Killer Instinct

In a previous post titled Behind the smoke screen, I promised to outline how to remove the cabal of corrupt politicians from government, from decision making and from proximity to the national coffers. If anyone has doubts regarding the putrefaction emerging from the Netanyahu regime, one only needs to look at developments just these last few days: one of the two henchmen appointed to ravage democracy and the justice system, the Likud government coalition whip, has just been arrested on suspicion of corruption, for taking bribes and for investigation into his deep and continuing contact with crime families. You have to ask yourself: how did he get to where he is? Not only is Netanyahu under investigation but the Coalition whip is an underworld made-guy!

Childhood Adoration Lost

In order to strategize a regime change, we really need to dig deep into the Israeli psyche for a moment and understand where we are and what motivates the people. Israelis for the most part, essentially only trust a killer, specifically an Arab killer. Since the downfall of Golda Meir, directly related to her failure to prepare, forewarn and act on multiple indications of the upcoming Yom Kippur war in 1973, we in Israel have voted killer. Some have been military heroes, others have been former terrorists. Let’s take a look back: Rabin was prime minister after Golda. Begin, after Rabin. Shamir followed Begin, Rabin was voted in after Shamir. Netanyahu was made prime minister after Rabin’s assassination. Then came Barak. After Barak came Arik Sharon. True, Olmert was prime minister after Sharon but only because Sharon had a stroke and Olmert was by chance left as number two. Who came in after Olmert? Netanyahu of course. I won’t bother to outline the various military backgrounds of the above and the shameful history of some of them. Any questions regarding this, can be answered easily by a basic web search. The brief and exceptional leadership of Shimon Peres in the eighties, came about only as a default following an election during the Shamir period.

Two major traumas have influenced the Israeli voters. Golda Meir was widely regarded as the “mother” of all Israelis if not the mother figure for Jews worldwide. She was an exceptional politician with sound record of achievement, yet she failed dismally in protecting her people from attack which we now know, was evident and discussed in advance. She didn’t know how to kill, and left that to the generals. The trauma of this failed “parenthood” in the form of a national mother has left the “infant”, the Israeli people bleeding and scarred. No wonder that just four years later, Israel voted for a bona fide terrorist, older and fatherly in his later years, Menachem Begin.

The Second Infatuation Found and Lost

The second trauma that has left its indelible imprint on the Israeli psyche, was the Second Intifada which broke out in late 2000. At that time Israel’s arch killer, the ultimate fearless hero of the people, Ehud Barak, had been voted in as prime minister. When a peace deal was within reach, Barak’s failure to foresee the dangers, his failed negotiation at Camp David, his blindness when the intifada broke out and his insistence on negotiation at Taba while Palestinians had for all intents and purposes declared war on us, left Israelis deeply traumatized. The scale of violence against citizens in their towns and homes and the long years of fear and frustration is remembered today as if it were yesterday, and has been passed on to generations following. Essentially the “mother” trauma was followed by the warrior-son’s failure to provide protection. It is thus not surprising then, that Ariel Sharon of Qibya fame, later removed from his ministerial position following the Sabra and Shatila debacle, was welcomed back as the national leader following the demise of Barak as a political figure of standing. A qualified killer of Arabs, a hero of the Yom Kippur war, (that very same trauma that brought about Golda’s demise) was forgiven for his deception during the Lebanon War and his deliberate negligence regarding Sabra and Shatila, and welcomed as the father figure to lead us out of the Second Intifada. And he did. He built a wall to keep the invaders out. The Sharon infatuation was plainly evident: he was widely regarded as a “teddy bear”, and “cute” and a “daddy” often described in these terms by women. Men saw him as a hero, fearless yet loving.

The Safety of the Cave

Since the Sharon years, we have entered into a new period. One which is centered firmly on keeping the Israeli people deep inside Plato’s cave where, for the large part we know nothing else aside from victim-hood and fear: from the Holocaust to the Yom Kippur War to the Second Intifada and Iran. The occupation is for us the safe zone of non-action and denial. We rejoice in the knowledge that the terrorism we experienced is now everywhere outside the cave. We feel safe with a leader who knows how to kill. Ignorance and neglect is a small price to pay compared to leaving the cave. Netanyahu has done well to kindle the primal traumas and keep them alight especially when change is imminent: “Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves,” he warned. “Left-wing NGOs are bringing them in buses.”

So how indeed do we find the new leader and the way out of the cave?

To follow…

About the Author
Originally from South Africa, Jonathan made aliya in the seventies, and lived and worked on a kibbutz for several years. He has a graduate degree in business from Boston University and is a managing partner of an Israeli based business. He was a co-founder of the Forum Tzora peace action group and participates in the Geneva Initiative workshops. He is the author of the book “Valley of Heaven and Earth”.
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