Zionism’s Rear Guard War: By Moshe Feiglin
“Nobody will run Zionism’s rear-guard war better than you,” I once said to Netanyahu. Today I understand that it is not just Netanyahu – it is almost all the Right’s intelligentsia.
Netanyahu is not the problem. He is just its face. He is the face of the unrelenting rear-guard war of the Right. Actually, he is the face of the rear-guard war of Zionism, in its entirety.
As if someone had given an order, a flurry of pro-Netanyahu articles written by rightists is now falling upon us. For example:
“When will you understand that Netanyahu is playing chess?” explains Tal Gilad. “He thinks ten moves ahead”. Every so often, he sacrifices a pawn, all the chess-masters do so…when the moment comes, Israel will achieve rapid and absolute deterrence.”
“Netanyahu is not considered a leader of the stature of Ben Gurion,” Caroline Glick laments. “Netanyahu is signed on the reforms that brought about the revision of Israel’s economy from sputtering socialism to a free and flourishing market…He is the most important and successful prime minister we have had beside Ben Gurion.”
I will not debate too much with the facts. I am willing to assume that the Prime Minister is a strategic genius on a scale that we simply cannot understand. I am willing to ignore the fact that the ‘moment’ Tal Gilad wrote about has already come and gone a number of times – and in all those instances, we did not see “rapid and absolute deterrence” (to put it mildly).
Netanyahu’s speech-making-strategy in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat; his depositing of the management of the Iranian existential threat to Israel in the hands of Obama and his sanctions; the Czechoslovakian re-run into which Netanyahu has maneuvered Israel, which remained outside the room in which they were conferring on its future in the modern-day Munich Accords signed by Obama and the Ayatollahs – all this was nothing more than ‘sacrificing a pawn’. We simply cannot see ten steps ahead. Now Netanyahu is pressuring Trump to try and revise the Accords – like a Scholar’s Mate in twenty moves…
The tie that we achieved against the Hamas and its “divisions” in Operation Protective Edge after it incessantly bombarded Tel Aviv was apparently “rapid and absolute deterrence”. The Marmara, the metal-detectors on the Temple Mount, Elor Azariah, the slap in the face to IDF officers and much more… all those are just ‘sacrificing a pawn’ on the road to some sublime strategy at the end of which is a sophisticated goal that we, the peons, simply cannot understand. It is revealed only to those who are privy to Concealed Wisdom, like Netanyahu and Tal Gilad.
I do not want to debate too much with Caroline Glick, either. First, because in the economic field, Netanyahu did indeed perform a number of important moves when he was Finance Minister. Most of those improvements dissipated during the rest of his term. Israel is flourishing today not because of Netanyahu, but despite him.
I will ask the simple question, ‘If we are so successful, why do waves of Aliyah to Israel come only from failing countries? Why don’t multitudes of Jews from the West come here to make money? Why can’t a Jewish doctor who left France find work here? Why does he ultimately immigrate to Canada? Why does a young couple in Israel (which truly is wealthy) work the longest hours in the West, earn the least – and pay the most? And why don’t they have any hope to buy an apartment without help?
I am willing for the sake of discussion to assume that Netanyahu is indeed a strategic and financial wizard, and that our physical situation has never been better.
Leadership, however, is not measured by the question, “How much”?
Managers are measured by “How much?”
Leadership is measured by the question “to where?”
It could be that Netanyahu is a good manager. But he is a very bad leader. Simply because he is not leading us anywhere. He is not leading at all.
A good manager installs an Iron Dome defense system.
A good leader brings about a new reality in which there is no need for it.
Moreover – a good leader understands that the Iron Dome is a good managerial solution, but a strategic catastrophe because it changes the equation and makes Israeli civilians on the home front a legitimate target.
And that is what has happened, thanks to Netanyahu.
Netanyahu has led us to place in which it is not legitimate to attack Iran, but it is legitimate to threaten Israel with nuclear weapons. For, after all, we have invested in technology against nuclear weapons instead of eliminating the threat.
A good manager bombs the tunnel and apologizes for killing the enemy inside it.
A good leader kills the enemy and thus prevents the tunnels from ever being built.
A good manager solves the crisis with the Marmarah and gains a few more months of quiet with Turkey.
A good leader understands that it is fine to forgo personal honor, but when you forgo the honor of your soldiers, Israel loses its deterrence.