Esor Ben-Sorek

Three Cheers for Merav

The pandemic coronavirus is deadly. That is a known fact. Our political leadership is equally deadly. That too is a known fact.

When the State of Israel was founded on 14 May 1948, it was led by its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, leader of the new socialist Labor party, Mapai. It continued as the strongest political party under his guidance for thirty years. Its name was later changed. New name. New leadership.

Mapai reigned supreme for many years and we adjusted to a liberal socialist society.

As a devoted member of Herut, the party of Trumpeldor and Jabotinsky, our pre-state greatest Zionist leaders, I could never be enchanted by a Labor party.

Herut, the idealistic arm of the pre-state Irgun, eventually became the Likud party led today and for the past fourteen years by prime minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu.

He is, at the present time, under great stress and tension. He is unable to form a government. His “merger” with Blue and White under the guise of an emergency unity party has led to heated arguments within his own Likud party, in particular for promising top cabinet ministerial posts to members of other parties in the combined right wing bloc.

Additionally, he is facing a court trial for his indictment in three criminal cases. He worries day and night about a guilty verdict which might mean a prison sentence. What would poor Sara do without him?

It was, in the eyes of Bibi’s supporters, a major mistake to coax Benny Gantz to join with him. And it was Gantz’s biggest mistake to join with a man whom he solemnly swore to the electorate that he would never serve in Netanyahu’s coalition. He broke his promise, angered and disappointed by the millions of Israeli citizens who voted for him in the 2 March 2020 elections. It further dissolved his partnership with Lapid and Yaalon, who deserted him in protest of his broken oath.

The right wing bloc is now in turmoil. Gantz cannot and will not support all of Netanyahu’s proposed intentions. Gantz will not agree to the annexation of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) nor to the annexation of the vast Jordan Valley. The Arab members of our government have opposed Donald Trump’s “peace plan” and I support them in their opposition. In a democracy, their voices must be heard.

In another important showdown in the once- prestigious Labor party, its esteemed leader Amir Peretz, the longest serving member in our Knesset, is considering a move to join with the right-wing bloc. He has met with much vocal opposition by the members of the Labor party, specifically by Merav Michaeli.

Three cheers for her strong determination to prevent it which might then lead to the end of the historic Labor party.

Michaeli rejects Netanyahu’s offers as bribes and she seeks the votes of Labor’s members to disavow any merger of Labor with Likud. Like Benny Gantz, Amir Peretz has often stated that he would never join a coalition led by Netanyahu. Another broken promise ??

Politics being what they are (I cannot use a naughty word in support of my disillusions), promises once made now seem to be closer to breaking. All in the name of rank and political authority and personal prestige.

I was moved by Merav Michaeli’s passion for her Labor party and I hope that her efforts to force Peretz to do a turn-about and to remain leader of the Labor party will bring the positive results which she demands.

We are not closer to forming a new government before or after the Pesach holiday.

But with hope, faith, charity and goodwill we may yet live to see a strong government minus the presence of Binyamin Netanyahu sometime by Pesach in the year 2025.

Until then we are fated to bear the heavy yoke on our shoulders. (Chaval m’od).

More cheers to Merav Michaeli. She would make an excellent Minister of Justice in our un-just society.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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