Israel's Zionist Left Is Kidding Itself: It Can't Lead Without Arabs

The whittled-down left must wake up and realize: only a true partnership with Israel's Arabs will allow it to lead. Until then, things will continue to worsen.

Kobi Niv
Kobi Niv
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Isaac Herzog.
Isaac Herzog.Credit: Mosi Milrod
Kobi Niv
Kobi Niv

Yet again, like in every election campaign, the ghost known as “the Zionist left” is suddenly revived, and yet again its failed leaders go on about how “See, this time a government under our leadership can be formed.” How? Very simple. Take the number of anticipated seats for the “left-wing bloc,” double it by the euro exchange rate and pour it into a big pot of illusion broth. Add a liter and a half of Haredi gravy, two packets of Kahlon powder, three hairs from Lieberman’s beard and two from his mustache, a heaping teaspoon of leftover Lapid and Mofaz, and you get a strong and stable government under the leadership of Bougie and Mougie from Kfar Shmaryahu.

But the problem of the supposedly-liberal secular Ashkenazi Jewish left wing, which calls itself the Zionist left (Herzog and Livni are left-wing like Bibi and Bennett are socialists) is not going to be resolved by some magical scheme or other. That is because the only place where such a scheme could make the establishment of a government under their leadership possible is in their wildest dreams. Why? Because this bloc does not have enough voters to form a government, neither in Jerusalem nor in Neverland, and not in this election — except perhaps in Kfar Shmaryahu.

The secular Ashkenazi “left-wing bloc” (Labor, Meretz, Hatnuah and the rest of that ilk) can bring 30 seats at most on its best day. All well and good. But where is it going to get 30 more seats to build a coalition, huh? Especially when the right-wing national-religious bloc (Bibi, Bennett, Lieberman, Kahlon, Lapid and the Haredim) brings in 75 seats on its worst day?

So enough with the infantile self-deception already. After all, you see yourselves as smart Jews who know arithmetic. So let us assume that you really do have 30 seats and become the second-largest bloc of parties (after Bibi and Bennett with their 40 seats). So why should Shas (those racists, whose guts you hate) or Lieberman (who is as right-wing as Bennett, if not more so) or Kahlon (who is Likud’s own flesh and blood) or the leftover Lapid (you do know he is right-wing, or haven’t you figured that out yet?), join with you, with all the arithmetical and ideological difficulty that comes with it, when they can easily and naturally join with Bibi and Bennett and get as many ministers and budgets and yeshivas and settlements from them as they want, huh?

Ah, wait a minute. How did we forget? You have another card up your sleeve – the Arabs, right? A dozen Arab Knesset members will be an obstructive bloc for us, you say, and “our” 42 seats will keep the other Knesset members from forming a government. Right?

So first – no, it won’t. Second – and this is the most important thing – until the “Zionist left” realizes that it has to build up the Arabs not just as a force to obstruct the other side, but really join with them as full partners, in a single political bloc – until then, things will stay as they are, and the next government and the ones that come after it will be just like their predecessors and even worse, until one of them realizes its goal and destroys the country.

So please, let even one of the leaders of the “bloc that pursues equality and peace” get up and announce that he will welcome the Arab parties in the coalition that he forms – just like Bougie, the leader of the “left” in the next government, ha ha, got up and announced that he would not disqualify Bibi from serving in his government.

Can’t do it, can you? Not capable of it, are you? So what, exactly, is the difference between the “right-wing bloc” and the “left-wing bloc” – that they are benighted racists and you are enlightened racists? A yawning gulf indeed. So you just rush off to the polls now.

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