son in Hamas captivity while supporting the state's moves on the issue: "In this position you sacrifice your son, are you aware of that?"
The father replied, "You need to speak sensitively and compassionately to the father of a kidnapped child, a little sensitivity and a little compassion! I am not sacrificing my son, he is the most important to me in the world, but at the same time the State of Israel is also the most important to me in the world - we do not sacrifice anything and we should be careful for the father of a kidnapped child. Not just one side and one agenda to be compassionate. And when suddenly someone presents a position that is not on your agenda, you talk about sacrifice. We don't sleep at night. My wife cries at night. Don't talk like that."
It turns out that the families of the abductees must speak with the utmost sensitivity, unless their opinion does not align with the agenda of people like Mickey Rosenthal.
The writer sometimes serves as a panelist on Channel 14 and Kan 11
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