The main advantage people see in Benny Ganz is the kind of aristocratic laid-backness some people are blessed with from birth. Little people short-changed by heredity or having suffered from protein deficiency have to store up a lot of self-confidence until they develop this trait of his. It stood out in the long interview he gave last weekend’s “Yediot Aharonot”, in which he avoided hurting his political rivals and making any worthwhile statement in the pleasantest way possible.
This tone changed only once during that conversation. This happened when the interviewers challenged him with the statement made by Minister Ophir Akunis that Revital, Ganz’s wife, is active in Machsomwatch. That’s when the ‘hood temperament finally showed on Ganz: “At the end of the day, that would get on my nerves too. And when that happens, I don’t recommend being near me. My enemies know that. So will my rivals.” The former Chief of Staff discloses that he used to attack our Arab enemies when he got irritated, and that’s what he would do to his political rivals when he would get really mad. This is no evidence of the witness’ cool head but rather a distinction between private matters and public ones. Nothing public ever makes him angry, but an attack on his family drives him berserk.
Before I proceed, let me clarify: Revital Ganz is not active in Machsomwatch. She has never taken part in its activities nor appeared in its assemblies. Akunis lied, and the tactic of mean election campaign lies is supposed to make any decent citizen angry. Well? The lie was not libelous, but rather a compliment which Mrs. Ganz does not deserve. She deserves compliments for a different community activity in which she persists.
Machsomwatch activity is nothing but praiseworthy. Ganz knows this quite well, for the army has often praised the women whose reports have helped improve checkpoint procedures and soldiers’ conduct. The women members of this organization may have saved the lives of more Israeli citizens than a squadron of combat soldiers ever did, for in their activity they managed to mellow the bitterness of impoverished Palestinian workers. IN order to make it on time to their workplaces, the Palestinian must get up shortly after midnight and squeeze their way through crossings that resemble cattle corrals. Some of these women, most of them no longer young, get up early too, drive their cars to the checkpoints, and stand there for hours to try and prevent the cruel harassment that the workers suffer there. Some of these women have been doing this for years.
The best proof of the importance of Machsomwatch has been provided by the competing organization Kacholavan (Blue-white), initiated by the Institute for Zionist Strategy. This is a typical right-wing oriented organization headed by Yoaz Hendel. He has gathered a group of his friends that have undertaken the task of ending the left-wingers’ monopoly on protecting human rights. It declared that besides overseeing the goings-on at checkpoints the organization would provide medical aid to Palestinians and African asylum-seekers. The scope of its activities does not even get close to those of human rights groups associated with the left, but the actual intention shows that helping Palestinians and asylum-seekers do not discredit honest people of the right.
If Ganz were decent and noble as his supporters presume he is, he would have not only denied Akunis’ ‘slander’ but even added: “Akunis lied, but Machsomwatch activity is not an act of treason but rather saving the country’s moral face. This slander is combined with the attempt to show leftists as traitors, and I protest that too.” He would not have lost any votes by saying this.