From THE JERUSALEM POST, Feb. 26, 2009, by Sarah Honig:
Some of the folks who voted for Tzipi Livni or the luckless candidates to her left - whose electoral prospects she greedily devoured - are inveterate "Kumbaya" singers. No matter how hard and insensitively reality slaps them in the face, they still naively prefer the pose of pious believers in the honorable intentions of a genocidal enemy whose openly declared and entirely unconcealed aim is to obliterate them. The world may be a tad unkind, but the optimistic sham of unwavering trust in human goodness is too good to give up.
These sorts are the pushovers on whom the manipulators count. Just listen to how Tzipi played them for suckers on the eve of Election Day. Quoting without any embarrassment from one of Israel's more inane and sickeningly cloying songs, "The Children of Winter 1973," she delivered, without apparent inhibition, the following syrupy lines: "We promised you a 'dove with an olive branch'; we promised you 'a dove and peace at home' and I tell you: There is a dove on the windowsill."
She piled on the saccharine: "The dove of peace is perched on our windowsill and we now need to decide whether we open the window and let her in, despite all misgivings, or whether we slam that window shut." And for those who still didn't get it, Livni underscored her last-minute seemingly ideological message: "The choice before the voters is a state that says 'yes' to peace or 'no' to peace - a state of fear or a state of hope."
That was how Livni herself characterized the contest - a showdown between proponents of peace and those she dubbed its opponents. That isn't our hairsplitting inference. That's her own unequivocal formulation. Therefore, the inescapable conclusion is that what she labels the "peace camp" (and we charitably include Labor and Meretz on her side even though they wouldn't recommend her for the premiership) failed to convince the majority of Israelis. There is no getting away from that.
No amount of cerebral acrobatics can now help Livni dodge the fact that she herself, and no other, defined the election as a referendum on "Kumbaya" peace. The preponderant likelihood that her overnight conversion to the "Kumbaya" view of our existential struggle is little more than an unabashedly cynical opportunistic ploy is beside the point. She specifically delineated the alternatives, and if any shred of intellectual honesty may be presumed to still guide her, she must admit that the alternative she championed was defeated.
It's tempting to argue that the majority of Israelis saw the light at last and finally ditched the "territories for peace" delusion. That may be too much to expect from an electorate whose anyway short memory is mercilessly distorted by monolithic leftist media. But it's no stretch to assume that most Israelis couldn't for the life of them spot that white dove pecking at their window.
To most of them, Livni sounded plainly preposterous when she pompously pontificated about the tangible option of peace at a time when rockets still rain on the South. Operation Cast Lead came and went, and we're back where we were. Livni yet again managed to railroad us to a resounding diplomatic defeat (two years after applauding herself for UN Resolution 1701 that aggravated the pre-Second Lebanon War mess).
IT WOULD be heartening to assume that most Israelis had thoroughly reassessed our ordeals since Oslo's unpardonable infliction - one of history's most unmitigated follies. It would be heartening to assume that they realized with their heads, as distinct from their occasionally manifested gut instinct, what an ongoing disaster was spawned by the wholesale importation of terrorists strategically bent on obliterating Israel and tactically exploiting every ceded bit of land as a terror base.
It would be heartening to assume that the masses now logically grasp that peace isn't a sacrifice-craving Moloch and that terror victims aren't "the victims of peace."
It would be heartening to assume that it rationally dawned on the majority of our compatriots that the notion of buying peace with pieces of homeland and vital security assets is a contradiction in terms, unimplemented anywhere else on earth.
But we'll happily make do with the smaller satisfaction of a more limited psychological awakening. Israel's viciously vilified self-defense in the South proved to most Israelis that, contrary to leftist dogma, a military solution does exist. It was aborted by the very neo-Osloites who for years brainwash us, insisting there's no choice but to appease mortal enemies. The premature pointless halt to a successful operation was presumably supposed to hone the contention that we can't win militarily. Plebian common sense failed to fall for this.
Benighted commoners evidently suspect that peace is possible only after the enemy is trounced, and that the leftist substitute of backing off and retreating meekly to square one only promises us endless inconclusive war and attrition.
The voters, who weren't beguiled by Tzipi's invisible dove, weren't enticed by her worn cliche that "restraint is strength." In the Mideast especially, this is an absurd hypothesis, bound to broadcast weakness to a region in which you are ruthlessly kicked when you're down. Not resorting to one's available power only produces more carnage. Eight years of self-control vis-a-vis Gazan rocket barrages only made a bad situation worse. So did the recent "truce," which reinforced and rearmed Hamas.
SUBCONSCIOUSLY MOST Israelis deduce that Livnite prattles about Israel only having a bone to pick with Hamas, but not Gazans, is hokum. Entire Gazan generations are reared on toxic hatred and outright Judeophobia. From the cradle, they're incited to slaughter and dedicated to our destruction. No rousing choruses of "Kumbaya" from them. Refusal to face this reality is perhaps the severest leftist cognitive dissonance syndrome.
It paralyzes Israel's leadership and renders it incapable of compellingly insisting on our right to defend ourselves even against populations that daily bomb our towns, that transform homes into arsenals, that strap children with explosives, that misuse hospitals, schools and mosques, that deliberately plan to do to us far worse than what our hesitant response unintentionally delivers to them. Gazans get a mere drop of their own medicine, but we obsequiously apologize to a hostile world.
Ordinary Israelis sense this even if they haven't translated their intuition into systematic doctrines. They weren't seduced by Tzipi's siren rendition of "Kumbaya." They saw through the insincerity and rejected the idiom for idiocy. Tzipi's sappy peace'n'love Pollyannaism was too artificial for the silent majority, which, to its own detriment, imprudently gave pseudo-peace a chance for too many blood-soaked years.
As Tzipi belted out her proverbial "Kumbaya," the lyrics people heard were: "Someone's spinning, Lord... Someone's scamming, Lord."
Attention Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.