Gil, whose cousin is kidnapped in Gaza, calls on Ben-Gvir not to promote the death penalty for terrorists: "You are endangering the captives"/Knesset Channel
Almog Cohen wants us to forget that he is a member of Knesset for the Otzma Yehudit party. Almog Cohen, rightly so, wants us not to identify him with Ben-Gvir, who was convicted of terrorism, and the IDF refused to recruit him. Almog Cohen, quite rightly on his part, does not want us to remember that he cooperated with Amichai Eliyahu, the minister for dropping atomic bombs on populated areas. Almog Cohen, as justly as possible, hopes we forget that he is a member of Limor Sun Har Melech's party, which donated money to a baby killer.
When he arrives at the Channel 12 News studio to defend his ugly attack in the Knesset on the families of the hostages, Almog Cohen wants to mention the heroism he demonstrated in the battle for Ofakim on October 7. He talks about his pain over the death of his friends, and about abductees to whom he is personally attached. His pain is authentic, and the heroism he displayed on that Black Saturday is remarkable – for which he may very well receive a citation in the future – but it does not eliminate the disgust that arises from the screen the moment you see him reprimanding the families whose loved ones are currently in Gaza.
The panelists sitting in the studio did not make up for it, leaving the stage for Yaron Avraham to argue alone with MK Cohen. To Avraham's credit, he refused to swallow the spin that Cohen fed him, and humanely handed the Knesset a number of ladders to descend from the tree he had climbed. All Almog Cohen had to do was apologize, understanding that he lives in a reality in which there is no excuse that allows a public representative to reprimand the families of the abductees at this moment.
No excuse for his behavior is accepted. Almog Cohen/Image processing, Jonathan Zindel/Flash 90
Yaron Avraham even set a personal example, apologizing to MK Cohen for not giving him a platform to tell his story of heroism on October 7 – but the MK continued to insist that he was allowed to reprimand people whose children had become hostages in Gaza. Cohen not only refused to apologize, but continued to portray the families of the abductees as fun and opposed to the death of Arabs, regardless of the context in which it was said, in a debate on the populist law of "death penalty for terrorists," which could lead to harm to Israelis currently held by Hamas.
Innocent viewers who joined the broadcast must have been shocked to see a public representative attacking the people the whole country is embracing right now. Yaron Avraham tried to put things in order and explain what led to this ugly event, but Almog Cohen decided to jump on the grenade and defend the members of his extremist party himself. "Very pleasant, I'm Almog," said Liron Avraham, clarifying that he was not speaking for the party or Ben-Gvir. This despicable decision to attack Chen Avigdori, whose wife and daughter are currently held captive by Hamas along with 8 other members of their family, is entirely on him. In a reality where it is difficult to find politicians who take responsibility, this is almost welcome.
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Still, if one can at least understand the emotions of Almog Cohen, who presented real pain in the studio and there is no doubt that the massacre in Ofakim hurt him personally and emotionally - there is no excuse for Itamar Ben-Gvir's behavior. The truth is that this is not news. "Itamar Ben-Gvir dances on blood in a populist and childish way" is no longer an exciting headline. "Itamar Ben-Gvir posts a photo to garner likes" is a "dog bitten a man" article. But even from a cynical and boundless politician like Ben-Gvir, we did not expect him to publish a photograph of him "hugging" a man who, a moment earlier, had shouted several times, "Don't hug me."
What is the distorted psychology behind such a violent and repulsive act? What is flowing through Ben-Gvir's veins that causes him to hurt people who have been hurt enough by him and his party at this time? How much of a hater do you have to be to party online and garner likes at the expense of people who currently need real leadership? How much inhumanity does it take to listen to the requests of the families of the abductees, ignore them completely, and then try to rake in political ethnicity at their expense?
Ben-Gvir/Flash 90, Jonathan Zindel
There's no other way to put it: it's a violent act. A man who touches a person against his will, while shouting his reluctance at the act, then runs to the Internet to post a picture of the act under the caption "Loves and hugs the families of abductees." Minister Ben-Gvir seems to be confusing love with exploitation. Between embrace and forcefulness.
It's not a hug, it's a grip. For pita. Perception. By force, by surprise, without permission. Contrary to all human instinct. Itamar Ben-Gvir doesn't like the families of the abductees. At best he ignores their suffering, at worst he exploits them for his own personal and political needs. If he cared, even a little, about the families, he would just keep his racist mouth shut until the last of the abductees came home.
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