INN: Feiglin: Runis Was Victim of Soviet-Style PC Terror Machine
By Gil Ronen
“I read the letter written by Ariel Runis z”l, and then read it again,” wrote Feiglin, “in an effort to understand what brings a good, successful man like that, a person who contributes to society, a man who is head and shoulders above the rest, to commit suicide over such a trifle.”
“It isn’t the post that killed Ariel – a Shin Bet veteran. He isn’t a little girl, whose classmates mocked on the Internet. There is something much deeper here. Ariel is a victim of lethal political correctness – and of himself,” wrote the former Likud MK, who has founded a new movement. “And he more than hinted at this in his letter.”
The post by the accuser – an African American woman named Lee Lenoir Yurista – was not written by her, Feiglin said – and Runis knew it. “He understood that someone wrote that post for her. He understood that someone made sure to promote and get those 6,000 shares. There are people out there who know how to wait and recognize opportunities, who knows how to pull the strings and produce the interview with Rafi Reshef (on Channel 10) and the entire ‘media festival.’”
Like a Soviet general
Runis “knew well how this works – he wasn’t stupid – he knows how things work, behind the scenes. And he hinted broadly that under other circumstances, he himself would have ‘enlisted’ to such a campaign.” The PC machine mistakenly targeted one of its own, Feiglin added – and the man couldn’t stand it.
Feiglin said that Runis reminds him of a heroic Soviet general, who suddenly finds himself facing a tribunal and knows that there is no way back. “He was a victim of the system, and enslaved to it at the same time. He had no other identity but the one that is now being taken from him. He could have withstood any other epithet, but ‘racism’? Only suicide will clean him from this stain now.”
“He did not have the most important thing – a family – which is also not in the relevant set of values. He had no other anchor in the world, except the identity that he chose, and which is now denied by the entire world around him. What is left to live for?”
Feiglin advised his followers to look at the responses to his post. Many of them would be legitimately critical, he predicted – but they would be followed by a wave of concentrated character assassination. “Watch and see how the monster that (mistakenly) killed Ariel awakes.”
‘A sharp arrow in my flesh’
The complainant, a mother of three, who came to the PIBA offices in Tel Aviv to renew a passport, published a post in which she claimed that a female official did not allow her to take advantage of a special fast lane for people tending to babies, while offering that service to white women who came before and after her.
She said that she complained to Runis, the office manager, who allegedly brushed her off rudely when she made an accusation of racism.
The post was shared by over 6,000 people, and the incident was covered on a very popular mothers’ website – Mamazone. Yurista was also interviewed on Channel 10 – where the Interior Ministry denied her version of events and said that had tried to cut to the front of the line in the fast lane.
A complaint was also filed to PIBA’s ombudsman, who contacted Runis.
In his suicide post, Runis wrote that each of the 6,000 “shares” the complainant’s post received was “a sharp arrow in my flesh.” He explained that he felt that his name would now forever be associated with the stain of alleged racism.
He described his career: at 47, he was a retired Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) officer who wrote a book following his experiences working with Arabs and Druze in southern Lebanon, before Israel withdrew from Lebanon. A year ago, he founded an NGO dedicated to coexistence between Israel’s Jews and Arabs. “Me? A racist? All of my activity was erased with a single stroke,” he mourned.
Runis also noted that the date was precisely the 15-year anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon. “I am not angry at the woman who, judging by her pictures, has already gotten over that ‘harsh blow’ she experienced,” he wrote. “I am unable to. Be well!!”