The Submarine Brouhaha and Vision for Israel
A political storm is brewing in Israel over its purchase of three German submarines. Opposition politicians are accusing PM Netanyahu of buying the submarines in order to line the pockets of one of his close confidants. Netanyahu insists that the principle guiding the purchase was Israel’s national security. But this is not about the submarines, at all. It is about the obsession to find a scandal – at any price - that will depose Netanyahu.
A recent journalist ‘investigation’ by famous Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan is also nothing more than re-warmed stories, recycled and presented to the viewing audience with the addition of threatening music and effects.
Netanyahu is not blameless – far from it. But relative to some other prime ministers who served in Israel far from the torture wheels of the media inquisition, Netanyahu is an angel. One of those prime ministers, Ehud Barak, received (in his own words as taped by former PM Ehud Olmert) a personal kickback from every weapons deal with the US. This uncomfortable fact does not deter Barak from demanding an investigation of Netanyahu now.
For some reason, the media ignore the story about Barak. After all, he is needed right now to depose Netanyahu.
Why are they doing it? What is the reason for this deep hatred of Netanyahu? Is it only the hope that if Netanyahu is deposed, the Left will return to lead Israel?
Netanyahu is not an electoral asset for the Right. On the contrary. True, he is admired by a small, close group of people, but he is disliked or hated by the rest of the public. If the Left will manage to distance him from politics, it will be a boost for the Right. Why? Because the scorched earth policy that Netanyahu employs around future leaders of the Right will disappear, new, fresh energies will replace him and ultimately the Right will win the votes that escape to Lapid and Kachlon today, due to their disapproval of Netanyahu.
So why do they hate him so much?
It is not about corruption, hedonism or strong-arm politics. It is not about his wife or his cigars. It is the cumulative distress of lack of meaning.
Every person seeks meaning, direction and a purpose for both his personal and national life. But the passengers in our national jet feel that the pilot – with great talent – is flying us to nowhere.
Israel’s Right has never designated a clear mission for our country. All that is says is, “We are not the Left…” Shimon Peres’ question directed at the Right, “What is your alternative (to Oslo)?” still remains unanswered.
The Right has replaced strategy with tactics. In the Netanyahu era, this disease has become an art form. Netanyahu’s strategy is to make it to midnight and then tomorrow we will see what happens. It is not only Netanyahu’s problem; it is the problem of the entire Right in Israel.
No Likud leader is capable of leading any other way. Whoever replaces Netanyahu will employ the same tactics and receive the same treatment from the Left. Unless he will completely adopt the Left’s platform, in which case they will not touch him.
If a nation has no vision, it veers off in dangerous directions. The Right has never offered a vision. As a result, all its energies are channeled into political survival. And all the Left’s energies are channeled into deposing the Right.