So what does Netanyahu stand for?

November 24, 2016 23:02

Probably his own survival, as Ari Shavit points out here

In Israel, however, the war hasn't ended; we are merely between wars. Israel still drafts its sons and daughters, and sometimes even demands that they lay down their lives. Therefore, it cannot follow the route laid down by Reagan and Thatcher. In this place, at this historical moment, social democracy isn't a caprice of the leftists and Stalinists, but a supreme strategic necessity. Israel needs a strong, cohesive and fair society no less than it needs a robust economy.

But Netanyahu refuses to understand this self-evident truth. His Reagan-Thatcherism has ripped Israeli society to shreds, creating a flourishing economy at the cost of social rot.

Netanyahu's Reagan-Thatcherism was thus anti-Churchillian. For instead of creating an economic and social powerhouse capable of meeting the challenges that surround it, he created a robber state that serves the settlers, the ultra-Orthodox and the tycoons. Instead of creating a Jewish, democratic and moral state here, he created a state that shuts out its productive, creative majority. In the name of the market and market forces, Netanyahu atrophied state systems and weakened Israel to a dangerous degree.

This moment is therefore a decisive one. The crisis is also an opportunity, but this opportunity is the last one.

Netanyahu need not obey the dictates of the protest leaders sitting on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard. But he must finally listen to the outcry that rises from the boulevard. For despite the political games being played by Kadima and Hadash, this outcry is genuine. And it requires Netanyahu to understand what Churchill understood. It requires an Israeli New Deal.

November 24, 2016 23:02

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