Opinion: The fact that the election has led right-wing politicians to join the left in calls to oust Netanyahu shows that the nation wants a government rooted in democratic values at heart of this nation and end to divisiveness and corruption
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-(Photo: Reuters)
Israel demands change. It isn’t only wishful thinking: polls again and again have shown an absolute and clear-cut majority for those calling for the ousting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Even the new and unprecedented political map created ahead of the election calls out for change in one way or another.
Ever since I can remember – as a young man, as a soldier voting for the first time and as a father taking his daughter to the polling station – there has always been a clear divide between Israel’s right and left wings.
But suddenly in this election and in a very admirable way, leaders and public figures from the right are rising up against Netanyahu and saying: “Enough is enough. Your time is up.”
New Hope’s Gideon Saar, Yifat Shasha-Biton and Ze’ev Elkin, Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Liberman and Eli Avidar and in some ways even Yamina’s Naftali Bennet – all dyed in the wool right-wingers – understand that the severe dangers of Netanyahu remaining in power justify new political alliances.
All of them unequivocally believe that something has gone wrong with Netanyahu when it comes to balancing political and personal interests. They believe that we as a society must wrest the ship of state out of the hands of a man who has forgotten what it means to be Israeli.
It seems that despite all of Netanyahu’s efforts, Israel’s core values – those inherited to us through Jewish traditions that became the heart of our Declaration of Independence – still stand strong.
These core principles – democracy, mutual responsibility, respecting the rule of law, honesty and personal example – were forged in the furnaces of Israel’s many wars and also very much by its culture.
Netanyahu has challenged these beliefs from the first moment he took office, but it seems that over the past year he has viewed nothing as sacred.
A man who is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust who allows himself to endlessly attack and discredit the justice system and the police has forgotten what it is to be Israeli.
A man who secures himself hundreds of thousands of shekels in tax breaks while hundreds of thousands of families battle every day to stay afloat has forgotten what it is to be Israeli.
A man who in the middle of an economic crisis prevents the passage of a state budget simply to allow himself to remain in power despite an agreement signed with his coalition panthers has forgotten what it is to be Israeli.
A man who allows a sector of the public to flagrantly flaunt coronavirus restrictions while everyone else must abide by them has forgotten what it is to be Israeli.
A man who says brushes off more than 6,000 coronavirus deaths as “nonsense” has forgotten what it is to be Israeli.
The man who tries to take away his opponents’ right to protest, branding them as “disease spreaders” and “anarchists” has forgotten what it is to be Israeli.
There is a direct line between the weekly protests outside Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem and the brave stance of right-wing politicians to come out against him.
Both are impressive and emotional reactions by Israelis to a prime minister’s yet unsuccessful attempt to divide and corrupt our society.
We can only hope that after the election we will see an Israeli coalition without Netanyahu, one that will connect Israel’s parties and be rooted in the values in the heart of this great nation.
Voting on Tuesday is the only option for those who do remember what it is to be Israeli.