An Alternative Can Save Israel

Opinion Articles

Now that Netanyhau has decided to divest himself of those few coalition partners who still believed in Israel as a democratic state, is there sufficient support amongst a public who have become increasingly apathetic of politics to bring a pro-peace, center-left government to power? For this to happen, the left has got to join forces on the issues that unite them rather than, as is so common among left-wing parties throughout the world, to divide and fragment on the issues which divide them.

Netanyahu and his extremist right-wing partners, Foreign Minister Lieberman, Defence Minister Yaalon and Trade and Industry Minister Bennet, have spent the past two years cracking away at Israel's democratic fiber, in a peak of ultra-nationalist sentiment and policies that have left Israel's friends and allies gasping for breath. They have succeeded in distancing those friends and allies, both in Western Europe and North America, who have remained strongly supportive of Israel, as though Israel really can stand alone against a hostile region, a growing Islamic fundamentalist threat and a democratic world that is no longer sure of the values they hold in common with Israel – the self professed democracy in the Middle East.

Centrists politicians such as Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid should have left this government long ago, rather than providing numerical legitimacy for this coalition government. They must make amends by agreeing to come in, under Isaac Herzog of the Labor Party, not only to provide a real alternative for the country.

Netanyahu has had long enough as prime minister to prove himself. He has failed abysmally and it is for the left to get this message across, to get the voters out and ensure that the government of Israel moves back from the right wing precipice to the center and the center left.

Parties of the more radical left, such as Meretz, which has become lost in intra-ideological intellectualism and irrelevant to many on the left, the Arab parties, and also the ultra-orthodox parties, must look at the bigger picture and not get subsumed, as they tend to, by their complex sectoral issues. Change for them can only come about when a more enlightened, pro-peace, and pro-human rights (for Jews as for Arabs) center-left coalition is elected to power.

Now is not the time for intellectual debates. Now is the time to join together in an an effort to change the public mood and vote in an alternative government for the future good of the State of Israel.

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