Charles Krauthammer sees echoes of 1967 in this week’s surprise joining of Likud and Kadima.
The Six-Day War is legend, but less remembered is that on June 1, the nationalist opposition (Menachem Begin’s Likud precursor) was for the first time ever brought into the government, creating an emergency national-unity coalition.
Everyone understood why. You do not undertake a supremely risky preemptive war without the full participation of a broad coalition representing a national consensus.
Forty-five years later, in the middle of the night of May 7–8, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked his country by bringing the main opposition party, Kadima, into a national-unity government — shocking because just hours earlier, the Knesset was expediting a bill to call early elections in September.
Why did the high-flying Netanyahu call off elections he was sure to win?
Because for Israelis today, it is May ’67. The dread is not quite as acute: The mood is not despair, just foreboding. Time is running out, but not quite as fast. War is not four days away, but it looms. Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence — apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel’s annihilation acquiring nuclear weapons — since May ’67. The world is again telling Israelis to do nothing as it looks for a way out. But if such a way is not found — as in ’67 — Israelis know they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves.
An interesting point of view on the coalition. Read it all.