The Death of the Right

The left's ideas are now expounded by the majority; after all, everyone knows that it is either two states or we are finished.

With neither sorrow nor grief it may be announced: The Israeli right is dead. After long and difficult death throes it has finally and laudably come to its end. The mercy killing was administered by one of its senior sons and princes, Ehud Olmert, but the prime minister's belated courageous statements on the eve of Rosh Hashanah were not needed to know that nothing remains of the right's doctrine.

The right's new political doctrine was born in sin, the sin of arrogance, of messianism, of militarism and nationalism of the Six-Day War, so its death was predictable. Revisionism, the minority view, became annexationism, the majority view, and the right managed by trickery and sleight of hand to deceive a whole country for a generation, irreparably damaging the cause of peace. Now the celebrations are over and the curtain is coming down. Not only Olmert must repent of his sin, as he has done - an entire country must stand up and say aloud: Oops, we were wrong.

The radical left, in whose voice the prime minister now speaks, was correct and predicted the truth. To most of the public it has become clear that no peace will be attained that is not based on the outlines sketched in an ad placed by the Matzpen movement in September 1967. That is how far we have come. But in Israeli society's ideological vacuum, the death of the right does not herald the flourishing of the left. It, too, expired a long time ago.

One after another, the arguments of the right have collapsed, leaving not one stone of its teachings upon another. All the solutions it proposed over the years were found to be mirages that dissipated long ago. It began with messianic and biblical explanations about the sanctity of the land and our right to all of it. That was and still is the reasoning of that minority detached from reality. No rational person today can seriously argue that sanctity means the right to sovereignty. The tomb of Rabbi Nahman in Uman is sacred - so what? And Jerusalem is sacred to Christians - so what?

Reasons of "security" have managed to fool more people. Based on these reasons, control of the territories is a guarantee of security. This foolishness was also proven groundless a long time ago. Technological developments have made it clear to the public that Tel Aviv can be bombed from Baghdad, that there is no security significance in living on the tops of the mountains and the slopes of the Jordan Valley, and there is nothing like living in Yitzhar to endanger the future of the entire country.

Later came the withdrawal from Sinai to prove that territory can be a security burden, and certainly no guarantee of anything, and that peace ensures security more than any territory. The greatest danger to security in our history ambushed us, of all times, when we controlled Sinai: in 1973. In contrast, no years were as secure - on the Egyptian front - as the years of peace, without Sinai and even without Sharm el-Sheikh.

All the solutions proposed by the right were found to be hollow: First Menachem Begin's and Yitzhak Shamir's futile idea that immigration would ensure a demographic majority, then the idea of expelling the Palestinians - Rehavam Ze'evi's "voluntary" transfer and Meir Kahane's involuntary transfer. "Autonomy," "functional compromise," and the "Jordanian option" were all found to be crazy ideas that have rested in peace. No one is even talking about annexation anymore. Try asking people on the right what they predict, according to their own logic, will really happen 20 years from now and they will not be able to respond. They will mumble a few murky slogans and fall silent.

I have never heard a clear answer to this question except "industrial parks," Benjamin Netanyahu's latest craze, which was previously Shimon Peres' idea. And what will happen when the first bomb goes off in them? They will close down, like all their predecessors. But back to the main issue, what will really happen in another 20 years when there will be close to a majority of Palestinians between the river and the sea? The right has no answer. Two states? No! One state? No! What then? A continuation of the apartheid.

What are we left with? With a land slashed by a wall, 10,000 settlements on every hilltop, fear campaigns and the sowing of hatred, and one solution: do nothing. Time has worked, does work and will work in our favor. Meanwhile, Hamas has risen and Arafat fell, today Hamas tomorrow Al-Qaida, yesterday Jordan today Iran, yesterday stones today Qassams and tomorrow dirty bombs. The left's ideas are now expounded by the majority; after all, everyone knows that it is either two states or we are finished, as the prime minister says, but meanwhile everyone also agrees that it is better to do nothing. "The time is not yet ripe" - until that option also comes to an end, until we all come to an end.