Hiding Behind the Likud

June 17, 2013 1:40 am 0 comments

Tzipi Livni. Photo: Antje Wildgrube/Wikimedia Commons.

I must confess, I’m not exactly a big fan of Tzipi Livni. Whether it was her incessant bashing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the last government or her indefatigable efforts in the past as well as in the present to promote the suicidal two-state solution, the current Justice Minister simply rubs me the wrong way. Nevertheless, and perhaps a bit ironically, in certain ways I’m coming to respect her more than Netanyahu himself.

Despite their nearly ten-year age difference, ideologically the two of them share a similar background; they both come from right-wing Revisionist families connected to the ideas and vision of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and they both entered politics via the Likud. However, that’s where the similarities end.

While Livni has, politically speaking, come out of the closet and no longer pretends to be even remotely associated with the right-wing nationalist camp, Netanyahu on the other hand continues to hide behind the guise of the Likud, a rather convenient cover in that it allows him to project himself as a mature right-wing nationalist leader. Of course his public support for the two-state solution, his implementation of a complete freeze on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria during the last government, his current semi-official freeze on Jewish building in eastern portions of Jerusalem, his appointment of Ehud Barak in the last government and Tzipi Livni in the current government to key positions of power vis-à-vis the very Jewish settlements that they oppose, makes it absolutely clear to anyone who is not blind where Netanyahu stands on the issue of Judea and Samaria.

Even if we assume that Netanyahu’s declared support for the two-state solution is just a bluff, as Danny Danon would want us to believe, it’s still an extremely damaging bluff since the public assertions of a Prime Minister, and a Likud one at that, only increase the expectations of the world, making it that much more difficult for Israel to eventually change direction and choose another path.

Personally I don’t buy the bluff theory and I’m certain that what the Prime Minister says, the Prime Minister means. However since Netanyahu, unlike Livni, cannot fully come out of the closet, he continues to veer leftward ideologically yet simultaneously continues to hide behind the cozy confines of the Likud. Although such behavior might be a bit schizophrenic and has probably fooled quite a few people, it’s one that has greatly benefited Netanyahu since it’s enabled him to stay on top for quite some time.

The question is, when will someone finally blow the whistle? Although in the past there were several Likud MKs who were openly critical of Netanyahu’s increasingly leftward leanings, unfortunately most of them have apparently been stricken with an acute case of laryngitis ever since the Prime Minister appointed them to be Deputy Ministers. Their silence is not only deafening but it’s truly tragic since it’s inadvertently inching the country that much closer to the point of no return vis-à-vis the two-state solution.

Similarly, for far too long many good rank and file Likud members have been defending Netanyahu saying, “He’s the best possible leader of all the bad options”. The question is, what are these people going to say after he affixes his signature to a document that officially proclaims an Arab state in Judea and Samara? Will they be mesmerized by the star-studded White House ceremony or made proud by the Nobel Peace Prize that is certain to follow? This is no longer a hypothetical question as day by day Netanyahu, perhaps as part of a deal with America concerning Iran, is dragging Israel in the direction that would make both Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter proud.

This September will mark twenty years since the Labor government of Yitzhak Rabin launched the tragic Oslo process and in doing so began digging our national grave. Will the current government under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu close the coffin by signing away Judea and Samaria? If Netanyahu continues to hide behind the cover of the Likud, and everyone allows him to get away with it, then unfortunately there’s a very good chance that Netanyahu is going to sign that piece of paper on the White House lawn.

This article was originally published by Ynet.

I must confess, I’m not exactly a big fan of Tzipi Livni. Whether it was her incessant bashing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the last government or her indefatigable efforts in the past as well as in the present to promote the suicidal two-state solution, the current Justice Minister simply rubs me the wrong way. Nevertheless, and perhaps a bit ironically, in certain ways I’m coming to respect her more than Netanyahu himself.

Despite their nearly ten-year age difference, ideologically the two of them share a similar background; they both come from right-wing Revisionist families connected to the ideas and vision of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and they both entered politics via the Likud. However, that’s where the similarities end.

While Livni has, politically speaking, come out of the closet and no longer pretends to be even remotely associated with the right-wing nationalist camp, Netanyahu on the other hand continues to hide behind the guise of the Likud, a rather convenient cover in that it allows him to project himself as a mature right-wing nationalist leader. Of course his public support for the two-state solution, his implementation of a complete freeze on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria during the last government, his current semi-official freeze on Jewish building in eastern portions of Jerusalem, his appointment of Ehud Barak in the last government and Tzipi Livni in the current government to key positions of power vis-à-vis the very Jewish settlements that they oppose, makes it absolutely clear to anyone who is not blind where Netanyahu stands on the issue of Judea and Samaria.

Even if we assume that Netanyahu’s declared support for the two-state solution is just a bluff, as Danny Danon would want us to believe, it’s still an extremely damaging bluff since the public assertions of a Prime Minister, and a Likud one at that, only increase the expectations of the world, making it that much more difficult for Israel to eventually change direction and choose another path.

Personally I don’t buy the bluff theory and I’m certain that what the Prime Minister says, the Prime Minister means. However since Netanyahu, unlike Livni, cannot fully come out of the closet, he continues to veer leftward ideologically yet simultaneously continues to hide behind the cozy confines of the Likud. Although such behavior might be a bit schizophrenic and has probably fooled quite a few people, it’s one that has greatly benefited Netanyahu since it’s enabled him to stay on top for quite some time.

The question is, when will someone finally blow the whistle? Although in the past there were several Likud MKs who were openly critical of Netanyahu’s increasingly leftward leanings, unfortunately most of them have apparently been stricken with an acute case of laryngitis ever since the Prime Minister appointed them to be Deputy Ministers. Their silence is not only deafening but it’s truly tragic since it’s inadvertently inching the country that much closer to the point of no return vis-à-vis the two-state solution.

Similarly, for far too long many good rank and file Likud members have been defending Netanyahu saying, “He’s the best possible leader of all the bad options”. The question is, what are these people going to say after he affixes his signature to a document that officially proclaims an Arab state in Judea and Samara? Will they be mesmerized by the star-studded White House ceremony or made proud by the Nobel Peace Prize that is certain to follow? This is no longer a hypothetical question as day by day Netanyahu, perhaps as part of a deal with America concerning Iran, is dragging Israel in the direction that would make both Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter proud.

This September will mark twenty years since the Labor government of Yitzhak Rabin launched the tragic Oslo process and in doing so began digging our national grave. Will the current government under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu close the coffin by signing away Judea and Samaria? If Netanyahu continues to hide behind the cover of the Likud, and everyone allows him to get away with it, then unfortunately there’s a very good chance that Netanyahu is going to sign that piece of paper on the White House lawn.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Jewish Identity Sports Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    As the popularity of cycling continues to increase across the world, Israel is working to develop cycling trails that make the country’s spectacular desert accessible to cyclists. The southern segment of the Israel Bike Trail was inaugurated on Feb. 24 and offers for the first time a unique, uninterrupted 8-day cycling experience after six years of planning and development. The southern section of the Israel Bike Trail stretches over 300 kilometers in length and is divided into eight segments for mountain biking, [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    JNS.org – With the recent Oscars in the rearview mirror, Hollywood’s attention now shifts to the rest of this year’s big-screen lineup. Two of the major action films coming up in 2015—Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters in May, and the third film in the Fantastic Four series, slated for an August release—have Jewish roots that the average moviegoer might be unaware of. As it turns out, it took a tough Jewish kid from New York City’s Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    JNS.org – I’m in love, and have been for a long time. It’s a relationship filled with laughter, tears, intrigue, and surprise. It was love at first sight, back when I was a little girl—with an extra-terrestrial that longed to go home. From then on, that love has never wavered, and isn’t reserved for one, but for oh so many—Ferris Bueller, Annie Hall, Tootsie, Harry and Sally, Marty McFly, Atticus Finch, Danny Zuko, Yentl, that little dog Toto, Mrs. Doubtfire, [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    At the turn of the 21st century through today, American involvement in Middle Eastern politics runs through the Central Intelligence Agency. In America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, historian Hugh Wilford shows this has always been the case. Wilford methodically traces the lives and work of the agency’s three most prominent officers in the Middle East: Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt was the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, and the first head of [...]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home give dating advice to a young Jewish man in a comedic video posted Monday on YouTube just in time for Valentine’s Day. Jonathan, an associate at the Jewish home, quizzes the senior citizens on an array of topics including having sex on the first date, kissing a girl, who should pay for dinner and whether online dating is a good idea. When the 28-year-old asks a male resident named Lee about his experiences [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels – especially those like me, who returned for decades – must see the new documentary,”Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort.” Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever. I returned to Kutsher’s one last time in the summer of 2009, but by then, the [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Jewish Identity Lifestyle Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    JNS.org – Amid the numerous studies and analyses regarding Jewish American life, a simple fact remains: part-time Jewish education is the most popular vehicle for Jewish education in North America. Whenever and wherever parents choose Jewish education for their children, we have a communal responsibility to devote the necessary time and resources to deliver dynamic, effective learning experiences. The only way we can do this is by creating space for conversations and knowledge-sharing around innovative new education models. That also [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.