Leftists know full well that true peace currently isn’t possible, and that’s not Netanyahu’s fault. Most left-wing leaders will acknowledge Israel has done what it can, and then some, to reach a peaceful conclusion to the conflict, but has only received more hostility and violence in return.
An example of this is popular new politician Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid (There is a Future) faction. Lapid wrote on his Facebook page this week that “the Arabs don’t want peace,” something Netanyahu has been saying for some time. Lapid’s solution to the problem echoes that of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and is not far off the mark of what Netanyahu advocates.
For Lapid, the only thing to do at present is to “put a tall fence between us and the Arabs and to maintain a Jewish majority in the Land of Israel.” Lapid had previously stated he is against uprooting major Jewish settlements, and totally opposes the division of Jerusalem.
These are positions shared by the other top left-wing party leaders, which means that even if they had beaten Netanyahu in Tuesday’s elections, none of these leaders would have any more success in achieving a genuine and lasting peace agreement with the Palestinians. And Israelis know this.
That’s why, this time around, the peace process was the least important of the primary election issues for most Israelis. Instead, this election hung on the economy and overall security in the face of mounting threats from Iran, Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas.
With Yesh Atid’s significant election achievement, it is expected Netanyahu will invite its leader, Yair Lapid, to be a senior coalition partner. In a statement released shortly after exit polls were published, Netanyahu said that he had spoken to Lapid and told him that “we have an opportunity to do great things for Israel.”