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A Thought Experiment for Right-Thinking People

Suppose Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu had campaigned for the premiership by advocating the “two-state solution,” hence a Palestinian state. The Likud would surely have won far less than the 27 seats it garnered in the February election—perhaps little more than one-third of that number. Certainly the party would have been in a shambles.

In fact, it was reported in The Jerusalem Post (July 7) that 11 Likud MKs—Tzipi Hotovely, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, deputy ministers Ayoub Kara and Gile Gamliel, and Danny Danon, Miro Regev, Tzion Pinyan, Carmel Shama, Yariv Levin and Ze’ev Elkin—have signed a letter to Netanyahu stating: “As Likud members, we cannot support a two-state solution on principle.” “[Such a solution] is neither possible, nor proper, due to the moral right of the Jewish people to the land, and for reasons of security. Saying otherwise delegitimizes the Israeli struggle for the land.”

Surely this expressed the views of some other Likud MKs, for example, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. Hence, it would be reasonable to assume that the Likud would have been devastated in the February election had Netanyahu been forthright with the people of Israel by saying he was for a Palestinian state. This means that Mr. Netanyahu’s premiership is based on a dastardly lie.

Would the Kadima party have benefited from the truth? Perhaps. However, since Kadima leader Tzipi Livni was on record as favoring the “two-state solution,” I doubt Likud voters would have gravitated toward Kadima. The primary beneficiary would have been Arieh Eldad’s National Union Party. This has interesting implications regarding Moshe Feiglin.

It should first be noted that ever since Mr. Feiglin joined the Likud Party, he and his “Jewish Leadership” faction have been recruiting people into the Likud—people from the nationalist camp. Believing or hoping that Mr. Feiglin would eventually gain control of the Likud, these recruits dismissed the fact that the Likud was responsible for the Wye Memorandum, “unilateral disengagement,” i.e., the retreat from Gaza, the release of countless terrorists, and the arming of Israel’s Arab enemies (which the Likud continues to do regardless of the lethal consequences).

Despite its deplorable track record, Mr. Feiglin has likened the Likud Party to the “trunk of the nation” (ignoring the long-term rotting of its roots). Of course, everyone knows that Feiglin opposes a Palestinian state. Indeed, he has said the establishment of such a state would violate the Zionist principles of the Likud Constitution. However, by joining and praising the Likud, he and his colleagues have perpetuated a myth—that the Likud is in fact, and not merely in name, an honest-to-goodness Zionist or nationalist party.

The Likud has cultivated this myth of its being a “rightwing” party for some three decades. The Likud has used this myth to attract religious voters away from its perennial arch-rival the Labor Party. The same myth has been used by the Likud to lure voters away from parties to its right—such as National Union. But this means that Mr. Feiglin, in his more than decade-long ambition to become the leader of the Likud, has split the nationalist camp and has thereby facilitated what he himself abhors: Israel’s retreat to its indefensible 1967 borders!

Election after election, the nationalist camp has been divided, has been incapable of developing a united Jewish nationalist program. By a Jewish nationalist program I mean a program that empowers the Jewish people: first, by Jewish constitutional reform, and second, by introducing serious Jewish content into Israel’s system of education. This would amount to “regime change.” It is precisely what right-minded Jewish nationalists should have pursued once the Labor Party betrayed the nation by signing the Oslo Accords.

Oslo marked the beginning of political revolution: it laid the foundation for a Palestinian state on the one hand, and for the transformation of Israel into a “state of its citizens” on the other. Mr. Feiglin was not entirely oblivious of this revolution. He simply joined the wrong party, with which he is now bound in Catholic matrimony.

It should be obvious that Israel needs another revolution. This can only occur if and when Israel eliminates the threat from afar, as well as from near. Each passing day diminishes the chances of success. But this does not mean—for right-thinking people—that we should ignore the need to reconstruct the ill-designed State of Israel.

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