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The anti-Netanyahu Camp Is Longing for a Country That Never Was

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The hatred for Benjamin Netanyahu, which is sometimes justifiable and sometimes overblown, revives a tried-and-true tendency in Israel, the longing for what used to be, and even more so, the longing for what never was. We are living in a time of a dystopian competition: Who is better at frightening an audience by describing the disasters outside Israel’s gate - a state governed by religious law; the end of democracy; the end of the state; the end of the world.

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Apocalypse now, and there’s nothing more natural than to glamorize the past, to miss what used to be, to glorify what never was. Israel the beautiful and the just, before the scoundrel came to power; its ruination after his reign of 13 years. The truth is that things were better before Netanyahu, but not as good as people say. It’s worse today, but not as bad as the laments suggest.

Israel has always longed for its past and embellished it. In 1960, Hed Arzi Music issued a double album, “Hayo Hayu Zmanim” (“Once Upon a Time: Israeli Hit Tunes of Yesteryear”), a live recording of a concert held at Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium (now the Bronfman Auditorium). At barely 12 years old, the state was already longing for its past. They were the first records in most........

© Haaretz