Beyond the Cusp

January 4, 2019

Great Leader Netanyahu Shows His Ugly Side


It was not sufficient that Bibi Netanyahu held the Prime Ministership and Minister of Foreign Affairs, but when it became available, he grabbed the power of the Minister of Defense as well, but at least at that point he appointed people who would ask his permission more than likely to replace him from holding the Ministries of Economy, Health and Regional Cooperation. He had recently held the Ministries of Pensioner Affairs and Communications. One wonders why we bother to have anything outside the purview of the complete control of the Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of All Things Available? But that is not what is at issue at this point, as perhaps our current issue only concerns the act of either the Prime Minister or the Minister of Defense to settle the difficulty. Usually, when a decision is required from either the Prime Minister or the Defense Minister and one of them is being received as if he were royalty in Brazil, the other, if necessary, could confer with the other and then a decision reached and acted upon. But there is the rub. Benyamin Netanyahu has taken on the position of Defense Minister while also being the Prime Minister and others, as noted above, and even if he as Defense Minister conferred from the right side of his brain with the Prime Minister left side of his brain and thought to take action, his being received with such pomp and celebratory elation in Brazil has captured both sides of his brain. We hope, for his sake and to avoid further investigations, that the government and its representatives of Brazil do not offer gifts of expensive champagne or exclusive cigars for Bibi Netanyahu or any expensive jewelry or other items of value for Sarah Netanyahu because in Israel, and probably only in Israel, such is considered scandalous. Honest, there was a full-blown investigation about guests who dined at the Prime Minister’s official residence who mistakenly offered such gifts which brought on an indignant rage from the left who demanded and received an investigation to determine if there was any quid pro quo for these billionaires who proffered these gifts to the Prime Minister and his wife. Most Western nations wish this was the greatest of scandalous behavior which was forthcoming from their leaders present and past. But let us get to the problem and why we are taking such affront from this difficult, mournful and heartbreaking situation which has needlessly been thrust upon the Religious and Zionist communities of Israel and potentially beyond.


The situation has drawn condemnations from much of the right wing, nationalist, religious and Zionist communities. Earlier this week, the State Prosecutor’s Office issued an ultimatum over several buildings which were to be evacuated in preparation for destruction stating that if they were not dismantled within forty-eight hours, they would be confiscated. This condemnation of the structures was issued despite their being legally purchased at a cost of several millions of shekels as well as additionally having been approved by the Civil Administration recognizing the legality of the purchase. The difficulty comes due to the fact that the region being in the Shomron is also under military control as the government under Prime Minister Netanyahu has refuted several attempts to place the Shomron regions under normal civil control leading to this unfortunate and sorrow-filled situation. Because of the reluctance, nay, refusal by the Prime Minister to advance these regions to normative regulation, these structures also required an additional approval, that of either the Prime Minister or the Defense Minister, which are currently under a singular dictatorial control of Bibi Netanyahu. This may have been partly the reason that Netanyahu took the Defense Ministry under his control upon the resignation of Avigdor Lieberman thus making him the sole adjudicator over the Shomron. Bibi Netanyahu refused to grant his approval to this purchase, which would have slightly increased lands used by the community of Amona by a mere two buildings. What makes this situation even more exasperating is the situation of the illegal settlement which has been scheduled for destruction since early in the 1990’s and repeatedly blocked only to have the Supreme Court repeatedly refusing the petitions for blocking the destruction only to face numerous additional petitions with a fair number by NGO’s which are heavily, if not majority, financed by the European Union and its member governments. These structures were built with foreign funds, without permits, without any utilities, without access roads or internal roads and have had numerous different groups utilizing them including but not limited to Palestinian Arabs, Bedouins and others. These structures are called Khan al-Ahmar which can hardly even be called a community or even an outpost as they lack all facilities and utilities required for human inhabitation and pose a health risk to any inhabitants and the immediate area. Further, they were placed within the areas which under the Oslo Accords and all subsequent agreements placed outside of the areas set aside for Palestinian Arab construction or inhabitation. Meanwhile, Amona is an established community, and actual city, the structures in question are ready for inhabitants, have all utilities and, as noted above, were legally purchased. These had no foreign interference and were completely legal by all nominal qualifications and had no destruction order, they simply required the approval of either the Prime Minister or Defense Minister, in other words, Bibi Netanyahu. The reason for the order for the inhabitants who are the legal owners of the buildings to be removed and be pending potential destruction was solely because Bibi Netanyahu refused to lift a finger to assist the Jews who had purchased the structures. The Prime Minister has never intervened to extradite the destruction of the illegal structures of Khan al-Ahmar and had no difficulty standing aside to permit Jews to be dispossessed of their legal purchase on the outskirts of Amona. This leads one to question why the Prime Minister/Defense Minister, one Bibi Netanyahu, decided that the legal purchase of these structures by Jews was not worthy of even the slightest action on his part to finalize their purchase which had been approved by all required civil authorities and was logged as a legal purchase only requiring his approval. Let us venture a guess as to why this lack of action was seen as expedient and what future plans could this have caused further complications requiring the difficult situation.


We all know that elections are due to take place in early April and that the Likud is seen as the obvious winners of the largest mandate and thus Bibi Netanyahu, as the head of the Likud Party, will be reassuming the position of Prime Minister and forming the next ruling coalition. The Religious Zionist and right wing in general are currently facing problems caused by the split of the Jewish Home Party with Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, the former top two position holders in the Knesset list, leaving the party immediately as elections were being called to form their own party where they would have complete freedom to choose their list for the Knesset and thus avoid the primary system of Jewish Home which may have posed some difficulties in the choice of Ministerial candidates for the list. This split will also have ramification on partnerships and other arrangements between the different parties and could be the initial cause for more parties to further split the vote on the right and the religious and Zionist parties spreading the votes over more selections and potentially having some not make threshold leaving these sectors of the Israeli public underrepresented. This could even play right into a possible scenario which we suspect Bibi Netanyahu could have in his plans. Let us make clear that these are our suspicions which have nothing more to validate them other than our own gut feelings. What follows is a scenario which we hope does not come to fruition. Everything will depend on how the Israelis elect parties and the strength each receive but we suspect what we fear will be a viable result.


President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu

President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu


The first requirement will be that Likud does actually receive the largest number of mandates for positions as Ministers of the Knesset. Virtually every poll currently validates this assumption as it is the most likely outcome. According to most of the early polling, the center-right would receive sixty-three mandates, sufficient for a coalition and the center-left would receive fifty-seven even including the Arab Joint List which would be insufficient to form a coalition. Most pundits are calling that the definitive results but are overlooking one thing, Bibi Netanyahu and a legacy. Thus far, despite over a decade as Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu does not have any definitive legacy and this will probably be his final stint as Prime Minister. He looks back at the great and the significant former Prime Ministers and sees Menachem Begin who made peace with Egypt, Simon Peres forged Oslo Accords, Yitzhak Rabin made peace with Jordan and even Ariel Sharon gets credit for the Gaza Disengagement, or would that be blame. Bibi made his greatest contribution initially as Finance Minister as he was credited with making the modern Israeli economy possible though this has had a dark side as many Israelis did not benefit greatly and much of the development was contained within the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area not reaching far beyond to what is referred to as the periphery. It is entirely possible that Bibi Netanyahu sees an opportunity for a legacy by reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinian Arabs in the Shomron (West Bank or Judea and Samaria) and probably believes that any peace plan that President Trump proposes could become his legacy if he can have it foisted upon the Palestinian Authority led by permanent Refusenik Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas, like Arafat before him, has refused every peace plan and proposal while never making any counter demands or presenting what he would accept, at least not in English. In Arabic he has been adamant that the only peace plan he will accept is the total destruction of Israel and the Jews removed by whatever means the world prefers up to and including another Final Solution for approaching seven-million Jews. With President Trump pressing Abbas, and if Netanyahu can cobble together a government coalition which would accept almost any sacrifice in the name of peace, then it is entirely plausible that President Trump could force a peace plan between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Such an agreement would fall completely apart almost immediately after President Trump leaves office, but should he be reelected in 2020, then Bibi Netanyahu will likely have retired while the plan is still in effect and thus his legacy in place and any dissolution into violence which came later being blamed on whomever replaces Netanyahu. How, you may ask, could Prime Minister Netanyahu ever hold a right-center coalition together while making such a peace plan work which would require the evacuation of close to a million Israelis from many of the communities in the Shomron while splitting Jerusalem in half once again? The answer is simple, he would not be able to have such a coalition remain intact which is why we suspect he may be looking at a National Unity Government where the parties in the coalition are a combination from both sides of center. With his Likud plurality, Bibi Netanyahu could easily invite parties such as Yesh Atid, Kulanu, Israel Resilience (Gantz) and any of the minor parties which pass threshold which could give him a coalition of comfortably over sixty, especially if he included the Labor Party promising them some preferred ministerial positions. With such a coalition, Bibi Netanyahu would be able to do almost anything and as many of the parties he would be including are actually more left than center-left, they would simply go along, as he would be doing exactly as they had been calling for the government to do for the past decade or more. Would such a peace deal in the end have the same results as we have seen in Gaza? Well, actually the end results would be a million times worse than Gaza as it was feasible, Hamas would take over the region surrendered and Tel Aviv would soon thereafter be attacked directly with rockets. This would result in the next Prime Minister being forced, not only to reoccupy, but to cleanse the region west of the Jordan River and east of Tel Aviv including eastern Jerusalem of all its Arab population and do so with the blessing of most Israelis, even the most left wing Tel Aviv barista latte drinker; as rockets falling on Tel Aviv would serve as a desperate wake-up call. That would assure that Prime Minister of a legacy as well. Unfortunately, it is what ensued in making the two legacies which would not be desirable.


Beyond the Cusp


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