Likud, Power Has Gone to Your Head

Hearts are beating fast, stomachs are turning and blood is boiling in too many good people. In the end they'll turn on you, dear Likud members. And when they do, they'll do you in.

I've got news for you, guys: You're confused. I don't know exactly what's happened to you, but it's obviously something bad. Maybe being in power has gone to your heads. Maybe Yaakov Neeman, Zeev Elkin and Yariv Levin have driven you mad. Maybe the ultra-Orthodox and the settlers have grabbed you by sensitive body parts. One way or another you've lost your minds.

You've ceased being the liberal nationalist party you once were and turned into the party of shady populism. You've stopped being the proud Zionist movement of Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin and turned into Avigdor Lieberman's devoted slave. It's not funny anymore. Your ethics are giving off a stench: the stench of a once democratic party trying to turn Israel into a post-democratic state.

And I've got more news for you, dear Likud members: You are failures who are ruining things for everyone. Forget about peace. Let's not talk about peace. At the moment it's irrelevant. And forget about the occupation. You don't really understand the occupation at all. But do you guys understand power? You have methodically weakened Israel. Do you understand unity? You have methodically divided Israelis. Do you understand progress? You are methodically driving Israel backward. At a time when the country faces unprecedented challenges, you instigate brawls. When we need unity and hope, you tear the country apart and spread despair. Instead of shedding light, you blacken everything.

Even though you know that the hour is fateful, you're occupied day and night with the fetid waters of an attempt to corrupt the Judicial Appointments Committee. You violate tradition, destroy norms and try to seize all positions of power. You emasculate the media, silence journalists and try to block opponents by using illegal methods. You are emptying Israeli democracy of its content.

I've got bad news for you, dear Likud members: Most Israelis don't like your shady policies. The Israelis aren't leftists; they don't believe in Peace Now and don't swear by the High Court of Justice. Israelis aren't refined; they appreciate power and aggressive leaders. But Israelis don't like the line to be stretched too thin. Israelis don't want to live in a Russian- or Pakistani-style country. Israelis don't want to be isolated, ostracized and despised around the world.

And so most Israelis have quietly begun to turn against you. Most Israelis are starting to realize that you are reckless and dangerous. You are pushing the broad, sane, levelheaded Israeli center away with your own hands.

I've got really bad news for you, dear Likud members: You're making a big mistake. True, Tzipi Livni isn't much. In the next elections, Shelly Yachimovich won't be a threat either. Ehud Barak is a captive, Ehud Olmert has been neutralized. Gabi Ashkenazi, Meir Dagan and Yair Lapid are still out of the game. Right now, neither Kadima nor the Labor Party nor the left endanger your political hegemony. The media have been thwarted, the legal system is intimidated, and the state comptroller is about to retire. You think you can do whatever you want inside this huge vacuum.

You think you can simply spit on us from on high. But you're wrong, friends. You're making a big mistake. Though Israelis look and act like suckers, in the end they're not. Israelis need time, but in the end they get it. When Israelis watch you behaving so recklessly, they begin to feel what they felt in 1992. When Israelis see how you're dragging them down, they begin to think like they did in 1999.

The Israelis will bring you to the miserable place you were in 2006. Hearts are beating fast, stomachs are turning and blood is boiling in too many good people. In the end they'll turn on you, dear Likud members. And when they do, they'll do you in.

Read this article in Hebrew