Accept the Election Results, but Don't Respect Them

Let a right-wing/ultra-Orthodox government arise. It will have no fig leaf and no alibi for its incompetence.

Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid
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Netanyahu campaign posters.
Netanyahu campaign posters. Credit: AFP
Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid

This column is being written with great difficulty, because it doesn’t have much to say. All thoughts have stopped and words have lost their power. We accept the results – as if we have a choice – but we do not respect them. We cannot respect your choice. Would we respect someone who has turned lying and racism into his stock in trade if he were the head of Zionist Union? Would we respect a felon if he were the leader of Meretz? Seriously? We humbly beg their forgiveness, but not submissively.

The Likud didn’t get to be the largest party. That’s an optical illusion. The larger party – some 37 Knesset seats – is those who are here but absent. Despite the marginal rise in voter turnout, a little less than two million people didn’t bother to go to the polls. Two million who had given up in advance. Most of them are still here, among us, but in fact they have not been with us for some time. Their bodies are here, but their spirits have long flown away. They have no part in Israeli democracy, in which they no longer believe. When democracy disappoints and the political system depresses, the terrible alternatives will soon provide temptations.

I examine the results and ponder over the figures in the State of Tel Aviv. Forty Knesset seats for the Zionist Union, 15 for Meretz, 14 for Yesh Atid – the three have an absolute majority. I examine the figures of the State of Judea and the picture is reversed. Indeed, two states for two peoples, which Netanyahu has founded with his incitement. Perhaps three states, because thanks to him the Arab-Israeli state dwells alone in the Galilee and the Triangle. And all of us – each in his own neighborhood – live in a bubble and no bubble touches the other.

This week’s election was not about Netanyahu’s disastrous policy. No. With great alarm we observe the results and the future. Again he was right – we are afraid, because once again it has been proved that you can deceive the majority and lie most of the time.

Netanyahu is the great winner, but we should remember – only about 25 percent of the public expressed confidence in him, and not enthusiastically either. All the rest are the losers. Lapid emerged from the fray with only half his faction. Bennett is returning to the National Religious Party’s natural, historic size. Lieberman fell into his own corruption trap. Even the ultra-Orthodox – Shas and United Torah Judaism together – can’t remember when they last contemplated the mystery of scaling down in size. Even the appeased Kahlon realizes by now that he won’t try his luck again; at the first opportunity he will return to his place of origin, Likud, when his foe Netanyahu falls.

Victory was within reach this time, like a ripe fruit. Never had we had a prime minister who arouses so much repugnance and so little trust. This man is sick, lovesick for himself, loveless in Caesarea. But Herzog couldn’t reach out and pick it, and Tzipi Livni has already been squeezed to her last drop and is stewing in her own juices. And poor Meretz, what will become of it? It gained nothing for all its hard work and decency; perhaps it really is too condescending in its integrity and opinions.

Anything but a unity government, for God’s and the future’s sake. Let a right-wing nationalist government be formed with the ultra-Orthodox hanging onto its coattails. Let it sally forth and show us what it can do. From now on, it will have nothing to cover its nakedness and no alibi for its incompetence.

As for me, what remains to be done? Give my grandchildren a big hug. They’re still too small to tell them what I think.

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