To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
Some are dumbfounded that Ariel Sharon and the Likud are bringing Labor into the government to form a national unity coalition. Some cannot believe their eyes and ears and noses.
This, after all, is the same Labor Party that anti-democratically imposed Oslo upon Israel and then turned the country into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. This is the same Labor party that decided Israel needed to try to appease its way to peace, needed to reward each atrocity committed by the Palestinians with new concessions and goodwill gestures – policies that resulted un 1,600 murdered Israelis, thousands more wounded and maimed, and countless destroyed lives of surviving family members.
But no one should really be surprised by this turn of events. To understand why Sharon would bring Shimon Peres in as his Number Two and replace his other coalition partners with the Labor Party, it is necessary to understand just one thing:
The most fundamental fact of life about Israeli politics is that Likud is a single-issue party. And that single issue is the reelection of the Labor Party.
That is why almost every time Likud has been elected by voters nauseated by Labor, its first priority has been to bring the defeated Laborites back into a national unity coalition. Likud is afraid to govern Israel, even when it wins elections by landslides. It seeks only to restore Labor hegemony and is perfectly willing to implement Labor-style socialism until that becomes feasible.
But the evidence of Likud being a single-issue party is far broader and comprehensive than what I have indicated. Ever since the first Likud government of Menachem Begin took power in 1977, Likud has implemented policies whose only conceivable explanation is that Likud politicians desire above all to restore the political fortunes of the very party they vanquished.
Until 1977, Israel was one of those single-party countries more commonly found in the Third World or Eastern Europe. But the debacle of the Yom Kippur War and a series of Labor corruption scandals at long last ended Labor’s monopoly. Perversely, almost from the first day of its reign, the Likud government of Begin worked to make Labor look good in retrospect.
Likudniks initiated the massive Bank-Shares Pyramid scheme, one of the largest and most harmful economic scams in human history, and when it collapsed it cost the country about a quarter of its GDP. At the same time, Begin’s people went on a Latin American-style money-printing joyride, and by the mid-1980′s the inflation rate was approaching quadruple digits. To any sensible observer, it seemed Begin was working overtime to discredit Likud and bring back Labor.
It was Begin’s successor, however, who at last fully succeeded in restoring Labor Party rule. After inviting Laborites to re-enter the government ruling coalitions in the 1980′s, Yitzhak Shamir displayed such complete incompetence that in 1992 the Labor Party was reelected. Refusing to reciprocate Likud’s generosity, Labor chose not to invite Likud into its coalition government.
But by 1996, Labor had produced such a disaster with its mindless Oslo initiative that even the enormous upsurge of pro-Labor sentiment that flowed in the aftermath of the Rabin assassination could not save the party from electoral collapse. Bibi Netanyahu was elected prime minister, and he immediately set out to prove once more that Likud is a single-issue party.
Netanyahu did everything humanly possible to bring Labor back into power, and while he was waiting for his efforts to bear fruit implemented Oslo policies that even Labor had dared not try, including the Wye capitulation.
Reminiscent of the American public’s disgust with the Coca-Cola company over its 1985 New Coke fiasco, Israeli voters realized that the Labor Party was more genuine than Likud’s weak imitation and decided they’d rather have the real thing. Labor’s Ehud Barak beat Netanyahu and came within a facial mole of destroying Israel and turning the Western Wall and the Old City over to the PLO savages.
But Israel was rescued by a miracle it probably did not deserve – Arafat’s stupefying intransigence – and the much maligned Ariel Sharon creamed Labor twice, first defeating the hapless Barak and then winning reelection against the clueless Amram Mitzna.
But in true Likud manner, Sharon proved he was a single-issue candidate and that his single issue was the restoration of Labor to power. At first he did so by adopting as his own pet the mangy mutt that Amram Mitzna had attempted to run past the voters as his election platform: the unilateral capitulation by Israel to the PLO and the eviction of all Jews from the Gaza Strip.
But that was only the opening round. Sharon was counting the moments until he could restore Labor icon Shimon Peres – an intimate friend of Sharon’s – to his proper position as the Likud’s Elder Statesman.
Can Defense Minister Yossi Beilin be far behind?
At last the inevitable has happened. The Likud may be one of the most successful political parties in human history: It nearly always succeeds in its single-minded pursuit of its single goal.
Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.
Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.
Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.
Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.
Cries of justice for Michael Brown drowned out any call for justice for Police Officer Daryl Wilson.
Cloistered captain Obama, touts his talents and has the temerity to taunt Bibi,his besieged ally
Former PM Ariel Sharon succinctly said, “the fate of Netzarim (Gush Katif) is the fate of Tel-Aviv.”
Unrest in YESHA and J’m helps Abbas and Abdullah defuse anger, gain politically and appear moderates
A “Shliach” means to do acts with complete devotion and dedication in order to help bring Moshiach.
The pogroms in Chevron took place eighty five years ago, in 1929; the Holocaust began seventy-five years ago in 1939; the joint attack of Israel’s neighbors against the Jewish State of Israel happened sixty-six years ago… yet, world history of anti-Semitism did not stop there, but continues until today. Yes, the primitive reality of Jews […]
“We don’t just care for the children; we make sure they have the best quality of life.”
Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.
The ostensible basis for the banning of Israel Hayom is that it is distributed for free.
Israel’s weenie gov’t refuses to pass law requiring instant execution of ALL terrorists at the scene
Conspiracism is a form of paranoid delusion taking over the entire lives&personalities of believers
The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country
Though secular, Hitman’s CV includes writing music for, recording, and popularizing religious songs.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israels-single-issue-party/2005/01/05/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: