There’s an unholy alliance in the Holy Land. One can’t help but see potential danger lurking for Israel in the same kind of desperate political moves we saw here in 2020. Wresting control of Israel away from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu through a loose coalition of strange political bedfellows is reminiscent of the hysterical push to oust President Trump.
A new government that creates a delicate power-sharing deal between hard-right Naftali Bennett, moderate Yair Lapid, an Arab Islamist party, and others makes America’s most important ally in the Middle East a political teeter-totter. They are groups with little in common cobbling together an unsteady if not unworkable coalition just to get rid of one man.
“The Odd Couple” might have made for a good movie, but such pairings in government rarely lead to stability and strength. For Israel, both of those qualities are needed now more than ever with an emboldened Hamas and a U.S. administration shifting toward an appeasement strategy with Iran.
For a dozen years, Mr. Netanyahu has led Israel taking a hard line against Iran and Palestinian aggression. The merits of his record, however, are immaterial. They’ve been overtaken by a sense of fatigue among enough Israelis to imperil him. Four elections in the past two years, indictments and corruption investigations have left the Likud Party leader having worn out his welcome.
Perhaps it is time for someone new. But the threshold question should be, “at what cost?”
As we’ve seen here in the U.S., compromising principles and even voting against one’s own interests, for the sake of jettisoning one man from office has far-reaching consequences.
In 2020, Americans voted for a presidential candidate who ran on a platform of raising taxes, backed by a party that advocated defunding the police, radical social policy and welfare expansion. A Zogby poll during the campaign found most respondents believed Joe Biden was suffering from cognitive decline. It didn’t matter.
Why just enough moderates, suburbanites, conservative Democrats, women and even Republicans voted for President Biden against their own interests is no mystery. They made the dangerous decision to put the economy, stability and even basic American values at risk to get rid of one person.
The number of people who liked Mr. Trump’s policies but didn’t like him personally was enough to tilt the election in favor of Mr. Biden. They convinced themselves that Mr. Biden was the safe, moderate alternative, perhaps merely a transitionary figure.
“It will be worth it,” they told themselves, to have Mr. Biden as a price to pay to put an end to the freewheeling, unpredictable, early morning twitter-storming unpresidential president.
We’re seeing the damage of that myopathy already. Inflation, radical social policies, an immigration crisis, an explosion of spending, the largest expansion of welfare in a half-century, a coordinated campaign of racial division, a rudderless foreign policy and the threat of massive tax hikes.
Sometimes personalities get so big they dominate, distract and polarize. There can be a danger in that cult of personality, but there is a bigger risk in compromising principles for the sole purpose of trying to diminish the relevance of that person by any means necessary.
Voters didn’t reject Republicans or conservative policies in 2020 the way the left-wing media suggested they would. The folks on the fringes who opted to vote for Mr. Biden wanted a change in tone and while their rationale should not be discounted, the results cannot not be ignored. What they got is a weak presidency controlled by the far left.
That’s what’s happening to Mr. Netanyahu. For Israelis, they could end up with political chaos, a disjointed strategy leaving them even more vulnerable to Islamic terrorists and still another election on the horizon. Despite all the risky maneuvering, like Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu as a political force, for better or worse, is by no means going the way of the dodo.
• Tom Basile, host of Newsmax Television’s “America Right Now,” is an author and adjunct professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he teaches earned media strategy.
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