Michael Boyden


Benjamin Netanyahu will go down in history as having been the man who destroyed Israel. It wasn’t Gamal Abdel Nasser, Yassir Arafat or Hassan Nasrallah, but Benjamin Netanyahu.

His thirst for power and, principally at this time, his desperate attempt to ensure that he will never sit in jail for the crimes of fraud, breach of trust, and bribes of which he is accused, have led him to make a pact with the devil.

Fascists, who have no place in government in a Western-style liberal democracy, have been given access to positions of power, and are already causing considerable damage to our country. It was zealotry that destroyed the 2nd Temple and it now threatens the 3rd commonwealth.

My late rabbi and teacher, Hugo Gryn z”l, once said that the world is comprised of two kinds of people: those who polarize and those who build bridges. No one should have any doubt as to where Netanyahu belongs.

You either support him, or you are a traitor. The British notion of “His Majesty’s loyal Opposition” has no place in his lexicon.

He has entered into a pact with Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who is in the process of destroying Israel’s judicial system.

If Netanyahu really cared about the balance of power between the legislature and the judiciary, he has been prime minister for most of the past twenty-five years, and had plenty of opportunities to address the issue. However, now that he is on trial, it has become a matter of saving his own skin.

The half-baked proposals being put forward by Levin will effectively make Israel look more like Turkey, Hungary or Poland than a liberal Western democracy. Israel’s lucrative hi-tech industry and international financial markets are looking on aghast at what is happening, and the Shekel is tumbling.

I have spent thirty years of my life lecturing in North America and in Europe defending the Jewish State against its detractors. My beloved son, Yonatan z”l, gave his life in defence of our country. However, as Tom Segev put it: “The Land has changed its complexion”.

I cannot and will not say: “My country. Right or wrong, my country.”

The creation of the State of Israel was an amazing accomplishment. As has been said so often, out of the ashes of the Holocaust a Jewish State was created that has given us a sense of hope, pride and security. Seventy-five years later those feelings have been overshadowed by dismay and disbelief at what is happening.

It didn’t have to be that way, but Benjamin Netanyahu is sadly more interested in his own fate than in the future of our country.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
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