“What do you expect to happen?” asked Assaf Lieberman on Reshet Bet.
It’s hard for me to answer such a question in one word, because the place from which the question was asked – that is, low level at which the discussion is being held – has only three drawers for storing your answers:
Drawer A – “I want for the right to win and for Gantz to be humiliated”
Drawer B – “I want for the left to win and for Netanyahu to go to jail”
Drawer C – “I want Moshiach now.”
In other words – either a political victory on the part of one of the parties, or despair at the reality and passing the buck to the Creator alone.
The truth is, I need the interviewer to be able to hear an answer outside of these drawers.
But there’s no one listening now.
Everything comes down to the Yes-Bibi/No-Bibi divide – and no matter what you say, it all comes from each of them wanting to shut these drawers on the other.
You know the scene where two wrestlers are going at one another hard, but neither one manages to gain the advantage, and ultimately, they both collapse on the floor panting and gasping and glancing at each other for a while – and then they start listening?
That’s what I expect to happen now.
We call these two wrestlers left and right – but we’re really dealing with the two founding ethos of Zionism.
The first wrestler is the Jewish wrestler, who’s more connected to the national, traditional, faith-based, and religious side of things. I.e., more connected to their identity.
The second fighter is the Israeli fighter. He’s more connected to the universal side of things, to the need for “normalcy.” More connected to liberty.
The Israeli wrestler feels like he’s been deceived – After all, we already decided in at the first Zionist Congress that “Zionism has nothing to do with religion”. Herzl wanted to contain the rabbis in their synagogues the way the military is contained in military camps – to turn us into a civilian nation like all the enlightened nations, where everyone chooses his religion. They promised him that we’d be Israeli instead of Jewish.
The Jewish wrestler also feels that he’s been cheated – you promised a Jewish state, and you do everything against it. You’re always for the Arabs, always for the infiltrators, always for anything that trumps Jewish values, anything to further your “vision of normalcy”.
Both wrestlers are each taking advantage of the benefits they have.
The Jewish wrestler is taking advantage of being the majority, i.e., democracy.
The Israeli fighter is taking advantage of its control of institutions, i.e., the unselected systems – the media, the legal system, academia, etc.
Like our poor mother Rebecca, in Parashat Toldot, which we read this Shabbat, these two very dissimilar twins have been wrestling in our womb already for a hundred and fifty years of Zionism.
Notice that the argument we’re stuck in now isn’t about security or economics or anything else, but apparently about nonsense.
After all, it’s obvious that drafting the Haredim never really interested Lieberman, and Lapid didn’t exactly come to us from the battlefield either…
But what it is about is sharp-minded politicians who use the issues of religion and state, which are easy to solve if they really wanted to, in order to capture the heart of the Israeli wrestler.
At the same time, the Haredim are doing exactly the same thing to capture the heart of the Jewish wrestler.
Incidentally, the knitted kippah crowd isn’t relevant at all in this story. All they have to offer is being a little more right-wing than the Likud. I recommend rereading my response to Karpel again to understand why (https://zehut.org.il/reply-to-moti-karpel-the-full-version/?lang=en).
In any case, after 150 years, these two wrestlers have arrived at the balance point. They take turns beating the other.
Over the years, both parties have deluded themselves that they’ve managed to design our common national home according to their ethos, and now both are on the ropes – a stalemate.
The dead end political reality is the tip of the iceberg, it is the expression the dead end at which our identity has arrived.
We can’t decide who we are, and therefore we can’t decide who will lead us.
That’s it – Our Father in Heaven (i.e., reality) is telling us that there’s no answer to the question of “Who?” and the question of “How?” until you answer the question: “To where?”
It’s exactly this question that the Zehut Party tried, and in my opinion succeeded, to answer. Zehut has been able to show how to unite the two supposed opposites – how to create synergy between them.
We touched the light.
It was amazing to see how in the first round of elections, the two wrestlers united against us – because we really did threaten them both.
But now they’re both on the ropes, and what I expect is that they’ll give up the dream of defeating one another and start listening to Zehut’s solution.
Go explain that to Kalman Lieberman in three minutes…