Last week I saw an interesting interview on TV. It was Avri Gilad hosting Rabbi Dov Wolpe, an extreme right winger. Wolpe heads The Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land, who basically give money to soldiers who refuse to evacuate settlements.
The interview itself wasn’t that interesting, we’ve heard extreme right views a zillion times before, and even more extreme than Wolpe. But I thought the whole package was kind of unique in itself. This is semi-prime-time television, where people like Wolpe are rarely seen. They’re rarely given the spotlight. And if they are, it’s usually on the regular politics shows, not the family talk shows with fairly high ratings.
Gilad, an intelligent man but not the best of interviewers, took a different approach here as well: let’s listen to the guy, and hear what he has to say. No attacks, just a tad of being the devil’s advocate here and there, no more.
What you get is a quiet interview with a very dangerous man, with almost Hannibal Lecter-ish attributes. He’s cool and calm. He even gets the crowd to cheer once (of course, when he talks about how other nations push us around) – and notice how this crowd, as usual in Israeli talk shows, is made up mainly of soldiers. (I never knew why that was… guess they can’t sell all the tickets.)
It’s good insight into someone who really pulls strings in the Wild East. These are the kind of people behind the occupation, the settler movement. You read about them once in a while in the papers, but never really put the face to the name.
Also, yesterday I saw a link to a Forward story about him (thank you, Lisa Goldman), claiming his organization might be in violation of U.S. tax laws. Again, another reason for my fellow Half & Half readers in the States to be angry, very angry.
So, that’s why I decided to spend a few hours translating this.