Gadi Taub
Ynetnews (Opinion)
March 24, 2010 - 12:00am,7340,L-3867594,00.html

A Yedioth Ahronoth poll published this past weekend revealed that Kadima had not only maintained its status as Israel's largest party, but even boosted its advantage over Likud, climbing up to 32 Knesset seats. Yet if Kadima officials are overjoyed because of this poll, they are wrong to do it – the same poll shows that the rightist bloc remains the only one capable of forming a government; Kadima only takes votes from the Left.

The conclusion drawn by Tzipi Livni and her team as result of this is the same conclusion they have been espousing for a whole year new: The need to take over a chunk from the Center. Hence, positions that appear to be leftist must not be adopted. In this spirit, Kadima objected to the compensation-evacuation legislation that would have started the process of Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and for the same reason the party had not positioned itself unequivocally against the settlements.

Last week, Livni had an opportunity to tell the public that the settlements will take us down the drain, prompt a conflict between Israel and its most important ally, and drag us into a bi-national state with an Arab majority. She had the opportunity to say that Kadima will partition the land, with or without an agreement. Yet instead, Kadima is “taking over the Center” by refraining from presenting its position.

The poll revealed, for the umpteenth time, that this tactic is unfounded. Kadima is not taking over the Center; rather, as noted, it merely bites into the leftist camp. Yet those who only conduct themselves in line with the polls also act in line with the present and past, thereby missing the essence: Governments are elected in order to present a new future, not a new past.

Our greatest existential threat
Those who look up from the polls and glance forward can clearly see that Kadima is reading the map of the past, rather than the map of the future: Below what used to be the “Left” (that is, the peace camp) and what used to be the “Right” (that is, the Greater Israel camp,) we have seen the emergence of a new center that already proved its power, and temporarily went into slumber In the wake of the Qassams and the Second Lebanon War.

This Center believes there is no chance for peace, but also that we should end our settlement activity and partition the land despite the previous statement, in order to salvage Zionism.

This Center will not remain in a stupor for long. All indications point to this. Israel has proven that it can effectively cope with the Qassams. Israel also sees how the settlement enterprise gradually distances us from American support (an issue that greatly concerns Israelis, and rightfully so.) The majority of the Israeli public realizes that we can only maintain a stable Jewish majority within the Green Line borders.

Isaiah Berlin once wrote that Churchill did not create the British determination to stand up to Nazi German, but he awakened it, put it together, and enabled it to recognize its own power. This is what David Ben-Gurion did when he realized, in the summer of 1937, that the partition of the land is Zionism’s only future. On the strength of this vision, he formulated the local Jewish community’s position even if he did not quite create it.

It’s hard to demand of anyone to be a Churchill or a Ben-Gurion, yet one can demand leadership that follows in their footsteps. If Kadima wishes to stay alive, it needs to provide the Center with a clear voice. It needs to openly say that there will be no peace anytime soon, because the Palestinians do not dream of renouncing the “right of return”; it also needs to say that we will partition the land even without an agreement with them.

Above all, Kadima needs to unequivocally come out against the settlements at this time, and tell Israelis the truth: This is the greatest existential threat to the contemporary Zionist enterprise.


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