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...

  • Relationships US & Canada Time Out Features Single Lady Who Likes ‘Big Schlubby Jewish Comedians’

    Time Out Features Single Lady Who Likes ‘Big Schlubby Jewish Comedians’

    A profile published Wednesday in Time Out New York highlighted a 25-year-old Brooklyn woman who claimed she is attracted to chubby Jewish comedians, Maxim Deputy Editor Jason Feifer pointed out via Twitter. Talking about a date she went on, Steph, a sunglasses designer living in Borough Park, told the magazine, ”He was very attractive, just not my type. I like big schlubby Jewish comedians and he was clean-cut.” Feifer posted a picture of the magazine page and commented that Steph’s preferences amounted [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Gold on the Galilee: Israeli Kayaker Comes of Age, Eyes Olympics (VIDEO)

    Gold on the Galilee: Israeli Kayaker Comes of Age, Eyes Olympics (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Three years ago, kayaking coach Roei Lev found aspiring Olympian Ilya Podpolnyy crying on the steps of the Jordan Valley Sprint Kayak Club overlooking the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Podpolnyy, then 17 years old, had just been disqualified from the Israeli kayaking championship. He couldn’t survive the heats. He didn’t make the start line. He was devastated—and he had no one with whom to share his hopes, his dreams, and his disappointment. His divorced parents still live in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    “Girls” creator Lena Dunham responded on Tuesday to charges of antisemitism over an article she had penned for the New Yorker, saying it was all in good humor. Speaking to Variety, Dunham reflected on her “tight-knit Jewish family, where Jew jokes were part of the essential fiber of our communication.” The article Dunham referred to was called “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz,” with options such as “He doesn’t Tip” and “He’s Crazy for Cream Cheese.” Among Dunham’s critics, Anti-Defamation [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Retired NBA player Keyon Dooling tweeted a link on Wednesday to a wildly antisemitic article that accuses Jews of seizing control of the world’s media and using it to promote their own interests. The article, published by an obscure blog in April 2013, highlights six companies it claims are owned by Jews — such as Time Warner, Inc. and the Walt Disney Company – that allegedly “control 96 percent of the world’s media.”  The post includes allegations of “Jewish control” and says [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz responded to an outcry from Jewish fans on Tuesday, saying he will go ahead and play in the season opener despite the fact that it falls on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. “Keep getting tweets about that being the first night of Rosh Hashanah… Don’t know what I’m supposed to tell you. It’s a tough break,” the Jewish athlete wrote, referring to the Giants’ on-the-road game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    JNS.org – When David Blatt was hired as head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers last June, he was not often recognized when he walked the streets of downtown Cleveland. What a difference a year makes. Now, Blatt can go few places without being recognized. For good reason. The Jewish coach has the Cavaliers in the mix to win the city of Cleveland’s first championship in a major sport since the Browns won the National Football League title in [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    A Hebrew tattoo sported by Croatian soccer star Mario Mandzukic became an internet sensation in Israel after it was exposed on Tuesday during a Champions League match between Ateltico Madrid and Real Madrid A first glance, the tattoo, on the athlete’s back, might leave one with the impression that it was an unfortunate artistic mistake, since the Hebrew letters do not make sense as they are written. However, a closer look at the tattoo shows that it was actually written [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    For the past two years, I have served as Opinion Editor at The Algemeiner. I’m perhaps most proud of the paper’s commitment to publishing diverse and opposing viewpoints on the controversial issues of the day. We pride ourselves on voicing different opinions because we know that most issues are not black and white, and because our community is better served by a public debate. In my life outside of the paper, I am a professional actor and playwright. And similarly, [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.