Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to pause the judicial reform in order to give time for negotiation with its opposers will achieve nothing. The struggle is not about this or that law, or about how to appoint judges to Israel’s Supreme Court. The struggle is about power and control, and when it comes to power struggles, there is no room for compromise. As several leaders of the protest have stated, as well as major media outlets, the resistance will not stop until they are in power and Netanyahu is behind bars.
It is to be expected that there will be disagreements and struggles between the coalition and the opposition. In fact, there are power struggles even within the coalition, and divisions into Right, Left, and numerous other kinds of disagreements. We should not expect anything else when every politician wants nothing but personal promotion and does not care about the country, or even about one’s party. All we can and should expect is constant power struggles.
In light of such self-centered motivations, I cannot take sides and decide which side is right. Nevertheless, it pains me to see what is happening in my country. People often ask me about my position. I express my position in my lessons, but it is not political.
My position is that we have no choice but to connect above our differences. We will not feel any closer to each other, but at some point, we will realize that despite our mutual aversion, we have no choice but to learn to function like a united family. As long as each side’s motivation stems from narrow, partisan interests, neither side can be right. The only thing that is “right” is unity; everything else is inherently wrong.
Regrettably, we are not only far from this perspective, we are growing further away from it by the hour. In the current situation, when political leaders and media outlets push for violence, I think that bloodshed is highly likely. I would not be surprised to see gunfire and casualties as a result of the political upheaval.
At the same time, I do not think that a full-blown civil war is imminent in Israel. Despite organized efforts by interested parties and governments to pitch Israelis against each other, I think that Israeli society is not going in that direction, at least not yet.
Even though I am pessimistic about the outcome of the current negotiation, I think it is good that we are talking. Talking is always preferable to fighting.
However, if the parties want to make the discussions productive, they must first admit that the struggle is not about laws, but about power. Regrettably, since the establishment of the State of Israel, I have never seen a real discussion and openness regarding how to share or manage power.
In all likelihood, we will continue to struggle until we face annihilation. Only then, perhaps, we will realize that we are governed by our own wickedness, and we will resolve to change our nature.
But to get there, I am afraid we will have to experience despair, anxiety, and a physical threat of destruction. We always have been an obstinate people, and we always will be. We are in for a rough ride; I only hope we wise up before we crash.
Protesters block a police vehicle from dispersing a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned overhaul of the legal system.