For years it seemed as if the bitter dispute between the Israeli right and left had been on a long hiatus. Well, it’s back now, in a big way. In the last Knesset elections in January 2013, the debate over Israel’s borders and the country’s relationship to its Palestinian neighbors made way for a completely different agenda. Issues like the cost of living, social justice and sharing the burden between the secular and ultra-Orthodox sectors took center stage in Israel. Finance Minister Yair Lapid caught this wave and within just a few weeks, he went from television host to the head of the country’s second-largest party.
Over the past few weeks, however, and especially since the murder of the three teens, the political climate in Israel has gone sour, and the debate between left and right has taken a sharp turn into dangerous territory. Today's toxic spectacles are reminiscent of the days of mass demonstrations, with their palpable expressions of hatred and blatant incitement.