Analysis: Barak Exits the Left’s House of Cards
Monday’s resignation of Defense Minister Ehud Barak is another crack in the foundations of the center-left, which has been in a state of denial ever before the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif and other Jewish communities in Gaza and northern Samaria in 2005.
Buoyed by a largely center-left Israeli and foreign media, which have done all but openly campaign against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Labor and Kadima parties have been grasping a dead limb that props up Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as a “peace partner.” The center-left parties feed themselves on feeling good over support of the international community to divide Jerusalem and rid Judea and Samaria of Jews.
At the same time, the truth has been oozing out of a package of illusions designed and produced under the Oslo Accords and signed by the Labor government's Peres-Rabin duet.
Every time the Israeli government, whether under Ariel Sharon before he ditched his nationalist policy and formed Kadima, or under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, let Abbas off the hook on a commitment in the Accords, the United States and media termed it a “good will concession.”
Barak, with his eyes on returning to the chair of Prime Minister Minster he held for only 18 months in 1999-2000 before being dumped as a result of political blindness, happily acceded to the wishes of then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and current Secretary Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Obama administration advisers, and bought time by giving Abbas what he wanted.
Barak clutched the “peace process” along with President Barack Obama long after even mainstream media covering the State Dept. saw through the farce of promoting “negotiations” when Abbas’ demands left nothing to be negotiated.
Signs of the intellectual bankruptcy of the center-left have been mounting for years, most prominently on the yearly anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
The hundreds of thousands of people who in past years rallied against the national religious community, which was collectively blamed for the murder, dwindled to tens of thousands and to only several thousand this year. The organizers ignored reality and instead of eulogizing Rabin, they eulogized Oslo.
Blatant discrimination against nationalists has been highlighted in court lawsuits that have exposed police violence against youth for their presence at outposts slated for destruction in the middle of the night, while a hands-off policy generally has been applied to “social justice” protesters illegally blocking highways.
Similarly, the judicial system until recently has upheld wholesale discrimination in favor of illegal Arab houses and Bedouin "unrecognized villages" while rushing to approve demolitions of "illegal" Jewish homes that were built with government approval but without the required signature of approval by none other than Barak.
Israeli media, a major source for news and opinion for foreign media, repeatedly were silent while police expelled women and children in the middle of the night from their homes. The same media were all over themselves during the 2005 protests against the planned expulsions, interviewing Child Welfare officials about the "abuse" of babies accompanying their mothers in 100-degree heat.
The accumulating hypocrisy, more than anything else, has worked on the conscience of middle-of-the-road Israel, which simply wants peace and quiet and are not ideologically oriented.
Polls the past few years have showed a slow but certain trend for support of nationalist and religious leaders, if for no other reason, because of the lack of intellectually honest liberals.
Media, particularly Yediot Acharonot, Israeli television and Voice of Israel government radio, have been interviewing Labor leaders at least once a week for the past year or more, softballing questions while reserving punches for the likes of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Nothing has worked.
Tzipi Livni, more than anyone else, was the pathetic epitome of emptiness in her role as Opposition leader before Shaul Mofaz replaced her as head of the Kadima party.
She faithfully opposed Netanyahu on virtually every issue, including those on which she once agreed with him when she was in the Likud party before she abandoned it along with Ariel Sharon to win support for his Gaza expulsion plan.
She and her replacement Shaul Mofaz, who cheered the expulsion, constantly spanked the government for not defending southern Israel against missile attacks, years after Mofaz himself, as Defense Minister, warned that Israel would respond harshly to Gaza terrorists after the expulsion if “even one rocket is fired” into Israel.
More than 15,000 rockets and missiles later, Barak’s resignation is a political admission that the center-left really has no policy and no ideology except to be in the opposition, which is where it apparently will remain for quite a while.