– Yuval Steinitz, “When the Palestinian Army Invades the Heart of Israel,” Commentary, December 1, 1999.
To a dispassionate observer, unfamiliar with the mechanisms – and machinations – of Israeli politics, the events of the past two-and-a-half decades must seem to defy explanation, flying in the face of both logic and common sense, and a gross violation of the rationale of democratic principles.
To the vanquished the spoils?
Political realities in Israel since the early 1990s have shown that electoral victory has little bearing on the policies the resultant governments will pursue. Quite the reverse.
No matter how often the doctrine of political appeasement and territorial concession failed to win approval at the ballot box, it nevertheless continued to dominate the policy-making decisions of governments – even of those elected in express opposition to it.
Astonishingly, time and time again, the prescriptions of the vanquished became the policy of the victors.
Thus, Yitzhak Rabin, elected in 1992 on the basis of a series of hawkish “nays,” including rejection of negotiations with the PLO terrorist organization, radically switched his positions, transforming them all to dovish “yeas.”
The policy he adopted was indistinguishable from that promoted by the radical Left of the time – which failed to win voter support.