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Netanyahu Is Convinced He Deserves Power. It’s Time for Him to Step Aside
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to reporters at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on April 20, 2021. (Koby Gideon/GPO)

Netanyahu Is Convinced He Deserves Power. It’s Time for Him to Step Aside

Ma’ariv, Israel, June 3

A new curse word has entered our vocabulary: “leftist.” Anyone who holds left-wing positions is a criminal, and a left-wing party is not a legitimate party. This is the gospel that is coming out of the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, there are too many Israelis who subscribe to this gospel. But when I come to think of it, this curse word isn’t actually all that new. Almost a generation ago, Benjamin Netanyahu whispered in a loud voice that echoed in the distance to the old Rabbi [Yitzhak] Kadouri: “The leftists have forgotten what it means to be Jewish.” Today, he accuses Naftali Bennett, a clear and devout right-winger, that things he said are nothing more than “nonsense meant to deceive right-wing voters, steal their votes, and move them to the left.” Simply put, Bennett is, God forbid, a leftist. And when, as I write these lines, I see minister Miri Regev appear on the television screen bursting into unstoppable speech, I know that Bennett’s fate is doomed – he’s a real leftist. Ask the minister. The truth is that the Israeli left, which has become a derogatory term, played a crucial role in the establishment of Israel. It is the Labor movement that pursued the settlement of the land, revived the desert land, formed a military and built political institutions.  Yes, right-wing bodies, such as the Etzel and Lehi undergrounds, contributed considerably to the expulsion of the British forces from the country, but the left was the most dominant force in the campaign for Jewish independence. Allow us to return to Prime Minister Netanyahu. He has been in his position for about 15 years, more than any other prime minister before him, including David Ben-Gurion. Clearly, he is having a hard time saying goodbye to his throne. To him, it is a non-perishable role. He clings to it with all his might. Netanyahu is convinced that he, and only he, deserves power. He isn’t willing to part ways with it. He tries to offer heads of various parties a rotation for the premiership, but no one believes him anymore. All in all, the time has come to say to Netanyahu: Your time is passed, you must move on. Then, the new government must turn to passing one of its most important bills: a law limiting a prime minister’s candidacy to a maximum of two terms in office. – Avraham Tirosh (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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