Israel today is a house divided – the message from the street, “Buckle Up”
By David E. Kaplan
It’s beginning to feel at least atmospherically – if not territorially – that Israel has finally adopted the elusive “Two-State Solution”, but Palestinians are totally out the picture. It’s the Jewish population that has opted to separate – not from Palestinians but from each other!
The clearly misguided, shamefully bigoted, and much theocratic ‘coalition of the crazies’ conjured up by star political alchemist Benjamin Netanyahu has done what no Arab enemy state or feared Palestinian terrorism group has ever achieved; it has cracked our Golden Egg – Jewish unity. Not only has it divided Jew from Jew within Israel; it has divided the House of Israel – the Jewish state from the Jewish diaspora.
What an achievement?
Does Netanyahu remember or even care that following his election victory in November 2022 he promised:
“to be a prime minister for everyone – for those who voted for me, and for those who did not vote for me.”
Speaking then like a true democrat, Netanyahu has done everything since to undermine Israeli democracy, while all the time professing to strengthen it.
Is he ever again to be believed or trusted?
The jury is no longer out on that one. The protestors are not waiting for the prosecutors; they are coming out in ever-increasing numbers onto the streets given their unanimous decision. They are joined from the top by Israel’s State President, Isaac Herzog, former colleagues of Netanyahu in his Likud Party, notable Israelis in commerce and banking, former top military personnel, former Prime Ministers, celebrated scientists and Nobel Laureates, top reserve Israeli fighter pilots and even the veterans of the elite commando squad that rescued hostages in Entebbe in 1976 who published a letter slamming Netanyahu for:
“sacrificing the State of Israel and the people of Israel for your own interests.”
These heroes noted that while serving under the Prime Minister’s brother, Yoni Netanyahu in the daring raid on Entebbe “who consciously and with open eyes sacrificed himself for the State of Israel and the people of Israel……. you, Bibi, are consciously and with open eyes sacrificing the State of Israel and the people of Israel for your own interests.”
What an indictment.
These are not what Bibi and his cohorts label, “anarchists” or “Leftists”. These are the salt of the earth Israelis, many of them from his own political party and who voted for him in the past who are bellowing at the tops of their voices, from city squares and major crossroads across the country and who echo the thrust of The Jerusalem Post March 14’s editorial that appeals to the government to listen to the State President and:
“STOP THE MADNESS”
Netanyahu can stop this “madness”; it may cost him but failing to do so, will cost this country far more. So far, however, he appears impervious to righteousness or reason, and much like the warhorse on a medieval battlefield, gallops headlong into the history books, leaving in his ravaged wake, shameful chapters that future generations will have to erase.
As one friend said to me this morning in reference to the multiple criminal cases against him:
“If Bibi’s guilt in the past was in doubt – no more!”
Raising her voice, she bellowed over the phone:
“HE IS SCREAMING OF GUILT.”
That is the increasing thinking of many. We don’t know this man anymore or the people he represents. They are not us; we are not them.
Who are we?
We are as we stand today – a country divided.
And while our precious Israel burns, the Prime Minister runs off – or is it runs away – first to Italy than to Germany. Hardly anyone knows or even cares why he is flying or fleeing so frequently to Europe. The news media is hardly covering beyond saying “to discuss various international affairs,”code parlance for Iran,while it is the ‘affairs’ at home that lies in shambles. Yes Iran is the enemy, but right now the most immediate existential danger lies within. To face off our enemies we need to be united and that we are not; far from it as nearly every component of Israeli society and the Jewish world is warning Bibi – you are going down a very dangerous road that undermines the very existence of the State of Israel.
It would be naïve if we don’t see we have hard days ahead as a country.
One would think with ALL the rabbis in the ruling coalition, there would be some prevailing wisdom of lessons learnt from our Torah to avoid another cataclysmic clash amongst our people. Why did our ancient kingdoms in Jerusalem ever endure? We can understand seeing how our leaders today are behaving; no compromise; no listening to the counsel of our State President, just barreling ahead blaring their mantra “The people want it?”, “The people voted for it” and “It will not weaken but strengthen democracy?”
Not too many are buying. The government’s vocabulary today is but the sour substance of soliloquy not conversation and is being drowned out by Israel’s ‘winds of change’ as the market place of ideas has shifted from the nation’s shuks (markets) to its streets as protestors take to the soles of their feet for the soul of the nation.
I am proudly one of them.
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