Israel’s Labor Party – Cupio Dissolvi

Israel’s Labor Party’s propensity to self-destruct never ceases to amaze me.

After positioning itself as the main opposition party to the most right-wing government this country has ever seen, and after running an election campaign under the slogan “it’s us or him” (him being Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu) – the leader of the Labor Party, Yitzhak Herzog, is doing his utmost to crawl into Netanyahu’s coalition and form a “unity government”. The fact that the vast majority of his party’s parliament members are opposed to such a move doesn’t seem to deter him.


Today it transpired that Netanyahu – being the supreme political wizard he is – was apparently using Herzog as a bargaining chip to bring another right-wing party, Israel Betenu, into the fold. That, in itself, is not surprising. What is astounding is the fact that Herzog fell into this trademark Netanyahu trap so easily. He has now alienated pretty much anyone who supported him and, in the process, is tearing the Labor Party to shreds.

This wouldn’t be the first time. Past Labor Party leaders have done a tremendous job in steering their party into inconsequential oblivion. There is something about this party that makes it implode into itself every few years.

In Paul’s epistle to the Philippians he expresses the desire to be “dissolved”, to leave his corporeal and earthly life and join Christ in heaven. The Latin translation of this passage gave birth to the Latin phrase cupio dissolvi. In modern times, cupio dissolvi expresses a masochistic desire to self-destruct, often by suicide. After rendering its election campaign’s slogan irrelevant, perhaps Israel’s Labor Party should adopt cupio dissolvi as its new slogan.


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