How the wheel turns: Even Benjamin Netanyahu’s greatest loathers are beginning to realize that we must now look to him as the last hope. How the wheel turns: Yesterday’s far right is today’s moderate right. To the right of the Bibi-ist right in the next government is the farther right, which is, even the loudest voices in the “anyone but Bibi” camp, even more dangerous than Bibi.

That was a short chapter in the theory of relativity of the right in Israel. In the new reality, which is allegedly even more dangerous than its predecessors, Netanyahu is the last hope. Yes, yes, Netanyahu of the ghosts and demons. Will he surprise or disappoint?

The answer is in his hands. History will yet judge whether he wanted this new government, most of which is contrary to his positions, or was pushed into it because he was shunned by the camp whose only credo is “anyone but.” This camp was defeated, and the election results made it clear: only Bibi.

It’s very easy to predict that Netanyahu will give in to all the caprices, solely to rescue himself from his prosecution. After all, that is the mother of all assumptions in the mainstream media; everyone there knows this. Netanyahu would sell his own mother, not to mention the beliefs he doesn’t have, to save himself from prison.

It’s elementary. But there is another possibility that cannot be ignored. After reading Netanyahu’s articulate and fascinating autobiography, “Bibi: My Story,” it’s still possible to cling to the vestiges of the belief that perhaps there is another Bibi.

If so, let him appear immediately. If Netanyahu is the Netanyahu of the book, then his test begins now: Stop the drift, stop it bodily and leave at least the remnants of secular democracy to the Jews as they are. If the Netanyahu of the book is also a fiction, then we’ll encounter a new reality in which Haaretz, for example, will no longer be able to be Haaretz.

When Netanyahu declared last week, loud and clear, that the Jerusalem Pride Parade will not be canceled, it kindled a tiny spark of this hope. The anyone-but-Bibis will say that he never keeps his word, he’s a lying son of a liar.

It’s also possible that he was telling the truth this time. Netanyahu is well aware of the stakes. Despite all the hatred directed at him, he has a few things on his mind besides the trial. It can also be assumed that he understands the magnitude of the responsibility that he carries on his shoulders, which exceeds that of all his previous governments.

Netanyahu is the last barrier, the last fortress, standing between loathsome, Jewish-fundamentalist racism and an ordinary apartheid state. Never before has so much depended on so little, on one person, so hated and so loved.

If he wants to continue to carry out what he believes in – the nation of high-tech and checkpoints, that does not believe in a permanent solution to the conflict but also not in needless bloodshed – it is all up to him, and him alone.

That is very bad. But without him, something much worse would develop here: the Jewish republic of Israel – a replica of an Islamic republic.

Netanyahu is the only one who can stop massacres of Palestinians, they are already on the way; the destruction of villages, the expulsion of their inhabitants, the plans are already on paper; a life of shame for LGBTQ people and religious directives for secular people; a ban on criticizing soldiers, the laws are already in the pipeline; a ban on opposing the occupation. Only Netanyahu can prevent Tel Aviv from turning into a combination of Sparta and Tehran.

The irony: The center and the left now need a strong Netanyahu. Any minute, they’ll take to the highway overpasses carrying updated signs, saying “Come!” instead of “Go!” The new leader of the masses, Gadi Eisenkot, can call for a million people to take to the streets, but he’s unlikely to get 10,000 and in any event only Netanyahu can save them now.

It isn’t only Netanyahu who must gird himself with strength and courage, so must his haters. They must recognize that it could be worse, that Netanyahu isn’t only Satan from the stories, he is also a statesman on whom we may pin a last, slim, but not impossible, hope.

QOSHE - Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Last Hope - Gideon Levy
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Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Last Hope

20 11 28
06.12.2022

How the wheel turns: Even Benjamin Netanyahu’s greatest loathers are beginning to realize that we must now look to him as the last hope. How the wheel turns: Yesterday’s far right is today’s moderate right. To the right of the Bibi-ist right in the next government is the farther right, which is, even the loudest voices in the “anyone but Bibi” camp, even more dangerous than Bibi.

That was a short chapter in the theory of relativity of the right in Israel. In the new reality, which is allegedly even more dangerous than its predecessors, Netanyahu is the last hope. Yes, yes, Netanyahu of the ghosts and demons. Will he surprise or disappoint?

The answer is in his hands. History will yet judge whether he wanted this new government, most of which is contrary to his positions, or was pushed into it because he was shunned by the camp whose only credo is “anyone but.” This camp was defeated, and the election results made it clear: only Bibi.

It’s very easy to predict that Netanyahu will give in to all the caprices, solely to rescue himself........

© Haaretz


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