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Israel Op-Ed

Netanyahu is living a lie

There are years we would be happy to see come to an end. The year 2023 is one we would be happy to forget, to erase it forever as if it never came into being.

A wicked, difficult, unnecessary year. The price Israeli society paid for it is so heavy, it will take years to recover – more than it will take to dismantle Hamas.

  • There are almost no bright spots to hold on to, except for the mobilization of civil society after the October 2023 fiasco, and the judicial reform protests that prevented the judicial coup.

At the end of the vote count in the elections on November 1, 2022, we received a fully right-wing government, sworn in on December 31st. Two weeks before the government was sworn in and before the judicial coup began, I wrote in this newspaper:

  • “Are we facing the point of no return where the State of Israel will transform, in some cases become unfixable?” I noted that Netanyahu stumbled into a weakness that would be expressed in the huge financial pork-barrel spending to help keep his Coalition partners in line.

Unfortunately, in the nine months that followed the swearing-in, Israel was swept into a storm.

Instead of leadership, we received incitement and division, an attempt by the prime minister to avoid trial, and persecution of the attorney general. We received a plan to take over the judicial system presented by Minister of Justice Yariv Levin, which he called a “legal reform”, which received the backing of the prime minister.

We received a radical national security minister with a troubled past.

We received a dark and gluttonous government. We received a campaign of hatred and evil against large parts of the nation, who went out into the streets, week after week, rain or shine, to tell the prime minister and his delusional government:

We will stop the regime change with our bodies and we will not allow Israel to undergo a transformation. Netanyahu did not try to calm, appease, or contain. On the contrary – he continued to incite and defame, while trust in him and his government continued to erode.

And society continued to disintegrate: Displays of refusal to volunteer for the reserves; warnings from the minister of defense that we are in dire straits; hundreds of thousands in the streets, from the Left and a little from the Right too; while Netanyahu thought about himself and about financing his homes.

He continued to say that he was strong against Hamas and that only he would safeguard Israel’s security, showing arrogance that cost us dearly on October 7.

It is unsurprising that Netanyahu’s Coalition of nonsense lost confidence and is polling at 45-47 seats.

  • Likud is crashing. Once being the most qualified to be prime minister, he is now ranked as least qualified. And yet, he continues to incite and divide. He gives his concessions to his far-Right allies and backs them. He maintains the Coalition at any price while giving Benny Gantz a beating despite the latter coming to his aid when hostilities broke out.

This is the most traumatic year in the history of the state and Netanyahu is not the man to repair and heal.

Another government must arise, which will regain the people’s trust as soon as possible so that it can make decisions about the day after the war. a government that speaks – and not in threatening language – with our Arab neighbors and the United States; a government that will make difficult decisions about the price that will be required to bring all the captives home; a government that will reach solutions either diplomatically, or alternatively militarily, vis-à-vis Hezbollah; a government that will implement plans to rehabilitate the communities in the Gaza border and the northern border and restore security to all citizens.

Netanyahu still believes he is the right man for the job. He is not. He and his government must go. A government that has lost the people’s trust will not be able to rebuild a corner grocery store.

Source: Nechama Duek – Israel Hayom