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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