In a year and a few months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have spent more time at the helm of the Israeli government than any other man. The other man is David Ben-Gurion, the Socialist leader who repressed Zionist nationalist movements in Israel by fiat, by law and, as in the Altalena, by murder.
That factoid may not matter much to most people, even most Israelis, but it matters a great deal to the remnants of Ben-Gurion’s regime, the leftists who don’t win elections, but do control the government. Until ’77, Israel’s Prime Ministers came from the Labor Party. The last Labor Prime Minister left office in 2001. It’s not just that Netanyahu is eclipsing Ben-Gurion, but that Labor has become irrelevant.