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Ideological Revival

Labor activists on eve of elections Photo: Ido Erez
Labor activists on eve of elections Photo: Ido Erez
 
 

No snap revolutions

Op-ed: Road to end of the occupation begins with rehabilitation of Israel's national, democratic identity

Shlomo Kraus
Published: 01.26.13, 15:05 / Israel Opinion

After four years of power drunkenness and brainwashing, it turns out that the people did not become more rightist or extremist; the Left did not disappear and there is no change in the order of the elites. This is precisely the gap between what the false hegemony the leadership instills and the reality on the ground. Remember this when in the coming years it will again seem as though "all is lost."

 

The people are the same people, but while the rightist bloc managed to stabilize itself politically and unite, the leftist bloc is continuing to disintegrate, is still seeking leadership and is failing to translate the street into a ruling party.

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The ideological revival in the Left, which began a year and a half ago, brought the socioeconomic issues back to the forefront and reduced the diplomatic process back to its natural level of importance. This revival will continue to develop. For some this is still considered a historical "betrayal," but this has always been the moderate Left's path since Rabin's assassination: Pragmatic, not ideological "peace."

 

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Left has something to offer as a social ideology and is not defined solely on the basis of its opposition to the settlement enterprise. The road to the end of the occupation begins with the rehabilitation and formulation of the national and democratic Israeli identity, not the other way around.

 

Many more enlightened voters

As far as the Right is concerned, if this is the maximum amount of people it was able to captivate, its future success is questionable. Despite the fact that all of the conditions were in its favor, Likud shrunk by more than one-fourth. Despite a brilliant campaign and no competition, Habayit Hayehudi could not break the record of the historic Mafdal party from 1977 (12 Knesset seats; another indication that the demographic scare is nonsense).

 

The bottom line is that I could not have hoped for better election results: Regardless of where you are positioned on the political spectrum, Netanyahu is currently the only leader and no ruling party is as stable as Likud. In addition, I would not want all the bubbles that have been blown here over the past four years to fall on someone else's shoulders. Let Netanyahu eat the meal he prepared with economic and diplomatic stalemate.

 

On the other hand, the election results guarantee the next government will be more moderate, democratic and more connected to the people, on the road to more profound change. There is even a chance that it will not only survive but flourish as well. The Labor Party should sit in the opposition and continue the rehabilitation process until a united, stable bloc is formed that will win all the stray mandates in the next elections.

 

The election results prove that there are still many more enlightened voters who are seeking a home and much less dark and racist voters (have I already expressed my great satisfaction over Otzma LeYisrael's failure?).

 

More than half of the parliamentarians who will make up the 19th Knesset are new, and the vast majority of them are worthy, moral people. The increase in the number of female MKs is also a positive development. Close to half of the members of Yair Lapid's party are women. The change in politics that began with the social protest is ongoing, but we must keep in mind that there are no instant revolutions, only processes, and the process is leading us in the right direction - we just need to continue working and remain patient.

 

Shlomo Kraus is a journalist and social activist

 

 

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