Replacing Barak

While Bibi is building the Likud as a cornerstone, Barak is making do with a few stones rejected by builders. This is the last moment: Labor must come to its senses and replace its head.

Just like America, Israel is also awaiting a new hope - one that is not faded or wrinkled. But here there is no sign of it for now: When in the U.S. they elect a new Obama, here they are reserving a place on the slate for an old Fuad [Labor MK Benjamin Ben Eliezer]; and really, what would we do without Fuad.

Never mind Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu]; he is now a warrior who is behaving like a victor, and presumably it's only a matter of time before the prime minister's scepter is drawn from his scabbard. It is hard to expect of him that now, of all times, in his euphoria he will make way for a new hope - one that is neither recycled nor renovated.

But what about Ehud Barak, who is pulling his party down into the abyss. Not only are we stuck with Bibi, we don't even have an alternative; and what is hope in a democracy if not an ideological and ethical alternative? After all, it's already clear that the Labor Party under his leadership will not undergo a revival, it will fall apart and cause disaster. This is a story of a predictable failure: Barak ("lightning" in Hebrew) will be followed by thunder, and it won't come as a surprise one fine day, but on a rainy day, as expected.

This week he mocked Tzipi Livni for her failure: "I would have formed a government within three weeks at most," he said. But the question is not how long it would have taken him to form a government; the correct question is how long it would have taken him to dismantle it.

Barak (henceforth the court-appointed liquidator of the historical Labor movement) has acquired a name as a fast dismantler of clocks; he can also dismantle a government at top speed, as we recall. He will very easily dismantle friendships and alliances - it's a fact that many of his loyal followers have deserted him; he dismantles his insights into its components through careful analysis, and tosses the pig of capitalism from the tower, tearing it apart piece by piece. He also is accustomed to dismantling negotiations with Syrians and Palestinians while they are still young, leaving their innards exposed on the table like the innards of a collector's watch; and now he is dismantling his party.

While Bibi is building the Likud as a cornerstone, Barak is making do with a few stones rejected by builders. There is nothing new under his scorching sun, there is nobody new, and they are trying to squeeze the lower-echelon party veterans into a 10-seat cage.

There is only one thing the dismantler has not succeeded in dismantling: the illegal outposts and the determined and armed militias of the settlers. He has been defense minister for over two years; the settlements have strengthened their hold on stolen land and militias have given rise to increasing numbers of soldiers who assassinate soldiers.

This is the last moment: Labor must come to its senses and replace its head. A party that does not find a replacement for its liquidator is itself bankrupt. Yes, we can, they said there, and won. No, we can't, they are saying here, and they will lose. Hope is essential for any victory, and it is not fair that our every modest wish immediately turns into "the 2,000-year-old hope" referred to in our national anthem.