(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Enough. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must go – for the sake of all of us, it is time for this man to get out of our lives. His narcissistic, greedy extravagance and distorted personal values stain our entire society. The founders of the state must be turning in their graves. Israeli leaders and the founders of the Zionist movement used to demonstrate modesty as a way of life, as a value. Netanyahu’s disregard and disdain toward so many parts of Israeli society make him unfit to serve.
Millions of Israelis can’t pay their monthly bills, hundreds of thousands of children live under the poverty line. Working people cannot survive on their salaries.
Teachers, social workers, government employees, health care workers, even doctors cannot make ends meet. And Netanyahu smokes his Cuban cigars and he and his wife and princely children drink their pink Champaign for more than $300 a bottle. Disgusting is the best word to describe his behavior.
Netanyahu breeds division and fosters hatred, blatantly and much too effectively, between groups within Israeli society. The delegitimization of the Israeli Left by Netanyahu has been strategized, planned and implemented with his obvious flair, pomp and circumstance directly and with no remorse and with absolutely no calculation of the damaging outcomes for Israel. People and groups who love Israel no less than Netanyahu and the Likud are today considered anti-Israel, Arab lovers (inferring that they do not love Israel) and elitists as a direct outcome of the hatred that Netanyahu has spewed for too long. “They forgot what it means to be Jews” is an example of Netanyahu’s scheming and hatred that he has fed to the Israeli public through his consistent manipulations and creation of sophisticated propaganda machines such as Israel Hayom.
Some of his financial backers, such as Sheldon Adelson, have even less shame than Netanyahu himself, building their billions on the backs of working people who throw their money away in casinos. Netanyahu speaks about those who forgot what it means to be Jewish – please tell me what Judaism has to say about gambling, or the organized crime, prostitution and drugs that are associated with the business of casinos. That money is not odorless.
Some money stinks and that stench has polluted our political system for too long. It is time for him to go and to leave us alone.
Forbes estimated Netanyahu’s net worth at $11 million.
He can certainly double or triple that in a few years milking his friends and contacts and using his unwarranted reputation as Mr. Terrorism Expert at speaking gigs – why does he need to continue to rule over us? He has already served longer than any previous prime minister. He has proven himself to be Israel’s top orator, alone in a class with only Abba Eban. He has his villa in Caesarea and his home in Jerusalem. One of his sons already thinks of himself as a royal prince. Does he really have to continue to control us? To control the media? To poison our society with his disdain for so many fellow Israelis? All of the above are reasons powerful enough for him to leave us alone. Want more reasons? He has fostered hatred against African refugees who searched for a safe haven from Darfur and Eritrea, thinking that those who went through the Holocaust would have empathy for them – instead they found racism and contempt supported by Netanyahu. He has encouraged the delegitimization of the Supreme Court and our justice system.
But this article cannot be complete without also placing direct responsibility on Netanyahu for leading Israel into a dark corner with no strategy for dealing with Israel’s number one existential threat: the continued control over the Palestinian people. This existential threat is not demographic, the number of Palestinians living between the River and the Sea is not the issue – it doesn’t matter if they are 40% or 60%. What matters is that Israel cannot be the democratic nation-state of the Jewish People and rule over millions of Palestinians who do not want to be Israelis, nor could they be even if they wanted to be.
Israel does not want them to be Israelis but Israel wants to continue to control their land. This cannot continue.
Israel cannot be both democratic and the nation-state of Jewish People while so many people living under its control do not live in a democratic reality. Netanyahu has no strategy, no plan, no initiative and provides no hope. He only fosters fear and breeds hatred.
Netanyahu has enhanced the myth that there is no Palestinian partner and has led this country down a road with no exit. He speaks the words of peace to appease the international community and a good part of the Israeli public: two states for two peoples. His own father recognized the lie after Netanyahu first presented his “vision” in the famous Bar Ilan speech in 2009. His father responded the very next day on IDF radio: “I know my son, he didn’t mean it.” He said in the last election campaign that no Palestinian state will be established on his watch. In the campaign before that he spoke about “economic peace” to help create a stable and more prosperous life for our neighbors. Where is this economic peace? He can’t even make economic peace with his own people – who can afford to buy an apartment in Israel? Who can afford the cost of living? What has he done? Nothing. In all of these years in power this man has been destroying this country and he must go.
Whether you support his political point of view is not the question. Let someone else from the Likud take over.
There are good people on the Right with values that more appropriately represent who we are as a people.
We need a leader who loves Israel more than he loves himself. Netanyahu and his despicable like cannot and should not be the symbol of what Israel represents.
Enough! The author is the founder and co-chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives. www.ipcri.org.