Israel's new government: Return to the "Shtetl"?

The overthrow of Bibi is the first part of a multiphase project. The second phase begins now. Op-ed.

Alexander Maistrovoy ,

Government session
Government session
Arutz Sheva

In Israel's Creeping Coup D'etat I claimed that the Israeli elite is driven by two fundamental goals:

- Ending the "occupation" at any cost

- Turning Israel from a Jewish state into a "state for all its citizens".

Despite all his flaws Netanyahu was the only one who resisted these plans, and that is why he was so hated by the elite. This hatred grew into paranoia, fanatical frenzy, a kind of sectarian cult.

Since the coup d'etat has become a reality thanks to the current defectors from the right-wing camp we can try to predict the development of events in the nearest future.

The overthrow of Bibi is the first part of a multiphase project. The second phase begins now.

The program of the new government contains mainly empty slogans, except for one significant point: limiting the term of the ruling prime minister. Obviously, it has to do with one man only: Benjamin Netanyahu. The main task of the current ridiculous coalition (a semblance of the mythical Manticore with the body of a lion, a man's head and a scorpion's tail) is to prevent Netanyahu’s return to power. This is intended to weaken the Likud and possibly even split it.

In addition, we will probably see bills prohibiting individuals "under criminal investigation" to be elected. In our time, when prosecutions of conservative politicians - from Trump to Bibi and from Salvini to Marine Le Pen - have become the main weapon of the modern inquisition, finding such a "case" is an effortless task. As Stalin's Chief Prosecutor Vyshinsky liked to say: "If there is a man, an article {"a crime to be convicted for"} will be found."

When the relevant bills are passed, the third phase will begin. There will not be any need for defectors. They will be thrown overboard under any pretext, and the time will come for the creation of a truly "revolutionary government." Although the left is a minority, they can form a coalition with haredi and Arab parties. In many ways, such a government will resemble the 25th government, headed by Rabin and Peres in 1992. It included Meretz and Shas and was supported by Hadash and the Arab Democratic Party. We remember its actions vividly. Oslo was one. Similar was the 28th government of Ehud Barak.

With full support from the current American administration this government will receive carte blanche to curtail the "Zionist project."

I am positive that this is the plan, although it of course can fail due to a variety of reasons - ranging from squabbles in the coalition itself to the actions of Iran and the Palestinian Arabs. As we recall, Hezbollah “saved” us in 2006 from Olmert, who was planning a second "disengagement from Judea and Samaria". The Jews are lucky to have such "allies".

What can be expected from the new government in the near future? Until today all the players were united by one thing only - hatred of Bibi. Now they have to find a new "unifying idea". It will be extremely problematic, nevertheless...

Over the past years, Bibi was systematically criticized both by Bennett, Liberman and Lapid for “appeasing” Hamas. "Bibi needs a strong Hamas" - this slogan was thrown into the masses by Bibi's opponents, from Haaretz to Avigdor Liberman. Now all of them must come up with their own strategy for dealing with the Islamists in Gaza.

The left has a lifelong dream of bringing Gaza back under the control of the PA. This would allow the revival of the hollow "peace process" and the withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. However, in order to realize this dream, it is necessary to retake Gaza. For their part, Bennett, Shaked, Liberman and Saar understand that they are practically out of time. They must act quickly, show strength and regain the trust of the right. This way, an invasion of Gaza could quickly become a top priority for the new government. Bennett called for it in the previous Gaza operation. Undoubtedly Hamas craves it, and it will perhaps be ready to drive Israel into such an adventure. The consequences will be dismal.

The other ground for commonality in the "government of changes" is foreign policy. Many of our politicians have an especially peculiar notion of patriotism and national dignity in whch they believe in pacifying real enemies, from Arafat to European liberals and American progressives, and they seek and find imaginary enemies. Ehud Barak was ready to give half of the country to Arafat and his thugs, and the Golan to Hafez Assad, while breaking off relations with ... Austria. The Austrian government at that time included the Freedom party with Jorg Haider, who was completely indifferent to Israel. Haider’s main nemesis were the Austrian Muslim migrants.

Both Lapid and Bennett vehemently defended Israel Katz, who on the very first day of his term (!) managed to destroy Israel’s relations with Poland, calling all Poles "anti-Semites." As a result, we lost an influential EU ally who was eager to cooperate with us.

Lapid has repeatedly denounced Viktor Orban, Israel's coherent friend in the EU. In July 2018, he called Viktor Orban's visit to Israel a "shame" because of the latter's sympathy for the dictator Horthy and panned Netanyahu's visit to Hungary, because Orban had launched a campaign against ... Soros. Now, Hungary is next in line after Poland.

Since Israel's leading and sincere friends in Western Europe are nationalists, one can expect the new Foreign Minister to attack Kurz, Salvini, Marine le Pen (let us not forget the upcoming elections in France). Lapid and Gantz will do everything it takes to fervently demonstrate loyalty to Biden and Harris while defiantly ignoring Trump and his supporters. Gantz's inclination to freeze construction in settlements as well Lapid's readiness to accept the "nuclear deal" with Iran, are evidence of the path our foreign policy is taking.

Netanyahu managed to build a trusting, albeit very delicate, relationship with Vladimir Putin, which endowed Israel with operational maneuvering in Syria and restrained Iran. If Lapid takes the side of the "progressive community" in its battle with the Kremlin, mutual understanding with Moscow will crack. Russia will halt Israeli Air Force air operations over Syria.

Lapid is also quite capable of spoiling relations with the nationalist governments of Modi in India, Balsanaro in Brazil, and even China. His main and paramount task will be to please Washington.

The term of this government will be ridiculously short. But during this time, they can clear the way for new and deadly "peace initiatives", drag the country into a bloody and doomed war and spoil relations with the whole world, once again turning Israel from a world power into a "Jewish place", without friends and allies. Would our new Arab allies need a completely dependent on Washington Jewish "shtetl" in the area? Unlikely…

Alexander Maistrovoy is a graduate of Moscow Univ. in Journalism, worked there in his field and made aliyah in 1988. He works at the Russian language newspaper Novosty Nedely, has had articles posted on many internet sites and authored “Ways of God” about different religious and ethnic groups in the Holy Land, Agony of Hercules or a Farewell to Democracy (Notes of a Stranger), and with Mark Kotliarsky the Russian book Jewish Atlántida.



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