New Social Contract Is Needed

The Israeli society is torn as it has never been before. During the past, the divisions were based upon political splits rooted in the days prior to Israel’s establishment. The Likud represented the Right, the Labor rallied the Left, and there were several satellite parties on which each side relied in its quest to form a government (The ultra-orthodox parties have always sided with the victorious party). The divisions were always based on true political differences. When the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, it was evident that awful political extremity was involved in the events that brought about his disastrous death. Today, the divisions are less ideological; they’re based upon the fact that Israel, which doesn’t know where it is being led, yearns for political change but at the same time is incapable of deciding what is the best way to run the country. With no clear alternative, the country is left with a politics of mutual hatred, antagonisms, and dark incitement.
Without knowing a way out of the crisis of Zionism – a crisis embodied in total political confusion and ideological paralysis concerning the country’s future – the Israelis are divided between two small camps that cannot win the masses’ hearts and minds. The Likud retains a solid support of 25 percent of the population, just like its rivals in Yesh Atid party. In between, there are smaller right-wing and left-wing parties that can help the two bigger sisters to form a coalition. It means that the public is so divided and lacks any genuine perspective regarding Israel’s fate that more than 50 percent of the voters cannot identify themselves with one of the two principal contenders. In effect, things are even worse as the mutual hostility and mistrust are so deep that any attempt to form a different government than the one ruling today is perceived as a treacherous act or as a reactionary coup d’etat.
The desire of so many Israelis to see Prime Minister Netanyahu out of office is grasped by the right-wing supporters as an vicious attempt to oust the elected Israeli leader by any possible means, including police investigations due to what they regard as fake corruption allegations. The Left considers the Prime Minister as a Mussolini-style Duce who must be removed for what they consider as a true threat to the country’s democracy. Neither the Right nor the Left is holding an honest political debate but rather are busy in defamations with which they smirch each other. However, it is not a matter of being for or against ‘Bibi’, but rather a matter of having zero ideology. Thus, as much as the Right doesn’t know what to do with the bi-national state he is planning to build through annexations of millions of Palestinian Arabs, the Left feels awkward and embarrassed to see how President Abbas supports bloody terrorists and how the Palestinians are committed to the Right of Return, namely to the sheer destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. The same is true for the country’s economy which has sank into a deep swamp of inequality according to some data provided by local and foreign organizations, e.g. the OECD.
The question is, as always, a question of leadership; with no clear and bold vision, the country will head toward a political disaster. The post-Netanyahu Israel will have to decide where it is going and what is the Zionism’s future. Without unifying the country, the road towards civil war might be very short. A civil war can constitute a constructive momentum in the evolution of some nations, but Israel is too young and full of social and political strives to contain an internal war. With or without Netanyahu, the Israelis will have to decide how they wish to live together if Israel is dear for them. Without a new social contract, the Israeli state would be a short episode in world history.