Something is finally changing int the air. I have known for decades, and written for many years, the same basic truisms that though I noted, seem to escape us as a nation of Jews, and as the voter base of the State of Israel.
Somehow, we have endured the progressives’ insistence on ending every aspect of western society, the pressure of political correctness to commit national suicide, and somehow, here we are and though we really can’t see the pendulum swing the other way yet, we feel in this infinitely small slice of time, that it jut might start.
The Election is Tomorrow. I think it is one of the most important elections Israel has had in many years if not decades. I have tired to explain for a long time, that the main problem in Israel’s foreign policy is not in its weak attempts at “Hasbara”, PR, marketing nor anything of the sort. The problem is the policy itself. Despite what people may or may not think about Jews and/or Arabs (many don’t like either very much, at least in private), the political reality is a very far cry from what we as Jews and Israelis believe it is.
The world is not against us as much as we think they are. The world, in a great overwhelming fashion, agrees with us. And that is our problem.
There are two overarching issues hurting Israeli foreign policy in its aim to achieve national security. First, the idea that the world is against us, without noting what we ourselves declare, and secondly, our unwillingness to impose consequences, specifically territorial consequences on our enemies, as a result of their actions.
One of my first “blog’ pieces was answering a friend on world opinion (which we endlessly posit is anti-Israel). I wrote then, in 2009, in part:
Examples are endless. The point is the only thing that matters is what we do. We do not need to convince Icelanders to be pro Israel, it would suffice to convince Jews to be so.”
If the world favors us giving up the territories we cry foul, but we forget Israel does too. We forget a “purple line” [referring to the the 1947 partition plan line] existed before the “green line” that the world wanted us to go back to, but they forgot about it as did we because we won more land in the next war. Quickly will CNN, our foes and our fearful citizens remember the purple line, once we go back to the green line.
Though the Arab is not confused and just wants to win, his side is more complex [due to his military inferiority]. He needs the CNN points, his “moderate” Fatah is a million times more dangerous than Hamas. Israel is in no danger from being conquered by Hamas, it is in grave danger of being given away [by the Israeli left] to Fatah. The political lefts are not equal. The Arab left receives land “for peace”, while the Jewish left gives away land. I would be a leftist arab like that too. If Abbas was a true liberal, he would use his Palestinian Police (Israel and US funded and equipped) to kick Arabs out of their homes for Israel to have their biblical Judea “for peace”.
While the Arab wants to win, by one method or the other, we cannot make up our minds, and if we do not want chose to win, then we will lose.
Fortunately though, ours is far simpler, yet we are far more confused. We don’t have to win in Facebook or in CNN. We have to win in reality. As a soldier, I know our brave heroes are itching for that… they don’t all know all this, but they know something is amiss… and they long for a leader who points to the enemy and yells “Forward” Even better, “Follow me” as is our tradition.. and then we would make short work of our enemies.”
In Sept 2011, in an article about the palestinian UN bid for independence, I recounted some the background and fallacies held about the situation. After recounting how the Arab states had not accepted a Jewish state, regardless of how small, and had first demanded its annihilation, and then only a return to 1947 partition line (after having invaded and lost land up to the now famous “Green Line”), and finally after losing the subsequent Six Day War, demanded a return now only to that third pre-war line:
We now get to the famous “Green Line”. The Arab World now no longer even asked for a return to the…[1947 partition line] but now simply the “Green Line”. If that territory was their only requirement for peace, then there would have been peace to begin with as it previously was in their hands.
In recent decades, as Israel has repeatedly moved backwards, pulled out and given land and concessions, the pattern is reversed… the old line that was forgotten is now suddenly remembered and demanded. Neither the withdrawal from the Sinai, Gaza, Lebanon, nor large parts of the West Bank, were subsequently accepted by Israel’s enemies as complete though each was ratified by the UN. This trend will not stop until there is nothing left of Israel.
The interesting point here is that though most Israelis don’t realize this, much of “normal” Israel that is within the Green Line, is just as “illegal” under international (UN) recognition as the so called territories (outside the Green Line), and in fact often much more so. The famous UN vote “authorized” to the soon to be born Jewish state only a tiny strip of coastal land. Many of today’s iconic Israeli towns and cities were well outside of it. Beer-Sheba, capital of the South, Ashdod and Ashkelon, Even Nazareth of new testament fame, and the impregnable Acco where the British held Irgun fighters before hanging them were all outside the partition. As were modern Ramle, Lydda and the old city and port of Jaffo (of today’s Tel-Aviv-Yaffo).
Goes without saying, all of Jerusalem was outside of that partition plan, West and East Jerusalem, old city and new as well as all the surrounding Judean hills were not declared for the Jewish state.
Thankfully the state of Israel was not established by a bureaucratic vote in the corrupt halls of the UN, but it was established in a heroic war of independence, defense, survival and liberation of our ancient homeland. And why is it that those iconic cities are unquestionably Israel today? If they too were conquered and “occupied”?
To be frank, those uncontroversial lands have a much more serious illegitimacy problem than the so called occupied territories of today, Judea and Samaria (and the Golan Heights). Most of the Arabs of the lands seized by the IDF in the 1949 war of independence were evicted or fled from their homes and were not allowed back. Jewish families to this day live in some of those homes… ironically in the more leftist parts of Israel such as Tel-Aviv-Yaffo, where left leaning Israelis watch tv news in a home whose deed is held by an Arab refugee living in Syria or Lebanon, and shout obscenities at the Jewish “settlers” who live in Judea and Samaria. I will agree with them about Israeli sovereignty all day long, but I know how to respect private property.
These settlers on the other hand, though demonized by the media at home and abroad, are not guilty of anything more than being Jewish. The post 1967 Six Day war environment had no such evictions and land seizures, and Jewish families living in these lands, are simple law abiding citizens who have to buy or rent their homes and pay taxes. They live in an area of disputed jurisdiction, out of patriotism and values, but do not live in a home they stole from an Arab but one they built and paid for on their own. Only in modern Israel, can the fact that they are Jews, turn them into the demonized “settlers”, since obviously ancient Judea and Samaria is to be a Juden free, ethnically cleansed land we are told by the forces of political correctness, only for the Arab muslim who does not tolerate Jewish residents his midst. Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA must be diverse.. palestine is to be 100% muslim arab kapish!
But that aside… then why do we here so much about the evil settler who lives in a home he legally purchased or rents, and Judea as the occupied West Bank (or worse, palestine) and nothing of Beer Sheba and Ramle and Yaffo (Jaffa) and Ashkelon and all the rest? No one today in Israel can even tell when they pass this imaginary “partition line” to the territories conquered in the 1949 war. The answer is simple. Israel says they are Israel. And the world agrees.
And don’t think there wasn’t pushback. There was more, relative to Israel’s position at the time and the Cold War politics that made things much more difficult than today.
President Truman sent a note to Ben Gurion stating that the US was “seriously disturbed” with the “excessive Israeli claims to further territory within Palestine” and its “rejection of the basic principles of the Resolution set forth by the GA on 11 December 1948”. Plenty of serious warnings followed. Ben Gurion and the government replied that Israel was not established by the UN resolution but by her victorious war of defense. The enemy’s refugee population was of its own making. The land was Israel, and that was that (boy I’ll take THAT kind of Labor politican, man what happened to them?).
Israel says the territories of Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, are NOT Israel… and the world agrees.
You have to look pretty far and wide to find someone who disagrees… Iran, Hamas, ISIS .. perhaps. From Jordan to Egypt to Saudi Arabia… to Europe to the USA… to yes Israel… all agree, Tel-Aviv is Israel and the west bank should be a palestinian state, and the rest is Israel. Yet if anyone but us mentions this opinion, we scream out “Anti-Semites!” and “the world is against us!” at the top of our lungs.
And within the Israeli political system, from Meretz (the extreme left) to Likud (supposedly the “Right”), all agree as well. The Israeli people believe they are moving to the right, but they are voting for identical platforms, and then are surprised when nothing changes.
Yes, there is a different “tone”. Meretz would LOVE to give Israel away to her enemies, and Bibi (Netanyahu) I am supposed to believe, only SAYS he would, but doesn’t really want to. And I believe that is likely the case, but it makes for horrible foreign policy, just makes us and Bibi come out like liars.
Israeli foreign policy is reduced to:
“Hey, so when are you going to stop occupying palestine?”
“eh.. you know we are making the desert bloom!”
“right, that’s nice, so .. Palestine?
“You know in the earthquake in Haiti we went to help first! And we develop vaccines, and in every national catastrophe around the world we are always (uninvited) pushing to go help where we are not wanted nor needed”.
“Yes, I see that, very praiseworthy, so when you don’t occupy palestine I am sure people will think that’s really nice, when you going to leave?”
“But the terrorism! Terrorists are bad, and they blow up. very bad people. and we make vaccines”
“Very good… yes we all think terrorism is bad, so maybe if you stop occupying palestine then certain people will not want to blow up buses?”
“Yes but vaccines. and desert bloom. and high tech start up nation. and of course we believe in a palestinian state and their nationhood, but terrorism. we are agaisnt terrorism, so we need a peace partner, and then we can have peace process. and we are willing to painful compromise. and also their children throw kites with fires at us!”
“Yes, I saw. the children facing the F-15s and the Merkava tanks were lighting kites on fire to fight you. Quite impressive if you ask me. Maybe you should stop occupying palestine… but thanks for the vaccine.”
Netanyahu of Menachem Begin’s Likud stood in the UN and announced that not only would he recognize a palestinian state, but that he would be the first in before any other nation to do so! He spoke (as only he can!) about our ancient connection to our biblical lands, about the ancient signet ring found in Judea of course with the name “Netanyahu” inscribed on it. A seal dating to 2,700 years ago from the time of the Judean King Hezekiah. He speaks about our rights to our land, speaks about our rights to defend ourselves and our lands (quite convincingly I must say), and then tells you he will give them away to our enemies, that they may stop blowing us up.
I like Bibi personally, and along with many of us have waited patiently for him to actually be the leader of the right that the left always accuses him to be. I have never voted for Likud of course, I am a patriot, a right wing conservative, and a believer in freedom (known to commis as capitalism) so have no business voting Likud, but have always liked and respected him, and hoped that one day he could one day join us.
In Nov 2012 I wrote about the dangers of appeasement, the lack of territorial consequences, and on what would become the routine Gaza exchanges of fire. I also expressed hope Bibi would be different.
Olmert is not what we need. My report predicting the wasteful and inconclusive end of Cast Lead in 2009.
Actions must have consequences, and endless tit for tat are not the kind of consequences that deter Israel’s Islamist enemies. Gazans and the world must realize that attacking Israel (especially bombing civilian cities indiscriminately) has consequences. Before the Lighthouse keeper himself must have to go off (and pause writing articles) and help enact Bibi’s chosen response, let me present a suggestion.
Gush Katif’s forceful evacuation was a shameful blot on our history, and given as a token of great goodwill to our enemies. The IDF would do well to re-establish these legally Jewish lands (many purchased by Jews during the British mandate period) , and declare them never to be handed over again. Further Arab aggression should have a similar response.
If it is land that the Arab enemies want so badly, then they must realize killing Jews will make them lose more of it, and not vice versa as is the current policy. The Arab world must be given a very simple choice; to accept the tiny single Jewish state on earth that is not even visible on a world map in peace and tranquility which we welcome, or face its expansion. If that was the choice given, the outcome would be no worse than Israel having to accept it will remain rather small.
The last two decades however, have seen Israel pushed on by a foolish Western World, offer quite the opposite choice… the more Jews you kill, the more land you get. It has led us to this point, after withdrawing from Lebanon, from the Sinai, from Zone A (PA), from Samaria, from Gaza, from Gush Katif, our enemies under the cloud of Iran terrify the world and engulf us from every side.
The peace and stability that was hard earned through wars like the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War, peace and stability understood even by our enemies, men like Mubarak, Tantawi and Suleiman (now all dispatched by the Western backed Islamists), has been lost to decades of weakness and appeasement.
We have one of the better leaders we have had in a long time under Bibi Netanyahu, Am Israel stands behind him; as part of and staunchest supporters of the Western World, we would like to stand with friends together, but we will stand just the same.”
In a more serious peace, a bit more thorough and philosophical in Nov 19 2012, I elaborated in “The Danger of ‘Peace’” since… hoping against hope that the Israeli government was capable of imposing its will on the enemy, of at least putting a price on the lives of innocents Jews murdered. I correctly predicted that Tel-Aviv having been hit, the government was forced to make a “show of force” but would really do nothing other than put IDF soldiers in harm’s way.
here are two reasons why Gaza shows no fear of an IDF incursion, not in the population in general, nor in its Hamas government.
First, because of the IDF’s chivalrous and moral behavior. The population knows the IDF soldiers will conduct no murder, theft nor rape. No pillage and plunder. An IDF platoon might enter into an apartment and search for hidden cache of weapons. None found, it will then leave with the Arab family left unmolested.
Secondly, the Arab enemy sees no political consequence. The IDF might come into Gaza, score some blows against the organization true, but also suffer casualties and world condemnation. Afterwards, it will simply leave and Gaza will be exactly where it is now. Hamas will have years more of propaganda material. Economic hardships can be blamed on the incursion, and they can portray themselves as valiant protectors who stood up the IDF might, even if all most of them did was lob rockets at Israel to anger her to incursion, and then run and hide until she exists once again. Israel, tired of incursions that have no long lasting effect, will once again be tempted to bribe them with more “land for peace”.
It stands to reason that a weaker entity, would be terrified of provoking a neighboring larger one to invasion, and yet Gaza is not. Israel must change that. Gazans should be most definitely terrified of launching rockets at Israel’s cities. They are not. They cheer them instead.
One of the above must change. I would argue that the first should not, and that our IDF should remain a moral and chivalrous army. This leaves us with the second option. There must be political consequences to attacking us, and I do not mean offerings of “land for peace” which amounts to tribute (usually historically paid by the weaker party to the stronger, and not vice versa).
In the same piece, I concluded again with hope for Bibi:
There must be long-lasting consequences for firing missiles into Israel. There must be consequences for funding terrorists networks that murder her citizens indiscriminately. There must be consequences for trying to obtain nuclear weapons while preaching for the annihilation of Israel. If Israel cannot make those exist, she loses her innate historical right to do so herself. The entropy and vacuum of oblivion call for those too weak to hang on.
If the governments of the free world try to deny those consequences upon Israel’s enemies, they are guilty of weakness and hypocrisy and will soon next stand at the cross-hairs.
And if Israel’s government will not call for these consequences, then it most definitely has no right to command the unbreakable citizen army that now stands ready at the gates. Bibi, we await your command.
On January 2013 I made this Voter chart for the upcoming election, which is still refreshingly relevant for tomorrow’s election (with some glaring exceptions, most importantly Feiglin’s Zehut party (he was a member of Likud back then).
click on the chart to zoom in.
After the election, in early 2013, the usual “right” formed a government.. a government that has the identical beliefs as the left. Government intrusion in everything including religious affairs, socialism and giving away the state to our enemies. In a piece that portrays the true stories of the so called “settlers” with some excellent detail, I wrote about the one particular settlement, Maaleh Rehavam, and how the government, election over, had gone right back to evacuating Jews from Judea.
In part, on the same Gaza thread:
Gaza being a prime example… there is always the “Gaza issue”; Gaza has been independent since Oslo in the 90s, then enlarged nearly a decade ago with the Disengagement and eviction of ten thousand Jews from Gush Katif… no matter it remains “occupied”. At best, if Israel is inside it, it is occupying, and if it withdraws it is “sieging”. It would be absurdly funny if it wasn’t so sad. We (Israel) have only ourselves to blame for being so ignorant, weak and stupid.
Next, I wrote in July 2014. The same summer blockbuster… the Gaza flare up. Reservists called up and massed at the borders to be used as mortar target practice for Hamas and Jihad mortar teams. Then inevitably the shameful hundnas and absurd unilateral ceasefires, and worse yet, bilateral ceasefires with groups our own law bans as terrorist organizations (the kind of ceasefire that made the honorable Mr. Avigdor Lieberman resign from this government and trigger tomorrow’s election).
Missiles falling through the country, and three young lads, were murdered when they resisted their kidnapping by terrorists in Gush Etzion (in central Judea), and still I hoped would act. Even a little act.
If Israel does not know to make even the slightest and more legitimate of consequences a reality for acting towards its destruction, if it cannot put a price on the head of its citizens, a simple concept every nation that exists makes a fact, then our enemies are already right and we do not have the right to exist. If we refuse to exist, by using the very strength and morality Gd gave us, we have no business in this sacred and coveted land.
Bibi, order us into Gaza, order us to punish our enemy, and then withdraw us back to our 2005 line… your humble writer awaits your orders, whatever they may be, it’s not 1973 across the Suez… not even 1967 in all of Gaza and Sinai,… but just one simple mere step forward… back to 2005, to let our enemies know, that like Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, we will not go quietly into the night.
A previous piece, after the murder of the youths, had ended “…I very much fear, that we will do neither [save them nor avenge them].”
In July 2014, continuing to be shocked about the ridiculous PR war going on, in complete denial of the real war that was occurring at our doorstep. In more humorous language and more briefly than in most of my pieces, I related the picture:
We continue to say that we support Bibi and the Israeli government no matter what they do.. well no, there is a limit… and I will not support Bibi if he refuses to defend the nation that entrusted him to lead it. Mr. Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett seem to be close to the breaking point in tolerating the lack of action.
I don’t want a Prime Minister that makes everyone proud by explaining to CNN that Israel, like any other country, has a right to defend itself. Call me crazy, but I’d like a Prime Minister that has Israel defend itself when attacked.
After you do so, and achieve the word that Israelis have forgotten exists, a word they used to know so well; Victory….after that it is tautological, de jure, and irrelevant that you had a right, like all other countries, to defend yourself. You just did.
In fact, in time Mr. Avigdor Lieberman could not take any more shameful leftist actions by the so called “right wing government” and resigned, hence the election tomorrow. Bennett has turned out to be much less of a… well, just much less, and certainly much more flexible. Lieberman resigned despite the fact he loved being Minister of Defense, and at a huge political peril. The media quickly accused the resignation as a political stunt. As I commented back then, nothing could be further from the truth. Lieberman had little chance of ever bing Minister of Defense again, even less chance of ever being Prime Minister, and a decent chance of never even being a minister at all again. He just could not in good faith, be minister of defense while Israel knelt before some Hamas thugs.
But we kneel, as I have explained, because we refuse to take any land.
The same piece for example explains:
“No country would tolerate hundreds of missiles…” um right no country would… except Israel who does.
“Israel has the right to defend itself” we keep screaming into the nothing, while we then refuse to defend ourselves.
this isn’t debate club, this is a real war… and we need to really win it or we will really lose it.
Completely confusing to me are those constantly badmouthing our enemies… “look how savage they are.. look how mean… look how they faked these images, don’t believe them!”. um… who cares?! ok they are really mean… some of them Photoshop images… so? Do we expect the world to then say “ok… go ahead and murder every Arab in Gaza and the West Bank, we had no idea they were photoshoping images to make Israel look bad!”?
Or for someone who supports a palestinian state to suddenly be convinced to not support it because some Arab somewhere lied about an image of arabs being bombed… it’s ridiculous.. the point is that the air force is bombing them.. and they would like it to stop so they post pictures, true ones, fake ones… whatever…if anything these posts (ours) strengthen the arab cause.
What if a Jew spread a fake picture of an Arab killing an old lady? Has Israel lost it’s right to exist or to defend itself because of it?
we are not making any real points that lead to any conclusion supporting anything on our side.. (for those, read my blog), we are just whining pathetically. Jewish victim mentality at its best.
The strangest to me are the ones (posts) competing with the Arab world for suffering. These posters are having a terrible time because our F-15’s bombing Gaza are much more effective than the flying tin cans that Hamas is sending our way…
Again, from Meretz to Likud, to Arafat and Abu Mazen (oh here is a great piece about him), we all say the same thing… palestinian state. But we are shocked when others say it. Israel, this is not right wing, this is the left wing opinion.
In a beautifully written piece in August 2014, I thoroughly laid out the entire Gaza situation. Background, opportunities, risks, common fallacies, the whole thing.
No longer expecting even the smallest territorial consequence imposed on our enemies, I concluded:
The objective at hand is simple, there is an enemy, a relatively weak one at that, who must be vanquished; Israel has forgotten that wars are ended by someone winning them. Israel’s current path is exactly the opposite of this straightforward and simple strategy, expensive, deadly, massive and useless air campaigns, toleration of endless shelling of her cities… abuse of the army and reservists’ lives by sending them into mortal danger with absurd limitations on defeating the enemy… this must stop or Israel faces a very bleak future indeed.
In another article, I made the case for territorial consequences, and the re-establishment of Gush Katif, this would be amazing, but with the low expectations that exist from today’s Israeli political scene, this modest plan would be great as well. While Israel and the world keep arguing in circles, Hamas is not confused, it keeps fighting, knowing with determination one day it can win…. well it is confused only in one aspect, disbelief at Israel’s refusal to win.
I don’t disregard our enemies’ courage, if our leaders acted with one tenth of theirs the war would have been soon over with a tenth the casualties on both sides…. but now I beg the Israeli leadership, Bennett, Lieberman, Saar, Bibi, Shamir, Yaalon, and the rest who are brave and patriots, please let the IDF, bursting with heroes, loose on our enemies who would have us massacred and enslaved; let us defeat them, for we would only have them unarmed, and free to live their lives, as long as they are not based on ending ours.
Please I beg of you, there is only so much defeat our warriors can take, while still remaining unconquerable.
In 2015, a small note about the next round of elections:
Note: For those of you more enthusiastic about chosing strength, please note that there is unfortunately hardly any difference on territorial matters from Meretz to Likud. All support a palestinian state and giving away of the tiny Israel to its enemies. It is a difference of tone rather than substance. Israel in reality, lacks a “right wing”. The voter is continuously disappointed in voting right, and obtaining the same result as voting left. We whine about our right to exist and defend ourselves while we attempt to do neither, but rather appease, negotiate with terrorists and give away our land to the enemy.
The only parties that have a different territorial strategy than giving away Israel are:
Naftali Bennet – The Jewish Home – At least to annex areas “C”
Avigdor Lieberman – Make massive population exchanges instead of just a “one way” giving away of our land (so rather than give away lands with Jews and keep lands with arabs, we can alter the borders to maximize the Jewish and Arab character of each state respectively)
Otzma – Again, though I am very unhappy that it is led by Eli Yshai this time around for reasons I cannot understand… it is the only party that denies giving away our land, and will fight against a palestinian state within the Jewish state.
So what is happening?
Well the Israeli left… at least the economic left is getting smaller. Many of the secular Ashkenazi voters of Labor and Meretz are better educated today and more traveled than their parents. They may still think that Jerusalem might as well be Mars, and declaring a palestinian state is all well and good, but there is no reason for us to choke in socialism. Israel is not a kibbutz and we could have more prosperous and freer lives with some free market forces at work.
These folks keep migrating to the new “trendy” part of the election. It’s the Gantzes (of this election), the Lapids (of previous ones) and folks like that (even many Kadima voters started the modern trend). Many of the Russian immigrants who previously would only think of voting for a Sharansky of Lieberman are also voting for these parties today. These “center” parties keep growing in strength while the traditional left left… Labor and Meretz (literally members of SI, the Socialist International (well until Labor was unceremoniously suspended due to the SI’s BDS policies… but Labor hopes to one day be able to be admitted back, after they set things right and give Israel away)) shrink into oblivion. So it seems that the Israel electorate is moving right.
The problem is that while it may be imperceptibly moving slightly right economically (and I do mean imperceptive… the Knesset is 120 socialists that don’t quite agree on how much land we should give away to the Arabs), there is no movement right on security matters. As I have been endlessly explaining now for years, the policies of all the major parties are identical.
Israel should be given away for peace. There are slight differences in tone… how much land, how fast… to who… but certainly, the Prime Minister’s job is to make “painful compromises” for peace. Painful compromises is code for giving away land. Modern Israeli culture does not value land. There is a perception that this is an outdated value of ancient empires and colonial imperialists who wish to see large swaths of a map painted a certain color. We are taught as a premise that this is so bad that it must follow that land is actually of no value.
At the same time, one of the things Israelis believe they are entitled to as a right, across almost all electoral blocks (as part of the socialist language of the country, rights and entitlements abound) are affordable housing. Governments are pressured to build and build.. soon Israel will be one big concrete parking lot. Governments must issue endless building permits for more and more apartment buildings all over the tiny nation, to make sure everyone can have a cheap apartment. I for one don’t know why Eretz Israel should be cheap. Manhattan isn’t, heck Brooklyn isn’t. Zimbabwe is I assume. Why should an acre of Israel be cheap?
But in any event governments are pressured to constantly come up with more land even though there isn’t any… and certainly almost non left of open land. The army cannot train, disputes with farmers, towns and bedouins take up large amount of time and resources during training exercises, and lands cannot be set aside as nature reserves. Israelis expect that as citizens of a country that cannot be seen on a world map due its small size, they can simply give more and more land away to their enemy in the name of peace of course (since peace an important value and land isn’t we are taught), and still of course enjoy the basic human right of being able to buy a cheap apartment, while of course the army should be able to train in fire ranges and farmers should have plenty of land for agriculture, and the environment should be protected. The “yes” of platitudes. Save the snails, save the whales, save the flowers.
For the Arabs… it is quite different, this is a conflict over land. Jews lived in Arab and muslim lands for the 2000 years we lived in European Christian lands (though they started being muslim lands much later.. so let’s call it 1200 years in muslim lands for argument’s sake). They lived often well enough, sometimes not at all, much like in Christendom.. depending on circumstances and the current rulers and mob trends. But they survived. Until recently, Christians lived all over the middle east as well.
It’s not that the arabs cannot accept Jews necessarily in these lands as a minority of course, but they cannot accept Jewish sovereignty over them. The Israeli soldier with the Uzi (or Tabor nowadays)… it’s the fact that they live here in peace at our mercy, rather than us at theirs. It all comes back to jurisdiction, to power, rule, over land. The arabs want our land.
they cannot conquer it (they tried, and they lose more land each time). But they can get it from the left. Terrorism, and the promise to stop terrorism, has worked in obtaining land, whereas all out war has failed them (for now).
When a Prime Minister of Israel declares loud and clear… that the tiny single Jewish state on the phase of the earth, that cannot be seen on a world map… will not go backwards. Not one inch backwards. Not now, not ever. When he can declare to the Arab world, that they have two choices… to accept, in either a warm peace of commerce and regional relations or a cold peace of calm and non violence; up to them, the existence of the tiny Jewish state, then small it shall remain, OR to not accept it, and then by Gd it will only grow.
When the leader of Israel can declare that to her enemies… that the game is up… that no longer is land awarded for the murder of Jews, that the political and violent tit for tat is over, and that assaults on her or her people will result in the unleashing of the IDF to liberate further territories of ancient Judea and Israel… then ironically, there just might be peace, and Israel will have to remain quite small. But as long as the game is the opposite, and that the game is land for peace… well the Arabs must maintain the absence of peace, so that they can keep getting land.
None of these changes are possible while the electorate keeps voting for the same tired old leftist positions. We are trying the worse of experiments, we keep voting left, while calling it right, and when it doesn’t work (or produce any difference), then conclude the right is no different. Well, THAT right is no different, but the real right is.
Now, so far when a party has actually stated right wing positions, that is different positions than those identical those expressed from Meretz to Likud.. then they have been deemed crazy fanatics, and can hardly gather a vote. In fact, they are often actually legally banned in Israel. That is something all the parties, left or “right” can agree on… ban the real right wing parties.
One important question you may ask then.. Well, if all the major parties in Israel say that the West Bank should be an arab so called palestinian state, and the whole word goes on and agrees with what Israel says, then why hasn’t it happened yet, decade after decade?
Excellent Question. The reason is simple, and twofold. Especially after the experience in Gaza. There, in 2005, 10,000 Jews were removed by force by the IDF in order to hand over these Jewish areas to the arabs in Gaza (today ruled by Hamas). The nation barely survived that. And once it had “accomplished” this shameful and unenvious task, rockets, mortars, missiles and terrorism have never stopped coming out of Gaza into Israel. Perhaps most worryingly for the leftists, who wanted to evacuate land to get the praise of the world (and the SI Socialist International!), the criticism has only escalated, certainly not abated. If Israel was occupying Gaza before, now it is simply sieging it. Similar story even in the withdrawal out of South Lebanon.
The past experiences and current realities make it clear that if the IDF was to somehow leave the entire west Bank, we would have a huge Hamastan-like entity, a big Gaza not next to our small southern communities in the Negev such as Sderot (that gets bombed almost daily for long periods), but at a stone-throw away from Tel-Aviv, from our Ben Gurion International airport, and from the narrow 10 km wide narrow strip of coastal land that would remain of Israel. It would quite simply likely spell the end of the state of Israel.
Number two, if it was that difficult to evacuate ten thousand Jews from a relatively small area, then what would the process be like in evacuation hundreds of thousands of Jews from the much larger areas of Judea and Samaria. It is a task that borders on the impossible, within the realm of our value system… the IDF warriors did not sign up to throw their brothers and their brothers’ mothers out of their homes so that the Hamas terrorists may rule over them. By the way, this is not lost on the Jewish residents of the West Bank.. in fact they are following the pioneers’ example in the creation of the state of Israel pre 1948.. “facts on the ground”. The more Jews live in these lands, the harder it is for the leftist government to give them away.
And why must Jews be removed to give away jurisdiction you ask? Good question as well. There are Arabs, Druze, Christians and Circassians among others inside Israel (with full rights, and include members of our parliament), why couldn’t there be Jewish residents in “palestine”? Oh because they would be murdered and slaughtered to a one (at least that is what the arabs would try in any event. these are tough folks and sure that they (the arabs) would succeed). And so we accept that ugly logic as obvious and say of course we will provide our ancient homeland to you as tribute in exchange for peace, though you lost the wars to us, and we will ethnically cleanse this land for u so that you not be bothered with murdering every Jew in it once you get it.
In any case, combined, these two facts, the existential threat of such a withdrawal and the difficulty of even making it to begin with, make it impossible for the government to fully evacuate the west bank, even though all the major parties believe in it and the people keep unwittingly voting for it. So they keep saying they will, and won’t and we keep having a fake debate between left and fake right. Meanwhile we forget… we could actually say they are ours. That would be nice. Ancient Judea is part of the state of Israel thank Gd. May it always be so.
The danger with this inactivity of course is that these same parties that want to give away half of Israel believe that annexation includes and requires granting citizenship to all people in that land. They are taught to believe that cliche the same way they believe many others like “you cannot beat a guerrilla force” (regarding Hezbollah). The Arabs in the West Bank were Jordanian citizens, those in Golan Heights were Syrian citizens, and those in the Gaza Strip Egyptian residents. In fact, Arafat himself, the iconic image of the so called “palestinian” was born in Cairo.
We had disputes and wars with these countries over land. They refused to accept our existence and launched wars against us.. wars that they were defeated in and so they lost control over certain lands that the IDF gained control over. Like I said, wars have consequences, or should have them at least. But we never have had any desire to keep people in a region by force. There is no rhyme nor reason in making an enemy people citizen of your nation. They neither want it, nor should you give it to them. Their political rights remain where they have always been, in their home countries (where we they are welcome to return to as far as we are concerned). We respect their rights as people, to have basic human rights, and live in their homes and work and in fact they live in a paradise compared to how their fellow Arabs live in many of their own nations.
I love showing visitors this fact on a drive around the West Bank, and how shocked they are at what they see compared to what they expect. In Gaza, Hamas ruled Arabs live quite poorly. In the West Bank, especially outside of zone A (PA ruled) and ruled by Israel, they live in huge multi-level villas that Israelis could only dream of. They roam the land freely and as long as they are not involved in terrorism, they are left alone by Israel (taxes and regulations included). All services and security provided, no annoying regulations and no taxes. Close to a libertarian’s dream (to read more on that, see my Maale Rehavam article).
But if they want political rights, they should talk to the dictators or Kings back home in their states. These rules are not written down anywhere and everything is possible, as Herzl taught us, if there is a will, there is a way. When arrogant UN personnel would complain to me at checkpoints (shocked that we would even stop them since most IDF young conscript soldiers are taught to fear the UN for PR reasons) that we could not legally search their vehicles (that are often used to smuggle weapons for terrorist groups), I would remind them that according to them I could not legally be there at all, much less impose a checkpoint. And yet here we are, and here I am searching you car for weapons. It is not true that Israel MUST give Jordanians citizenship in Israel, and its is not true that it MUST do this or do that. It must do nothing. It can do.. whatever it decides to do, and has the strength and intelligence to achieve. By the prevailing defeatist mentality of today, we would have never established a Jewish state here to begin with.
So all of this comes down to the following. From Meretz to Lukud, it’s basically the same. You want to vote right? Please actually vote real right! (pun intended!)
What does that mean in this election?
- Preferably Zehut (Moshe Feiglin) or Otzma (The New United Right, made up of Jewish Home, Tkuma, and Otzma Yehudit)
- Voting for Mr. Avigdor Lieberman’s party Ysrael Beiteinu is fine as well.
- And one tier down from there is Bennett’s party, the New right, won’t fault you for it.
- You want to vote for one of the religious parties, go ahead as long as it’s not Shas (leaving basically United Toah Judaism).
- and at worse case, vote Likud if you must.
But nothing else.
And that is it, if we can have Bibi, strengthened but a coalition of true right wingers instead of the same old coalition of socialists and appeasers, we might just get some real change, and some real victory, especially with a Trump administration in the USA.
(If by a a miracle Zehut won 61 seats then we would have a victorious prosperous free country with the rule of law (maybe even a constitution) a booming economy where people can be free to pursue their dreams, and raise their families with their own values. But that is asking too much.)
Certainly do not vote any of the others:
- Israel Resilience party/Yesh Atid/Telem (Gantz)
- Kulano (Kahlon)
- And if you are possessed by evil spirits and must vote for one of the above parties, then make it Kahlon (Kulano).
The forming of a government does not really depend on the complex calculations the media presents to us. Really, it comes down to a broad “right” wing camp and a left wing one (with some possible variations due to the personalities and intrigues involved). And amazingly, if the left wing parties, being the likes of Gantz (Israel Resilience Party/Yesh Atid/Telem), Labor, Meretz, Gesher (and perhaps Kahlon’s party) along with the Arab parties have 61 or more seats… they will form a government.
If the right wing camp, which are the remaining parties have the 61, then they will form a government, likely under Bibi Netanyahu. It does not matter so much who is the largest party, for example, it doesn’t matter if Blue and White (Gantz) has more seats than the Likud… what matters is the overall camps, and who has 61.
In this, it is incredible, but the left/right election is massively swayed by the inclusion of nearly 20% of the voters being members of an enemy nation. A truly unique circumstance. Due to this, the right must win a very large majority of the Jewish vote, in order to secure the smallest of majorities in total. The left gets an automatic advantage of the 20% enemy population voting along with them. Which is an amazing fact, and somehow it does not deter the leftist Jews from voting this way.
In any event, let me be clear.. this does not mean that the leftist parties will form a coalition (of 61 or more) with the Arab parties. Its enough that THEY CAN and are willing to. Meaning… once the leftist parties plus the Arab parties are 61 or more seats, they can easily to go the likes of Kahlon, or even Lieberman perhaps (though certainly a Gesher), and say, “look we can form a government with the Arabs, and we will, but we prefer not to. So here go ahead and be finance minister so that you can do all the stuff that you want (in the case Kahlon) and we will love to take you over them. So a leftist government might end up having Kahlon and Shas, and even United Torah Judaism (hope not!) but that is because they could have formed a government without them.
The fact is, if Bibi, can get the right wing parties to 61 seats, then he will form the government. I do not think these odd speculations of all sorts of coalitions are realistic. There is a very broad understanding here of who is who, and the camps in general are what matters. To this end… you can vote for the party that most pleases you… and you do not need to worry about the large parties losing seats. For example, do not worry about voting for Likud, rather than a smaller truly right wing party, if you are afraid Bibi will lose his government to the left. On the contrary, you will straighten a Bibi government by making the coalition include some true right wingers.
Also leaders of smaller parties usually say they could join either side in order to not lose potential voters who might worry they wont join “their side” or won’t be effective since they won’t be in a ruling coalition (and they don’t realize this also has the potentiality larger opposite effect on some voters, which we are discussing now). It is also just good etiquette and is keeping their cards close to their chest, so that their camp won’t take them for granted but it is in many circumstances not really true. A Feiglin for example will simply not join a leftist coalition, when, with him included, a right wing coalition was possible.
Now, finally a note on the two top choices.
Zehut and the United Right.
Zehut will be the big surprise of the election of course. The media has only very recently reluctantly even accepted the fact that they will pass the minimum threshold (of 4 mandates to qualify), and I believe they will do significantly better than what is still being reported. I would not be surprised if Feiglin ends up with 7 to 10 seats. For many months now, while still ignored by the mainstream media, you meet Feiglin voters wherever you go. His move to support legalization of marijuana was brilliant and turned thousands of voters who otherwise would vote dutifully like every other election for the destruction of Israel to one her champions. But just like me, he believes in freedom, not in marijuana, but in freedom.
I have never had to contemplate whether to vote for Feiglin or not. I have joked for many years that the Likud is a socialist party with one right winger, Moshe Feiglin. But while that remained the case, I had no reason to vote for the Likud. Finally, he left, or better said was thrown out, of the Likud (for being a right winger in a socialist party), and made his own party. He has been slowly but surely gathering steam ever since. The man, much like Newt Gingrich is an ideologue… a profound thinker, alien to the Israeli political language. He believes in our Jewish state, in our history, in our heritage and identity, he is a patriot, and courageous man, and most shockingly a strong believer in freedom and the free market.
the Lighthouse writes often about these issues of freedom of economics and another time I will cover what that means in Israeli political terms, which is quite fascinating. But sufficed to say it may actually be the most critical issue in our modern state because Ahavat Am Israel, our unity and our future as a race, a nation and a single faith is in great peril under the current all powerful, all secular, socialist government system. In any country, socialism threatens to choke the vigor out of a state, but in Israel it threatens to choke the very life blood out of the Jewish people. To be covered another time.
So in short, there probably is no thinker, no leader on the national stage, closer to the LightHouse keeper than Moshe Feiglin. But what about the New Right? We always vote for whatever incarnation the real right wing parties unite under.
Well, the truth is that though its great for them to get as many supporters as possible, the current form of the United Right is a bit lacking in intellectual strength. These are not folks like Rehavam Ze’evi “Ghandi”, Raful, Benny Elon, or even Arye Eldad or Uri Ariel. Certainly these are no Zambishim nor Kahanas. The list as it stands is suffering from two factors, first, as it is a union of some of the Bennett’s party (what ultimately was the National Religious Party some time ago) it’s not as right wing as these guys usually would be. Some of the folks on that list are rather centrists, and certainly quite socialists. Even though they are fine great people. And then on the Tekuma and Otma Yehudit side of the list, you have some tier B folks as mentioned above. Without getting too specific, these are intellectual lightweights, some of them lacking some class, and poor examples of what the leadership of the true right could look like. Still as always, they are patriots and have good intentions of course.
So while, the top two choices are still Zehut and the United Right, the preference must go to Zehut. Its time for Moshe Feiglin, some patriotism, some Ydishkeit, some victory and some Freedom!
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