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December 23, 2019 10:04 am

The Likud Is the Only Major Party Remaining

avatar by Haim Shine / JNS.org

Opinion

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during at a Likud Party faction meeting in Jerusalem, following the results of the second election in six months, Sept. 18, 2019. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90.

JNS.org – The Likud is the only major party left in Israel, and not only that — it is alive and kicking, in touch with the street and its members and brimming with vitality. It is wonderfully democratic, among a bunch of parties run along dictatorial lines.

The night the Likud was first voted into power in 1977, I rejoiced along with others. My family, Holocaust survivors who arrived in Israel on the Altalena, felt that a historic wrong done to them and their friends since the 1930s had been righted.

On that wonderful night, the socialist hegemony ended. One no longer had to be a party member to get work, and the “second Israel” was freed and allowed into the public sphere. The bonds of the socialist market were broken, and the Histadrut labor federation became marginalized. Entrepreneurship flourished, Judea and Samaria filled up with children, and little Israel turned into a global power.

The left did not accept the results of that election. The old elite never ceased to slander and incite against the right. The left aspired to change the people, failed, and all that was left was insults. Its spokespeople said condescendingly that people of the right were childish, rags, “rabble,” superstitious, baboons, messianic, and primitive. Attempts to oust the right did not succeed, other than for brief, troubled periods.

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Ultimately despairing of democracy, the old elite chose an alternative path. They enlisted retired judges, a well-orchestrated team of prosecutors, legal counselors, and police detectives. That battalion was followed by a group of fake news pundits who are trying to convince us that everything — other than themselves, of course — is rotten to the core. The legal system’s involvement in attempts to oust the government from power created a disturbing instability.

Perhaps former Israeli Chief Justice Moshe Landau was right when he said that Plato “suggested giving the rule of the state to the wise men … sometimes it seems to me that most of the judges on the Supreme Court give themselves the status of the wise men in charge.” Landau explained gently that the judges had moved their seat from Olympus to Israel.

Indeed, the “wise” judges and their friends in the State Attorney’s Office are convinced that, through the use of slippery terms like “reasonable” and “proportionality,” it is they who are in charge of the country.

That is the only way to explain the decision of Supreme Court Justice Meni Mazuz to issue an injunction against attorney Orly Ginsberg Ben-Ari taking over as State Attorney in place of Shai Nitzan, an appointment that was made legally under the authority of the justice minister. Her disqualification reeks of chauvinism, prejudice, and baseless suspicion. This was a decision that sought to attack the authority of elected officials.

Retired Supreme Court Judge Hila Gerstel claims that there is an “illness” in the State Attorney’s Office. Plenty of Israelis have been exposed to that illness in the past few years. Judge David Rozen, who handled complaints about prosecutors, wrote that leaks from investigations were a “national plague.” In April 2015, then-Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit wrote very serious criticism of the system of which he was to become the head in 2016. As Israel’s attorney general, it seems Mandelblit forgot his own words.

Israeli citizens who support the right must realize that this time, it really is a battle for our home — for the entirety of the Land of Israel, for democracy, and to remain a free people liberated from a Bolshevik economy. For the sake of our future in our homeland, we must lift our heads with pride and lead the way to a decisive victory.

Dr. Haim Shine is a faculty member of Israel’s Academic Center of Law and Science, and a member of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors. This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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