‘We Want To Break The Leftist Monopoly On Public Discourse In Israel’: An Interview with Caroline Glick
Latest update: March 12th, 2015
The people who are heard from are those with the microphone, and in Israel, like in America and Europe, the people with the microphone tend to be on the left.
What we’re trying to do [with Latma] is enact a revolutionary change in Israel as opposed to a gradual change, to replace one elite with another.
Will that goal be thwarted by leftists in Israel who routinely accuse dissenters of having crossed a red line?
There is always the question of where the red line is. The left tries to paint the line very close to the left as opposed to where it should be, which is on the margins of both sides’ spectrums. We do have a problem with expression of free speech. The people who are being silenced, I think completely unacceptably and in an anti-democratic manner, have been demonized.
That’s the problem. The discourse in Israel is so limited that it’s shocking. It’s completely distorted because the only side that really gets to decide what’s going to be discussed is the radical left. So you then have a counterpart which is called the radical right. But the vast majority of Israel is neither radical left nor radical right. The vast majority love the country, want to defend it, don’t want to surrender, don’t want to establish a Palestinian state that’s going to be the death of the country, and don’t want to be beholden to foreign powers, but this view is never expressed.
One of the reasons we have a situation where we are going back time and time again, beating our heads against the wall with this false paradigm of peace on the basis of the establishment of a Palestinian state, is because the left has discounted any alternative policy. Every time we say it doesn’t work, the left always comes back and says, “What’s your alternative?”
Well, the alternative of course is to annex Judea and Samaria, but we haven’t had any discussion of that possible alternative for the past thirty years. It’s been discredited by the left because they don’t want to discuss it. So most Israelis, because we never talk about it, just assume it’s not a possibility. And the reason we end up having these situations where a right-wing government implements left-wing policies is because there is an absence of right-wing policies.
Do you believe a stronger leader than Netanyahu is needed for such a change to occur?
A big problem throughout the Western world, not only in Israel, is that due in large part to the intellectual terror of the left there is a huge leadership crisis. People who actually have the strength of their convictions, the character and moral fiber to stand up for their country, are being marginalized. As a result, the people who end up getting through the vetting process of the elite tend to be without strong convictions. This is the real problem. And the answer I found is that the way to have strong leaders is to have strong people. We have to do the hard work the public demands of leadership and then I believe the leaders we need will emerge or the leaders we have will be strengthened.
Do you think it will take a crisis for that shift to occur more rapidly?
Since 1993, when we allowed the PLO to decamp to the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, we’ve been in continuous crisis. The public has been energized by that and has opened its eyes to the perils of the left-wing agenda, but it hasn’t been sufficient to change the way leaders act once they’re in office. The reason is that while the left’s policy paradigms have been discredited, the leftist elite has not. So you have the same radicals running the court system, running the law enforcement arms of the government; the same sort of homogenization of anyone who wants to rise in the ranks of Israel’s media and entertainment industries. That has to be changed. And I think the way to change that is to discredit those who’ve been immune from criticism – the leftist elite.Sara Lehmann
About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house. Her column appears monthly. For more of her writing, visit saralehmann.com.
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