The left is in the throes of a fierce leadership crisis that threatens to become chronic.
According to conventional wisdom, putsch culture isn't in Likud's DNA. Not so the left.
The sense of ongoing historical victory is far from the consciousness of the Israeli left.
Under the influence of the melancholy enveloping the left, it adopted a kind of secular version of the traditional religious doctrine of the "Diminution of the generations." From its perspective, the stature of Israel's elected leaders is in constant decline: Ben-Gurion's generation were giants; their successors, as impressive as they were, found it hard to reach that bar, and the politicians who succeeded them were clearly lacking.
The greater the left's discomfort with its leadership, the weaker its faith in its representatives' abilities to tackle the injustices of Israeli society and its direction, the heavier the burden of expectations born by its future savior: The left is longing for a person to extricate the state from the clutches of the Orthodox and the settlers, to restrain the greediness of the capitalist barons, to shower mercy on the poor and the oppressed and perhaps even to put an end to the occupation.
The left is not waiting for just any leader, it's waiting for a messiah.
It is waiting for a strong, authoritative, wondrous leader to restore its lost splendor.
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