Never has a prime minister appointed a defense minister so far beyond the consensus. For the first time in a decade, it feels like fewer people truly buy into Bibi’s lies and theatrics.
By Alon Mizrahi
Throughout his years in the public spotlight, Netanyahu and his advisors have been successful at doing one thing: to completely control the story of the State of Israel.
It does not matter whether they were able to do so because they are talented at doing so, or because they use deeply-entrenched Jewish and Israeli motifs: victimhood; persecution; siege mentality; the Arabs as a representation of the devil incarnate and the heirs to the Wermacht; Judaism as a supreme category whose fate, near-annihilation by anti-Semitism — is different than the rest of humanity (a fate prevented only due to aerial bombings and God).
We know all this, and yet the left-wing, liberal camp has been sitting by helplessly for an entire generation, perhaps even longer. The Left has never been successful — or has even tried — to challenge this story. The Jewish public simply does not want a different story. Israeli Jews want to feel special and in danger, and every political movement that builds on these fears succeeds at becoming a dominant force. Every step taken under the guise of these fears is justified: the occupation itself, of course, justified but so are other acts of cruelty against non-Jews, as well as the arrogance vis-a-vis non-Jews abroad. That’s the story. Am Israel Chai — the nation of Israel lives thanks to miracles and unregulated use of force.
But something in this story is now falling apart. We are hearing people in the heart of the Israeli Right saying: wait. There are things we mustn’t do. Maybe this story is so wrong that it actually justifies strange and reckless behavior. Such as appointing Avigdor Liberman defense minister, for example.
If we understand things as such, the resignation of Avi Gabai (along with that of Yisrael Beiteinu’s Orly Levy and former Defense Minister Minister Moshe Ya’alon) from the Netanyahu-Bennett-Liberman government, is significant. It is the earthquake happening under Netanyahu’s rule.
It’s not just a change in the people running the country. It’s not just the fact that people no longer want to work with him, including diehard rightists. It is the fundamental psychological change taking place here over the past few weeks,...Read More