A party’s success is not measured by the number of Knesset seats it wins. A more important parameter is the extent to which its ideology is disseminated. Sometimes a party believes that it has won the election after winning a parliamentary majority, but it transpires that in fact ideas that do not conform to the party’s principles have won out. It seems that in the tumult of pursuing voters, its principles have changed in accord with public taste, and the day after, the members look at their party, and it is already unrecognizable.
That’s the situation today, and to paraphrase the Communist Manifesto: “A specter is haunting the country – the specter of Netanyahu.” The specter of Netanyahu is the one reigning in both the coalition and the opposition, and in almost all parts of the Jewish community.
It’s enough to examine what took place during and after Operation Breaking Dawn. The entire Jewish public enthusiastically supported the operation, despite the high price it exacted from Gaza’s residents. Today it’s already impossible to differentiate between the coalition and the opposition, between right and left, one nation with one voice, and thunderous acclamation. Benjamin Netanyahu can go home with a clear conscience, his ideology is the legacy of almost the entire political system.
The danger here is that this political situation is misleading the pursuers of peace, equality and justice. The strenuous battle between the two blocs is blinding, but the truth is that the ideological aspect of this conflict is nonexistent. Even with a magnifying glass we find that there is no dispute on the central issues: Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas, the future of the occupied territories, huge budgets for security and the settlements, the monstrous roads bisecting the West Bank, ethnic cleansing in Area C, support for gangs of settlers who harm Palestinians, water containers confiscated by the Civil Administration, Iran, settling the Negev with Jews and closing the Arabs into ghettos, restricting the movement of work migrants and refugees, and the list goes on.
That is why the question that torments a real democrat is whether to be a deceitful bearer of good news, that there is presumably an alternative, or to be courageous and tell the bitter truth: There is no alternative in Israel, it’s the other side of the same coin. Those now doing the dirty work are Netanyahu’s doppelgangers in the “government of change.” In that case, why give them the seal of approval, as though they are the ones who will rescue us from his jaws. Why lie and why deceive the good people?
From here we proceed to what the government of change claims is the heart of the struggle: to prevent Netanyahu from destroying the legal system, from the courts to the State Prosecutor’s Office, and last but not least the police. In all honesty, is it possible to defend a court that approves the injustices of the occupation? And how can we defend the previous state prosecutor, Shai Nitzan, when he has adopted the status of a United Nations observer and doesn’t take a stand on the issue of slandering the deceased Yakub Abu al-Kiyan by calling him a terrorist? Excuse me, you “anyone but Bibi” people, but I have no desire to defend those rotten institutions.
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And another small question: Do you recall the popular movement that came out en masse against Netanyahu and his gang? Their just battle includes a wide range of issues, from the war against corruption, to creeping fascism, to discrimination against Arabs, to the occupation. Those masses placed everything in the hands of the government of change. Today it turns out that it’s a government of settlers for all intents and purposes.
There are two blocs in Israel. One is the Netanyahu bloc, which includes his opponents; in other words, the parties that compose the so-called bloc of change. The man of peace and equality who votes for the anti-Bibi bloc is in effect voting for Bibi, and that is a dangerous illusion, which returns like a boomerang and strengthens the settler right. The second bloc is a very small, excluded, slandered bloc – the Joint List, which is the only alternative on the opposite side.