Opinion

Israeli Leftists Are Out of Tune With the Times

Leftists love to sing ‘It Will Get Better’ at rallies. But the lyrics about ‘the territories’ make this song far more appropriate for the right.

Rogel Alpher
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An Israeli woman holds up a poster during a rally to mark the 21th anniversary of the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the Tel Aviv plaza where he was shot in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on November 5, 2016.
An Israeli woman holds up a poster during a rally to mark the 21th anniversary of the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv on November 5, 2016. Credit: Jack Guez
Rogel Alpher

The anthem of the Israeli left, “It Will Get Better,” is a pathetic, abhorrent song. For almost 40 years, since 1978, the left has been humming it at its protests and demonstrations. David Broza performed it last Saturday at the Yitzhak Rabin memorial rally in Tel Aviv. And the audience, which knows the Yehonatan Geffen-penned lyrics by heart, sang along.

The song expresses the eternal, timeless hope of the Israeli left for peace, and the leftists’ belief that peace will surely come. But how will peace come? And what do the singers intend to do to ensure it really will be better? Well, nothing.

Just like Israeli leftists, “It Will Get Better” is one giant fraud. Israeli leftists who sing “It will get better” are passive victims who feel sorry for themselves. The song is generally considered a protest song. But it has no sense of protest. Only a person looking out the window, viewing the reality. It is a relationship he/she has with the present that he/she wishes to change. He/she looks on from the sidelines at reality and expresses all sorts of hopes about it. It doesn’t occur to Israeli leftists to do something besides complain. That is their position in relation to the world.

It’s an anthem of the complainers. An entire song about the crappy situation. Sad leftists comfort themselves in the arms of their lovers. They don’t take to the streets; they don’t burn tires; they don’t start revolutions.

A protest song is supposed to declare that the crappy situation can no longer be tolerated. But leftists are also crappy. It’s almost as if they are the ones who will get better – better than themselves.

The song’s most important verse includes its own negation. “Here comes the president of Egypt,” the verse begins, “how happy I was to greet him. There are pyramids in the eyes and peace in his pipe.” He was a great seducer, this Egyptian president – he has “pyramids” in his eyes. The crappy leftist is an innocent person: “How happy I was to greet him,” he/she confesses. Happy to greet him, like a child. And the “pyramids in the eyes” are like candy. And there is “peace in his pipe.” He is a mythic creature, this “Egyptian president,” like the Indian in adventure books. And the comparison of the Arabs to the Native Americans is completely explicit here. These natives, with their magic. “And we said, ‘Let’s make up and live like brothers,’” the leftist sings, “and he said, ‘Go ahead, just leave the territories.’”

This is the critical moment in the song. We, the leftists, tell the Egyptian president, “Let’s make up and live like brothers.” That is, we extended our hand in peace. We are good. While he, instead of agreeing, suddenly comes with demands: “Just leave the territories.” What territories does the song refer to? Sinai, apparently. Leftists, like the peace rejectionists such as Yitzhak Shamir and Geula Cohen at the time, oppose the evacuation of Sinai. That’s surprising. He/she is frustrated. The Egyptian president made them sad and disappointed them with his cynical demand that Israel leave “the territories.” And the leftist’s immediate response to this demand is to helplessly lament, “It will get better.”

It will get better someday, at the End of Days. When the “Indians” will be as good as we are. When they stop robbing our “territories.”

When leftists sing “it will get better” in 2016, the “territories” have become a kind of eternal, general space. It seems all the leftists humming “It Will Get Better” have never considered the fact that this is an overtly right-wing lyric that opposes Israeli withdrawal from “the territories,” no matter where, as a condition for peace. That is stated unequivocally in the song, and the leftists sing it with Broza – like a stupid flock that doesn’t understand what it is singing.

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