Sunday, 11 August 2019

The "just-not-Bibi" Party

The following article appeared in Israel Hayom on March 18, 2019. It was written in Hebrew by Tal Gilad, who is a regular columnist there. Like all of his article, this one is excellent and we decided to translate it into English so that the its very important message is extended to include a wider readership.

Though it is too early to determine, it seems that cracks are forming in the initial commotion surrounding Blue and White. It should not surprise us as we are not talking about a political movement that grew from grassroots. Rather, we are talking about an artificial plant that looks good until one touches its leaves and discovers that they are made of plastic; something that was hastily put together in order to win first prize in an exhibition except, it does not have roots.

The adage attributed to Lincoln (some say it belongs to the founder of the Barnum Circus), “you can fool all of the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time,” fits perfectly in the case of Blue and White. How long can such a rickety structure last, without a clear agenda other than “we are for good and against evil?” How long can conflicts between the four heads – which have emerged - be avoided.

The older parties – Likud, Labor, Meretz, Shas, The Jewish Home and others – grew out of the public, out of a need and on an established ideological basis with very clear goals.

Blue and White is not even a party of antithesis; it is a list of patches and ranks. It is made up of people who do not always share the same views or their political and economic stance. Their only common denominator is “just-not-Bibi.”

How will they run a state with such a world view? Will they offer a “just-not-Bibi” economic plan, build a “just-not-Bibi” security policy, conduct “just-not-Bibi” political discussions and foreign relations?

Which headlines will we see – the government discussed the budget and reached a consensus on “just-not-Bibi” ? In response to the Trump plan, the spokesperson to the government announced that we have only “just-not-Bibi” comments?

What is known about Blue and White is the clear Leftist tendencies of one of its heads and the populist tendency in every direction of the second head. Even its selected name is typical of efforts by the Left to sway voters – just like waiving the Israeli flags during a demonstration (lest they may be regarded as enemies of the state), just like the Clint Eastwood Show show which they are pumping now, as if they are about to launch a powerful attack against Gaza.

Seems like a cumbersome effort to play the new Rabin, kind of the New Left. Of course, they would not have any other consideration – strategic or economic – except for blood in their eyes, or whatever sounds good to the nervous voter.

Each one of the four seems unreal, in a way that even Lapid stands out among them. Ganz is distressed at the mere thought that he might be elected and then will be forced to act or understand what subsidies mean; Lapid is not worried, he will explain to him that subsidies are beautiful goddesses in the Greek mythology; Ashkenazi….ok, let’s move on; and Ya’alon acting as the Right wing fig leaf. Something induces discomfort with this foursome that toils so hard to look like part of the crowd that is out to have a good time.

Why not debate them on the heart of the matter? Gladly, but they must determine first what the heart of the matter is. If the four of them travel together in a car, they probably share jokes. However, when someone raises a political issue – “Guys, we have agreed, no politics.”

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