For decades, politicians in the State of Israel have had a ‘sacred’ tradition to stop attacking the government during war. Only as soon as hostilities and direct danger to life were over, the opposition would begin to voice its dissent and within the government, differences of opinion would surface.
But now the enemy is microscopic, this beautiful (and smart) practice has been abandoned. And I’m not just regretting it for old-time’s sake.
The biggest contributor to the fate of its thousands of fallen and hundreds of thousands of wounded (it’s among Israel’s costliest wars) seems to be the public’s refusal to comply with health directives. Many diverse sentiments may contribute to that, from anti-Zionism, anti-Science, anti-establishment, to anti-social, etc. And let’s add the bad example by a growing number of prominent public figures who are caught secretly violating protective orders meant for everyone, including them.
But crucial support for public indifference and revolt, I believe, is the dismissive way the parliamentarian opposition has undermined trust in the authorities right during this crisis. And then, adding insult to injury (pun intended), blaming the government for the public’s disobedience.
And I don’t mean the regular, year-round, anti-Zionist, subversive players like the Palestinian Authority or Haaretz. No, Members of Knesset, leaders of Zionist political parties, and Israeli regular media seem to have missed no chance to castigate and destroy the actions and reputations of those in charge of fighting the pandemic nationally. Only to continue to gleefully report on civil disobedience, violations of orders, and demonstrations.
Self-appointed academic clairvoyant ‘specialists’ and infighting between the real experts may have played a role too. But the worst, in my opinion, were and are the loud voices, jealousy, and ambitions of political rivals of the PM, who dislike him for years already but at war, would not shut up.
After the warfare is over (and won, at least by the survivors), we need to talk about how a house divided against itself clearly cannot stand. Those with a broad vision and an eye for the nation (and not with just their own narrow self-interest in mind), like Gantz, have put political differences aside already. But I don’t think that, at the moment, in the heat of voicing their incessant dissent, the ruthless warmongers can be calmed down. But history will judge and speak. Let’s hope we’ll be there and listen.