Can the Israeli Left Ever Win Again?

Not unless it gets rid of some very bad ideas

In the winter of 1973, having barely survived a coordinated Arab attack, Israel set out to understand why it had it had missed the many signs pointing toward pending Egyptian aggression. The answer it came up with was long and complicated, but it can be summarized in a single word that every Israeli knows well: Ha’Konseptsya, or the Concept.

Israel’s intelligence didn’t see the war coming because of the (mis)conception that Egypt would never risk war unless it had long-range missiles that could hit targets deep inside the Jewish State. The Friday before the war broke out, Israel Defense Forces intelligence officers compiled a document with 39 clauses, each pointing to a different piece of evidence for why an Egyptian invasion was only a matter of time. Their commanding officer, faithful to the Concept, added a 40th and final clause that argued that all evidence aside, the likelihood of war was minuscule. Less than 24 hours later, Egyptian and Syrian planes launched more than 750 sorties against Israeli targets in the north and in the south. Ha’Konseptsya was proven dead wrong.

What the Israeli left experienced this week in light of Benjamin Netanyahu’s electoral triumph wasn’t merely a political setback. It was the shattering of another Concept, another firm worldview that ignored too many signs and relied too heavily on articles of faith. With Labor having delivered its most impressive showing in nearly two decades and yet still falling short, and with Meretz teetering on the brink of extinction, it may not be too much of a stretch to argue that this is the Israeli left’s darkest hour. If it is to survive, it needs to grapple with the Concept that led it astray…

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  • Alain

    For the sake of Israel’s very existence, I can only hope that the Left will die quickly. What we call the Left is really just communism in various different costumes and forms which always leads to oppression and impoverishment, and for Israel its extinction.

    • Ron MacDonald

      The Left in Europe and North America has to be decimated.

  • Surele Surele

    Suicidal maniacs.

  • Uncle_Waspy

    Bibi’s re-election victory is a delightful slap in the face to President Fundraiser.

    Netanyahu’s triumph, Marine Le Pen, Pediga …..certainly looks like the pendulum is swinging the other way.

  • Pontifex Maximus

    The current center used to be the extreme-left; the “long march through the institutions” has been such a monumentally smashing success!

  • Just a thought

    Get rid of the bad ideas, and what’s Left, after all?

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The article is spot on. Until the Yom Kippur War, the Left’s domination of the Israeli government was secure. Then times changed and so did economic realities. For the Left to come back, it will have to revive the patriotism of Ben-Gurion.

    • Just a thought

      They’ll need another Ben-Gurion for that. Ain’t gonna happen.

  • Brett_McS

    Israel was a highly socialistic society for the first half of their existence at least. They are still thawing out.