After the 1977 election, Moshe Dayan began to work with Likud. If he hadn’t, it’s likely that a peace deal with Egypt would not have been signed. The understandings he reached with his Egyptian counterpart, Hassan Tuhami, is what allowed Sadat to come to Israel.
To stand before a flailing coalition of 60 MKs, one needs to be like Dayan. The objective of putting an end to Benjamin Netanyahu’s anti-democratic threats is of no less strategic importance than peace with Egypt.
Most Knesset members are not Netanyahu supporters in their heart of hearts. Even on the right, there are those who believe it unthinkable that Jews persecuted by racist dictatorships could rule themselves this way. It’s not a coincidence that Gilad Erdan has planted himself in opposition to destroying the free media, destroying the Interior Ministry’s planning capabilities and Netanyahu’s bullying in the Communications Ministry. It’s no coincidence that Avigdor Lieberman stayed on the outside.
There is something here beyond left and right. Dictatorship is bad for everyone. The firing squad aiming its rifles at journalism, with the help of billions of shekels in the ruler’s propaganda machine known as Israel Hayom, isn’t aiming only at the left. Lieberman, Naftali Bennett and Erdan are suffering just as many blows. History teaches us that when the ruler takes over the media, his friends, too, are wiped out, at least politically.
The promises of Kahlon’s Kulanu party, as it latches on to Netanyahu’s falsifications, is disastrous. Equality and anti-democracy don’t go hand in hand. The one who appoints is the problem, not who he appoints. That Tzipi Hotovely was appointed deputy foreign minister is indicative. Netanyahu appointed someone who makes Bennett appear left-wing in terms of the Temple Mount. A regime that opens itself up to sanctions will drive up the cost of living, too.
This is an immoral act. Kahlon, whose voters are from the moderate center, told his people that he prefers a government headed by Herzog, and that he would preserve the Supreme Court and the media. He said he wouldn’t join an extreme right-wing government, and definitely not a coalition of 61 MKs. So what the hell is he doing?
Kahlon’s hope that Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich will save him is an illusion. Yacimovich’s plan for cooperation with Netanyahu’s regime won’t last – because it’s ridiculous, dangerous and immoral. Yacimovich is supposed to be the first to know that an offer to support evil for the “good things” it does is a farce. An anti-democratic regime that starts by obliterating the Communications Ministry, and which barely has a majority – Yacimovich, of all people, will save it? Who are we kidding?
A (mistaken) entry into the coalition is preferable to Yacimovich’s foolish proposition. It would at least block some of the evil from within. Should Kahlon be helped while his hands are making possible the destruction of the media and democracy, and threaten to set the region aflame by way of the Temple Mount? Has someone gone completely crazy? Kahlon should join the democratic coalition he claimed to have wanted. Only in democracy is equality a possibility.
Helping Kulanu is the opposite. Its reforms could only come about in a government headed by Labor – the 63 seats went to those who voted for change, from Kahlon leftward. When the ultra-Orthodox join Herzog’s coalition, and the Arabs support it from the opposition, it would have 76 seats. Even Lieberman, and perhaps even Bennett and Erdan, could offer their support. No objective is more important than saving Israel from dictatorship.
Under Netanyahu, Israel dropped out of the top 100 nations in terms of freedom of the press, and topped the list of industrialized nations for poverty and social gaps. If there were a secret referendum on Netanyahu’s rule in the Knesset, it’s likely he wouldn’t get more than 30 votes. Among the Likud party there is a complete lack of faith in him. They know that under a non-democratic ruler, there is no life for anyone. Except for him.
The Kulanu party must take action. If Kahlon doesn’t have the guts, then two of his people must do it instead, and join a vote of no-confidence that will put a stop to the dangers of Netanyahu. There is no action more moral than that. They would win praise greater than that for Dayan.
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