Are rightist reactions as 'furious' as journalists tend to describe them?
Incoming President Shimon Peres already said in an interview to some foreign network that we should get rid of the Territories, and newspapers reported about "rightist fury" in response to the statement.
I happened to be part of the rightist camp that day and wondered where this fury they were reporting was to be found. Does any response by rightist Knesset Members Zvi Hendel and Uri Ariel constitute "rightist fury?"
If there is fury, let it appear immediately. Fury is made up of raging protests, road-blocking, loud rallies and whistles. Rightist fury is something akin to the response of Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans when a referee disqualifies a goal. Now that's fury.
During that same morning this week, following Peres' statements, I was wandering around the Right and found no fury. Perhaps I found rightist chuckling, forgiveness, some giggling, and even some nose-picking (the right nostril, of course) in wake of Peres' declaration. But you call that fury?!
The answer to the question of when the Right is furious is not at all related to Peres' words. The truth is we are not talking about any fury, but rather, a journalist reflex. For them, the Right is always associated with fury and emotions while the Left is associated with logic and level-headedness.
Right and fury are like a bride and groom, Max and Moritz, Lindenstrauss and Olmert (no, that's not a good example.)
Google surveyTry the following trick and have some fun with it: I entered the phrase "rightist fury" into Google's Hebrew search and within a quarter of a second, 640 mentions appeared. There is almost no issue where fury is not attributed to the Right, ranging from construction of the security fence, to halts in fence construction, to head lice. Rightist fury, the settlers are furious, the religious community is furious, and so on and so forth.
Then, I entered the phrase "Leftist fury". Whoops! Only 167 mentions. As it turns out, the Left is only furious 25 percent of the times the Right is furious. Then I continued with this amusing game and searched the phrase "criticism on the Right." After all, criticism is a more moderate and solid expression.
The phrase "criticism on the Right" appeared online 123 times. And what about "criticism on the Left?" 297 mentions in Google – 250 percent more than on the Right.
Indeed, sometimes the Right too is furious. But believe me, at the beginning of this week, after Shimon Peres said we should be getting rid of the Territories, there was no fury. There was rightist yawning and rightist boredom. I even counted six responses that can be characterized as "nodding of the head on the Right" and a "damn, him again?!" declaration on the right. But fury?!