Something is wrong with the Likud these days. Our government ministers and members of Knesset are scared. They’re afraid to voice their opinion. Do they even have an opinion of their own? How can they all be of one mind? The party that was probably the first to choose its leaders by majority vote, that was once a beacon of democracy, is now operating under a reign of terror.
Just like in the Kafka story, the party apparatus is tracking and spying on its members, and if they arouse the slightest suspicion, they immediately find themselves out in the cold. If they object, they’re invited to write a letter or testify before the party tribunal and prove beyond a doubt that they are loyal to the core. They are traitors until proven otherwise.
I know people who have belonged to the party for years, long before anyone invented the “New Likudniks,” who were thrown out for no reason. Thousands have been struck off the roster, and the purge isn’t over yet. When Moshe Feiglin was in the party, in some localities there were more registered members of Likud than votes cast for it in the elections, but nobody thought to check. How come? That was an attempt to dictate the party’s slate by recruiting people who didn’t even commit to voting for it. What are the members of the judicial board thinking now? How do they sleep at night?
A Likud member’s loyalty should be first to the country, and then to the party ideology. After that, they can choose to support whomever they like. But lately, the priorities have changed. Anyone who doesn’t rally around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is dubbed a traitor, a leftist in disguise, an underground anarchist, a pawn of the forces of evil, a member of some secret conspiracy.
Why? Is it inconceivable that a person can be loyal to the Likud even if they aren’t pleased with the inept handling of the pandemic? Are they necessarily a traitor because they’re angry that we didn’t extend Israeli sovereignty to the settlements at a time when a man like Donald Trump is in the White House? Can’t they be upset about the neglect and abandonment of Avera Mengistu and Hishan Al-Sayed, of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, without being considered a leftist? Can’t they complain that the village of Khan al-Ahmar is still there even though the Supreme Court ordered its evacuation, or be indignant about the freeze on construction in Jerusalem?
I’M NOT happy with the State Attorney’s Office either. We deserve to know why Ruth David is still a free woman. Why did they cover up the Umm al-Hiran affair? Was it a terrorist attack or wasn’t it? The determination has to be made not on the basis of what’s best for Netanyahu, but on the basis of the facts. What did the attorney-general mean when he said that he was being framed? How could the State Attorney’s Office ask sitting judges, and lawyers who have to rely on it to make a living, to speak to the press on his behalf?
This is all very serious and demands reform; reform, not destruction. What has the Likud done for the past 11 years to rectify the situation? Why have they only woken up now? And despite the grave problems, some things should never be done. There should never be demonstrations in the courtroom! Is there anything more basic than that? And by government ministers and members of Knesset no less. How could you do such a thing?
It was fear that led you to stand there in the back, like one of those three monkeys, the one who covers its mouth. It only takes one bad man to commit a wrongful act, but it takes a lot of cowards to look on and keep silent.
The country is not being run properly. Even we Likudniks know that. Decisions are being made that take into account considerations that don’t always have the nation’s best interests at heart. That’s wrong, and anyone who sees it and doesn’t speak up should be ashamed.
The Likud is a great party with tens of thousands of members who are true patriots. If we allow the dictatorship and reign of terror to continue, many of them will vote for Yamina. Just look at the polls. The ranks of a party with nothing to show for itself will swell at our expense because Likudniks are fed up with what they see at home.
For the sake of the country, and the sake of the party, people need to stop running scared, and a few brave men and women have got to step up.
Translated from Hebrew by Sara Kitai, skitai@kar.