Beyond the Cusp

June 23, 2019

About the Criminal Netanyahu

 

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is under investigations that, for all practical arguments, ranges from taking kickbacks to chewing gum in line, from bribery to passing notes in class, from fraud to not bringing enough candy for everyone, and from breach of trust to talking during a test. The first thing which needs explaining is the makeup of the legal officers in Israel and a quick overview of their political bend. The Attorney General is not chosen by the Prime Minister nor approved by the Knesset but is chosen by a set of judges and lawyers who can outvote the political members of the committee which means the people have next to no say in this choice. Judges and much of the legal system other than the Justice Minister are chosen by a liberal elite of the legal profession with a heavy influence by the Supreme Court. Additionally, the Supreme Court has a virtual veto over the choosing of every new Justice to the court leading to a court stuck in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s and not progressing politically along with the population. After Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak ruled that all things are judicable, the Supreme Court has greatly expanded their purview and fields of power reaching from deciding demolitions of contested regions more often calling for the destruction of Jewish communities while going the extra mile to protect all Palestinian Arab villages to countermanding commander’s and general’s orders to their IDF forces to granting predominantly European funded NGO’s requests which tend to be strictly far left demands.

 

Chief Justice Aharon Barak

Chief Justice Aharon Barak

 

The last Israeli government had instigated some absolutely necessary restrictions, guidelines and strictly defined powers with rigidly implanted divisions between judicable and that which is the responsibility of the courts and justices and that which is outside judicable range. There is much redefining necessary and with any luck a complete revamping of the means by which justices are selected, particularly to the Supreme Court which had become an inner sanctum echoing a long past era refusing to join the present nor would it realize changes which made the landscape defined very differently than the Judges pretend. Allowing, if not encouraging, the roping of the Supreme Court Justices and bringing them closer to having to answer to the desires of the people through taking some decisions from the Supreme Court to altering the means of how new justices are chosen taking from the Supreme Court a veto power against any selection. Finally, there was the means for the Knesset to respond to the court’s overreach by permitting the parliament to override a Supreme Court veto of legislation. This pawned the legal branch of the government to feel threatened and to bite back. They blamed these events on all of the right-wing parties and especially the Prime Minister. The legal difficulties of Prime Minister Netanyahu are part of this reaction by the courts and Attorney General. The Attorney General tasked itself with finding anything by which they could damage or possibly remove the Prime Minister. Some of the charges still remaining unresolved have been placed in a dormant state from previous elections only to be brought to the fore as new elections came into focus. There were two of these charges that came out, the main one being financial misbehavior in the form of kickbacks from a submarine purchase. The finality of this investigation which was initially claimed to involve the Prime Minister only produced charges against lawyers who had lesser roles and vindicated the Prime Minister. The remaining charges are far lesser including one which borders on comical which we have talked of before. They circle around “expensive” gifts received by the Prime Minister and his wife given them by multi-billionaires who when visiting the Prime Minister’s residence for an official dinner. They gave presents such as higher priced champagne and some fine cigars. Apparently, the courts believe that such guests should bring far less expensive gifts such as pictured below. Our friends back in the United States poked much fun about these charges finding them to be more amusing than serious. The media treated this as if they were the proof of bribery despite not being able to find a single quid-pro-quo. Most of this circus will simply be folded up and placed in storage for the next election should Bibi Netanyahu remain as the likely candidate for Prime Minister. The courts and their left-leaning allied parties are frustrated, furious, frantic and willing to do whatever it would take to regain their control which they had for the first thirty plus years of Israeli history. The left believed that they would be the sole power in Israel forever and are surprised, shocked and in a state of unresolved, incensed furor demanding they be returned their rightful place of total control. We can expect this and other contrived problems to resurface repeatedly until the elections are complete and then they will slowly subside.

 

Ronco Veg-O-Matic and Pocket Fisherman

Ronco Veg-O-Matic and Pocket Fisherman

 

Leading up to this last election which just failed to reach a defining coalition, there was a perfect example of this overreach by the Supreme Court. The Knesset election committee had resolved that one Arab Party be disallowed which had numerous former terrorists and recently included a Minister who had joined the Mavi Marmara which attempted to run the military blockade of Hamas in Gaza when numerous IDF sailors were injured with one attempted to be abducted by the crew of the terror ship. The end result was the use of live-fire in which nine of the terrorists were killed and relations with Turkey became tested. Reparations were agreed upon which many on the right found distasteful. The committee also disallowed one candidate from one of the other parties, a Jewish college professor who actively supports the BDS movement detests any Zionist activities within Israel. The Supreme Court ruled that this candidate was just fine and the Arab party completely acceptable but also ruled that one right-wing candidate who is a lawyer and former Knesset Minister be disallowed. It begs the question of how could a former Knesset Minister not be acceptable as a candidate for the Knesset. The answer is simple, he supports restructuring the courts and how jurists are chosen and the Attorney General is appointed. He supports balancing the legislative and administrative branches of government and the Judicial branch. The claim is that by dismantling the forming dictatorial judicial rule of the black robes; the legal branch, especially the Supreme Court and the Attorney General, fear losing their ability to choose their own replacements as this would open the door for justices more in line with the current rightward swing of the population in Israel. This was a fight the legal branch was guaranteed to lose, it was only going to take time as the future of Israel will be more Zionist, more conservative and more religious. Another item is that much of the current judiciary is ardently secular and far more internationalist, border-free, atheistic and intersectional than the population. In all honestly, much of the legal branch is filled with people who are representative of the Israeli population from before 1977 when the first truly Zionist, nationalist, religious right-wing Prime Minister was elected, Prime Minister Menachem Begin. They do not make politicians nor leaders like they used to and Menachem Begin is a prime example.

 

So, is Bibi Netanyahu guilty of any of these charges? This is like asking if President Trump conspired with the Russians or one of the Democrat candidates when looking at much of the Israel media and Bibi with his troubles. He is obviously guilty of receiving some fairly nice cigars and exclusive champagne, but he did not make any moves to repay these gifts, they were gifts and not bribes. Their most presented claim was that the Knesset considered legislation deferential to one of the presenters. That is where the problem with their accusations become obvious as Bibi and his Likud Party assisted in defeating this legislation including Bibi Netanyahu who voted against this legislation. Another claims he traded favorable government actions in order to have a left-leaning media outlet provide him with more favorable coverage. This favorable coverage never materialized and, if anything, this outlet’s coverage became even more critical. If Bibi Netanyahu is actually guilty of these charges, then he is the worst politician at gaining favors or repaying such. These antics are purposed to make the right appear dirty and pave the way for a return to the left-leaning political governance and placing the same people back in power who presented us with the Oslo Accords, Gaza withdrawal (with the assistance of former Likud Prime Minister Arik Sharon) and have completing the two-state solution if only to prove it possible to surrender more of our lands. The September elections and their lead-up is going to be one unbelievable ride through absurdity which is the mainstay of Israeli politics.

 

Whether Bibi Netanyahu is guilty of any of the charges or whether or not the charges actually rise to the level which would remove him from power, the Courts and Attorney General know that any right-leaning government will continue the redefining of the separation of powers in an attempt to rebalance things and put the judicial djinn back into its rightful bottle. The central figure in this dispute is Bibi Netanyahu as the representative of all that is right of center while the Attorney General is fighting for the legal establishment and their left-leaning bend. The weapon is the accusation of criminal activity by the Prime Minister and, as the party lists are made known, attempting to disqualify right-wing candidates while dismissing any disqualifying charges against left-leaning politicians on the left-wing and Arab lists. The legal system is attempting through judicial fiat to enact the two-state solution by any means required. Bibi Netanyahu has been quasi supportive of the most Zionist political parties while often acting towards annexation of the lands west of the Jordan River and beyond the Green Line, the armistice lines from the 1948 Arab war to destroy Israel at her birth. There has already been evidence that at the base of these charges is a political attempt to change the resulting vote of the election. We saw more frequent coverage of the charges against Bibi as the past election neared with the reporting becoming more fantastic and even fanatical. Now that those elections have ended, the coverage and level of excitement around these charges have been reduced to a simmer. With new elections coming in mid-September, we can expect the temperature on these charges to be increased from a mere simmer to a roiling boil over the month of August and into September as Election Day approaches. After the elections, the charges will largely be placed back into storage for the next elections when they will be investigated almost anew and perhaps some new charges of equal veracity will be leveled. This has been the past and is promised to be the future of politics for as long as the judicial branch is politically opposed to the remainder of the Israeli governance.

 

Whether or not Bibi Netanyahu is a criminal, a dirty politician, needs removal or is as pure as the driven snow is something we are not in a place to determine. We doubt he is as pure as the driven snow but also doubt he is as guilty as the media have painted him. In all honesty, we are not Bibi’s greatest of fans and would be extremely happy to have another become Prime Minister, whether a different member from Likud or the leader of another party. We would prefer that the right-leaning parties continue to hold the majority and form the next government. We have noted that Avigdor Lieberman has made his position as left-leaning or possibly solidly leftist which is the reason so many claim they desire forming a government which does not include Yisrael Beiteinu Party. This became evident when Avigdor Lieberman strongly suggested that the next government include the Blue-White Party, Yisrael Beiteinu and Likud along with other parties in a unity government. The problem with his claim is such would not be a unity government but a left-leaning government where the Likud would find themselves very uncomfortable but possibly unable to force new elections, trapping them in a government which refutes their own preferences and interests. But Bibi is more likely a politician under investigation by the opposing side than anywhere near a deadly criminal that the political cartoons paint him to be. But, like President Trump, Bibi should not expect the hyperventilating and total exasperation centered reporting to change that much going into the elections.

 

The voting public is also not taken in largely by these accusations, though some have fallen victim. The problem comes when a new party defines themselves tailored to the public’s slant while their true positions are far different than the image portrayed. Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak may prove their undoing as they have requested that Yair Lapid keep from commenting about his concerns and opposition to the Haredi parties. The Blue-White Party is a combination of Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party and centrist leader Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party. The Israel Resilience Party hosts four former generals including some who were Chiefs of Staff. Their claim to fame is that as Generals they know far more about security and how to reach peace agreements with the Palestinian Authority. From what we have read and gathered; their plan is another version of the ill-fated two-state solution. One of their leaders, before being corralled by handlers, spoke freely very early in the lead-up to the last elections. The proposal he made was frightening to those of us here at BTC and which we discussed here. To put it as simply as we are able, for those who refuse to read prior articles, the plan would present the Palestinian Authority with a done deal. They would pull all Israelis within the region defined by the security fence while gifting the Palestinian Authority the lands east of the security fence. This would not demand anything from the Palestinian Authority as just by gifting them these lands, they claim all terrorism and violence will cease. The difference between the defensive security fence and the Green Line is marginal at best (as displayed on the map at the above link). These generals are still fully supporting the land for peace concept of the Oslo Accords and the two-state solution. We can guarantee that Mahmoud Abbas would refuse to accept this offer and would immediately set out for Europe complaining that Israel still refused to give him the 22% of the Mandate he has demanded. For information, the 22% Abbas refers to is all of the British Mandate which was not part of the 78% granted to Jordan, or simply, everything west of the Jordan River, all of Israel. Abbas would also initiate a new intifada with the intent of forcing Israel to send the IDF into the region just gifted to the Palestinian Authority to end the offensive which would be murdering Israelis. Abbas has effectively and completely destroyed, devastated and made null the two-state solution, the Oslo Accords and possibly any opportunity for peace between the Palestinian Arab entity and Israel. Their current attempts to appear as more right-wing than they truly are revealing their claims to be disingenuous should Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak talk to the media and decide he desires joining his fellow generals in the Blue-White Party revealing their leftward tilt.

 

This is also why Mahmoud Abbas will not be in Bahrain for President Trump’s economic conference as he denounced the entirety of President Trump and his peace plan before anything was released. Mahmoud Abbas and his fellow Palestinian Authority leaders have made their desires extremely evident and it has nothing to do with the two-state solution. They have the exact same desires as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, just a slightly different means of attaining an end to Israel and any nation ruled by Jews, their way to having Islamic world domination. They do not wish for self-rule or even their own country, they simply want to destroy our country. This is why there can be no peace agreement which would be worth the paper it is written upon. Abbas has stated that should any peace ever be reached with Israel; it would only bring a temporary respite from terrorism which would restart and continue demanding more territory followed by another respite followed be restart of terror until they could easily defeat Israel or the Jews simply leave, deserting their country. This is the only result Abbas and his colleagues will find acceptable. Perhaps President Trump is more aware than the media paints him and he is planning on forming a peace which leaves Abbas and the Palestinian Authority out in the cold. Things may be about to get very interesting, the Trump peace plan, the Israeli elections and the leftist media in conniptions.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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June 18, 2019

Election Roller-Coaster Taking Abrupt Turns

 

There have been a few spins and fast turns of late. Some revealed opportunism while others clarified the politics of others. Some were potentially expected and known while others leave one scratching their head as two leaders of one party appear to be heading for different goals. There are some facing an upwards climb in order to remain at the top while others see them simply dancing on in and taking whatever position they desire making any demand they wish. Some of the above may be hyperbole, but it has been a fun and interesting ride this past week leaving much to ponder. Where it will all fall out is anybody’s guess. Likud still expects to form the next coalition and the United Right plans on retaining what they fought over so desperately to put together. Blue White Party is working on damage control on two fronts. First, they are seeking to tone down the anti-Haredi messages and are requesting that Yair Lapid not be so out front and take a quiet seat allowing the all-knowing generals to lead. This is their, as one writer put it, “Rolling out the Generals.” This was a left-wing tactic which has been used before with the most memorable being Ehud Barak, who as having been a general would know every right move. Well, that one did not pan out as prescribed in the campaign and he was soon voted out of politics, then in, then out again and so on. One person not toning down the we give the Haredi too much so it is time for them to serve in greater number in the IDF is Avigdor Lieberman, who has created his own loop-de-loop, more on this later.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

Let’s start with Likud, the party expecting to put Bibi Netanyahu back in as Prime Minister. The reality is that they are very likely correct in their supposition unless the unexpected should befall us. Please do not take this as supporting Bibi Netanyahu. What must be granted is that Bibi Netanyahu has fulfilled the expectations that he invented himself. He has made the Likud believe that only he as their leader can lead Israel safely. This has allowed the Likud Party to remain as the mainstay of right-wing political expectations and prevented any mass exodus supporting anyone else. Bibi Netanyahu has also seen to the fact that nobody within the party is permitted to challenge his position. Those who do are often politically decimated or given a position which removes them from contention but also is such that one would be insane to refuse the appointment. This has led to Bibi Netanyahu leading his party for an unprecedented amount of time and as his party is the most prominent on the right, he will be the longest serving Prime Minister in Israeli history and will remain as such for the foreseeable future as his accomplishments politically are unprecedented in a democracy. Netanyahu will remain as the Israeli Prime Minister into the future until he, or Sarah Netanyahu, decide that it is time for him to retire and probably seek the position as President, something he is very likely to be given.

 

Meanwhile, there has been a call for a unity government with Likud Joining the Blue White Party along with the rest of the left-wing parties including Yisroel Beiteinu, where we are to expect their leader, Avigdor Lieberman, to be given the Ministry of Defense. This call was made by Avigdor Lieberman who was responsible partially, if not largely responsible, for the collapse of the last Knesset coalition. Lieberman has been suspected of socialist leanings and only joining right-wing coalitions simply to receive those guarantees of positions and monetary support for the Russian immigrants he represents. He is doing exactly that which party members expect, he is supporting the interests of his members. His problem is that his constituents are slowly decreasing as a percentage of the voting population. Avigdor Lieberman knows that any renowned achievements he might still be able to make have to come sooner rather than later as he might not have a later politically. One thing we know is that he desperately wants to be given the Ministry of Defense as from there he believes he can force Haredi into serving in the IDF. What is not being noticed by the media and others when covering Lieberman and this issue is that the Haredi are entering the IDF and National Service in record numbers without anybody pressing the issue. Reality is that the more the Haredim are pressured, the stiffer and more widespread their resistance becomes. Simply leave things to progress naturally and there will be little difference between the Haredi and the rest of the population when it comes to IDF and National Service entrants. People are very much a liquid of some unknown sort which will naturally flow more easily than being pushed which is immediately pressed back against and resisted. The Haredim entering the rest of society when it comes to working, IDF service and National Service volunteering, will probably be more easily attained the less aggressively it is pressed upon them. Sometimes, simply leaving it all up to Hashem and the problems often cure themselves. If only the entire world would take that very same approach.

 

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

 

Now allow us to discuss the variations for the future of the New Right Party. This was the effort by Naftali Bennett for him to establish a secular and accepting of religious Zionist party. His efforts appeared to many to be as if he was forming a party which would be Likud Lite, the slender and more flexible Likud which would annex most of the major settlement communities in the Shomron. They formed this party by taking the top two people and another of the Ministers from the Jewish Home Party leaving their former party lurching as it sought new leadership. The New Right rocketed immediately to twelve to as much as fourteen mandates in polling. We warned people that this was not going to last and their future would be better invested in remaining with Jewish Home. We were almost universally ignored. Well, Jewish Home anchored a three-party coalition and cleared threshold comfortably while the New Right floundered and failed to reach threshold by the slimmest of margins. Now at one extreme we have Ayelet Shaked, or at least people claiming to represent her, making moves to bring the New Right into the United Right providing that they replace Rafi Peretz at the top of the ticket with Ayelet Shaked. This has not sat well with Rafi Peretz who after being wrestled from retirement with little desire if any to enter politics into leading Jewish Home and their rebuilding after Bennett and Shaked bolted to form their own party. Now that he has taken over this responsibility, the retired General, former Chief Rabbi of the IDF and combat helicopter pilot, he is not the type to leave a job half finished. Rafi Peretz has stated that he intends to remain as the head of the United Right. But wait, there’s more.

 

At the same time there have been reports that Naftali Bennett has been trying to attract Moshe Feiglin to form a coalition of his Zehut Party with the New Right as the almost two mandates which Zehut received would easily put the New Right over the threshold to enter the Knesset. This begs the question as to how one party will be capable of making deals with two separate parties. Perhaps there is some trouble brewing in the New Right leadership. They have apparently forgotten rule one of a partnership, communication. Then there is the other possibility; they may have decided to attempt separate paths taking whichever one proves to show the most promise. In the interests of Zehut, the offer by the New Right would guarantee Moshe Feiglin making his way into the Knesset without having to compromise on any positions as they would go their separate way after the election. This might not work as well for Moshe Feiglin should there be a greater coalition of the United Right including both the New Right and Zehut which might gain the United Right an additional five or possibly as many as seven additional mandates and allow for Likud and the United Right along with the Haredi Parties, potentially they might be able to choose only one of the Haredi Parties forming a coalition without any need for Avigdor Lieberman. This possibility of a right-wing and Haredi coalition without Yisroel Beiteinu being required to clear the sixty-one mandates to form a coalition. This would be the intrigue of the pre-election machinations except for the one known, the real suspense is what ploy will Bibi Netanyahu use in the closing days to agitate and awaken his base and the other question is at whom will Bibi target with his coming emergency, all hands on deck call which we are expecting. Bibi would not let us down, would he?

 

The Labor Party is also running around with much of a frenzied emergency. One of the most successful parties in Israel history and the sole leaders of Israel politics are now facing with the distinct possibility of not clearing threshold for the first time. They are looking both to the right and the Blue White Party and to the left to Meretz Party to find anybody to throw them a life-preserver and help pull them across threshold and back from oblivion. This is one of the major results of the Israel public moving to the right as well as becoming more Zionist and religious. Labor, a secular left-wing party has been left behind. Add in the Blue White Party and the excitement they cause with their four generals and their claim that as generals they are far more suited to lead the nation than Bibi as he never reached such high rank and thus must not be as prepared to face the security threats facing Israel. We predict that Blue White might not be favorable to any approach from Labor Party as it would not provide sufficient number of votes to make the surrender of two or possibly three seats on their party list. Labor and Meretz merging would be a more natural fit and could potentially lead to a permanent merger forming a somewhat stronger far left party. They would bridge the entirety of the left between the Arab lists and the Communist party to the Blue White Party. A Labor Meretz merger would garner them likely two additional seats in the Knesset and is the only means for Labor to guarantee to get anybody into the next government. This has a potential to change in favor for the Labor Party as they are choosing new leadership and with change there is always the possibility of the unexpected.

 

Lastly, one last means of solving the apparent confusion between the two leaders of the New Right, Naftali Bennett who is wooing Zehut and Ayelet Shaked who is making approaches to the United Right and still make Rafi Peretz happy as well. First thing is to set the record straight that Rafi Peretz is and will remain at the top of the United Right with Bezalel Smotrich occupying the second position. Then simply dangle having Ayelet Shaked reappointed to the Justice Ministership as part of their criteria for joining the coalition. This would make many within the parties of the United Right somewhat more motivated, Ayelet Shaked would be receiving something she covets far more than a top slot on the ticket and possibly not becoming Justice Minister to finish her work there and Naftali Bennet could continue to take the remainder of the New Right, those who would not follow Ayelet Shaked, and he could join with Zehut. Making any offer to either Ayelet Shaked or Naftali Bennett after their disgraceful bolting from Jewish Home and almost destroying the party has to be seen as generosity seldom found in politics. The only reason we advise that this is a decent idea is due to the work Shaked has already performed at this post and it would be of benefit to Israel for her to complete her vision. Any further tweaks could be made along the road. The only other item is we bet that this election Bibi Netanyahu emergency get out the vote last minute revelation will target Avigdor Lieberman and might be sufficient to prevent his party from clearing threshold, and providing Bibi with what he believes is justifiable revenge.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 20, 2019

Israeli Elections Religious Right Merging

 

The two main religious Zionist parties and long-time running mates, Jewish Home and National Union, agreeing that Rabbi Rafi Peretz will head the joint list with Bezalel Smotrich as number two and they settled which party names which slots. This agreement was difficult to arrange and there was a reason which not many are speaking of which made it all the more difficult. The problem was and is Bibi Netanyahu and his claims that he is out there trying to unite the religious Zionist parties and other right wing parties in order for him to easily have a conservative coalition. Every time that Bibi calls for these parties to unite, the more swelled heads become, a common ailment amongst many politicians, and demands become more exaggerated and arguments become more shrill and heated. It almost appears that Bibi is actually attempting to sabotage the right wing parties with his repeated calls for unity. If Bibi is so absolutely enamored with uniting the right wing, religious and Zionist parties in order to allow for a more right wing coalition, then why isn’t Likud out there offering these parties positions on their list and thus guaranteeing that their votes count and they are represented in the coalition. Why doesn’t Bibi form his coalition before the election and present a done deal to the Israeli public, a deal which, if done correctly, would bring in the required sixty-one mandates for seats in the Knesset. Bibi would not even need give the party leaders any of the Likud top five or even ten slots as anything within, say, thirty would be a shoe-in and potentially solid through fifty. But a right-wing-religious-Zionist coalition is not what Bibi is aiming to have.

 

This election is different for Bibi as he is aware that this will very likely be his last ride in the driver’s seat of the Israeli government. Everyone knows what this means. This will be what defines his legacy. The right-wing, nationalist, religious leaning coalitions have not provided that legacy even after nearly a decade as Prime Minister. Bibi Netanyahu desires to be more than simply the longest serving Prime Minister, he wants international fame and the fortunes which go along with such reverence. Bibi wants that he will be the toast of the town wherever he travels and that he and Sarah Netanyahu will be free to travel the Capitals of Europe receiving lavish parties in his honor. Bibi has seen one other Israeli politician receive such honors, and that was Simon Peres, one of the original Oslo Accord schemers. Bibi had a front row seat to witness the embrace received by his mentor and honored figure, Ariel Sharon, who was lauded by Europeans and mainstream American politicians for his bold risk taking after he agreed to gift Gaza to the Palestinian Authority without requesting anything in return so they could prove their ability to form a workable economic and functioning society. The eventual, and many claim inevitable, result was a terrorist state sworn to destroy all of Israel and now backed by Iran.

 

We have already discussed the political positions and other views from General Benjamin “Benny” Gantz, a former longstanding member of the Central Command and including serving as Chief of Staff. There has been talk of a Ganz-Lapid or Lapid-Gantz merged ticket to run together and thus be a force to be reckoned with. The problem was as we stated, who would be at the top of the ticket just in case they were tagged to form a ruling coalition. From all appearances, the General will top that ticket. The two leaders deserve one-another as both of them have, at different times and before various crowds, made statements supporting opposing views and then repudiated them at their next campaign stop. The two are polished performers with Yair Lapid getting his experience at reading a teleprompter from doing the evening news, which also gave him name recognition. General Gantz got his experience on speaking tours in the United States before conservative and reform synagogues where his views were widely applauded. These American Jews are largely leftists and believe that there exists a magic formula which when applied will turn the Arab Palestinians into useful and productive members of a normative society and for that reason support the “Two-State Solution” as the vehicle to peace between Israel and the Arab world. This position has thus become viable and central to General Gantz’s beliefs. Yair Lapid is another who believes that some magic division of the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea does in fact exist which would end the animosity shown by the Palestinians. Any coalition which includes these views is not one Israelis should be comfortable allowing having lead their nation. The Two State Solution is a formula for ending the Israeli Arab Palestinian problems as it will bring on the final war between the Palestinians and Israel and there will be only one survivor. The price paid by both sides will be horrific and the cost to the world may be far higher than anyone wishes to accept.

 

The question for the right-wing-religious-Zionist parties is whether or not there will be further mergers. The far-right National-Religious Otzma Party will be avoided largely because of some of their most radical members and videos showing them in acts indefensible in nature such as dancing at a wedding celebrating the death of an Arab child. Then there is the Yahad Party chaired by Eli Yishai. His Sephardi Haredi beliefs appear to have forced him to refuse to be on any ticket which permits women. This is a position he will need to talk back if he expects any offers of a joint list. Jewish Home will most definitely have women as part of their ticket. There will possibly be a united ticket again between Yahad Party and Otzma Party simply for the purpose of guaranteeing their breaking threshold into the Knesset. Any remaining right wing parties will need to find agreements for forming joint lists, the more parties the better, or they face oblivion. But still Bibi is out there on a regular basis making such agreements all the more difficult with his insistence that the right wing parties need to unite in order to receive optimal representation and not waste votes. Furthermore, every time Bibi makes his insistence for the right wing parties to unite, their individual, and thus joint, numbers appear to sink in the polls while Likud gains voters. Bibi Netanyahu is making it appear as if these parties would have been incapable of breaking the threshold of 3.25% of the total votes. One could make a case for Bibi actually pressing the right to merge in order to make such agreements next to impossible while also raising doubts about the viability of the entirety of the right wing outside of Likud.

 

Bibi Netanyahu, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Yair Lapid, General Benny Gantz, Bezalel Smotrich, Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Lieberman, Avi Gabbay, Aryeh Deri

Bibi Netanyahu, Rabbi Rafi Peretz,
Yair Lapid, General Benny Gantz, Bezalel Smotrich,
Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Lieberman, Avi Gabbay, Aryeh Deri

 

The above theory would be further excited were Likud to merge lists with Naftali Bennett’s New Right Party, a party looking ever more endangered as their numbers also drop as Bibi calls for unity. Should Lapid and Gantz merge, then Bennett would lose two separate opportunities for his party to merge as well as the ability to play one off the other seeking the best possible deal. Should the end of February approach too quickly, it is reasonable to expect for Bibi to allow Bennett and Shaked to merge their New Right with Likud while making both eat some sautéed crow. Should such an announcement come before the deadline, then the theory that the entirety of the Bennett and Shaked move to Jewish Home years ago was in order to wreck the strongest national-religious right wing party as it was becoming a challenge to Bibi and the Likud. A merger between Likud and the New Right would be as close as one could come to proving conspiracy in order to destroy the religious Zionist community and debilitate these parties immediately before elections. This takes us to a place which every Israeli should dread. What if Bibi Netanyahu plans to make his name by pinning his hopes on making a lasting peace, or at least the appearance of such into a reality? This just might be exactly where Bibi Netanyahu has intended to go but simply had to figure a means of crippling the right wing parties allowing him to choose leftist to virtually all of the main cabinet positions. Gantz has stated that the Gaza model could be used for reaching peace with Mahmoud Abbas and the beauty of the idea is that it does not require Abbas to agree. Gantz claims that Gaza was carried out perfectly and need be applied elsewhere, and there is no doubt of exactly what is meant. Ganz claim is Israel should merely pull back to the terror fence and the IDF should remain in all the areas they currently operate.

 

This plan for the Shomron would be a complete and total disaster. Israel would receive no credit for their leaving the area without first engaging in the forming of an agreement by which Israel receives certain guarantees. This concept should have been stillborn and never permitted to see the light of day. Israel releasing the vast majority of the Shomron to the Palestinian Authority without so much as a handshake in return is Gaza Disengagement on steroids and will result in the same end result. Leaving the IDF behind to interfere with any terrorist plots would result in exactly what devolved in southern Lebanon where IDF forces were routinely ambushed. The other side is exactly how long does anybody believe Mahmoud Abbas will stop Hamas or other Iranian proxy from taking control of the Arab region and demanding the IDF be removed. This idea takes the bad situation where the lands are presumably disputed and turns them into occupied lands protected for the occupying side of Israel. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the polling in Israel tends to be skewed to represent the pollsters’ political positions rather than a true measure of where things stand. Currently, if the averaging of polls can be considered at all accurate, Gantz and his Israel Resilience Party would be the largest block outside of Likud, even more so if they were to merge with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid. There are those who would believe that such a joint list would challenge Bibi and Likud for being tapped to form the ruling coalition. This would bring a definitive left-wing face to the government which would very likely charge straight ahead with the formation of a Palestinian Arab state in the Shomron and east-Jerusalem as its capital city. Such a program would denude the Israeli claims to these lands, surrender all the areas from Oslo including Area C and make defending the Jordanian basin impossible turning all these lands into truly occupied territory for as long as the world managed not to demand the retreat from the region so as to truly grant the Arab Palestinians their own nation. Israel might actually get through a full month before the United Nations without being condemned. But what if the more readily likely arrangement were to be formed with Likud merging with Yair Lapid, Gantz and Kulanu along with Yisrael Beiteinu and that could be the next ruling coalition. Such a coalition would favor left-leaning political views and could result in a split in the Likud ranks leaving Bibi with the horrific choice of trying to patch together a coalition just as was done with questionable skirting of political laws. Still such a premature prediction may be jumping the gun. In such an instance, Bibi would gather what he was able to pull in from Likud and managed to extricate from all other parties without requiring Bibi making any concessions. Bibi could at such a point form a left-wing government coalition which intends to end the Arab Israeli Conflict through capitulation to many Arab demands and investing the Palestinian Authority with complete control of the regions west of the security barrier. Israel surrendering all such lands would result in madness as there would be approximately half of a million Jewish refugees which the Arabs would insist be removed or they would eliminate them their way. Such could be the result of the upcoming Israeli elections.

 

We fully understand the desire for a lasting legacy, we simply pray it will not cost Israel or the Jewish People to high a price. Israel has had its pricey legacies built on the backs of our young troops. They have included the Oslo Accords which won three Nobel Peace Prizes and thousands of dead. There was the Gaza Disengagement which will be the lasting legacy remembered for Ariel Sharon, which marred his entire memory. Now we are coming to what will be the legacy of one Bibi Netanyahu, and that is what we are hoping will be less expensive than the previous attempts at a positive legacy. Legacies do not require that the nation whose leader is cementing their legacy to bear any deep cost in treasure, lands or lives. A true legacy is beneficial to the nation and its people without costing them severely. Let us hope that Bibi can find for himself an affordable legacy, one which Israel will be proud about and which will benefit everyone Arab, Israeli and all the remainder of the world will be able to live with and do so in peace. That would be a kinder and gentler style of legacy in which everyone gains and in the end the world finds it less stressful living with Israel. This would be an acceptable and appreciated legacy for Bibi Netanyahu, but still there is the fear that he will desire being the one upon whose efforts peace was actually acquired and nobody needed to be sacrificed. This could lead quickly to bring peace to far reaching shores as well as those close at hand.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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