The Genius of Likud

This is a cross post by Marc Goldberg from The Times of Israel

Okay I’m just going to say it, when the Likud are in charge, fewer Israelis die!

The right wing government that we currently have has failed Israelis on so many other levels. With the widest social unrest the country has ever seen and strikes by everyone from baggage handlers to doctors to lecturers the one thing that Israelis can be sure of is that there is less chance of a war when Likud are running things. It is this that has proven to be their golden ticket and has led to the upswell in support for Likud that a recent poll by Yedioth Ahronot has noted.

The reason is clear, they aren’t interested in changing anything. The boat will not be rocked by the Likud, they will approve more settlements, more than the left would like to see and less than their own partners in government want. They will not try to make peace with anyone, won’t sit down with the Palestinians and in the meantime everyone, on both sides of the wall and in Gaza can get on with their lives in the knowledge that their daily routine won’t come under threat.

It is when the left are in power and politicians attempt to actually make things better in the long run that all the attacks start. Under Likud Hamas have been hitting us with just enough rockets to ensure an aerial strike but not enough to ensure another ground invasion and Hezbollah have been almost completely silent. Under Olmert and Livni it was open season for attacks on us leading to 2 wars. Whenever they tried to make peace the extremists came out of the woodwork to prevent the spectre of change and through war increased their own popularity.

When we go to the polls, probably in September, we will be asking ourselves whether we should continue to think of a relatively peaceful today and therefore vote for the Likud. All of us know that with every settlement built it will be that much harder for us to leave the West Bank though that choice may well be preferred when set against a stormy today. The left offers the eventual possibility of normalisation of relations with the rest of the Middle East, a state of Palestine alongside ours and a corresponding improvement of our standing in the international community. With the left there is everything to gain and everything to lose with the right there is nothing to lose and no prospect of any gain.

That may be comforting for now but in the long run we simply cannot continue like this. Unfortunately the left has little to offer except the proposition of more hardship in the short term combined with the hope of  a better life in the longer term.

I am going to be voting for Lapid in the hope that Yesh Atid will really bring in the future that I want to see, though I am under no illusions of the hardships that await us should any peace process begin. With this in mind I can certainly understand why people would vote for the right in the knowledge that the status quo will remain. But don’t be under any illusions for there is only so long that even the strongest swimmer is able to tread water.