Early morning Tuesday, May 8, 2012, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a decision that seemingly guarantees to keep him in office at least another sixteen months: instead of announcing an election date (as expected), he announced a union with his main political opposition, Kadima. With this decision, he co-opts a key opponent by inviting it into his government under his control. It seems a brilliant decision because he renews his power without the risks of an election campaign. In addition, this union helps Netanyahu push aside—at least temporarily-- a constellation of political problems: a Likud base that opposes him; a Moshe Feiglin who, increasingly, is described by the media as someone Netanyahu cannot defeat even when he defeats him; serious differences with the US and the UN over ‘Palestine’; and a Knesset which might rebel against plans for demolishing homes in Judea-Samaria. He strengthens his rule by appearing to create an unprecedented 94-seat majority in a Knesset where 61 seats spell control. This alone puts him into an historic position because it means that, for the first time in decades, a Prime Minister may not be forced to call for elections before the natural end of his term. With this single choice, he appears to create the greatest stability a modern Israeli leader has ever had.
What’s there not to like? Abbas has already signalled his approval and the New York Times approves. For Netanyahu, it seems a choice with no downside.
Meanwhile, the Leftist dream of an Israeli government fully committed to 1949 borders and a Judenrein Judea-Samaria is now empowered. What was once Kadima’s failed ‘surrender for peace’ could now become Israel’s chosen game-plan.
Unfortunately for Israel, this is no dream partnership. It is a nightmare.
Lest anyone forget, Kadima is the party of Ariel Sharon. As one online news reader suggests, this is the Party of surrender and retreat. If you want to know about Kadima, ask the Jews who live with bomb shelters in Southern Israel. Sharon left Likud to form Kadima so he could surrender Gaza. But after surrendering, he could not resettle, retrain and re-employ some 8,000 displaced Gazan Jews, many of whom still suffer more than 6 years later; and in case you haven’t noticed, Kadima’s ‘disengage for peace’ has resulted in 12,000 rockets being fired into Israel. Kadima’s peace dividend looks like war against Israel.
Kadima now re- joins Netanyahu’s Likud just when the world demands that Judea-Samaria be surrendered to the Arab—and when the Arab demands that Judea-Samaria become as Jew-free as Gaza. To confront such hostility, Netanyahu has formed a unified government. It’s a good idea. But his unity partner promotes surrender. By choosing Kadima, Netanyahu creates a Knesset-proof Leftist coalition that has the power to shape Israel according to a ‘surrender’ agenda; the Leftist dream might now--once again-- leap forward (Kadima means, ‘forward’).
But the leaders of a Kadima-Likud coalition have no plan for a Leftist future. They are—and have been—completely unprepared for the day after they surrender. We saw that with Sharon. We see it again now.
Did you enjoy last summer’s tent cities? Wait until you see the tents that spring up to create the Middle East’s newest refugee camps—for 100,000-350,000 displaced Jews who have been forced out of Judea-Samaria.
Are you proud that Israel has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the developed world? Wait until 50,000-80,000 Jews are no longer allowed to work in ‘Palestine’.
What do you think will happen to Israel’s economy when the Jews of Judea-Samaria –and, possibly, parts of Jerusalem—can no longer afford to pay mortgages on apartments that have been taken away and given to Arabs?
Do you think Israeli schools are overcrowded? Wait until tens of thousands of displaced Jewish children show up for classes in cities where, as refugees, they pay no taxes.
This coalition will not bring stability. It will incite increased pressure against Israel. It will not bring peace. It will provoke the killing of Jews. Is anyone paying attention? This is an important question because the Left certainly isn’t. They call for peace but they mean surrender. They whisper ‘Palestine’ but promote a politicized Arab bias in Israel’s courts. They talk of unity but announce that the first problem the new coalition must address is drafting the Haredi into the IDF-- while Leftist draft-dodgers laugh at the draft. Kadima does not understand peace. It has no plan for peace. Ariel Sharon taught us that.
If Mr Netanyahu wants to succeed, he needs a better partner. Kadima is not the answer. He needs a winner. He should consider the examples of Judaism's David and Solomon. They knew how to win: they chose G-d, not surrender.
It's a choice that has been more successful than surrender.