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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November 19, 2018

No Elections in Israel for Now but How Long?

 

The government has been stabilized for the time being and it appears that Prime Minister will fold and provide Jewish Home Leader Naftali Bennett to become the Defense Minister in addition to being Education Minister under the condition that he will do all that is required to keep Jewish Home in the government through end of term. In the meantime, Ayelet Shaked, who holds the Justice Ministry, stated on Sunday morning, “At this stage, the government is no longer a right-wing government, unfortunately, What was to be done (appointing judges, changing the approach in the state’s positions in the Supreme Court, the Regulation Law, Ariel University, dismantling the Council for Higher Education, and many other things) – we have already done.” She further stated, “What still needs to be done (the Override Clause, the removal of infiltrators, the evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar, bringing back deterrence, the prevention of terrorist funds) – it is already clear that it will not be done under this government.”

“The only justification for the continued existence of the government until November 2019 is that Bennett will revolutionize security, restore Israel’s deterrence that was lost under Liberman over the past two years, and help to break free of the deep crisis in trust in security. Without this, this government is called ‘right-wing’ but in practice fulfills left-wing policy,” Shaked continued.

Ayelet Shaked concluded, “The public is fed up with voting right and getting left, and the continuation of a faltering left-wing government will endanger right-wing rule. Therefore, we must go to elections as soon as possible in order to form a new government headed by Netanyahu, with the Jewish home the strong party to his right, such that we will finally vote right and get right.”

 

The Jewish Home now holds three of the most prominent and important Ministries, Defense which protects the nation and her citizens, all her citizens with Bennett, Education Ministry where the future is formed and children are given the tools to form the future of Israel, and the Justice Ministry under which the immediacy of the legal decisions are molded and the future of the law and its implementation and interpretation for the future. This places Jewish Home in the limelight with far more power than many might expect from a party with merely eight seats. Part of the reason that this is even considered is because Jewish Home all but committed suicide in order to avoid a Zionist Union formed government bowing before Netanyahu and his Likud Party losing a sizable percentage of their voters who may or may not ever return. The government stands and where it will now travel will depend very seriously what other events from the world around us act and what threats we will face. Naftali Bennett has stated he intends to reform parts of the IDF and intensify training making them even more capable to face the threats which Israel may face in the future. So, what will the new training actually include?

 

Well, even if we knew, we would not post such things in so public an arena. What we hope will come to assist the IDF in its future endeavors is something about which we can write. First and foremost, we have hopes that those in higher command positions who have represented a limited ability of the IDF to face certain challenges will be replaced with commanders whose faith in the strength of their forces is something which these troops will live up to. They should also invest in more intensive training for the reserves with those who require additional training to be up to the full expectations of service in the IDF made available. There might be the concept of making special units which are specialized in particular scenarios which are likely to be required such as working within tunnel and underground bunker systems, city and built-up area warfare and other such specialized training. Standards for the combat units be considered to be upgraded demanding more of the soldiers, not lower standards so the majority or even all will qualify. Fighting for the State of Israel should require soldiers who are above the normative levels. These higher requirements should start with basic training and be rigidly enforced for soldiers to serve in the infantry, tankers, Airborne, Special Forces and other specialized units. It is necessary that the Israeli infantry soldier be trained to attain a physical level above what is expected in the majority of other developed nations as the nation of Israel has a special requirement of their military fighting forces as Israel cannot afford to lose most battles and never a war as to lose a war would bring the nation to an end. The Israeli soldier needs to be capable of outperforming any adversary they may meet on the battlefield. This includes the Special Forces units from Iran or any other nation which may attack our nation. This is what every Israeli fighting soldier must be capable of meeting and out-performing.

 

IDF Crest Insignia

 

We need to try to understand exactly what transpired governmentally yesterday morning. There was a confab of the various party leaders of the coalition where they were asked whether or not they desired elections where we suspect that Prime Minister Netanyahu opened the meeting by clearly stating his desire to complete the final year of the governance and then hold orderly elections. This would have made sense as Netanyahu has an angry public on his hands and thus going to elections at the current time would be holding an election under duress. The last time such an event occurred was when the government in 1992 of Prime Minister Yitzḥak Shamir collapsed and was replaced by the government of Yitzhak Rabin and the Labor Party formed the next coalition and within a little beyond a year Israel entered into the problematic Oslo Accords which have been the basis of the problems with the PLO, Palestinian Authority as well as Gaza Disengagement leading to Hamas and Islamic Jihad amongst others and the recent barrage. This is the possibility which everyone at the meeting this morning were fully aware was a distinct possibility even if it was not a likely probability. By preserving the current government for the time being, and by trading a guarantee the Jewish Home remain in the coalition in exchange for Bennett receiving the Defense Ministry, Netanyahu has kept the one party which is most likely to gain Knesset Ministers in elections even if snap elections were called now. The remaining parties mostly face an uphill battle where they will benefit by having time to build up their voter rolls and possibly draft new candidates to attract voters over the coming year. The one who was facing the potentially greatest loss was the Likud unless they replaced Netanyahu but that would leave them with a far weaker candidate due to loss of name recognition and the experience claim. The real contest will come when Netanyahu retires from being Prime Minister, something pundits claim will not before he clears himself of accusations and investigations.

 

The legal challenges facing Netanyahu and his wife may have substance, especially if you believe most of the media, or may not, but they are very probably not going to go away. Even should Bibi be found not to be guilty of any of these current charges, some of which would be considered nonsense in much of the world, they will simply be replaced with entirely new accusations, conspiracies, denunciations, misjudgments, horrific acts and potentially accusations of treason because of something he did or something he did not do but should have done. The one thing which Netanyahu can claim is that he has been one of the most targeted Prime Ministers in Israeli history, but that will be a title he will merely hold for a limited amount of time. When another right-leaning, nationalist, Zionist and potentially religious Prime Minister forms a coalition and lasts through maybe two elections, they likely would decide that continuing further is really not worth the aggravation or the loss of one’s name, but in that brief period such a Prime Minister would collect far more such accusations etcetera in this age where if one is not a leftist politician, then they are the devil incarnate and the most demonic person the world has ever been required to suffer. If Netanyahu is not sufficient proof, look at the United States and President Trump or Britain and Prime Minister May or the past French elections and Marine Le Pen of the National Front and witness the offensives each have faced from their media as well as the world media. This is a reality for as long as the world remains capable of having nationalist and people who believe that the traditional positions and, in most cases, that the Judeo-Christian Ethic is something worthwhile and needs be saved from being transplanted by the leftist views of open morality where morality and cultures are all equally valid and everybody may pick and choose the parts of existing cultures or invent their own culture and everything is valid and acceptable. There is a simple problem with these arguments in that adage which has multiple authors, “One who believes in nothing will fall for anything.” We would like to adapt it somewhat and state, “Those who equate all cultures lose sight of the difference between good and evil.” Those who require proof, there are some far-leftists who accept devil worship as simply a choice which should not be condemned as long as no harm comes to anyone. Devil worship is acceptable and accepting evil as equal and of not of any determinable difference when compared with any other worship. Somehow, we have a problem with such a concept, but then we believe in Hashem.

 

Back to Israeli politics and why elections were avoided. Largely, it was selfish desires to hold on to power for many of the parties currently in the coalition. Then, Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation was also partly political and partly his being angered by being misrepresented and defamed by the announcement of the unanimity of the Security Cabinet vote. He had company with Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked who also challenged the statement. They made a demand to be given the vacated Defense Ministry which was the prize which kept them in the government. Bibi Netanyahu simply did not desire facing an angry public and trying to explain what just occurred under his stewardship and preferred to have a period of time pass before having to campaign. He was also facing strong resentment and potential opposition within Likud, or so some have rumored, and that was something relatively unprecedented for Netanyahu. Everybody either were rewarded for remaining in the government, feared a snap election for which their parties were unprepared, some fear their party support had eroded with time and now would be a danger to their having to face elections and one, in particular, desired for a cooling off period to pass before having to explain why there was no serious response to the Hamas launching of four-hundred-sixty rockets and launching an anti-tank missile at a bus injuring a young soldier severely. Once sufficient time has passed, Bibi will claim that he maintained peace on the southern border without the loss of soldiers and minimal damage in Israel. Of course, he will not make this speech in the south of Israel, as that would bring back memories of being treated as if they were second-class citizens. So, in the end, everyone had their reason to remaining in the government, and so the government will remain in power for now, for how long, we will have to wait and see.

 

Posting Time Morning Update

Guess here is the proof that news changes, often by the hour, and we can be misled but at least we admit our faults. Latest word is that Bibi balked withdrawing his agreement to give Bennett the Defense Minister position and has announced that he will take that position himself. This will cause Bennett and Shaked resigning and taking Jewish Home from the government. What Bibi has in mind is something fearful if we are correct. We suspect Bibi is going to try to make a super-coalition government inviting Zionist Union and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party into the government giving him the majority he requires to remain in power. This would be a drastic step and as most drastic actions, will have ruinous consequences. This will definitely place the government left of center and out of step with the Israeli people. Should Netanyahu actually do such a move, we might be witnessing another Sharon style capitulation to the leftist demands for Israel weakening her stance vis-a-vis the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas. This would entail ending all building in the Shomron, no destruction of anything the Palestinian Authority claims is valid and, heaven forbid, a return to the destruction of Jewish homes, settlements, villages and towns. The other choice is elections somewhere from late February to mid-March. The problem is it would not be all that surprising to see Bibi make a sudden turn to the left and embrace their policies similar to what Prime Minster Sharon did when he formed Kadima in order to execute the Gaza Disengagement which brought us to this point, and may now take Israel further down the rabbit hole, except unlike Alice, our rabbit hole has only the nastiest of bunnies.

 

Meanwhile, the realism has to point to the “Really Big and Precious Secret” which he claims he must never share, even with his former Defense Minister or any of the other Security Cabinet members. Bibi has a secret and he’s refusing to share. On the other hand, this secret appears to imply that Bibi is right and every one else is clueless as they do not know his secret. For now, Jewish Home will remain in the government, but they did so demanding the Prime Minister start to consider all Israelis equally and be strong in defending the people. He left a challenge for the Prime Minister to prove he will be a forceful response and work regardless of the world reactions keeping Israel as his top priority.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 18, 2018

The Netanyahu Conundrum

 

The recent impotence concerning the rocket barrages which placed one significant exclamation point to the kite and balloon incendiary offensive of the last eight months has many, if not the vast majority, of Israelis ready to demand somebody’s head. With the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his taking the Yisrael Beiteinu Party from the coalition, that will leave the coalition with the slimmest of possible majorities required to remain in power. Minister Liberman was far from the only Minister from the Security Cabinet to refute the announced as fact that the Security Cabinet voted unanimously to not send IDF forces into Gaza and to instead wait and accept whatever peace arrangement Hamas, Egypt and the United Nations would demand of Israel. We have reached a pointed conclusion about that unanimous Security Cabinet vote since at the very least three Ministers, Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, the last two both from the Jewish Home Party, stated vociferously that they had not agreed to accepting the ceasefire and were pressing for a more active response even to the point of using troops on the ground but had been misrepresented by the Prime Minister’s claim of unanimity. We are willing to state that perhaps the unanimous vote was in reality a one to nothing vote where Bibi Netanyahu made the decision solo and simply disregarded all opposition. The declaration that the vote was unanimous was done as we previously stated, to spread the blame on all the members of the Security Cabinet such that every party in the coalition instead of bearing the full weight of his decision himself. Bibi is a shrewd politician not above anything if it serves to keep him unopposable as the permanent Prime Minister who is the only thing between Israel and ruination. Netanyahu plays himself as the most trustworthy and capable person with the experience in the office which none of his opponents are able to match. Well, that just might be because he is the longest serving Prime Minister in Israeli history. Netanyahu also gave another reason for not committing IDF troops on the ground and merely limited airstrikes designed not to take any lives. Bibi knows a secret which is so secret the he could not even share it with the Security Cabinet. Only Bibi gets to know the secret, which sounds awful convenient and makes this secret usable in any and every situation. Isn’t that wonderful? The Prime Minister knows a secret which cannot be told to anybody so that there is no possibility of the secret being found out before he and whomever told him the secret are ready to let everyone else in on the ‘BIG Secret” that only Bibi knows. This secret sounds very much like the Emperor’s New Clothes and I am sure that I am not the only one who thinks this. That still does not mean that he is the only person who is capable of leading Israel in the current situations, and this latest debacle is simply more proof of his possibly being too cautious and possibly playing defense so as to avoid actually committing to a situational changing action. He knows that as long as everything remains exactly as it is, then there is a plurality of Israelis who actually believe that he is the sole person able to navigate through the dangerous waters. That perception is starting to crumble and may soon have so many holes punched through it that he becomes vulnerable.

 

There is one thing which Prime Minister Netanyahu is counting on which could be his saving grace, for now, and that is the fact that his Likud Party is the only party which is ready to go to elections. This has one drawback in the immediate situation, Netanyahu is not prepared to go to elections due to his possibly being indicted after which the Supreme Court would be petitioned by at least one of the opposition parties, Meretz, Zionist Union (Labor and few overly self-important individuals pretending to be a party), Yesh Atid and others, to prevent Netanyahu from seeking the Prime Minister position forcing Likud to place someone else at the top of their ticket. Another reason is the freshness and seemingly wide-spread sour taste in Israelis mouths over the lack of action in response to the Hamas assaults and the timidity which has done much to discredit any deterrence which the IDF has as it appears that Israel is too timid to fight. Bibi will require at least six-months to work the media and make a number of impressive and strong sounding speeches, something he is very adept at, talking, not so much doing, which will do much to restore his image as the strong war veteran who is foremost for defending the nation. Perhaps, if he ever is not granted another term as Prime Minister, he could be sent to the United Nations where he could be the next Abba Eban and make some impressive and influential speeches to the United Nations, like that would actually accomplish much. Still, it would be the perfect platform for Netanyahu to use what is unmistakably his greatest talent, speaking tough. Still, going into Shabbat, the news is claiming that elections are going to be upon us by February or March which will mean a flurry of activity is coming, ready or not. There will be a meeting presumably Sunday Morning to decide if elections can be avoided while also refusing Bennett his demand for Defense Minister as Netanyahu has used the disaster of 1992 when a right of center government toppled and the left took power and engaged in what resulted in the Oslo Accords and related disasters, the recent Gaza War as a prime example.

 

Israel is now facing a period where many are going to need face up to some very difficult and possibly danger producing choices. The first question they are going to have to face is who is telling the truth and who is blowing smoke to cover their indiscretions. That will revolve heavily around the ‘unanimous’ Security Cabinet vote and whom do the Israeli people believe. There is Prime Minister Netanyahu with the weight of his decade plus in that office informing us that the decision was unanimous while we have Minister Lieberman stating emphatically he did not support that lack of action and resigning his positions as Defense Minister largely because he was overruled and made to appear impotent by the decision and there is also the Education Minister Bennett and the Justice Minister Shaked, the two ranking members of Jewish Home declaring they also did not support accepting the ceasefire and not forcing Hamas to pay a high price for their escalations with Naftali Bennett demanding he be given the now vacant Defense Minister portfolio. The other main consideration would be who could assume the position of Prime Minister and be trusted to defend Israel and represent her to the wider world. The main contenders are Zionist Union with Avi Gabbay, Yesh Atid with Yair Lapid, Jewish Home with Naftali Bennett or Yisrael Beiteinu with Avigdor Lieberman. The first two mentioned are basically one side of the political spectrum which supports granting Mahmoud Abbas everything they believe he demands and having Israel pull back to the 1949 Armistice Lines which are also known as the Green Line. The last two would face potentially being unable to form a coalition as the Likud Party with Bibi Netanyahu at its helm could refuse to join any coalition with either party leaving them without any ability to gather the sixty-one ministerial seats required. Should such occur, then there would be little alternative but to grant one of the first two the opportunity to form a coalition which could very well be possible as there are a number of parties which have limited scope beyond what will you basically pay us with to join the coalition. When these parties have been satisfied with their demanded costs, such as the Haredi who would demand repeal of the draft law and to run their religious Yeshivas without any interference, while other parties are more monetarily demanding but they all mostly have a price and then they will join any coalition of either right or left.

 

This is another reason why Netanyahu has remained Prime Minister is that the Likud Party has gained strength by forcing other right leaning and Zionist or religious parties to make compromises succumbing to his demands which then costs them constituencies which Likud they promises to give them their price for loyalty as soon as it becomes feasible. Often these are empty promises or the lack of meeting them is blamed on the other coalition members. Bibi made a massive deal in the last election playing off the media hype that the Zionist Union was going to receive twenty-five Ministerial positions and form the government as Likud would get twenty-three and Jewish Home was gaining against Likud receiving seventeen positions. Bibi promised to give the Jewish Home the two Cabinet posts they most desired, Education for Bennett and Justice for Shaked, both of which have transformed those areas for the better though much work in both remains, and in exchange Bennett would fall on his sword. Naftali Bennett then came out making the statement that he was not prepared to assume the position of Prime Minister in these elections and that he felt that Bibi should remain as Prime Minister. This worked just as Netanyahu had hoped and possibly better as he received thirty places while Jewish Home fell to merely eight slots. Zionist Union did receive twenty-four so that there may have been some truth in what Netanyahu claimed as if Likud only had twenty-three, things in Israel would be quite different under the Zionist Union and their far left politics despite their centrist claims. This is something also true about Yair Lapid who is everything to everyone with speeches crafted for every audience. He is still the great entertainer and is out to make everybody happy. The problem is if he were to get the chance to be Prime Minister, he would rapidly swing quite some way to the left and support the two-state plans which do not even deserve the title of solution as giving in the pulling out of the Shomron would only place Hamas on the heights overlooking Tel Aviv metropolitan area and the heart of Israel where they would not even require aiming their rockets to strike something vital. Still, “The Secret” should be made part and parcel of any party campaign if for no other reason than Bibi’s refusal to even confide in the Security Cabinet, or even in any trusted Minister who could verify that such a secret which would constrain what the Prime Minister was able to do, to perform, needed to be shared with a second person. This secret is starting to sound like an excuse for imposing his Bibi’s one vote trumped the entirety of the Security Cabinet, Knesset and all of Israel based on a secret which must not be shared. Perhaps the secret is Bibi knows best and thus does not require all you Lilliputians and your noisy clatter debating him around when only Bibi’s vote matters. The secret led to a one to nothing unanimity simply because the Security Cabinet, in the end, became a single person, Bibi. Next, Bibi Netanyahu will go to elections claiming he is the only person trusted to run the nation and that Israel must return him to the Prime Minister’s office because he’s got the secret and nobody else does.

 

This is the political problem currently facing Israel. In order to maintain even the smallest degree of sanity and avoid ever granting the two-state plan which would lead to the greatest war with the most severe damage to the nation which would take Israel over a decade to recover providing she even survived at all, the only choice appears to be Likud and Bibi Netanyahu. There are means of getting around this imposition. The most obvious is for the Likud Party to choose somebody else in their next party elections. The first reaction from anyone when this is mentioned is to ask, who? The claim is there is nobody who even comes close to the resume presented by Bibi. David Levy was one who did but Netanyahu effectively ostracized him and he left Likud. Since David Levy lost all influence in a battle with Netanyahu, there have been some others who appeared to be rising in the party and gaining celebrity status who soon were buried and were unable of ever returning to the Knesset, let alone any position from which to rival Netanyahu. Bibi Netanyahu has restructured the Likud Party to the point that Likud is Netanyahu and Netanyahu is Likud. This partly is why it is so difficult to find anyone to challenge Netanyahu, equally difficult to see any person an heir apparent and why none rise to challenge Netanyahu so we must wait until whenever Bibi decides to retire. There have been rumors which have included Netanyahu persuading the leadership from Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett or Ayelet Shaked to change parties and lead Likud after he decides to retire. As a loyal and CC member of Jewish Home, I have a better idea, give Jewish Home sufficient positions where they would not require Likud or where Likud would realize they have no other choice but to accept a position in a Jewish Home coalition and then you are guaranteed both Bennett and Shaked without Bibi having to bribe them with rosy promises into Likud. The prospect of such is remote at this time and that is largely due to Bibi and his great bargain going into the last week of the last elections. Whether it was prudent of Naftali Bennett and whoever was in on the decision to accept the two Ministries, Education and Justice, in exchange for breaking the hearts and will of the membership so as to avoid leftist governance is difficult to determine, as we have nothing concrete against which to compare it. The reality is there has been a world of change due to accepting this particular deal, both for the good of Israel and towards forcing Jewish Home Party into a renewed phase of rebuilding. This decision may have even led to my being included on the Central Committee of Jewish Home Party. In the aim of being honest, as a Zionist who is doing what he is able to become more religious, this was the perfect fit as the Jewish Home is definitively Zionist and inclusive of people from as secular as any Tel Aviv resident could imagine being to as religious as a Torah scholar who spends their day deeply ingrained in the study of Torah and related knowledge. The proof is one of the leading Ministers, best described as the second person right behind Bennett, is a woman and one whose competence has shined as she has taken on the challenge of balancing the Justice system in Israel which included tearing it from the heavy grasp of ardent left wing interests who were ingrained in the system and had prevented any movement from their interests until Ms. Shaked arrived on the scene.

 

Kever (Grave) Ze’ev Jabotinsky

Kever (Grave) Ze’ev Jabotinsky

 

We will be concluding with a short unofficial political testimonial. These are the thoughts which are purely my own and are not official positions of the Jewish Home Party and have not been reviewed nor approved by the Jewish Home Party. There, with official denials out of the way, let us continue. Obviously my views are Zionist as I left the United States selling a house to my son where he simply took over payments and came to Israel knowing I would have to rent and not own for the foreseeable future and as such have less freedom and other niceties which we enjoyed in Tulsa. We both had to accept being a few thousand miles removed from family which has proved to present some difficulties beyond the fact that packages from the United States tend to take months to arrive here in Israel. Still we are glad to be here and this was something I had wanted to do since an early age, which is probably why my friends from childhood remember my claiming I would go and live in Israel somewhere in the future. Those who have found out I am here have mostly been shocked with one stating, “He actually went and did it. He told us all the time he was going, but he actually did.” Politically, I am obviously a Zionist which goes further as one of my heroes is Ze’ev Jabotinsky (pictured above). When a group we belong to went to visit the grave of Theodore Hetzel near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, I went to the gravesite of Jabotinsky which is tucked away in a more private area. I am ashamed that the Temple Mount is in the hands of Jordan, a nation that despite any treaty is still more an enemy than friend. I am quite upset that the world refuses to make good on their promises from after World War I which established the Jordan River as the eastern border for Israel. The British act of giving the Golan Heights to France so as to keep them from Jewish hands was a form of treachery and anti-Semitism, as are most of these other acts. At least the Golan Heights has been restored as part of Israel. This is despite the United Nations about to repeat their annual denunciation of the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights. Is there such a nation as Syria at the moment or is it simply a war zone. The recent debacle with Gaza is another sticking point. The world acts as if Gaza was an actual nation and Israel was not. That alone is tragically telling that a terrorist organization is given greater recognition in its right to exist than Israel which is a member nation in the United Nations. Hamas should be completely destroyed along with Islamic Jihad and the 80% of Gazans who support them. They should be swept from the region and the lands returned to Israel unless Egypt would prefer to take them and held responsible for preventing any further terrorist acts which would be considered acts of war. The Temple Mount should be wrested from the hands of the Waqf and placed under Israeli control. This would not alter in any way the ability of the Muslims to rule their al-Aqsa Masque or their Dome of the Rock or any other sites, but it would bring to a halt the destruction of artifacts and numerous other archaeological wonders and discoveries which they have been steadily destroying in an absolute ignoring of my history. Were Israel to harm one brick of an ancient Islamic site, the world would come unglued but while the Waqf uses backhoes and bulldozers to destroy First Temple and Second Temple relics, the world turns a blind eye. Such is unconscionable. Such desecrations as what has been done to Kever Joseph in Hevron without a single peep of protest from anywhere in the world including UNESCO are abhorrent. UNESCO, the Human Right Commission, and much of the United Nations have acted in such a way as to discredit any decency they were ever purported to enjoy. The world’s duplicity towards Israel and their consistent attempts at mistreating Israel even to the point of working in all appearances towards the goal of her eradication from the community of nations is beyond repulsive. The prophesy that there will be a day when the entirety of the world will be at the gates of Israel, possibly of Jerusalem, and this act will bring a result which is beyond belief, or perhaps it can only be a belief, but the nations of the world should familiarize themselves with such prophesy before committing to such folly. As far as the power, wonder, majesty, existence and completeness of Hashem there can be no doubt of His presence in all we do, if one simply looks at the world and all that is in the Earth and all that the Earth is but a small speck within. The graciousness of Hashem and the miracles performed in my life have always been an unshakable part of who I am. Where I may not have been religious as far as following the Commandments, my faith in Hashem has always been solid, and anyone not believing that should ask my wife. All of this leads to only one party in which I belong, Jewish Home (Hebrew: הַבַּיִת הַיְהוּדִי‬, HaBayit HaYehudi), and this I had figured out before we had ever started to pack-up to move. I guess this ends my little spiel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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