Over the past few days, we have heard voices of despair from the ideological right.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a “leftist,” they groan; the government isn’t implementing “right-wing” policy; sitting in the Opposition is better than “voting right and getting left” yet again. Apparently, these folks on the right have forgotten what a “left-wing government” really means. This is a mistake because history teaches us that when the left is in power, it goes full-steam ahead.
Under the Rabin government and the Meretz Party in the 1990s, Israel made a deal whose consequences we are still paying for to this day. The 1993 Oslo Accords marked a turning point and the left’s transition into the post-Zionist era. After Oslo was signed, the Israel Defense Forces underwent a process of “remodification,” and its combat doctrine was profoundly altered.
This was expressed in the establishment of the Operational Theory Research Institute and the IDF Code of Ethics in the mid-1990s. The IDF was ushered into the “post-heroic” era, instilled with an ethos that terrorism cannot be defeated militarily; and therefore the enemy must be “contained” and “worn down” until the “diplomatic process” ripens.
At the same time, post-modernism reached its apex in academia, culture and media. The Kremnitzer and Shenhar committee reports were circulated throughout the Education Ministry, prompting the progressive revolution in our schools. Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer’s report turned the civics curriculum into an agent for indoctrinating the principal of “substantive democracy.” Professor Aliza Shenhar’s report promoted a similar process in Jewish studies, which it said should be “emphasized as humanitarian subjects.”
Despite efforts over the past decade, no one has been able to uproot the civics revolution. Meanwhile, a body called the “Kremnitzer-Shenhar Report Implementation Committee” is still operating in the ministry.
We are more familiar with these issues in the legal sphere. Although Basic Law: Human Rights and Dignity passed in the twilight of Yitzhak Shamir’s government, the “judicial revolution” essentially began with the Mizrahi Bank ruling in 1995, when then-Chief Justice Aharon Barak established the fundamental principles of judicial activism in Israel.
In the High Court ruling of 1993, Barak established a different principle of judiciary activism by granting the attorney general exclusivity over representing the government in court, even against its stated position. As he explained on many occasions, Barak felt he embodied the spirit of the time, and that Israeli society had evolved to accept the revolution he spearheaded.
The first Netanyahu government notched a partial victory by stemming this tide, but beginning with the 1999 Ehud Barak’s government those trends were pursued post-haste. Under Barak, Israel’s security situation was miserable: The betrayal of the South Lebanon Army during the retreat from Lebanon; the weak response to the Second Intifada; abandoning IDF soldier Madhat Yusuf at Joseph’s Tomb; and more.
In this government, Education Minister Yossi Sarid galloped ahead on the post-Zionist, progressive path. The Shamgar Commission’s recommendation to transfer the government’s responsibility for appointing the attorney-general to a committee of clerks was passed into law, and the list goes on.
Unlike the right, the left has never had to fight functionaries, a hostile media or elements that have neutered the coalition (Moshe Kahlon, Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak). Armed with a clear vision, unshackled by stately conduct, our leftists are coming to do work. If you want a glimpse of what awaits us under a left-wing government, imagine what will happen if a historical accident gives organizations such as Molad, the Association for Human Rights in Israel, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Adalah and the Adva Center access to parliamentary legislation or government ministers.
Akiva Bigman writes for Israel Hayom.