Beyond the Cusp

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

 

July 23, 2018

Secularist False Charge of Education System Teaching Religionization

 

When we first read about this claim coming from the usual sources against the Ministry of Educations, and particularly Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, that they are using the Israeli public education system and regulations which cover all education in Israel to indoctrinate the youth forcing religious teachings upon them, we simply laughed. We should have taken this more seriously as it has become a valid claim and there are signs that it will be echoed by those who wish to dilute religious leanings within Israel from abroad. This accusation of religionization is about as spurious as is possible. The basis of the claim comes to one simple reality; the Israeli education system teaches Jewish history all the way back to just over four-thousand years ago. This claim would be similar if people found out that a history course was covering the Crusades and claiming they were attempting to indoctrinate Christian Religionization. It would be the same as claiming that teaching about the Arab conquest of MENA as being the teaching of Islamic Religionization. The same would be teaching the history of China as Buddhist Religionization or the history of India as Hindu Religionization or lessons on Greek and Roman Empires as Idolatrous Religionization. All history had some religious slant existing in the cloth from which it has been cut but teaching the history does not mean the students are being indoctrinated with religious brainwashing. If the teaching was straight from the Bible and impressing the commandments repeatedly over and over pressing the students to memorize these texts, that would be religionization. Nothing even approaching such is what is taught in the Israeli school system. Is such taught in the Yeshivas? Of course, but these are private schools most often serving a specific community who demand that their children be taught such an education as their society is stridently religious. The new education requirements have inserted STEM course requirements as well as other normative educational requirements to prepare the Yeshiva students in order that they will have the skills to enter the normative society and find adequate employment should they wish to seek such.

 

The reality is that there have been attempts to equalize the education system introducing more Torah history of the Jewish People, as their history is the reason for modern day Israel. These lessons are taught as history with only sufficient religious slant to put everything in contrast. How does one teach about King David and King Solomon and not also include some tracts from Psalms and Proverbs. One cannot teach about Abraham, Izaak, Jacob and Joseph on to Moses and the Exodus without mentioning the start of monotheism for the Israelis who received the Ten Commandments, witnessed the splitting of the Sea and the ten plagues over Egypt. These points are not teaching religion, it is history. Teaching that there was a period where ancient Israel had judges, prophets and eventually kings, that the nation split in two and that the northern kingdom of Israel became the Ten Lost Tribes and that the remaining two tribes were named Judah after the larger tribe and over time Judean was shortened by the Greeks and Romans to simply Jew and that is where the name of Jew originates. Such lessons are not teaching religion, they are our common history. Covering the Crusades and the adverse effects they had on the Jewish population in Europe or the effects of the Caliphate Rule over the Jews under Islam, is not teaching Judaism any more than it is teaching Christianity or Islam. These are the realities but this has nothing to do with their complaints, they have an entirely different target, Naftali Bennett.

 

Education Minister Naftali Bennett with Kippah

Education Minister Naftali Bennett with Kippah

 

Our chosen picture of Education Minister Naftali Bennett was not selected as the best picture we could find but rather to display his wearing of a Kippah. Naftali Bennett is the current leader of the Jewish Home Party which is based originally in religious Zionism. It is considered, obviously, as a right wing party. Honest disclosure is that many here belong to the Jewish Home, or Bayit Yehudi in Hebrew, and are active in party politics. That aside, Naftali Bennett has only returned the teaching of the ancient history of the Jewish People and the Israelites which had been removed over the years by secular left-leaning governments. These governments attempted to remove all traces of Judaism from the society and intended, by their own declarations, to change Israel into a multi-ethnic democracy where Judaism played absolutely no part in the government, educations system, politics and society. They were attempting to mold a new Israel based on the United States except more socialist. Their desires and interpretation of the direction our society should take has been rejected at the polls with successive right-leaning governments being elected. As Jewish Home is likely to be the second or third largest right-leaning party after the next election, those opposed to our politics are getting a running start on their attacks to try and minimize any right wing representation. Another reason they have decided on challenging Jewish Home is because of the growing popularity both within and from outside our party for the number two person who is serving as Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked (pictured below). Her transformation of the Justice system over her term thus far in the office of Justice Minister has been nothing short of historic. Her appointment of judges who believe that their position entitles them to apply the law as written and not strike down laws they dislike, make up laws they regret that the Knesset does not have their ability of true vision or even countermand orders given to the IDF by the General Staff or other command officers has restrained the judicial system to an equal branch of government and not the unopposed rulers. Ayelet Shaked has turned the dictatorial justice system into a legal adjudicating body which does not rule as a second and superior government of the State of Israel. This too has infuriated the left-leaning efforts to have liberal judges rule the nation after their ideas and striking down the elected government when they actually write legislation demanded by the people, after all, in former times it was that Judges knew better what the people need and the people were just sheep for the shearing.

 

Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked

Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked

 

What we are hearing through multiple attacks is that the left demands that they be permitted to run the affairs of Israel despite what the electorate desires. They demand to be permitted this privilege because of their superior morality which places them on a higher plane than those knuckle-dragging regressives on the right. They have the “real truth” and that should supercede the popularist opinions which the electorate placed in power. This has been behind much of the attacks and investigations of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. We felt ashamed as we know the people in Europe and especially the United States had to be falling over one another laughing at the charges that the Prime Minister received gifts from people who were invited to dinner at the Prime Minister’s residence, fine cigars and expensive champagne. This was the investigation of the Prime Minister, that multi-millionaires and even multi-billionaires actually brought gifts of fine cigars and expensive champagne for the Prime Minister and not, as we put it once, a Ronco Veg-O-Matic and Pocket Fisherman. That is honestly how silly and insane the mechanisms on the left have become in seeking any reason, even not signaling a lane change, to try and bring down the Prime Minister. When they actually brought charges against Netanyahu for these “bribes” received, as they could not be gifts, they then followed that with demands that he step down and allow new elections. Of course, Netanyahu would be barred from being the head of his party, Likud, as he was under charges and further investigations. This was all an attempt to topple the elected government, bring the leaders of right-leaning parties under investigations as they were also investigating Bennett and demanding he step down and also Shaked, the number two also step aside, just for good measure, and then have an election. Thus, they desired an election where every right-leaning party was required to run as their candidate for Prime Minister somebody who held no ministerial position and thus nobody outside the party power structure had heard anything about while the left-leaning parties could run people whose names were well known. Yea, that’ll work real good, NOT!

 

Those in Europe probably do not fully understand this but Americans are experiencing the most rabid version of this currently. What is interesting is that President Trump actually intentionally feeds the rabid anti-Trump people who are at a constant scream on how Trump must be impeached. The most dire amongst these Americans demand that Trump and Pence both be impeached and Hillary Clinton appointed to replace them with her choosing her own Vice President except for others who demand that Bernie Sanders was the actual and true winner of the Democrat primary elections and should replace Trump and company. President Trump will almost thrice-daily Tweet something that serves as grist for those rabid anti-Trumpers. He definitely performs this service willingly and intentionally. We fear he is addicted to rousing up the opposition and we believe we know why. As long as the anti-Trumpers continue at their shrill and excruciating consistent crescendo of critical complaints, then the Republican base which elected President Trump will remain encouraged to vote in coming elections and this will assist him in accomplishing his agendas. So, the truth is if the anti-Trumpers really desired to get rid of President Trump in the 2020 elections, their best path would be to simply stop their wall-to-wall screeching and allow everyone to be lulled back to sleep. But this is not about to happen because Trump is a fascist, horrible, racist, elitist, misogynist, homophobic, reactionary and mean capitalist who will make America great again. Confused? So are many of the anti-Trump Facebook, Twitter and other social media posters who react to every provocation, of which Trump provides an ample supply.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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