Is the Likud a Leftist Party?

Let's examine what the head of the Likud says.

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Atty. Elyakim Haetzni,

Arutz 7
There is a political opposition in Israel, the Likud party, which polls indicate will score a great victory in the coming elections. If so, let us examine what the head of the Likud, Binyamin Netanyahu, has to say. Although, of late, he doesn't really say anything, or says very little, in the spirit of the times. But from the bit that he does say, and from a lot that he said a year and a half ago, and from what his loyal mouthpiece in Makor Rishon, Amnon Lord, says, we can sketch a fairly accurate picture of his plans.
You will not catch him opposing the very idea of a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

In the little that he says now, here and abroad, Netanyahu precisely and carefully speaks only against a unilateral withdrawal. You will not catch him opposing the very idea of a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, nor will you catch him ever ruling out the destruction of communities and the expulsion of Jews in those lands from which he is prepared to withdraw.

In his first policy speech after being elected chairman of the Likud, at the Herzliya Conference on October 22, 2006, Netanyahu revealed what we can expect of him. As he said:

Everything must be done to limit conflict with the Palestinians. We will take apart outposts that were not legally approved. After strengthening the security borders, there is no reason not to dilute the military presence in Judea and Samaria.... Arriving at a peace agreement requires concessions from both sides, including land concessions on our part.... We will be prepared to make serious compromises. We will not return to control the Palestinian population centers, and we have no intention to annex territories. As prime minister, I will work to renew final status negotiations. That is my first priority. The borders of Israel must include the Jordan Valley, the Judean desert, greater Jerusalem, the settlement blocs, and the territories overlooking Gush Dan and the coastal plain.

Asked if he supports the creation of a Palestinian state, Netanyahu replied, "Leave something over for negotiations." And the wise person can take the hint. On another occasion, he said, 'What is there to talk about? After all, the Palestinian state already exists!'

Pay attention to the expression, "serious compromises" and see if you can find the difference between that and Ariel Sharon's infamous expression, "painful compromises." In reaction to Netanyahu's speech, Uzi Landau said, also during the Herzliya Conference, that it was acceptable to him and that it was indeed Likud policy.

The "Rashi commentary" on all of this is given almost every week by someone who appears to be Netanyahu's regular interpreter, Amnon Lord, chief editor of Makor Rishon. In the November 8, 2005, edition, shortly after the Disengagement expulsion, he wrote: "It appears as though the Right will also have to get used to the compromise inherent in the Disengagement in its coming stages. If another Disengagement takes place in Judea and Samaria, then the leadership under Binyamin Netanyahu will be able to fully apply sovereignty to those areas that Yitzchak Rabin delineated in his last speech in the Knesset... the Jordan Valley, in its widest interpretation, Jerusalem, settlement blocs and no return to the Green Line."

Again, find the differences between Rabin and Sharon II and Netanyahu and Landau (that is, the Likud).

And, just so you don't say, "Those are old quotes," here is a fresh quote from Amnon Lord (Makor Rishon, June 29, 2007), in an article titled, "Yes. Jordanian Soldiers." Here, as is his wont, Lord provides cover fire for the latest Netanyahu plan/folly - bringing the Jordanian Badr Brigade into the western part of the Land of Israel. Lord claims that Olmert is leaning towards Netanyahu's idea, which is intended to "bring about the integration of the Jordanians in control over Judea and Samaria." As Amnon Lord explains, "The real opening created by the entry of the Jordanians is a change in the final settlement picture.... Such a final settlement definitely fits into a 'defensible borders' outlook... a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation." Thus he wrote.

If there is any distinction whatsoever in Netanyahu's policy, it is only as to how the Palestinians and the Jordanians will skin the bear.

A "confederation," for those who don't know, is a compact between two sovereign states. In other words, in Netanyahu's plans, according to his interpreter Amnon Lord, we, Israel, are no longer there at all. And if there is any distinction whatsoever in Netanyahu's policy, it is only as to how the Palestinians and the Jordanians will skin the bear. To the dead bear - to us - it doesn't much matter.

All of the foregoing forces us to frankly admit that Netanyahu and the Likud are not on the Right - which they announce themselves all the time - rather, the Likud under Netanyahu is expressly on the Left. According to a simple definition, anyone who advocates a Palestinian state - meaning, the willing transfer of territory from the western Land of Israel by us to a foreign sovereignty - is on the Left. Beyond this, the "far-left" is anyone who intends to turn all of the lands beyond the Green Line, including Jerusalem, into "Palestine." Accordingly, Netanyahu and the Likud are not far-left. Whoever seeks comfort in this fact is welcome to do so.

Nonetheless, there is no place for pessimism. There are several positive developments - even outside the events in the Arab camp, which save us time after time from our own destructive hands:

A. There is a positive shift in Israeli public opinion. Signs of sobriety can be seen in polls and in various statements made by opinion-makers.

B. Recovery is underway in the settlement camp. The path of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council has been rejected by the general public. That rejection forced the organization to "renew itself," to change names and logo, to hold elections and to play a game of pseudo-democracy. Beyond this, the Homesh initiatives showed that the settlement public has begun to rise from the rocks to which Sharon's betrayal threw them. In Homesh, in Nagohot, in Eitam, adjacent to Efrat, in Hevron, and in many other places, the settlement heart is once again beating.

C. Most importantly, there is room for hope that the settlement youth and its supporters
Nonetheless, there is no place for pessimism.
will not obey expulsion orders this time, and that the population marked for expulsion will resist and not repeat the condemnatory exilic show from Gush Katif. The understanding gained from Amona and Homesh is a spark of light in the darkness that has spread across the entire political spectrum, from Hadash up to and including the Likud. Across that entire political spectrum, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, even after the Second Lebanon War and after the First Hamas-Fatah War.

In contrast, even if only we, in the national camp, learned anything and are applying the lessons of not collaborating with a government that besmirches Israel, then that will be enough not to give up in the face of calamity.