This thought came to mind when reading the brilliantly written but alarming opinion piece by Ariana Melamed. “With Its Satirical Show Cancelled, TV Channel Is Latest Victim of Netanyahu's War on Media” https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-netanyahu-s-sophisticated-methods-of-controlling-israeli-media-1.9102686
The thought, not original, was taken from a ‘Yes Minister’ clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZIMCYHBOrU. The 1980s satire, much loved by Margaret Thatcher, was written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn. (Lynn is Jewish, his maternal uncle was Israeli statesman Abba Eban.)
In the clip, which I have watched several times, and triggered the above blog heading, the Minister asks he PPS how “Sir Humphrey knows various things’’. The PPS, Bernard Wolley played the late Derek Fowlds, informs the minister that ‘’God moves in mysterious ways”. Jim Hacker, the minister and later prime minister, played by Paul Eddington, forcefully tells his PPS that ‘’Humphrey is not God’’. To which the PPS responds, “will you tell him or should I?”.
It is of course questionable how Benjamin Netanyahu sees himself, and maybe more to the point how others see him.
In her article, Ariana Melamed has, leaving aside her main thrust which is the cancellation of the satirical TV show, ‘Gav HaUma’, several important touchpoints.
Melamed writes that Netanyahu ‘hasn’t yet managed to institute an orderly dictatorship like his counterparts in Turkey and Hungary’. She could have included Belarus, as well as other countries with a near-dictatorial rightwing leaning. (I suspect that Trump will be reelected in November, making the USA sadly eligible for inclusion in any such list.)
In the same paragraph, Melamed refers to Netanyahu’s ‘frontmen, poodles, and mouthpieces’. The term ‘poodles’ is one I have used extensively when referring to various members of the Netanyahu posse.
And to end this delightful paragraph, Melamed takes a subtle dig at Sara Netanyahu, which I suspect is lost on the lady.
So, are we witnessing, Netanyahu, through his cronies, manipulating and bending the Israeli media to his own ends, and for his own self-interests.
It certainly looks like it.
We need to be ever vigilant against the dictatorship coming from Balfour Street, a dictatorship that is slowly but surely chipping away at our democratic rights for free speech, and all that that entails.
But, Benjamin Netanyahu needs to remember that is not a God, not even a King, and that someday, sooner rather than later I suspect, he will be swept from power.