In a very astute blog post on the Times of Israel, Marc Goldberg analyzes the pros and cons of Israel having a right or left wing government, pointing out the significant fact that “When Likud is in power fewer Israelis die... [because] there is less chance of war when Likud is running the show.”
This may seem contrary to the left leaning MSM, who relish portraying Netanyahu as an extreme right wing hawkish warmonger – but the fact is there have been no wars under Netanyahu.
“Likudniks aren’t interested in rocking the boat by changing anything. They will approve more settlements — more than the left would like to see and less than their own partners in government want. They will not try to make peace with anyone — they won’t even sit down with the Palestinians — and in the meantime, everyone, on both sides of the wall and in Gaza, will get on with their lives, firm in the knowledge that their daily routine won’t come under threat…It is when the left is in power and politicians attempt to actually make things better in the long run that the attacks begin.”
Goldberg is correct but he misses out one thing: in August 2010 (the same month Abbas made statements that he’d support a war on Israel if other Arab countries joined in, and eulogized one of the terrorists behind the Munich Olympics massacre), Netanyahu and Abbas agreed to begin direct peace talks together – however this resulted in Palestinian extremists responding with a campaign of terror attacks on Israeli citizens. It would have been understandable if Israel had pulled out of the talks then, but Netanyahu didn’t. The talks petered out when Abbas refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, in return for a settlement freeze. Attempted terror attacks also decreased.
So whilst under Likud the situation could remain relatively calm (as in not engaged in an actual war), according to Goldberg “In the long term, the left may offer the eventual possibility of normalization of relations with the rest of the Middle East, a state of Palestine alongside ours, and a corresponding improvement of our standing in the international community. But in the short term, that spells nothing but more hardship.”
Call me a cynic/psychic/crazy religious Jew, but Mashiach will come before that scenario plays out – and I don’t just mean that as a figure of speech!
It doesn’t seem worth it to take the risks for an impossible solution, just to see if it will make people like us better. Elder of Ziyon has written a great piece explaining why the status quo is not actually as ‘unsustainable’ as people think:
“A genuine peace is one where Israel's neighbours do not even fantasize about attacking Israel. Not one where they are coerced into not attacking by an ephemeral government, not one where they do not attack because of the military consequences - but one where they simply have no desire to...”
Currently the Palestinians have not demonstrated why this would be possible, with no serious efforts made to end incitement to hatred and terrorism, and the brainwashing of children with this.
“The best we can ever hope for realistically is a detente where the weaker party has no desire to stir things up, even if it covets everything owned by the other” - because the repercussions outweigh the benefits. “This means that the best that Israel can hope for is a "Palestine" that keeps a short leash on its terrorists out of fear. Not love, not friendship, but fear. And this is exactly the status quo today... Anything that upsets this status quo will inevitably increase the danger to Israel's citizens.”