MK Tamar Zandberg of Meretz has coined a new phrase in Israeli political discourse: "extreme center."
In a Facebook post Sunday, Zandberg defended President Reuven Rivlin, who is coming under fire for taking part in a conference that also hosted a representative of anti-IDF group Breaking the Silence. She also fired a salvo at Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid and Labor MK Tzipi Livni, for joining the criticism of Breaking the Silence.
"The attacks on President Rivlin – and through him, on Breaking the Silence – are a low, cowardly, sycophantic thing to do," she accused.
She then added: "It is particularly sad that the attack is being joined by representatives of the extreme center: Lapid in a false and populist post, as well as Tzipi Livni, in her speech at the Haaretz Conference."
Zandberg was alluding to a Facebook post by Lapid, in which he called on Rivlin to go to the conference and tell Breaking the Silence: "You are lying, you are besmirching, you are using anonymous testimonies and foreign funding to damage the state. This is not activity for peace; these are fabrications and inventions as part of an ongoing attempt to erode Israel's international status and the legitimacy of the Jewish state."
Labor MK Livni, for her part, told Breaking the Silence at the conference that they should present their findings about alleged misdeeds by soldiers to the Israeli authorities – not to foreign audiences.
The "extreme centrists," said Zandberg, "will stop at no desperate attempt to get a few more likes and conform with the Right, and to hell with peace, human rights or the freedom of speech, values that they extol with hyperbole in other occasions."
"Breaking the Silence," the rookie MK added, "is an important organization, even an essential one for Israel. It has become a scapegoat precisely because it is a platform for combat soldiers to tell the truth from the inside of the reality of military rule over another nation."