Definition: “A sudden loss of control over one’s feelings or behaviour.”
With the final official results still to be confirmed, it looks as though Israeli voters have definitely made their preferences clear.
Prior to polling day, pundits on the left and all their usual doomsday fellow travellers issued dire warnings of calamitous repercussions should the conservative right-wing bloc regain a Knesset majority.
This script, it is worth noting, is nothing new as the same scary scenarios have been utilized since 1948. David Ben Gurion and his Mapai Party (the forerunners of the current Labour Party) demonized Menachem Begin and his then Herut Party. In fact, Israel’s first Prime Minister refused to mention Begin’s name and walked out of the Knesset every time Begin stood up to speak. These inconvenient facts are glossed over and ignored today as the current diminishing left-wing representatives hurl the same baseless and hysterical rhetoric at right-wing politicians and parties.
Unsurprisingly, in 1977 when Begin became Prime Minister and Likud came to power, the meltdown on the left of the political spectrum, including the media and commentators alike, reached epic proportions. Predictions of international pariah status abounded and prominent leftist Israeli personalities bewailed the beginning of the end for the Jewish State. Needless to say, the campaign by our own useful leftist idiots gave fuel to all those Israel and Jew haters who, taking their lead from self-flagellating Jews here and abroad, launched their own campaign of delegitimisation.
Nothing much has changed since those days except that the venomous poison against Zionists and Israel has increased in toxicity and thanks to the power of social media has spread far and wide. Lies and fake news which once upon a time had restricted exposure, nowadays circulate the globe in a flash.
Whereas once there was still a reluctance to embrace outright Jew hate, these days, all restraints seem to have vanished and the vilest claims flourish.
Another reason that false accusations against Israel have become more prevalent is increasing abysmal ignorance. With assimilation galloping ahead in Diaspora communities and a lack of Jewish education, estrangement and, indeed outright hostility have inevitably become so evident. The embrace of so-called progressive narratives is now pervasive and it is this new religious theology that promotes the illegitimacy of restored Jewish sovereignty.
It is important to bear all the above in mind because it is very relevant to the hysterical incantations now pouring forth locally and internationally.
International critics do not need any prompting in whipping up dire warnings of a right-wing Israeli coalition, but obviously, if the home grown end of the world purveyors of doom can garner media attention then it makes their job much easier.
With all indications pointing to a decisive defeat for the left, the howls of frustration can be heard loud and clear. The unpalatable reality that the once all powerful ruling Labour Party is now reduced to barely scraping over the 3.25% threshold and its staunch ultra-left ally Meretz may sink without a trace has driven our “progressives” into an uncontrolled frenzy.
What has contributed to the collapse of the once-dominant socialist elite and the obvious lurch of the Israeli electorate to the centre and right of the political landscape?
Several factors are important to note.
Demographics, motivation, security, economy and international condemnations are all part and parcel of the answer.
It is an indisputable fact that more babies are being born to religious and traditional parents while secular couples have less. As the former are more likely to be right-wing or centrist voters, the trend is obvious. In addition, as more religiously orientated families make aliyah, the percentage tilting right goes up. There is also an interesting demographic shift taking place in Charedi circles. Increasingly young couples are no longer prepared to live in poverty and deprivation and in order to break out from this a slow but steady change is taking place. Catching up on the basic core subjects they were intentionally deprived of, many men and women are acquiring the skills needed to take their place in the workplace. Young men who are unsuited to studying in a Yeshiva all day and night are enlisting in the IDF and learning new skills. All these developments are facing frantic opposition from a community leadership terrified of losing mind control over their hitherto compliant followers.
As the self-imposed ghetto walls dissolve, the newly emancipated ultra-Orthodox will vote for more right-wing modern religious parties.
There is no lack of motivation, especially by youngsters on both sides of the political spectrum. However, when it comes to the crunch, the ideologically fired-up nationalist youthful supporters seem to have the edge. They have no doubts about the reason the Jewish State exists and they also are clear as to how to respond to those who seek our demise. The standard response of those on the left is to accuse their opponents of being racist and fascist, but this worn-out mantra is rapidly being exposed for the falsehood it is.
Security has always played a major role because of the unprecedented and unrelenting war which our enemies have launched against the country since even before 1948. Once upon a time, in the days of Ben Gurion, the left stood for a firm and forceful response to terror as well as being in the vanguard of establishing settlements and new communities in all parts of the country. Those days are long gone. Today’s leftist successors spend more time agonizing over our original sin of actually surviving the invasion of Arab armies in 1948 and subsequent security responses. They do not realize that the majority of Israelis no longer swallow these guilt trips. Having been well and truly burnt by past gestures and recent fiascos such as Oslo, the number of voters who are prepared to put their trust in Abbas and his cohorts has dwindled to minuscule proportions.
The monolithic stranglehold which characterized the early days of socialist Israel, the lack of competition and State control of all enterprises may have been necessary then but is definitely a relic of the past. While there are major challenges of social inequality, cost of living and housing, low wages and high taxes to tackle and remedy there is no going back. Today the shekel is very strong, inflation and unemployment is low by international standards and every citizen has access to first-class public and private health care. In today’s highly competitive situation, nobody except the most die-hard socialist relics want to return to the days of monopolies and Government controlled economics.
If there is one thing that Jews should by now have faced up to it is the obsessive criticism and condemnation which others have always displayed. Whether it was directed at us as we were confined to ghettos and pales of settlement or after we were emancipated, the agenda remained the same. We were too successful, communist, capitalist, exclusive and ambitious. Conspiracies abounded, and we always found ourselves at the mercy of the mobs. With the re-establishment of sovereignty in our ancient homeland, the early Zionist pioneers believed rather naively that finally, we would be embraced by the nations of the world. Well, we can all see how that has played out these days. The old hatreds and prejudices are still with us. The problem is that the left internationally has been infected with the same Jew/Israel-hating virus as the lunatics of the extreme right.
Unfortunately, our own leftist apologists have fallen for the big lies and joined our detractors in condemning and rubbishing Israel for having the temerity to not only survive but horror of horrors to thrive in this hostile environment. The lemmings of the Israeli left still don’t get it that every time they peddle poisonous accusations more average Israelis tune out.
Israel’s leading post-Zionist newspaper, Ha’Aretz, together with the New Israel Fund, recently hosted a conference on “fighting for Israel’s democracy.” As you can imagine, every speaker issued dire warnings should Israeli voters have the temerity to support those whose views and policies contradicted the gospel of political correctness advocated by conference attendees.
The response of the majority has now been democratically delivered at the ballot box.
Like the doomsday meltdowns when Begin was elected, these apocalyptic prophecies will likely turn out to be yet another red herring by a declining political sector.