Israeli Politics: Worrying Developments
December 3, 2012 Leave a comment
The electoral merger of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu bothered me from the beginning. I expected it to dilute liberal elements in Likud and bring in lots of idiotic populists. There should always be a clear distinction between the right-liberal descendants of Jabotinsky and the ugly, unthinking nationalism of Yisrael Beiteinu.
My bad dream has become reality. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t just from the Yisrael Beiteinu people. But with one of them slated for every Likidnik under the merger agreement, its going to make it a whole lot worse. The Likud primaries have sidelined decent, honest men like Benny Begin, Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan. They’re not likely to sit in the next Knesset. Danny Danon and Miri Regev have emerged among the victors.
Its not that I have that visceral hatred, common in Europe, that regards these hawkish types as the devil incarnate. I largely agree with Regev on the matter of African immigrants. I have a notorious fondness for Bibi. Yet now its become clear he has no concept of strategy. Does he really believe he can ask America to continue its support for Israel at the UN and then get up their noses with controversial settlement plans? Are grandstanding gestures a substitute for well-crafted policy?
Its easy to get stuck in an ideological echo-chamber. I know that, despite the hyperbole, 3000 housing units in E1 isn’t going to cut the Palestinian Territories in half. Honest assessments of the map will tell you that. Nor will it cut eastern Jerusalem from Ramallah. But these plans and arguments in their defense simply don’t resonate abroad.
In the meantime, the Labor Party has welcomed economic ignoramuses like Stav Shaffir, in order to ride the wave of the social protests that have stirred the country.
That leaves Israel with one mob wants to cripple Israel economically, and another that wants to cripple it diplomatically.
My support will certainly be going to Lapids’ party, Yesh Atid.