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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Time to Let Go of Rabin

The annual anniversary of Rabin's death had long ago become nothing more than a sad circus. It is a stage for left-wing politicians who have otherwise become completely irrelevant, to posture about peace and a chance for the left wing media to breathlessly dig up scandals about "right wingers" disrespecting the hallowed day of Rabin's death. This is the pathetic way that Israel's degenerating left wing elite wastes its time, on hollow speeches about peace and furious articles bemoaning the lack of recognition for their cult of personality.

Embodying the irrelevance of the left, the now 89 year old Peres dragged himself over to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to proclaim that, "We are more determined than the enemies of peace, and therefore we will win". In 1996, when the left denounced the "enemies of peace", they meant Netanyahu. Now Netanyahu is back in office, and it's a tossup whether Peres means him, or Lieberman or Hamas. Today few outside the radical left even believe that the only obstacle to peace is Israeli conservatives and nationalists. The pathetic few thousand that trudged into Rabin Square are a testament to that.

18 years after the left illegally thrust the peace boondoggle on Israel, their rhetoric rings pathetically hollow. "They have not succeeded, and they will not succeed, to snatch away our only possession. A possession that is priceless ... This dear possession is called hope, it is called peace," Peres declaimed. There hasn't been peace in the country in a very long time. And for most Israelis, their most precious possession isn't the myth of peace, but their homes and their families in the land of Israel-- which the left has endangered in its frenzied pursuit of peace.

In between denouncing Israeli television channels for refusing to broadcast the event live, for the rational reason that at this point no one wants to watch it, the media threw together another manufactured scandal. This one accuses the Bar Ilan student union of daring to throw a party for the opening of the school year, on the Gregorian Calendar date of the assassination. Clearly those right wingers are throwing a party to mock Rabin's death on a calendar date that isn't even the one used for the anniversary. The next step is to find out what Bar Ilan students are doing on the anniversary of Rabin's death by the Chinese calendar. And then move on to the Aztec calendar.

Like conspiracy theorists who love nothing more than to connect the dots between the JFK assassination and Howard Hunt-- any mention of Bar Ilan is a Pavlovian whistle for the Israeli left which rushes to line up Yigal Amir with Bar Ilan with anyone to the right of them. "The enemies of peace." The ones who killed Rabin and then spit on his grave. But since then Prime Ministers from all sides have come and gone. Rabin's old Labor party is a shell of its former self. No Prime Minister, from Labor or Likud or Kadima, has been able to untangle the Gordian Knot of the terrorist state that Rabin and Peres imported inside Israel's borders.

The Israeli left has become fragmented. The radical left no longer takes the question of negotiations seriously. Instead they've skipped along to full on treason. Their role models are Tali Fahima and Anat Kam. They work for NGO's or activist groups funded by the EU or George Soros. They wave Communist flags and torch the vineyards of Jewish farmers. They urge soldiers to dodge the draft and expose classified information. They smuggle potential terrorists into Israel in their cars. They support international boycotts against Israel.

They have moved beyond the political process and using the state to bring about peace, instead they are trying to destroy Israel. There is nothing of Rabin's legacy in this. And while some of them may show up at Kikar Rabin, they have little use for the old lefties who still wanted Israel to exist in some way, shape or form. The new Israeli left is not only radical, it's post-Israel. It looks forward to the dismantling of the state. Its funding comes from abroad. Its ranks consist of the fanatical, the deluded and the paid traitors.

The more mainstream left finds itself isolated and irrelevant. Peres' fantasies of a New Middle East seem pathetically childish in an international environment in which Israel is more hated than ever, and the only possible peace can be achieved with high walls and advanced weapons systems. Yossi Sarid mournfully admits that Rabin Day was a bad idea and denounces Peres and the rest of the left wing for abandoning Rabin's "dream". The truth though is that there never was any dream.

The ugly truth is that the Labor Party was already on its last legs on Rabin's watch. It had become the party of corruption with no new ideas. While the Likud championed economic reforms and national security, Labor had become moribund and irrelevant. When another chance at power arrived, Rabin and Peres turned bowing to American pressure to negotiate with the PLO into some sort of visionary achievement. They embraced the ideas of the far left, shook hands with the PLO and destroyed Israel.

Peres may have been the true believer, but Rabin was the pragmatist. He was willing to be serenaded as the champion of peace, but his goal was only to end the conflict by providing an autonomous territory to the terrorists. And if that pragmatic goal also served to reinvent the Labor Party as the "peace party", energizing its base and making it relevant again-- so much the better. And best of all, American support would keep the Labor Party in power.

Defying America had brought down Shamir and Israel's conservative Likud party. The pressure had been steadily growing to negotiate with the PLO. Had Rabin defied it, Arafat would have died in obscurity in Cyprus and terrorism would be a minor footnote in an otherwise peaceful Israel. Instead Rabin made the mistake of surrendering to pressure. He shook hands with Clinton and Arafat. And when he was murdered, Clinton and Peres cynically exploited his name to promote policies that he was skeptical about at best.

Rabin and Peres were the tail end of a socialist political establishment that had envisioned Israel as its own boys club. The Labor Party was never able to relate to anyone outside its narrow sphere of secular Ashkenazi socialists. And even today its media outlets like Haaretz are still bitterly unable to reconcile themselves to a country, which is more religious, Sefardi and immigrant. The boys club still simmers with hate for the "great unwashed", the Sefardim, the settlers, the Haredim, the Russians, the Anglos and all the rest who had taken away their utopian socialist paradise.

The left has lost the country, but they still hold a murderous death grip on the judiciary, the media, academia and the literary circles, where the likes of Amos Oz can be celebrated for venting their spleen on everyone who turned the country into something more than a Dizengoff cafe. The old left has become irrelevant in Israel. The new left have become monsters, detached from the country, focused only on destroying it. The old left could stop them, but it no longer chooses to. It only has its hatred to nurse now. Its old and broken dreams.

"Nobody can compete with the Labor Party for the intensity of their hatred. Sometimes they cover it up with academic, literary, or philosophical guises, but it is always the same hatred coursing through their veins," Eitan Haber wrote back in 2001. The hatred has only grown since then. The smaller the Labor Party grew, the more of a snake pit it became. It is a party whose remains are united only by their internal and external enmities. For all the talk of peace, there is no peace even within its own ranks.

The left has no future anymore. Only its past. And its bitterness over what might have been. Rabin's commemorations are a cynical political ploy transformed into genuine mourning, not for Rabin, whom most of them from Peres on down hated, but for their own relevance. For their dreams of a Parisian Israel, a land of cafe debates and artistic performances, of the 4 day work week and the end of religion. While the commemorative speech calls on the dwindling crowds to look to the future, its participants can only look to the past.

Israel's political establishment is divided between the mildly conservative Likud and the apolitical careerists of Kadima, whose only political strategy is to get to power by doing whatever Obama says, and then stay in power through American support. Kadima has taken Rabin's strategy at face value, while disregarding anything and everything else, except a naked drive to get to power in order to loot the country. Unlike the other parties who generally want to loot the country in the name of something, Kadima has achieved the ultimate selfishness. Their corruption is detached from ideology. They want to win, in order to win. And what better repudiation could there be of the entire construct of Rabin's legacy, than that the only major "pro-peace party" no longer believes in anything anymore.

"The problem with Israel is that its political rightists are big fools and its political leftists are absolutely evil," Israel's President Chaim Herzog said once. And that sums up the situation all too well now. The right is foolish and the left is evil. But where it was once the evil of petty tyrants, it is now the evil of deposed kings, who proclaim, "Après moi, le déluge". "After me, let the deluge come." And what better motto could there ever be for the entire peace madness, than one long call of, "Après moi, le déluge".

It is time for Israel to let go of Rabin, by which I mean that it is time for the left to let go of him. The country itself did that long ago. Only the bitter and out of touch left still clings to his cult of personality. To their broken dreams founded on disastrous politics, bad economics and a complete contempt for the country's national security. The Israeli left has become a byword for treason. It has once again become a tool for foreign interests seeking to destroy the country. To get beyond that, it must articulate a realistic future for Israel.

The left excels at blame. Its identity has come to be wholly negative, with a few white brushstrokes of idealistic rhetoric swapped across an ugly canvas. But rather than cultivating more hate, it may be time for the left to admit fully and completely that it was wrong. That its dealmaking may have had idealistic roots, but was based on a vision of the world that did not exist. The left still controls the culture, but the right long ago won the argument. It is time to let go of Rabin and the empty rhetoric of peace, and actually begin looking to the future of the state of Israel.

3 comments:

LemonLimeMoon said...

When they let go of Rabin they should let go of the horrid Peres too.

Keli Ata said...

On the plus side I read that fewer people attended his memorial this year and some media outlets (INN) are boasting about Rabin being a Zionist.

But I couldn't see anything in his quotes about being against a two-state solution.

Rachel said...

Ugh--Peres should just run for a position in Fatah leadership, already. You know that's where his heart is.

The Rabin craze is obnoxious, though. The only comparable martyrdom of a mediocre, leftist leader that I can think of is JFK.

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