The actual sayings from which the title becomes a truism is a combination of “All’s fair in love and war” with the saying “Politics is war by another means.” String the two together and one gets “All’s Fair in Love, War, and Politics.” Nothing has made this more evident than the infighting, battling semantics, war of personal destruction, and meddling by outlying interests attempting to destroy the nation, Israel, using her weakest point, democratic elections. The current campaign before the Israeli public presents a choice between two old and tested rival parties, one from the leftist edges and the other from the nationalist center. The socialist left which used the crime of inequality of money between the wealthy and the jealous crowd who desire that government reallocate earnings in what they are convinced through repeated promise by political charlatans is their rightful desserts. The other side speaks of great threats abounding around every corner from which the world is not willing to assist and may even be willing to sacrifice Israel on the altars of expedience rather than fight the battles of conscience and hold the gates keeping out those barbarians pounding from without. The debate might be a fair political battle if elections were still held between the parties, candidates and the people of the nation. That is how it functions in most nations but there are those few nations within which nothing can be done normally and everything plays out on the stage of the world susceptible to the whims, influences and interferences of those from around the world whose interests are not as much for the health and safety of Israel but more to protect their images and promote their own positions even if it must be at the cost of Israeli politicians or potentially the actual lives of millions of Israelis. We will likely be able to witness such interferences and even the dishonest attempts by outside interests working with the selfish efforts of politicians within Israel who desire either personal aggrandizement or some who believe there are fated and destined to lead Israel into the future and that being so fated they are the only one capable of leading with true sight and divine brilliance thus willing to do virtually anything in order to reach their fated position as Prime Minister. The mixture in this election has a cast which might be able to fill every type and situation one might imagine which is what makes such so interesting to study and watch everything play out.
Where the differing positions and offers are almost always similar in Israeli politics such that it makes it fairly easy to describe the differing political positions and people familiar with Israeli politics do not even require the names or parties to identify where and from whom the positions originate, so I guess we could speak of theoreticals and leave the names for each to discern on their own, but eventually names simply become more convenient and necessary and anyways, why play it safe all of a sudden. As has already been made obvious, the two viable parties vying for the privilege to form the next coalition government are about as opposite as two parties can get. One side claims that Israel needs to get along to go along and that good relations with Europe and the United States to the point that in many items Israel would be better served by joining with the efforts in every situation and that rocking the boat and making claims that Israeli interests must supercede those of other traditional allies is counterproductive and likely to cause Israel great harm. The opposing party and their candidate’s position is that there are threats to Israel which must be addressed even if doing so places Israeli leaders in opposition to what they identify as allied leaders who are willing to compromise so completely in order to establish what they view as their potential for a great and exemplary legacy. The split between the two main parties divides between guns and butter. The proponents of the guns legacy emphasize the need for Israel to remain strong and able to stand against any and all threats even if such preparations come at the expense of addressing the disparity between the wealthy and the middle class. The proponents of the butter legacy call for redistribution through having the wealthy pay their fair share and call for more government programs and giveaways where the government subsidizes more and more items such as rents and food subsidies despite this requiring higher taxes and a smaller military and defense budget to pay for their social projects. But this election cycle has two distinct realms, the Israeli and the international realms. The Israeli side of this coming election appears to be mostly relegated to the second tier parties which are not expected to be vying for the Prime Ministership and being tasked with forming the coalition but rather gaining as many Ministers so as to provide them with the most favorable influence and assigned positions over the most desirable Ministerships in the next government. Of course these parties also will be asked to provide suggestions as to whom they prefer from the two leading parties, or possibly three in some unforeseen scenario, to become Prime Minister and organize a coalition. The predicted choice is no secret as the two entities vying for the top spot are Likud and the hybrid of Labor and Hatnua Parties running, for now, as the Zionist Party with Benyamin Netanyahu the leader of Likud and the shared position of Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni being the alternate choice. No matter which party, Likud or Labor/Hatnua Zionist Camp, win the most mandates, it still will rely on which leader is recommended by the parties combining to give one side the best ability of patching together a coalition which has sixty-one Ministers or greater as such is required to have even the most shallow coalition majority of the one-hundred-twenty seat Knesset. Fortunately, almost without interference, at least up to this point, the secondary parties have not suffered the interferences from outside of Israel beyond the occasional editorial or commentary in foreign newscasts or newspapers. The interesting interactions has been the international jousting which promises to only accelerate and become even more amplified in the remaining weeks and then days leading up to the March 17th election day.
Where the Israeli elections have hit a fulcrum on which the election’s fate will pivot has its origins in the heart of Washington D.C. and will be operated out of New York City and Tel Aviv with generous American funding, State Department support and heaven knows what else. V15, V2015 and One Voice are the three names that the media will avoid relating tales of mystery and shady deals. Instead we will hear stories about bottlegate; Naftaligate, any forms of misrepresentation or misinterpretation of words either spoken or misheard coming from Naftali Bennett who heads the Jewish Home and is a strong and unrepentant Zionist which the press finds as something depicting suspected personality defects; more stories of crimes concerning members of Yisrael Beytenu; stories of Sara Netanyahu being really mean to the hired helpers around the house; and scandals speaking of unspeakable offenses by Prime Minister Netanyahu against members of United States President Obama’s administration. The media coverage of these items will become ever more harsh, louder, more shrill and ever more edgy as the March 17th deadline for elections rapidly approaches. There will be the regaling stories about the universality of rapprochement and acceptability which the team of Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Hertzog bring to an Israeli government if only the political luddites can be enlightened to look beyond the primitive sloganeering of the false self-proclaimed Zionists as is not the merger of Herzog’s and Livni’s Labor/Hatnua Party’s election title “The Zionist Camp” making them actual and real true Zionists? What will be interesting for those afflicted with reading both Israeli and American liberal media, but I repeat myself, there will be similar stories covering the actual speech, the invitation, the broken protocols and the offenses committed against President Obama by the plotting and dastardly deeds committed by Speaker of the House John Boehner through inviting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress behind the back of the President and to espouse theories and accusations of the P5+1 negotiations with Iran being overly desperate such that they are willing to accept any deal the Iranians demand just so they will have something to show for their efforts. Their impatience will be shown to be only outdone by their desire to make a deal that permits President Obama to also reestablish United States formal relations with Iran just as he recently has with Cuba. Perhaps President Obama will force an agreement which will allow for the signing to be held in Tehran and coincide with his announcing the reopening of the American Embassy and the new Ambassador, John Kerry, establishing his legacy as the President who reopened doors long ago locked and ignored in order to not admit the broken off of relations had become failed policy.
There is one claim which has been made recently which strikes me as being well beyond the cusp. That claim is that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, by his recent actions and especially for not backing out of his acceptance of the invitation to address a joint session of Congress while in the United States for the AIPAC Conference, has destroyed the trust and good will that had been built under the careful, generous and skillful steps taken by President Obama which have proven his support and devotion to Israel and her security both now and into the future which has been exemplified by the tireless and relentless pursuit of the best possible agreement which will limit and deny Iran the ability to ever develop nuclear weapons. Such a story line would be far more believable if history had not shown the animosity and disrespect shown Prime Minister Netanyahu by President Obama from the very outset of their relations. What is odd is that the reason for the bad blood between the two leaders stems from President Obama’s animus shown towards Israel and the possibly intentional missteps taken by the President over the years. One might have taken one of the very first steps by President Obama as soon as he came into the Oval Office after being sworn in during the inauguration and then re-sworn in as something made the President feel he needed to recommit. With all that behind him, President Obama nestled into the large, comfortable chair behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office where he made his very first official phone call of his administration. As difficult as it may be to accept, President Obama did not call Prime Minister Netanyahu with that first defining phone call. Neither did he call the Prime Minister of Britain, the President of France, the Prime Minister of Turkey, the King of Saudi Arabia, the President of Russia, the Leader of China, he phoned a man who was not even a head of state, he phoned Mahmoud Abbas who is the chairman of the Fatah Party, head of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) and the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority. Yes, President Obama’s first official phone call from the Oval Office went to Mahmoud Abbas, a leader of a terrorist organization, the PLO, and a man sworn to destroy Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. One of the first moves towards attempting to push for a peace agreement establishing borders establishing peace and security between Israel and the Arabs was a demand that Israel freeze all building until the negotiations were finalized as a measure to show Israeli willingness to make peace. This resulted ultimately in Prime Minister Netanyahu promising and observing a ten month building freeze in all the disputed areas and instead of using this time of goodwill to negotiate an agreement, Mahmoud Abbas, the good friend of President Obama, refused to meet with the Israelis for the first nine and a half months. When he finally met with Prime Minister Netanyahu he simply demanded that the building freeze be extended for another ten months. When the building freeze officially ended and realizing that calling for another ten month freeze might have been an error, Abbas altered his demand and called for a permanent building freeze until a final agreement was reached. During the ten months of the Israeli enforced goodwill gesture of a building freeze President Obama did not once demand that Abbas actually negotiate. On Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first visit to Washington D.C. to meet with President Obama, the President set some unusual rules for the Israeli leader. The two men would not have any meeting before the media, there would be no official meal shared and Prime Minister Netanyahu was required to enter and depart the White House from a side delivery entrance and not be seen using the main entrance to the White House. So much for first impressions making an optimistic start.
Moving along we find that President Obama made another demand while still in his first two years as President when he stated that he fully expected for the border between any Arab state being forged to exist side by side with Israel presumably in peace and security would necessarily have the Green Line, the 1949 Armistice Line, the pre Six Day War boundary lines which Abba Eban, the Israeli statesman and former Ambassador to the United Nations described as the Auschwitz Borders, as their border. Eventually the idea of mutually agreed upon small land swaps was added and that was to make everything just wonderful. President Obama had a habit of intentionally making such demand of Israel either just before the Israeli leader boarded the plane to visit Washington D.C. or while he was actually in the air in flight to the United States. President Obama refused to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu when both were in New York for the opening ceremonies for the United Nations General Assembly but instead found time to appear on the television show “The View” and make small talk and good humor during their broadcast. There have been numerous leaks from the White House which spoiled a number of Israeli plans which were being arranged with the target being the Iranian nuclear sites in order to end the Iranian nuclear weapons production before they became too well fortified for air attacks to be successful. These leaks attained their intended goal of protecting Iran from any Israeli intervention. President Obama has stated numerous times that he honestly believes that Iran can be deterred even should they attain nuclear weapons status through the same Mutually Assured Destruction which prevented a nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States. Such reasoning refuses to accept the Iranian policy which has been stated in speech after speech that Israel could be destroyed by at most two nuclear weapons while all the nuclear weapons possessed by Israel would only wound the Islamic world which would survive while Israel would not survive. Such reasoning is not the product of any sane and rational mind which could be dissuaded by their own destruction from attacking Israel with as many nuclear weapons as was necessary. There are numerous other points which could be presented to paint the picture of the contempt and disdain that President Obama has for Israel and her existence. President Obama only desires one thing from Israel and that is for Israel to do whatever is required to reach a peace with Mahmoud Abbas so that President Obama will enhance his legacy with the making of peace in the Middle East even if said peace is written across the corps of Israel. All of this paints a picture far different than what is being sold in both the United States and Israel. Netanyahu has not lost the friendship of President Obama as one cannot lose that which never existed. As all President Obama wants from any Israeli Prime Minister is for them to promise him the same thing the Israelites promised when receiving the Law from G0d in the wilderness when they are recorded as having said, “We obey and we hear.” After experiencing the Ten Plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna they ate in the wilderness and numerous other miracles of the L0rd the Israelites were absolutely ready to accept and honor anything G0d may have demanded of them. Thus the agreement of was spoken by the Israelites in every corner of their camp into the heart where the Tabernacle stood erected, “We obey and we hear.” They were ready but the Israelites of today, well, most of the Israelites of today are not about to grant such faith in President Obama as he has not come anywhere near deserving of the respect, awe, fear, love and faith that the Israelites had back there in the wilderness before the actual presence of G0d Almighty.
Beyond the Cusp