Zero-Sum Game

Does Netanyahu have a choice?

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Moshe Feiglin

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Arutz 7

Israel's Right could hardly be in a more dismal situation. According to polls, less than 10 percent of Israelis define themselves as Left. The Right bloc clearly won the recent elections and presented Binyamin Netanyahu with the
It is as if there were no elections and as if there is no Right in the State of Israel.
keys to form the next government.

But since the elections, Netanyahu has taken the good faith of the Right's voting public and invested it into wooing the Left. First it was Tzipi Livni and then Ehud Barak. It seems that for the Right's candidate for leadership of this country, a rightist coalition is the absolute last choice. If not for the stubborn refusal of the Left, we would already have found ourselves saddled with a new government in which most of the ministers were inherited from the previous Kadima government. It is as if there were no elections and as if there is no Right in the State of Israel. It is a zero-sum game at its finest.

Does anybody remember a time when the Left won the elections but bent over backwards to include the Right in most of the top ministerial positions?

To Netanyahu's credit, we can say that he did not try to deceive his voters. His actions in the months preceding the elections pointed precisely in the direction that he has now taken. That is exactly why the Likud lost approximately ten mandates to Lieberman and the National Union and lost in the race against Kadima.

Does Netanyahu have a choice?

Apparently not. The problem is inherent, much deeper than the question of which politician is forming the government. In truth, the Right has no real alternative to the Left's agenda. The Left has already implemented the most aggressive of attempts at a solution - the type that the Right would not conjure up in its wildest dreams. The Left conquered, the Left transferred, the Left settled Gush Katif and parts of the Sinai - all the places to which the classic Right dreams to return. The Left did it all - and failed.

"Sharm el-Sheikh without peace is preferable to peace without Sharem el-Sheikh," said leftist Moshe Dayan years ago. Today, that is just what rightist Moshe Ya'alon says. The Left subsequently deserted solutions that required force and opted for compromise. The Right limps feebly behind.

"What we are looking at here out the window," I said to a young man as we watched the rows of soldiers marching into Gush Katif, "is not the retreat of Zionism. It is its inevitable conclusion."
The Left conquered, the Left transferred, the Left settled Gush Katif and parts of the Sinai.

Does the Right have other solutions? Netanyahu, Benny Begin and Ya'alon are the most articulate spokesmen for the Right. But they do no more than repeat the mantra that there is no one with whom to negotiate on the Arab side. The Left has already tried that strategy. It worked until Anwar Sadat came to Israel.

Currently, Syria's Bashar Assad is willing to talk. Can Begin Jr. protect the Golan Heights better than Begin Sr. protected the Sinai?

Over the years, the Right's inability to present an alternative to the Left's agenda has led to its total dependence - both ideological and institutional - on the Left. That is what we are experiencing today as Netanyahu attempts to form a leftist coalition. No other rightist politician would do otherwise.

To implement the will of the Jewish majority as expressed in these elections, Israel must change its mindset from mere existential Zionism to Zionism of destiny; a Zionism that derives from Israel's Jewish identity.



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