In his maiden Knesset speech, outspoken journalist-turned-politician Ofer Shelah slammed what he called “the politics of fear.” Quoting Franklin Roosevelt’s famous dictum, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” the neophyte Yesh Atid Knesset Member accused old-style politicians (like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) of playing on public fears to win votes and justify a hawkish reliance on force rather than diplomacy.

“I think fear is ingrained in Israeli consciousness,” Shelah tells The Jerusalem Report. “It starts from the way Israeli children learn history at school. There is the sense of victimhood they learn from the Shoah; and from the neutral way modern Israeli history is taught, they learn to shy away from controversy and debate.”

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