Good Leftist Losers Know When to Shut Up

The Israeli left's post-election mourning period is over and the wounds have been licked, so it's time to begin adjusting. After all, Mubarak ruled for 30 years, Gadhafi for 42.

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Zionist Union supporters in Tel Aviv, Election Day, March 17, 2015.
Zionist Union supporters in Tel Aviv, Election Day, March 17, 2015.Credit: AFP
A photo of Dr. Zvi Bar'el.
Zvi Bar'el

You should know how to lose, the Israeli left is hearing these days. The facade — good manners — is very important in the Middle East, you know. The left should tip its hat, bow slightly, smile and utter congratulations: Way to go. You won. Be our guest, cut the ribbon and drive the country into the abyss.

That’s how it’s done in a civilized country. We’re well-mannered people who since kindergarten have been raised to sit with hands folded, to speak only after the teacher gives us permission, to kill only in compliance with protocol, to vote only in accordance with our values, and to always respect the winner.

That’s exactly what we’ll do for the next four years, or maybe slightly less. We’re nothing if not obedient. We won’t dare ask, even in a whisper, whether another war in Gaza or Lebanon is really necessary. We won’t criticize the government’s economic policy, we won’t raise an eyebrow at the cabinet appointments and we’ll take great care to maintain the fence separating us from “our” Arabs. In these parts it’s winner take all, including the soul, the tongue and the loser’s hope.

We also apologize for daring to vote differently, for creating a rift in the nation, for not giving the brother-leader-commander a 99-percent victory. What were we thinking, anyway? In what other country in the Middle East are journalists allowed to bad-mouth the prime minister’s wife? Where’s the Arab state that lets its leader’s petty cash be investigated?

All of a sudden we’ve turned sensitive as well, shaking like a leaf just because the U.S. president tells us off. What, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t get into a tiff with Obama? Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak didn’t boycott Washington for five years back in the day?

Nothing happened, the sky didn’t fall. Where did we get the chutzpah to say that only the prime minister of Israel, the most powerful country in the region, is barred from talking back to the president of the United States, or of France or Russia?

We sowed fear of the master, bowing to the lords in their tuxedos and top hats, our hearts trembling lest the goy get angry at us. Forgive me, forgive me a thousand times, for being blind to the greatness of our leader. It won’t happen again.

How often is a nation fortunate enough to have a leader who saves it from itself? We lost, but we won. Because at the very last moment, as the Arabs were streaming out of their hills and sewage ditches, the many against the few in order to slaughter Jews, the supreme leader was the first to recognize the danger and know how to combat it.

Remember how we ridiculed him during the 2010 Carmel fire, how we exploded with anger when he took credit for procuring that supertanker firefighting plane? But he foresees all, whether it's fire or Arabs. Too bad he apologized for what he said about the Arabs. There’s no need to apologize for preventing a disaster.

From now on we’ll be silent. We can be good losers, even if sanctions are imposed and our melons, tomatoes and all the great stuff we've invented are boycotted. Even if our deviant authors are beaten up and our playwrights’ works are censored. Even if the High Court of Justice is silenced and the foreign workers are buried in the desert.

We’ll only meet at Rabin Square for the marathon, and we’ll only show empty refrigerators in ads for appliance stores. We’ll take our children to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Kiryat Arba in Hebron, we’ll never hire Arabs and we won’t disturb the tycoons. We’ll honor Mommy and Daddy and marvel at that bed they installed on their plane.

It’s over, the mourning period is finished, the wounds have been licked, and the time has come to begin adjusting. Mubarak ruled Egypt for 30 years, Gadhafi tyrannized Libya for 42, and look what happened when they were ousted. Only in Iran can a president serve for only two straight terms. But we’re not Iran. We know how to suffer in silence.

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