That's life: just two words, which the prime minister chose to summarize the death of Yuval Castleman yesterday. That's life: zero emotion, zero compassion, zero regard for the act, the mistake, the personal and family tragedy. That's life: as if there is a connection between the massive distribution of weapons to civilians and this terrible incident.
Netanyahu to Israel Hayom's question: "We must continue the policy of distributing arms, we will pay a price for it, this is life" // GPO
It is doubtful whether it was possible to choose such a pair of words so outrageous, so casual, so hurtful. Did the state abandon you on 7 October in the Gaza envelope? That's life. Were you raped by the Nokhba terrorists and then murdered you? That's life. Did they kidnap you and your children to Gaza? That's life. Did they burn you alive in the safe room? That's life. You've been evicted from your home for two months and the prime minister doesn't come to talk to you? That's life.
You can go on like this forever. Because Netanyahu's behavior at the press conference the other day – where his mood was, well, just like at the party – was a leadership disgrace. The man who did not take responsibility for the worst failure in the history of the state, which happened on his watch, spoke only of "I" and "I" and "I", as if he alone existed in the universe.
Whoever reads out the names of children released from captivity should be read the names of the children murdered on Black Sabbath. Anyone who talks about winning a battle should be reminded of the defeat that led to it. Anyone who claims that he is not involved in politics should be reminded that he is mainly involved in politics.
IDF soldiers evacuating bodies in the village of Gaza, Photo: Reuters
There is no half-responsibility, or responsibility only for what is good. The credit includes: for successes and failures. Netanyahu is supreme responsible for both. Therefore, his evasion of responsibility for the Black Sabbath is outrageous. Therefore, his insistence on getting all the credit for what has happened since then is ridiculous.
The two words he chose – this is life – indicated his state of mind. Everything for him is meant to serve the personal-political-survival goal, in this case the hawkish base he cultivates and the unacceptable relationship with Itamar Ben-Gvir and his gang.
The problem is not in the distribution of weapons
Yesterday, when he realized he had made a mistake, Netanyahu called Castleman's father to express his sorrow. It took him a day to say and do programmatically everything a reasonable person would say and do instinctively.
Castleman was an excellent and courageous Israeli. He charged at terrorists and killed them, saving more Israeli lives. Then he was shot dead even though he begged for his life, shouted that he was Israeli, threw away his ID card and opened his jacket to show that he was unarmed.
Netanyahu: "Yuval Doron Castleman is a hero of Israel, this is a tragedy that must be examined" // Prime Minister's Spokesperson
That didn't stop those who shot him. The bullets were fired in Jerusalem, but the trigger finger belonged to everyone who made Elor Azaria a hero. Netanyahu surfed this wave then and since, and he cannot get off it now.
The problem is not in the distribution of weapons: Castleman also had licensed weapons. The problem is that in Israel in 2023, it is legitimate to shoot those who raise their hands and surrender.
The fact that the police and the IDF are bogged down in the investigation is astonishing. The fact that the prime minister thinks this is life is appalling. The only life in this event was taken from Castleman. Everything else is exactly what our life here should not be.
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