There Is No One Further Right Than Netanyahu

Netanyahu seeks an extremism that begets more extremism and closes off any avenue of agreement. But we just want to live another day.

Ethan Freedman

Tears of excitement ran down my cheeks when I got the press statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring that he “welcomes the initiative to increase awareness of activity against cruelty to animals.” The backdrop to this statement was the decision to institute “meatless Mondays” in the Knesset cafeteria, starting Monday.

My excitement was understandable. After all, here we have a prime minister who finds time to deal with cruelty to animals even though he’s busy from morning to night saving Israel from the global Islamic extremism that has risen up to destroy us through no fault of our own.

That very same day, amid all the reports of terror attacks, murders, stabbings, shootings and demonstrations, Science and Technology Minister Jacob Perry said he’d noticed that “Netanyahu has recently been breaking right.” It would be interesting to find out what Perry knew in his former job as head of the Shin Bet security service. After all, Netanyahu has always been on the far right, both in his first term as prime minister and in his subsequent opposition to the disengagement from Gaza. But Perry, who doesn’t want to give up his ministerial chair, is manufacturing astonishment and talking about “conducting a diplomatic initiative.” How wretched. How pathetic.

Yet Perry isn’t alone. There are several other innocents who also believe Netanyahu is really a peace seeker who was unwillingly dragged in the wake of fellow Likud MKs like Tzipi Hotovely, Miri Regev, Zeev Elkin, Danny Danon and Moshe Feiglin, while Habayit Hayehudi ministers Naftali Bennett and Uri Ariel lurked in ambush from the sidelines. This, too, is nonsense. Netanyahu is Hotovely. He is Regev; he is Elkin; he is Danon and he is Feiglin; and he’s also Bennett and Ariel.

There is no difference between him and them. He hasn’t been dragged along by the extremists; he’s a major extremist himself. He merely speaks a bit differently, a drop more moderately. After all, he is the prime minister. But in practice, he acts exactly like they do, because he, too, is a believer in Greater Israel, and all the rest is just talk and tactics, for the sake of buying time.

In the context of these tactics, he can give a speech at Bar-Ilan University in favor of a two-state solution, conduct make-believe negotiations, freeze construction in the settlements for two or three months and even release a few prisoners (and then imprison them again). But these are mere deceptions. His plan is clear: another house and another tree, more roads and more settlers, so as to deepen Israel’s hold on the West Bank and thwart any possibility of an agreement and a withdrawal.

That’s exactly how he acted during his first term, in 1996-1999. On the eve of the election, he announced that he accepted the Oslo Accords (a tactic). But the minute he attained power, he opened the Western Wall tunnel in Jerusalem, which caused a bloodbath and liquidated the Oslo Accords.

Now he’s fighting Mahmoud Abbas by repeatedly declaring that Israel has “no partner” for peace, even though the Palestinian Authority president has said he’s ready for a peace deal that will recognize Israel and end the conflict with all the Arab states as well. That’s why Netanyahu hates him.

There’s nothing that drives him crazier than Abbas’ insistence on not committing terror attacks. Netanyahu is interested in an extremism that encourages more extremism and closes off any possibility of any agreement. That’s why he’s doing everything he can to destroy this peace seeker and crown Hamas in his place — because then it will be clear to everyone that there really is no one to talk to.

Every time things cool off a bit, he pours fuel on the fire by announcing more building in East Jerusalem — 2,600 apartments in the Givat Hamatos neighborhood or a few houses in Silwan. And he does nothing to stop Likud MKs from ascending the Temple Mount to inflame all the world’s Muslims against us.

Their goal is clear: They want Armageddon to break out between Israel and the Muslims, and then, in the heat of battle, it will be possible to throw all the Arabs out of the country. But what will happen if we lose that terrible war? For answers, see the fate of the local Jewish community at the time of the Great Revolt against Rome in 70 C.E.

So all we can do is ask him to show us the same mercy being shown those cows and chickens on meatless Mondays. We, too, want to live. Is that too much to ask?