The unprecedented political and personal attacks on Friday night by opponents and former allies of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister-designate Avigdor Lieberman, who used every possible media platform to warn that “the fascists are coming,” is more indicative of their personal and political situation than the domestic political reality of the State of Israel.
In their opinion, the appointment of Lieberman to defense minister, as his predecessor Moshe Ya’alon said, shows that extremism, violence and racism in Israeli society is undermining the country’s strength and is already having a detrimental effect on the IDF. Ya’alon also accused pro-government sections of disrespect for srael’s judges and its supreme court to the detriment of the rule of law. The Israeli media said Ya’alon’s statement marked the emergence of a new leader of what it called “the sane right-of-center camp.”
In other words, anyone who does not belong to that camp is not sane.
The right-of-center camp, if it comes into being, would be a major and important change in Israeli politics. Until now, the Israeli public has been led to believe that the left-of-center camp is the one that is sane. This time, even the Israeli media understand that the left has been completely discredited and that it is time to finally shift towards the right.
But that is not the main point. Rather, opponents of Netanyahu and Lieberman refuse to accept that large parts of Israeli society are tired of being “sane”, of the hypocrisy, of political correctness, and of local media outlets with such views.
With the increasing disappearance of relevant news in Israeli media outlets, what do we see and read each day? A procession of stories on organized crime families, con men, rapists, pedophiles, and small-time crooks, as well as lawyers with enormous egos who represent them.
Perhaps the prime minister was right when he said recently that the IDF should restart holding parades on Independence Day each year, as it did for more than 20 years, to maintain “sanity” and counterbalance the endless coverage on crime. Large sectors of the Israeli public are sick and tired of the politicians, who pretend to be righteous men, and those who turn to the Supreme Court for the resolution of every problem.
There are also large parts of Israeli society that have lost faith in the Supreme Court and in the country’s justice system as a whole and do not always recognize it as properly carrying forward the rule of law.
Thus, it would have been possible to relate more seriously to Ya’alon’s comments if he had called for far-reaching reform of Israel’s legal authorities.
After all, it must be said openly that not only has the judicial system failed in its war against corruption and crime, but there are already initial signs that the system is not immune to these threats, and that they have spread into the system itself.
Therefore, Ya’alon’s claims regarding the rule of law, and its effect on the IDF, is a sign that he is not capable of understanding what is truly happening in Israeli society and why there is opposition to his statement within parts of the society and the IDF, and will not have the influence that he wants to achieve.
It was also a combination of two different ideas: law, which is passed by the Knesset, and justice, which is determined by the authority of the courts that must follow the law.
Besides the hypocrisy, the attacks on Lieberman’s appointment are tinged with racism. The recent political developments indicate that the Russian immigrants who entered Israeli politics in the mid-1990s have finally reached the most influential positions in the government.
To call these politicians “fascists” and “Rasputin” indicates pointless.
Those who consider themselves “Israel’s elite” have lost power, and even worse have lost hope of regaining power, so they are allowing themselves to make wild accusations without any inhibitions.
The nightmare of the “sane” camp is if Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, along with Netanyahu and Lieberman, will sit on the same podium and sign a cooperation agreement. But this is a reality that is happening every day, not just wishful thinking.
That is why the Israeli media did not publish a single word when Saudi multimillionaire and international businessman Walid Ben Talal last month opened the first Saudi embassy in Israel, located at 14 David Flusser street in Jerusalem. The international businessman is considered close to the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman.
Accusations of fascism onece hurled against the late Menachem Begin, who was never forgiven by Israel’s left for reaching power through the ballot box and then t signing the historic peace treaty with Egypt in 1979.
A number of high-profile political figures think that the rule by Benyamin Netanyahu is the worst thing that has happened in the history of the State of Israel. These include Ya’alon along with fellow ex-IDF chiefs of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Benny Gantz, Zionist Camp party chairman Yitzhak Herzog, former Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, former Shin Bet domestic security service chief Yuval Diskin and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
In order to bring Netanyahu’s rule to an end, they have all gotten into the same “boat” and set off for the “promised land.”
There is just one problem. Where is the boat headed in the stormy waters of the Middle East?
This land didn’t exist in the past and it doesn’t exist now. That is why they pullback in every general elections. The result of this journey to the “promised land” will be the opposite of what they expect. The flood of attacks on Netanyahu and Lieberman will only strengthen them and increase their public support.
It should be said to Herzog’s credit that he was the first among this group of politicians to understand that the only method available to opponents of Netanyahu, Lieberman and the ruling Likud party is to rid themselves of the radical left and the destructive voices within their movements.
A determined struggle to achieve that goal would create an opposition with a positive action plan, and a good chance of taking power, for the first time in recent years.