Divide and Rule Israel

Historically one of the most effective ways for overcoming an opponent is to employ the tactic of “divide and conquer”. Whether on the battlefield or the playing field, this all purpose method can be adapted to fit nearly any situation.

Interestingly, the Hebrew translation of this popular phrase is “divide and rule”. In light of recent events in Israel it is clear that the Hebrew translation is far more suitable for this society since the name of the game in Israel is not to conquer per se but simply to rule.

Seen from this angle, a clear pattern can be discerned from the onslaught of negativity being transmitted to the Israeli public for the last month or so. Although societal problems do exist here and no one is suggesting that they be swept under the carpet, the image being depicted of a country that is dominated by extremist religious elements which are threatening to turn Israel into the second coming of Iran is a far cry from the reality of life in Israel. For this reason the hysteria being projected by the media is clearly out of control and beyond any reasonable sense of proportion. Nevertheless, the continuous messages are not surprisingly fanning the flames of anger and division amongst various segments of the society.

This being the case, what then is the reason for the current media bombardment? It’s quite simple. With Knesset elections to be held no later than October 2013, the media, which for the most part is ideologically opposed to a right-wing nationalist coalition despite the fact it represents the will of the majority of the Israeli public, needs to start chipping away at the coalition’s electoral power base in order to effect a change. While they would happily, given the chance, trade in this government for one more to their liking, the last elections clearly showed that unless there is a shift of five to ten mandates towards the left there is almost no chance of a stable left-wing coalition being formed.

Thus, the very dependable tactic of divide and rule is already being employed. By fostering animosity and friction between opposing groups as well as highlighting what divides rather than what unites, the goal is to draw individual voters away from the large right-wing bloc as well as to make it difficult for heterogeneous parties to sit together in a coalition. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if most Israelis see through this thinly veiled attempt to create an exaggerated perception of a divided Israeli society. The goal is not to fool everyone but rather just enough to swing the pendulum back towards the left. It’s a desperate tactic, albeit an effective one.

Hence the Israeli public, the majority of which supports a firm, non-apologetic pro-Israel government, must be on its guard in order to resist the blatant attempts by the media to create additional divisions and discord since not only does needless strife and infighting always prove detrimental for the Jewish people but in this case the main reason behind all the commotion is simply to help certain factions regain power. We’ve been down this path before. Let’s not make the same mistake.

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4 Responses to Divide and Rule Israel

  1. Leon Kushner says:

    Well said Yoel. I’d also add that adding fuel to the fire are people like George Soros who use their millions and media connections to instigate the in-fighting. These antisemites (some Jewish) want nothing more than for Israel to fail. The amount of international media attention caused by a haredi man spitting on a girl is ridiculous. Many other events sound like total setups to me (like the woman who sat at the front of a religious bus who refused to move to the back and began to sing, oh and she just happened to have a video camera ready for the events to follow). I hope that Israeli’s are smarter than most of us in the West and refuse to take part in this dangerous game.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Hi Leon,

      When it comes to Israel, for good or for bad, everything is out of proportion.

      I too sincerely hope that people will not be duped (again).

      All the best.


  2. Ruth says:

    Do you have any comments on the recent celebrity-politics announcements by Lapid and Shalit? The system is so different from the American one, in which they would need to persuade some local community (cf. Col. Allen West moving to Florida and campaigning up and down his district). It’s hard to understand how much effect their announcements have on the situation you just described, but I think both of them were planning to run on the Left, though I didn’t pick up if Lapid had a party he was declaring for.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Hi Ruth,

      I don’t know if their announcements were part of the “game” but they certainly help to advance the same goal.

      Part of the problem here is that unlike the States, Israel MKs don’t have to answer to a regional constituency. Thus they’re freer to do as they please and to jump parties in order to secure better positions. Also, most Israelis are unaware of what really goes on in the Knesset, who votes for what, how bills become a law, etc, etc. Thus it’s easier, via the media and PR campaigns, to “fool” people and cause them to vote in certain ways.


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