In other words, for my US readership, the Likud leadership are considered by Sherman to be the RINOS of Israeli conservative movement.
The same can be said of most if not all major ”conservative” political parties in either opposition or in government throughout the West. They have lost their way and have become, in the words of Mark Levin, neo-Statists, caretakers of the welfare state, no believers in limited government and individual sovereignty.
Little more than a limousine chauffeur
Thus, in terms of the substantive policy positions today, the “Right” has totally capitulated to the “Left” and is carrying out – or at least is committed to carrying out – the latter’s political prescriptions.
In this regard the political “Right” has become little more than a reluctant limousine chauffeur, delivering its political rivals ever closer to their designated destination.
After all, during any journey, the chauffeur makes many operational decisions. To avoid obstacles, he decides when to tilt the steering wheel one way and when the other way; he decides when to accelerate and when to brake; which lane to take and when to change it…, but never the final destination. Similarly, the political “Right,” which for decades has been in a position of formal power, ostensibly “in the driver’s seat, sitting behind the wheel,” makes many decisions that affect life in the country, but seems powerless to determine its “final destination” in terms of defining the frontiers of the state and the extent of its sovereignty.
Into the Fray: The rout of the Right
Lawmakers gather for a session in the Knesset. Photo: REUTERS
Incredibly, today, except for detail in nuance and tone, the formal positions of the major “right-wing” faction, the Likud, has become indistinguishable from positions expounded by the far-left Meretz faction.
In terms of political affiliation, 51 percent of respondents said they were right-wing, 22% said they were in the Center and 27% defined themselves as left-wing. Among young people, a greater percentage called themselves right-wing than left-wing
– Recent opinion poll, “Israel today – the state of the nation,” Ynetnews, May 5.
At first glance, the findings of the poll conducted over the last week of April should be cause of great encouragement and satisfaction for the political “Right.” That is until you examine political realities and take a long, hard look at the political “Right’s” performance over the past two-and-a-half decades.
Organizational victory, ideological defeat
According to the survey, over half the population holds views presumably compatible with what might be expected of “right-wing” political platforms – almost double that found for what presumably might be expected of the political platforms of its “left-wing” rivals. No less significant, the “Right” enjoys greater support than the “Left” among the young.It seem the younger the age group, the stronger the support for the “Right.”
All of this seems to bode a rosy future for the “Right” in Israel. This, however, would be a highly simplistic – even deceptive—take on Israeli political realities. For the political outcomes that have taken place in the past, and seem probable in the future, provide a very different picture.