Don’t Give Netanyahu Another Opportunity to...

Don’t Give Netanyahu Another Opportunity to Shame you

By Gilly Harpaz, NRG

translation by Geneva Initiative staff
It is less than two years since the last elections and Israel again finds itself on the way to the ballot box. Assuming that this is not just another political exercise to change the coalition and leave Prime Minister Netanyahu in his seat, we can count the days left of his third government.
Whatever the results of the election, one thing is clear: The current coalition government must not return. What began as an alliance between the ‘brothers’ was soon revealed to be a dysfunctional family. The coalition did not break up due to practical reasons, a policy issue or an ideological disagreement – it was due to the unnatural partnership between the different party heads whose suspicion of one another has dragged us into another round of elections. We can now say that this government should never have come into being.
The dissolution of the current coalition due to the poor relations between its members, and not due to current policy issues (such as the conscription law which led to the last elections), highlights the real choice between two clear camps with diametrically opposing world views regarding the future of the State of Israel.
The voter can choose between the two different world views: On the one hand the supposedly ‘national’ camp (in reality – bi-national), which advocates managing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while ruling over another nation; continued settlement building even at the risk of deteriorating relations with the world; while inequality within Israeli society increases; and racism, violence and extremism grow.
On the other hand, there is the Zionist camp, which supports territorial compromise to guarantee the future of the State of Israel as a Jewish state, and a democratic state, opposes the occupation of the Palestinian people, and believes in partnership and co-existence with Israeli Arabs, and demands real social justice for all the citizens of the State. The elections this time, precisely because they are not about this issue or that, are a real choice between the two paths, between one vision and its opposite for Israel.
The attempt by different candidates and parties to present themselves as ‘centrist’ has been proven wrong and was destined to fail. Those who spoke about peace, guaranteed an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and committed themselves not to sit in a government which would not engage in genuine negotiations – they not only broke their word to work for peace – but were also partners in a government whose policy failures led to a security nightmare with a heavy and cruel toll for numerous Israelis and Palestinians.
Those who believed the Bibi of the Bar Ilan speech, and gave him another chance to prove that “Only Netanyahu will bring real peace”, were partners to his bumbling and scandalous policy in the diplomatic realm (and not only there); they are fully responsible for the situation that Israel finds itself in. Accordingly, each candidate and party that considers itself part of the Zionist-democratic camp, has the responsibility to commit to the voters not to sit in a government led by Netanyahu.
In English there is a saying: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Netanyahu has fooled us for two consecutive terms; we cannot give him the fig leaf which will shame us a third time.
Gilly Harpaz is the spokesperson of the Geneva Initiative