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Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Ben-Dror Yemini
The left insists on saving Netanyahu from his voters
Opinion: Likud voters are a diverse group, fearful of a binational state that would lose Israel's Jewish majority, critical of funds handed out to ultra-Orthodox parties to secure their support and accepting of many of the positions held by centrist parties

It began with the former head of Mossad Shabtai Shavit, who recently said in an interview that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's voters were a bunch of mindless fools with no moral compass.

 

 

Then came news anchor and commentator Rina Matzliach who likened those voters to a blind herd, stupidly following their leader; but the prize goes to former Labor finance minister Avraham Shochat, who cslled Likud voters a pack of rabid dogs, no less.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem)

 

All these statements were made just as Netanyahu was experiencing the growing panic of plummeting popularity.

  

Not just because of the public opinion polls, which are not always reliable, but because of the atmosphere that prevailed. He had failed, he was unable to form a coalition.

 

Meanwhile, the national debt is threatening the economy and Netanyahu's capitulation to ultra-Orthodox demands will surely make it worse.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Religious party memebers during coalition negotiations 2019
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Religious party memebers during coalition negotiations 2019
 

Hamas in Gaza remains an unresolved problem and war may not be the solution.

 

With all of that going against him, left-wing supporters go back to condescending remarks aimed at belittling the right - and the more you belittle Likud voters, the quicker they run back to the Likud fold.

 

This is a frustrating state of affairs because Netanyahu's leadership must end.

 

The left-wing, like the right, have senseless voters who follow blindly behind their leader. But most voters on both sides of the political divide are thoughtful, intelligent people.

 

I listen to the right-wing voters. We have differences of opinion often, but they also make good points. I disagree mostly with their conclusions and mostly with their support of Netanyahu, but that is a valid discussion.

 

These voters do not want war or bloodshed or bigotry towards Arabs, but claim it is Netanyahu's government that has ensured less Arab and Jewish casualties. Does that make them rabid dogs? Or blind? Or stupid?

 

Most ignore Netanyahu's corruption but say he is unfairly treated by the media and law enforcement and point to left-wing politicians whose moral standards are also questionable.

 

They are fearful of another Palestinian uprising, and invoke the offers made by the left for an independent state that resulted in one, namely, the September 2000 uprising that came after then-Labor prime minister Ehud Barak offered to hand over 95% of the West Bank to Palestinian Authority control.

 

Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit (Photo: Yariv Katz)
Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit (Photo: Yariv Katz)

 

The Israeli left reverts to insults when they run out of arguments to counter the right.

 

They are quick to call out fascism, racism and the likes and that comes at the expense of real debate.

 

That debate must be had with Likud supporters because they too have points to make that may be key to the future of the conflict.

 

They listen when the funding to ultra-Orthodox interests is raised, they worry about a binational state losing its Jewish majority and they tolerate the settlements though they like the settlers.

 

They are not a herd. They are diverse. At least a third of them could vote for center parties if only left-wing pundits would not push them back to Netanyahu's waiting arms by insulting them.

 

 Though not at the helm of political parties, these three representatives of the Israeli left - Shavit, Shochat and Matzliach show it to be condescending and belittling, causing damage that will be very hard to fix.

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.06.19, 22:37
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