What did Avigdor Liberman mean when he said to MK Talab el-Sana, “When I reach power, you’ll be the first person I deal with"?
What does this sentence allude to? It contains a number of statements, veiled but very interesting. Avigdor Liberman truly believes that he will be the prime minister of Israel. After all, he is already part of the "circle of power;" to be precise, he is one of the top figures in Netanyahu’s government — foreign minister. And still, even from the position of foreign minister, Liberman doesn’t view himself as someone "in power.” Oh, no. For Liberman, “power” means the prime minister’s seat.
It’s not clear if we’ll see the realization of that wild spectacle — Liberman as prime minister — but one thing is already clear: this prime minister intends to “deal” with all sorts of people as soon as he takes the seat. He didn’t mean one person when he said, “I’ll deal with you first” to his Knesset colleague; he suggested that the list does not end with MK Talab el-Sana, but rather that he is the first of many. Perhaps the first among equals, but still, the first of many.
So Avigdor Liberman is compiling a list for when he will take over the house on Balfour Street (the residence of the prime minister). Are you on the list, mister? And you, ma’am? Pray that you’re not. The immediate groups at risk, if we are to rely on the Hebrew press from last week, are Israeli Arabs and homosexuals. Liberman will “deal” with the Israeli Arabs, and his fellow party member Anastasia Michaeli will offer her services to properly "deal" with each and every member of the LGBT community. (Lately, Michaeli stated that "most gay people suffered sexual trauma at a young age and committed suicide at 40," and that “abortions turn women into lesbians.”) As a matter of fact, imagine what will befall an Israeli Arab homosexual if he falls into Liberman’s hands, or into those of Michaeli, the propaganda officer for human sexuality, and who he enlisted into the ranks of his party.
This wasn’t the first show of violence on the part of our foreign minister. More than a decade ago, he attacked two children, aged 12 and 13, claiming that they had harassed his son. It’s enough to read the descriptions in the indictment that was submitted against the man — then-MK Liberman, chasing after two children, throwing a brick (!) at one of them, chasing another around his community of Nokdim, and afterward searching for them in order to “deal” with them — in order to understand that MK el-Sana has reason to fear for himself, whether Liberman "reaches power” or not.
Article 192 of the Israeli Penal Law determines that “if a person in any manner threatens another with unlawful injury to his or to another person's body, freedom, property, reputation or livelihood with the intention of intimidating or annoying him, then he is liable to three years' imprisonment.” Without consulting a criminal lawyer, it seems to me that the words “when I come to power, you’ll be the first person I deal with,” meet the legal definition of a threat according to Israel’s penal law. Are we to assume that the Knesset will demand the foreign minister strip himself of his parliamentary immunity after the attorney general calls for Liberman’s actions to be investigated and for him to be prosecuted ? Oh, come on.
Or maybe, as consolation, the prime minister will reconsider the continued term of someone whose actions warrant a criminal investigation. Oh, I almost forgot: That’s been Liberman’s consistent status from the moment he entered the government, and it hasn’t seemed to bother anyone, certainly not the prime minister. So maybe the Knesset Speaker will take up the task, since an MK threatened to harm his parliamentary colleague? Ha! Good joke.
So what do we do? Nothing. We wait for the day that Avigdor Liberman "takes power" and starts "dealing" with us all, one by one. At least it’s now clear who is first on the list. That’s something. Either way, we have something to look forward to!