Referring to “a recent exchange of op-ed pieces and letters to the editor in this paper,” Moshe Arens writes: “They have yet to explain why it is those claiming to be the advocates of democratic government that have most difficulty in accepting the verdict of the electorate that has brought to power a government not to their liking” (“Vox populi,” September 28).
Like many of the right wing’s most fluent spokespeople, Arens reaches a comfortable conclusion with comfortable reasons. Look at the left-wingers, those great guardians of democracy. Just elect someone who is not from their camp, and they will burn down the club. But in this way, instead of dealing seriously with the complaints against Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, Arens serves as the loyal mouthpiece for the shriek of outrage of the eternal right wing, which reaches the peak of its sophistication when Netanyahu is prime minister. (“The left wing is interfering with our efforts to govern.”) The main advantage of this method is that it always provides an unassailable excuse for the abject failures of the right.
The government tells the right wing: We tried to solve the problem of the asylum-seekers from Africa, but the High Court of Justice ruled that it was illegal to lock people up without trial because of their skin color. We wanted to let the army win, but the snitches brought in their pesky friends from the human-rights groups. We wanted to build homes all over the country to lower housing prices, but the left wing hurried to whine to Obama every time a bulldozer made noise starting up in Samaria.
Just like the jar of oil that lasted for eight days, the weak and crumbling power of the left wing is all it takes to paralyze Netanyahu’s government, with the ministers, Knesset members and army that bow to its authority, for three terms. A miracle!
Arens says: The right wing is in power. Accept it. But the one that truly needs to accept it is not the left wing, but the right. After all, Netanyahu’s status is assured. During Operation Protective Edge, even representatives from the opposition stood by him: Isaac Herzog encouraged him in the media, and Meretz dared to organize a demonstration against the attack in Gaza only after it was over. No government has been seen to hold such power since the days of David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party. Besides its tangible strength, it also has the moral support of average Israeli citizens.
Still, Netanyahu is paralyzed
Despite this, Netanyahu, the man who with a word changes the preoccupation of the Israeli street — yesterday it was Iran, today it is Islamic State — is paralyzed in his seat. If he wishes, he can sign an agreement with the Palestinians and make normalization with all the Arab countries possible. If he decides, he has the ability to fulfill the right wing’s wildest dreams: annexing the West Bank, conquering the Gaza Strip, rebuilding the Temple. No one will stand in his way – but he does not decide.
So, the left asks the right, where is the plan? What is the next stage? Transfer for the Arabs? Accepting the Arab peace initiative? An Uzbeki drumming circle? Whatever you decide, we will manage, or at least we’ll know what’s on the scales and be able to consider our next move. But for heaven’s sake, make a decision and do something already. All that power – and you do nothing?
Fortunately for Netanyahu, most Israelis are not demanding a plan. They are content with speeches at the United Nations. It is true that the situation is teetering on the edge and we have no idea what is going to be tomorrow, but it’s all because of those leftists who refuse to accept that the right is in power.
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