There are quite a few people around here who still refuse to face up to reality: Israel’s three leading political movements have gone bankrupt. They finished their role and are facing a liquidation sale. Kadima, Labor, and Likud no longer have something to sell.
What can the Likud sell? Israeli presence on the two banks of the Jordan River, as its old slogan suggested? And what can Labor offer its voters? Mahmoud Abbas’ suffering? The collaborative vision of collapsing kibbutzim? Socialism that has not adapted itself to the changing times?
And what about Kadima? What did it ever have to sell? Its members are mostly Likud refugees who realized, even if late, that Likud no longer has anything to offer: We are not the Goliath of the Middle East, but rather, its David. We will never raise the Israeli flag beyond the Jordan River. Moreover, if we adopt the old Likud policy, the world that was always against us will continue to always be against us.
En route to the painful realization that there is no choice but to make very difficult concessions in order to secure a peace agreement, Likud members made a stop in Kadima, a party that had nothing to sell with the exception of goodwill and a leader – Ariel Sharon. But where will the bus take them from here? The Likud eyes the center of the political map, just like Kadima does, and Labor has been there for a while now.
Most voters in Israel want “center” – yet the “center” of Likud refugees is apparently a little different than that of Labor refugees, who all joined Kadima. And what about the Likud? Uri Savir revealed a few days ago that Benjamin Netanyahu was willing to make far-reaching concessions as prime minister. Therefore, what’s the difference between Bibi and leftist politicians like Haim Oron or Zahava Gal-On? Now it appears that everyone is in the middle, at the “center.”
National emergency government needed
The best people, in terms of personal qualities, are in Kadima today. Leftovers of appropriate ideology can be found in Labor. Meanwhile, Likud has some good and hard-working field people. So what can be done? How do we leave behind the great confusion and embark on a new path?
The large parties are facing an ideological and leadership crisis not seen since the State’s establishment. Had Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak, and Benjamin Netanyahu been able to put aside their huge ego for a while, we would have an intermediate solution, which is also a true necessity: The State of Israel, on the security and diplomatic front at least, is facing a true emergency state. We are being encroached by Iran and its nukes, Syria who wants-but-doesn’t-want peace, and the Palestinians who don’t quite know what they want. And we still haven’t said a word about Hamas and Hizbullah.
Had it been possible, for the next two years at least, to establish a national emergency government with Livni, Barak, and Netanyahu, the political establishment would calm down and seek solutions to the most severe diplomatic and security problems since Israel’s inception. Perhaps, over time, we would also see new ideologies emerging in the old parties that could lead to the diplomatic solution so vital for our life here.
However, Kadima, Labor, and Likud decided to commit political suicide. And all of us are just standing there and applauding them. We always loved our bread and entertainment.