Ben-Dror Yemini was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel in 1954. He studied Humanities and History in Tel Aviv University, and later on he studies Law. After his university studies, he was appointed advisor to the Israeli Minister of Immigration Absorption and then became the spokesman of the Ministry. In 1984, he began his career as a journalist and essayist. He worked as a lawyer and was a partner in a law firm. He has worked for the daily newspaper Maariv, and in Spring 2014 began writing for the daily Yedioth Ahronoth. The author of "The Industry of Lies."
Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:11 pm How I found myself at the top of the list of 'inciters' - By Ben-Dror Yemini
How I found myself at the top of the list of 'inciters'
By Ben-Dror Yemini
August 25, 2016
A report from the PA's official news agency dubbed Ben-Dror Yemini the greatest inciter among Israeli journalists. He strongly disputes that claim.
Last weekend, I found myself the star of a report on Palestinian news agency Wafa, the Palestinian Authority's official news site. It turns out I have been bestowed with the dubious honor of being at the top of a list of "inciters" among Israeli journalists.
I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm used to hearing such accusations from the delusional left-wing, but from the Palestinian Authority? Normally, if I may, the PA, despite everything, is saner than the delusional left. I have ties with some of its senior officials. We disagree and argue, but we still talk to each other.
The problem is that despite the ties some Israelis have with senior officials in the PA, its campaign of incitement continues unabated. The PA glorifies Jew killers, nurtures the fantasy of the "right of return" and Greater Palestine, and portrays the Jews as Nazis. Instead of putting a stop to incitement, the PA prefers making up claims against Israel. So they searched high and low, and it appears that the greatest inciter has now been caught.
What did I do? What sins have I committed? The PA found two reasons. The first was an article I wrote against the leaders of the Joint Arab List over their objection to the integration of Israeli Arabs into Israeli society. The second was the fact I featured in my writings a report presenting the series of comments made by Jibril Rajoub in support of terrorism.
I'm all for integration and equality—I confess. I'm against those who support terrorism—I confess that too. Admirably, the PA's report is accurate and not distorted. It doesn't attribute to me opinions I've never expressed. That happens a lot with the delusional left wing. In their writings I've read incredible distortions of my words, sometimes presented as direct quotes—positions I've never expressed and that I am completely against.
But where, damn it, is the incitement? In recent years I've published, time and again, articles in favor—I repeat, in favor—of Israeli Arabs. I've featured polls that showed the majority of the younger generation in the Arab society is in favor of integration and doing national service.
In this context, I came out against MK Jamal Zahalka, who said, "An Arab who does national service will be cast out," and against MK Ayman Odeh who chose to lead a committee against national service or any other kind of service to the state. After the heinous murder on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, I spoke about my personal acquaintance with many family members of the terrorist, Nashat Melhem. The murderer, I wrote, doesn't represent them, nor does he represent Israeli Arabs. On the contrary: The absolute majority of Israeli Arabs oppose violence and terrorism.
So where, exactly, is the incitement I'm accused of? It turns out that the fight for the integration of Israeli Arabs is actually a fight for normalization.
The anti-Israel campaign includes opposition to normalization—a word considered dirty by "progressive circles." It is the essence of the BDS Movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), which receives support from a part of the Arab leadership in Israel. If their vision comes to pass, Arab doctors won't work in Israeli hospitals, Arab experts won't attend international conferences as representatives of Israel, and Jews won't be allowed into Arab restaurants. The alienation will increase. Hatred will skyrocket.
The support in "Muqawamah" (the resistance), as members of the Arab party Balad preach, will also grow. This is the ideology that Azmi Bishara, Balad's ideological leader, openly supported. The result will be ruin for Israeli Arabs. It happens everywhere the coalition of insanity prospers, which stretches from the BDS Movement to Hamas and ISIS.
To their credit, the Israeli Arabs don't fall into this trap. The percent of those opposing integration and normalization is close to zero. The biggest paradox, however, is that most of them vote for the politicians that want to increase the alienation. But paradoxes like that are part and parcel of the contradictions of political life: After all, in most polls, Israeli Arabs appear to be a lot saner than their alienating leadership.
And so, it is not a mark of shame that the PA bestowed upon me—but a badge of honor. And the award I received for my anti-terrorism, pro-equality and integration positions—I give to Israeli Arabs. They deserve it.