Already for weeks as the breakup of the coalition appeared imminent, the word “extremist” began appearing in the Israeli media at a somewhat bewildering pace. Knesset members from Yesh Atid, Hatnua and other left-wing parties began driving home the message that Israel is being run by a bunch of right-wing, nationalist, anti-democratic extremists. Similarly, Israeli columnists and other well-known public figures started churning out opinion pieces littered with basically the same accusations.
The goal of such a comprehensive and in all likelihood coordinated attack, one that has only intensified now that new elections have been formally announced, is obvious; the left wants to gain control of the Knesset, the only piece of the Israeli puzzle that in a fair and honest game is well beyond its reach.
As is well known, the majority of Jews in Israel have become increasingly right-wing over the years. This may be annoying to various liberal Jewish organizations in America or to the US State Department, but it’s a fact. Moreover, after more than twenty years of the Oslo fiasco and all the suffering that it brought, together with a heightened awareness of the growing threat to Israel posed by Islamic forces from within and without, most Jews in Israel are fed up with the condescending and disconnected from reality attitude of the above mentioned MKs and their friends in the media who are still trying to convince us that the two-state solution is in our best interest.
Therefore in such a scenario the only way for the left to have any chance of succeeding in the upcoming elections and in doing so regaining the one thing that has eluded it, outside of a few brief periods, since 1977, is by vilifying its opponents over and over again. Thus we found, for example, that any MK who continued in the face of recent Arab attacks to talk about the trampling of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount was quickly labeled an extremist. Or various Knesset members, including the Prime Minister himself, that advanced different versions of the nation-state bill were called racists and anti-democratic.
Although it’s true that there are differences of opinion on these and many other issues, the point is that rather than seriously addressing the issues the left has chosen over the last few weeks to repeatedly use inflammatory language in an apparent attempt to discredit the right.
For unlike the ideological monopoly that the left enjoys in the unelected institutions of the Israeli judicial system, media and academic world, Knesset members are elected officials that in theory represent the voice of the people, which, as stated above, clearly leans to the right.
Still further, although the left manages via the combined influence of the courts, media and academic world to neutralize the will of the nation as represented in the elected members of Knesset, and as a result exerts an inordinate amount of influence in the country, it nevertheless strives, like a child, for approval. Hence it is currently doing what it must in order to receive the one prize that it so dearly wants, namely the official validation, via the elections, of its tremendous power.
Nevertheless, since the so-called right-wing, nationalist, anti-democratic extremists are simply what the majority of Israelis voters want, the ongoing stinging attack from the left is in reality a scathing condemnation of the Israeli voters themselves. This point needs to remain fixed in everyone’s mind as the elections draw near.
In light of all of the above, who are the real extremists in Israel?