Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu is in trouble. While he will not be charged with a crime, there is no question that his political standing has fallen. How he came to be embroiled in the most damaging scandal of his political career is also well know. I would like to discuss the proper response of the National Camp to unfolding events.
Bibi has been like the prodigal son who takes the family inheritance and squanders it foolishly. He was elected on a Zionist platform by one of the largest Jewish majorities in Israeli history (over 11%). His election was a clear signal from the voters of concern about the direction of the Oslo Process. Yet like the prodigal son, he took the political power, given him by the electorate, and began to use it to complete the self-destructive process begun by the previous Labor/Meretz/PLO government.
Bibi's current troubles stem from his desire to secure a majority in the Knesset for the abandonment of Hebron. He desperately needed the votes of Shas, an ultra-Orthodox political party with a long history of fraud and scandal. While I am not a religious scholar, it has occurred to me, that Bibi may be feeling the Wrath of HaShem for his share in undermining the Jewish claim to Hebron, burial place of the Patriarchs. We know from the TANACH that HaShem loved and cared deeply for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Perhaps He is showing His displeasure at Bibi's actions.
With all that said, I must confess the following: Bibi is OUR prodigal son. We must guide him back to the Right path. Now there is no substitute. The Left has unsheathed their long knives and have begun to lust for blood. The viciousness of the Israeli media and the politically corrupted police and judiciary must be stopped. They seek to overturn the voter's democratic choice by innuendo, slander and damaging leaks. The charges against Bibi are at their very worse a form of political "backroom" bargaining. Such behavior has been common to every Israel government since 1948. In fact it was David Ben Gurion, Israel's first premier, who initiated the policy of "paying off" the ultra Orthodox to join his coalition.
Do we value the concept of "equal protection under the law" and judicial impartiality? The Left is guilty of far greater crimes against the State than Bibi. How many of you remember Alex Goldfarb who was given a new Mitsubishi to bolt the Tsomet Party and give Peres and Rabin a majority for the Oslo Accord? Was the late Yitzhak Rabin ever charged with the cold-blooded murder of 17 Jewish teenagers in 1948 during the Altalena incident. The Israeli police never investigated whether Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin and others violated Israel law by:
(1) collaborating with the enemy
(2) damaging Israeli security by aiding known terrorists
(3) perpetrating the self-destructive hoax of Oslo against the will of the Israeli people
(4) plotting with enemies of Israel to turn over strategic territory to them which would facilitate their destruction of the Jewish State.
The Left is also guilty of compromising the quality of the IDF by promoting fellow leftist officers instead of the most qualified. The leftist police have pursued an agenda of punishing Jews who defend themselves against Arab attack. And then the government releases Arab murderers to kill more Jews. The Israeli television channels are so biased that it is easier for Yasser Arafat to get an interview than the Prime Minister. Leftist educators have recently launched a campaign to strip everything Jewish or Zionist from Israel's schools. Speakers who have unconventional views are prevented from speaking on college campuses. Freedom of speech is only for the Left. I could go on. The Leftist rot in Israel runs very deep.
The bottom line is this: Israeli society has many problems. Bibi is certainly not the worst problem. We must support him during this current crisis. It could work to our favor. With the National Unity government removed from the table, Bibi is more dependent than ever on his Nationalist coalition. The Left is literally salivating for his fall. Bibi and his traditional allies must re-unite and proceed with the management of Israeli affairs in a more activist Zionist fashion. That means ACTUAL building permits in YESHA (in a simplified process) instead of mere TALK ABOUT PERMITS.
The new revitalized coalition must consider doing the following:
1. ACTUALLY DEMANDING RECIPROCITY from Arafat instead of just TALKING about it.
2. Demanding that all provisions of Oslo be complied with. This includes everything from the PLO Covenant, extradition of terrorists, disarming and destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad infrastructure, reducing the size of the PLO army to stated terms, turning in of all prohibited weapons (anti-tank, anti-air, grenades, bombs etc), and an end to incitement against Israel and Jews, etc etc
3. All of above to be done within 60 days or Oslo is terminated. PERIOD.
4. The Leftists must be weeded out of government media, the police, Consular Corp and the judiciary
5. Moledet should be brought into the government even if this means that the Third Way (no bargain for the Nationalists) decides to leave.
This is only a beginning. First we need to salvage this government and then make it RIGHT.
Bernard J. Shapiro is the executive Director of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies and editor of its monthly magazine, THE MACCABEAN.