OpinionThe year of Israel's disillusionment from the fantasies of the extreme right
The year of Israel's disillusionment from the fantasies of the extreme right
“We are expecting a very difficult year, maybe two,” Calcalist Publisher Yoel Esteron writes concerning the new Israeli government, “and after that - the political turnover will come”
Itamar Ben-Gvir's gun waving will not stop the terror attacks. The neo-Kahanist who will enter the offices of the Ministry of Internal Security, equipped with zero management or command experience, will not contribute anything to internal security or to deterrence. On the contrary, he may actually encourage terrorism and violence. If he ascends the Temple Mount, as he promised or threatened, he will set a great fire. It wouldn't be a big surprise if the rockets from Gaza returned to our lives. The Police Commissioner will not dare to accuse him of igniting a conflict, but his frightened silence will not reduce the flames. Either way, Ben-Gvir’s constituents are doomed to a great disappointment - whatever was, will be again. At best. Their disillusionment holds the possibility of a political turnover.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Bezalel Smotrich, Yitzchak Goldknopf and Aryeh Deri will not deal with the cost of living any better than their predecessors in the government. During the election campaign, they scattered empty promises about stopping the rise in prices, freezing mortgages, excuse me, I mean, property tax, and so on, hollow slogans. It doesn't really matter in which offices the next prime minister's three extortionists land. He needs them all. And he needs them to be happy.
Smotrich, whose political platform is based on almost libertarian capitalism along the lines of his advisers from the Kohelet Forum, will see to it that resources are allocated to the settlements at the expense of the periphery. Goldknopf and Deri are "social" only when it is necessary to increase the budgets, the allowances and the rights of the yeshiva students, the yeshivas and the rabbinical courtyards. Of course, at the expense of the taxpayers buckling under the burden. Most Israelis - secular and traditional - will learn next year that they are the last in line, in fact not in line at all, for the mercy of this government. They are not attached to the abundant udders. Their disillusionment also increases the chance of a political turnover.
The Biden administration, which retained its power in the midterm elections, has already signaled to Netanyahu that it will not easily digest the racist stew of his government, and will not welcome in Washington the extremist figures who will star in the government. The dreams of Trump's return are fading, and in any case there are still two years left until November 2024. If Netanyahu and his emissaries, for example Ron Dermer, try to mobilize the Republicans, as they have done in the past, Biden will not stand by idly. Israel's greatest friend may be less friendly. There have already been such times of "reassesment", of delays in the transfer of intelligence information and even the supply of essential systems. The expected cooling between Washington and Jerusalem may also lead to the disillusionment of some Israelis who voted for the “Bibi bloc”.
The disillusionment will be painful. Israel will understand perhaps for the first time that even the ministers of the extreme right, who believe in forceful solutions, cannot work miracles. Even messiahs on their own behalf are unable to prevent attacks and rocket launches. Even the most experienced politicians will not invent an economy in which more and more money is given to people who do not work and do not serve in the military without raising taxes and imposing decrees on the working and army-serving Israelis.
Is this column an attempt to sprinkle some powder of pathetic optimism? Not yet. We are expecting a very difficult year, maybe two unbearably difficult years. Netanyahu and the “Bibists” will perform every trick in the book to blame their failure on the leftist media, the deep state of the legal system, the treacherous opposition, or the anti-Semitic world. In recent years they have specialized in spreading lies and gaslighting. This was probably just a prelude to the poison ventilator that awaited us.
Therefore, the disillusionment will be long and will be partial. But even if it comes late, it will come. And after that - the political turnover will also come.