Beyond the Cusp

August 21, 2019

Barak’s Democratic Union Opposes Judaism and Jewish History

 

Right up front we feel it necessary to mention that most of our staff belong to Jewish Home and this writer is quite fond of Brigadier General (ret.) Rabbi Rafi Peretz. My support for Rabbi Peretz was greatly enhanced after meeting with him both before and after a Central Committee meeting where all told we probably spoke for at least thirty minutes. In the time I was able to watch him, he never rushed anyone and patiently spoke to all who wished his attention. Many of the other candidates on our Knesset list were far less approachable and most hurried from the meeting as if the building caught fire, exactly what we have come to expect from politicians who unfortunately believe they are more important than the rest of us. Perhaps this, in the end, served him well when he permitted Ayelet Shaked to take his spot at the head of the ticket seeing that polls depict her leading to greater acceptance and more mandates. It was quite interesting that the day after Ms. Shaked took the top spot, the poll showed her receiving four less mandates than predicted when she was not leading the ticket. The earlier polls, in our opinion, were designed to force Rabbi Peretz to step aside while knowing full well that the difference was a mere two to three seats between the two and we figure that it would make a negligible difference in the actual elections. Now, back to our regularly scheduled article.

 

Ehud Barak heads the Democratic Party and invested great efforts to find another party to ally with so as to assure his making the next Knesset should one ever be formed. The Blue White Party declined his requests, the Labor Party declined his offer, and he finally found one which agreed to accept a merger, and that party was Meretz. Together they will use the moniker of the Democratic Union. A spokesperson for the party released their statement stating, “The education minister this morning is moving a system meant to educate our system another step towards a system devoted to brainwashing,” So, what could possibly have been introduced by Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz that brought such an extreme reaction from our friends at the far left? For that we will quote Rabbi Peretz, the Education Minister, directly. He explained, “The connection to our heritage and history is the bedrock of our existence and is the glue that connects us as a society. We have the duty of education to safeguard it.” Additionally, Minister Peretz added as he spoke to Galai Tzahal on Army Radio, “Judaism is an ocean of wisdom. Students will be exposed to many values, morals and love. These values will help us establish a more values and moral society here.” What could possibly be so sinister in such a curriculum as to be considered brainwashing?

 

The first item which has to be considered is that both parties in the Democratic Union are a fair distance from supporting the religious world. The majority of their members are either purely atheist or secular humanist with merely the slightest belief in Hashem. They view religion in general and Judaism particularly as threatening to their beliefs and supported lifestyles. Torah morality does not support the many diverse and often indistinguishable genders as proposed by the leftists. Their usual depiction that Torah is hateful is the ban on sodomy. Of course, they never couch what Torah states as considering sodomy as a sin but claim that Torah teaches hatred of all gay people. That is so far from the truth. Torah teaches us to love and accept all, particularly all Jews, and to accept and treat all strangers with respect and acceptance asking only that they obey the Noahic Code and live under our rule respectfully. The teaching that sodomy is a sin is not and never was targeting the gay community as it also applies to heterosexual couples, or simply put, it is indiscriminate to sexuality as it bans all forms of sodomy. There is no law or even commentary that we are aware of which teaches Jews to reject gay people and especially no call for their hatred. If only the far left were as kind to the religious our society would be far more homogeneous and caring for each other.

 

The Democratic Union also complained that Rafi Peretz is ignoring such problems as class size, improve the status of teachers and that Rafi Peretz “introduced the racist Nationality Law into the high school curriculum.” The Nationality Law was passed this last session by the Knesset and as such, the teaching of the law and what it contains and does not contain is of importance as it is amongst the Basic Laws which define Israeli society and governance. The Basic Laws which define Israel are hopefully all taught and discussed by our high school students. Or does the Democratic Union believe that the Basic Laws should be kept a secret. We are willing to bet that students are taught about the number of seats make up the Knesset; how a Prime Minister is chosen; the duties of the President, Prime Minister, Knesset Members and the Ministerial positions with their duties. Further, Torah and the Bible are histories of the Jewish People and their Nationhood. The remaining history of the Jewish People after the Roman dispersion is equally important and deserves a place in the classroom. This is the idea behind the Edmund Burke quote, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Perhaps the Democratic Union is in favor of making the same mistakes over and over again. Their insistence that the education of our children should be bereft of Torah and Bible which represent almost two thousand years of early Jewish history reaching back to Abraham, Isaak, and Jacob along with Moses the lawgiver and on to Kings Saul, David, Solomon and beyond, the Prophets and Judges and so much more as well as covering the Zionist Movement’s history from before the Balfour Declaration through the British Mandate to independence and the 1948 war to annihilate the Jews and their nascent state and everything since is as ridiculous as it sounds at face value. The Jewish People have near to four-thousand-years of history which would take more than one class to cover. Without the history and all the trial and tribulations we went through and the perils which have struck the Jewish People in the past, how can the next generation avoid these same mistakes without a solid understanding from whence our people came, how we were defined and what ideas and ideals we hold dear? The simple answer is that such would be impossible.

 

The Secular Humanist idea is to not teach history as it actually happened but to redefine events to fit closely with their brave new world. Their syllabus for most history classes is formulated to highlight minority contributions while ignoring much of the people who formed governments and principles in the lesson plans. I witnessed such with my children in school in the United States in a quite progressive (read far left) area where the Secular Humanist agenda was the mainstay of their curriculum. Her year of American history did not include a single lesson where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin or any other Caucasian from American history other than Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and very little reference to the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers or anything written by Ben Franklin including Poor Richard’s Almanac. There was not a course in world history even offered. We will not even get into the mess which is the result of the newest math except to say that none of it made sense and I majored in math. They were told in algebra to guess until they found the answer, which works great if your answer is a whole number but not so well if the answer is the square root of -9 (which is 3i). Needless to say, we spent a fair amount of time teaching math and additional lessons in American and world history much to their chagrin. There is nothing wrong with teaching additional classes in the history of the Jewish People, both recent and Biblical and from all areas of the Diaspora with the greatest amount of straight honesty as possible (see maps of historic Israel below). This writer stands strongly against softening the history of our people for whatever reason is presented, be it to protect the student’s impressionable mind, to make everything less traumatic, or the real reason, to deny the students the standing to understand from whence they came and their long and impressive history so as to make the student more easily accepting to their newest ideas and concepts as well as believing that Secular Humanism is the most advanced societal philosophy and that Judaism, Torah and the Bible are nothing more than folk tales of little to no importance. Having seen how well such an approach to education in the United States and the products from their institutions of higher learning such as Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; we would prefer our youth have a better grasp on history and how to shape the future.

 

Israel Through the Ages

Israel Through the Ages

 

Never would we want to have any member of a ruling coalition putting forth the mistaken belief that Israel was a present given to the Jews by the European powers as an apology for the Holocaust when the reality is that it was part of the returning of lands to their indigenous peoples. Two of such promises caused the greatest amount of pushback from the Arab world; Israel and Kurdistan, both of which were also opposed by the British who were responsible for establishing both nations. Kurdistan fell when they discovered oil in Mosul and the Iraqi leader promised the British that J. Paul Getty could have the drilling rights. The British did much to mollify Arab opposition but Zionism won out and Israel did not suffer an identical result. Students need to know what lands were promised Israel which are the lands west of the Jordan River, what lands were promised us in the Bible, what lands we controlled at the various stages from the conquests under Joshua to the Greater Israel of Kings David and Solomon and that the term Greater Israel applies to that era of our history and has no meaning to modern Israel. These are some of the vital statistics and facts which our leaders of the future need to know in order to properly lead this precious nation. There are so many other facts which could be listed here, but they can also be found in numerous of our articles. We want future Israelis to have a solid knowledge of their roots both modern and Biblical and the philosophy of and what it means to be a Jew. Judaism is so much more than a religion as it is also a people and a family. Zionism is something to be proud about despite what many leftists claim as they do not believe in nationhood and desire a one world government under the auspices of such as the European Union or United Nations. They desire open borders and an end to the belief in Hashem and all religion for their concept of the perfect future. The future they envision has been attempted on a national scale before and has always resulted in a dictatorial governance and more often than not in mass killings to cull the populations and we will give you one guess who were considered unnecessary in such governance. Yes, we were most often amongst those targeted as it has always been easy to target the Jews as they were often few in number and never had political power under these systems. Atheism is the antipathy of Judaism and it is easy to tell those who believe in Hashem and those who believe that the human beings are the highest power in the universe (until the promised ET’s arrive) and we have seen these types before as they were the Hellenists from Greek culture during the times of Alexander the Great. They worshiped the human form and believed it to be supreme over all else while Judaism also values every human being but believe that every Jew can only be good if they practice being a good and religious people and act accordingly following Torah. We must also teach our children how Judaism and Torah formed much of the basis for civilization and the guiding principles of our Bible were the referenced liberally by Founding Fathers of the United States in the writing of the Declaration of Independence and numerous other principles incorporated in the founding of America. Why anyone would desire to have such knowledge denied to our children is confounding and implies some ulterior motive which often will end regrettably. Knowledge is the aim of education and our history and the founding writings of Torah, Bible, Talmud and the many other writings have a deep level of knowledge and provide a framework for making good and solid decisions. We ask again, why would we wish to deny such to our children?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 10, 2019

Israeli Election Midway Report

 

As many have realized or have been told, most of us here at BTC are Religious Zionists and this author belongs to HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) Party and, as previous writing made obvious, thinks very highly about Rafi Peretz as a capable and outstanding leader. That should take care of relating from what perspective we are viewing the political field and the events within. Most of the activity appears, by the reporting we have seen, to be taken on the left-leaning side of the political landscape. Still, there are some events on the right-leaning side of the map which are moving equally slowly as it appears neither side is in any hurry to actually present a final picture to the Israeli public. What is apparent on both ends of the political spheres is to shore everything up forming the largest coalition to present to the public in their attempts to assure that their side receives the mandates necessary to control the next Knesset and choose the Prime Minister. Fortunately, both sides are having an apparent equal measure of difficulty in herding all their parties into a single coalition such that no votes go unrepresented. As close as the last elections were, which was unsuccessful in forming a majority coalition forcing this unprecedented election immediately following an election; hopefully, no matter which side it turns out to be, this coming election will present a winner and Israel can once again have leadership which will hopefully also be an improvement over the current limbo we find ourselves suffering.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

The events on the left are hair-raisingly frightening, or threatening, depending on your particular view. What has developed is the potential for ghosts from the past attempting to rise back to their former glory, or at least this appears to be their view of the coming elections. The first sign that the past is attempting a return in the near future was the announcement of a new party on the left formed by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak which will be called The Israel Democratic Party. This is the new wrinkle calling his party by a name which appears to be initiated in order to confuse voters and disguise a new look Ehud Barak attempting to distance himself from his former disastrous political history. Part of the new look presented by Ehud Barak is his growth of facial hair as part of the new look Barak. Ehud Barak has not presented any list of names, famous or obscure, who will be part of who he presents to the voting public. This might be due to the fact that what he is attempting to do is have other parties merge with his new party and use it to chisel out a spot at or near the top of such a merged coalition. Where attempting to find some means of corralling a top spot on a list via new parties or simply stating an intent to be listed in such a list without even bothering to form a party, Ehud Barak is aware that his leading a new party will not provide him much if any of a chance of breaking threshold nor making it into the Knesset. But if we have Ehud Barak pegged accurately, his intent is not just to make it into the Knesset, he will also probably demand a share in the roll as Prime Minister perhaps demanding that he be granted at least one if not a two year stint as Prime Minister for the use of his name which he will claim has gravitas. Of course, Ehud Barak would likely be happy to simply be guaranteed a top portfolio such as Foreign Minister or as Defense Minister should a left-leaning coalition be formed.

 

Ehud Barak and His New Look and Beard with Same Worn Out Two-State Ideas

Ehud Barak and His New Look and Beard with Same Worn Out Two-State Ideas

 

But Ehud Barak is far from the most contentious announcement from the left-leaning side of the political spectrum, at least he formed a party. Approximately six months ago, upon the dissolution of the coalition between the Labor Party and the Hatnuah Party led by Tzipi Livni, Tzipi announced her retirement from politics and her acceptance that her Hatnuah Party had no possibility of reaching threshold. Tzipi Livni has apparently refused offers for the Hatnuah Party to join either the Labor Party, with whom she was previously aligned and has a new leader, or join Ehud Barak and his The Israel Democratic Party and instead making a grand offer, though we are willing to bet she would believe it to be her sacrifice to save the left in Israel. Tzipi Livni has hung out her tempting offer that were the entirety of the left form a grand coalition, she would accept a place within their list from which she would be guaranteed to be a Minister of the Knesset and also, she is likely to demand an important Ministerial position in the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

 

Both Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni are names closely associated with the “Two-State Solution” as the only means of reaching peace with Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority Arabs. Apparently, neither of these politicians has noticed that an ever-growing percentage of the Israeli public has put that era and thinking far behind them and hope to never return there in the future. They have also failed to come to the realization that Mahmoud Abbas, just as Yasser Arafat before him, refuses to accept a Jewish State no matter its borders. The Israeli government could place an offer on the table where all Israel would retain is the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area and Abbas would reject it as insufficient sacrifice by the Jews. Abbas views Israel and the Jews in a manner resembling that of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, namely that the Jews need to be protected by their superiors, the followers of Islam. Like the Iranian leader, Mahmoud Abbas refuses to accept the existence of Israel if it remains ruled by Jews. But both Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak, as well as Blue-White co-leader Benny Gantz, believe that there is some magic compromise where land for peace can produce an agreement with the Palestinian Authority. One can only fear what their solution to the threats from Gaza and Hamas with Islamic Jihad who are directed by Iran and Khamenei would be. Both of these politicians as well as the former generals, as a rule, are still living about two or three decades in the past when Israelis generally believed that there was some compromise which would provide for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. After the rejection of the deal offered in 2000 by Ehud Barak and the deal offered in 2008 under Ehud Olmert, Israelis began to realize by in ever-growing numbers that there was no such magical distribution of land between the two parties which would be acceptable and produce peace. For this reason alone, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak would actually cost any coalition including them votes as just their names on the list would be sufficient to scare numerous centrist Israelis into voting for the Likud or one of the right-wing parties. Yes, we list Likud separately as there have been some surprising and dismal political experiences which came from the loins of the Likud. There was Arik Sharon who was Prime Minister during the Gaza withdrawal, though, granted, he had to for the Kadima Party in order to manage to allow this to take place. Kadima was a party which took numerous left-wing politicians from Labor Party and some of the centrist to left-leaning members from Likud, one of which was Tzipi Livni, forming a new government without having new elections, something rather peculiar. Should the left-wing of Israeli politics, which is largely secular, continue to hold to the position that land for peace is still a viable path to peace and that surrendering parts of our ancestral home and parts of the lands which were part of the Mandate reserved for the Jewish State and only prevented through occupation by Egypt (Gaza) and Jordan (Judea and Samaria) after the 1948 war of intended annihilation of the nascent state of Israel by six Arab national armies, then they will soon find themselves politically irrelevant.

 

Not to be outside, there are equally insane movements and problems on the right side of the political scales. In the position most resembling Ehud Barak, we have two candidates, Zehut chairman Moshe Feiglin and New Right chairman Naftali Bennett. Neither of these two parties were able to clear threshold but should they form a coalition then the chances are very good that they would make it into the Knesset, though it would still be close. They are having a small number of difficulties currently. The first and potentially most serious problem concerns Bennet and his New Right Party which he and Ayelet Shaken formed when they split from Jewish Home. Currently, it is unknown whether or not Ayelet Shaked will remain as the number two behind Naftali Bennett or whether she will be placed on a list without her necessarily joining any party or if she might jump to another party. There were discussions about her joining the coalition in which Jewish Home is a member, the United Right (who comes up with these names?) providing she was placed in the top slot. This was thrown into serious doubt when the chairman of Tkuma, Bezalel Smotrich, publicly stated his total support for retaining Rafi Peretz at the top of their coalition, this pretty much put the kibosh on placing Ayelet Shaked in the top spot. There have been rumors surfacing twice and thrice every week that Ms. Shaked has joined Likud, has returned to the New Right, is going to run with the United Right or some scenario closely aligned. None have proven true as of yet and, if anything, Ayelet Shaked appears to prefer that all the religious-Zionist parties combine and that she be allowed to lead such a grand alliance. Meanwhile, Moshe Feiglin and Naftali Bennett have been having one of the most glorious arguments that has almost been delicious to observe. Both have made the claim that they should take the top spot in any combined list with the other taking the second spot. Why this has been so amusing is that almost no matter how they decide and having done so, actually clearing threshold, the person at the top of their combined ticket is not going to become Prime Minister. But this is just the introduction, the remainder is where it really becomes weird.

 

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

 

Every so often, advice from upon high comes down to the religious-Zionist and right-wing parties. We suspect that this holy advice can easily be traced to the apparent permanent Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu. Why and what are we referring to? That we can tell you with a single phrase, unwanted meddling. There comes one of the Likud Ministers every week to ten days advising the political parties with which Likud expects to form a coalition to all of them get over their minor squabbling and just form on nice big amalgamation party and be done with it. Of course, every time one of the Likudnics gives out these pearls of wisdom, the Likud goes up in the polls for next couple of days while a near equal number of mandates for the rest of the political right drop. This is a temporary situation but we expect that somewhere around three days before the September 17, there will start a steady stream of commentary about how the Likud Party needs ever vote that the right can spare and that if right-wing voters really want their votes to count, the Likud is their safest place. We cannot blame the Likud Party for attempting to maximize their list even at the potential loss for our own party, they want to make it clear that Bibi Netanyahu has to be chosen to form the next coalition. This method of scare tactics in the final days leading to the election actually cost Bibi last time as had he allowed for merely one or two percent of the Likud voters to have drifted to Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s New Right allowing them to clear threshold, then the Likud might have lost one Ministerial position but the right-leaning parties would have gained a net of three seats allowing for a coalition to have been formed. Bibi will never learn that lesson as he simply insists on running his campaign against the left-leaning parties until three days before the election when he trains his sights on those who are presumably going to be his allies in any government simply because he cannot help himself. Bibi must reign supreme, even at the cost to those who will be supporting him.

 

Meanwhile, Naftali Bennett and Moshe Feiglin continue to argue over who can bring in the most voters. Bennet points to his New Right falling just short of threshold versus Feiglin not even coming close. Feiglin, on the other hand, points out that as Bennett likely will not have Shaked joining him this election, and that she was the main vote getter, not he, thus Feiglin holds the claim to bringing the most votes. If Feiglin proves correct, then both of them better swallow their obviously high-octane egos and merge with one-another if not with the United Right. This is where it will get interesting as should all the parties to the right of the Likud merge, who gets to be numbers one, two and three on down the list. Rafi Peretz probably has the inside track and, in his case, it is not ego as much as it is that he was happily heading his Yeshiva and otherwise retired with little if any interest in becoming embroiled in politics. When Bennett and Shaked left Jewish Home and the party was lurching in need of a stabilizing influence and somebody to strike a definite direction and give the party the organization it required, Rafi Peretz was approached and originally declined and was subsequently persuaded, implored, swayed and finally convinced that he was not only the man for the job, but very likely the only person for the job. We have researched the gentleman and met him finding him gracious, personable but also with a stature and demeaner which while inviting also demands respect. None of this is surprising as just one part of his life, his career in the IDF, would make for a Hollywood movie. Rafi Peretz initially piloted a combat helicopter, quite admirable in its own right, retired from the IDF as a Brigadier General (our answer to the Blue White Party and their four generals) and was the Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces. The rest of his life was equally amazing as we covered here when describing the fifteen to twenty minutes we spent speaking with Rabbi Peretz at a Central Committee meeting. We just wish everybody in Israel could spend that amount of time talking with Rafi Peretz, but if that were to come to fruition, then Bibi would need to worry as Rabbi Peretz would quite likely become the next Prime Minister.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 8, 2019

The Score is not Over as of Yet

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:57 AM
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Bibi Netanyahu proudly announced that a ceasefire has been attained from the leadership of Hamas through the efforts of Egypt. What number ceasefire is this, ten, fifty, a thousand, is anybody counting or does anybody really care? We will be celebrating those who have fallen in the terror war which this year will include four additional souls who were sacrificed for peace. This was the phrase which Israelis heard constantly during the Oslo Accords as the Labor government labeled those killed by Palestinian Arab terrorism as those sacrificed for peace. They were the casualties of the peace process. This last round Hamas fired over six-hundred rockets into Israel and Israel responded with the usual, the Israeli Air Force carefully bombed the same series of empty buildings, yes, empty buildings. Hamas, or Islamic Jihad or both, fired a series of heavy bombardment on Ashdod testing the efficiency of the Israeli Iron Dome Systems and they learned that these systems have limits, even the vaunted Iron Dome, and a percentage of rockets pierced the Iron Dome shield. The terrorist army of Gaza (Hamas and Islamic Jihad plus whoever else is backing them as there could even be some IRGC forces from Iran behind some of these attacks) now knows that they can overload their attack and get a small percentage of rockets past two or three Iron Dome batteries. This tells them just a small amount as to how three or four systems would protect say Tel Aviv, as some have allowed their lips to part and their tongues to utter the reality we all knew, that rockets on Tel Aviv is a red line which if crossed will bring the full weight of the IDF into action. But such makes the people of Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva and all of southern Israel feel as if they are not worthy of protection as those in the wealthiest of cities in Israel. They question whether it is because Tel Aviv is where many of the “heavy-hitters” and the “movers and shakers” all reside within the Tel Aviv metropolitan areas, so is this what is required to be worth actually acting against rockets being fired twenty-four hours a day throughout the weekend but if they do not target Tel Aviv then the terrorists are mostly safe? The people of Israel, outside of Tel Aviv (and a fair number within Tel Aviv as they know they will reap the knowledge of how to beat Iron Dome when their time comes) are reaching a point which can only be described as ugly. The people living under these constant barrages are well beyond scorching angry. The kind of anger and feeling of hopelessness as the government appears to be failing them is best represented by one phrase from the movie Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Even if you never saw the move, never heard of the movie, this scene has taken on a life of its own and when people approach this state, then governments know they can no longer ignore the people, ignore the problems, ignore the situation which is causing the rising discontent and they start to consider actually doing something more forceful and directly targeting a solution.

 

 

But Israel just had an election and chose to continue with Bibi Netanyahu as our Prime Minister despite having other options. We are not talking about the Blue-White Party with its list of Generals from the IDF or the fact that they had three former Chiefs of Staff on their list. These three former Chiefs of Staff are partly responsible for the situation we face as they were instrumental in the decision-making process. These were the same Generals who tout that if Israel would just give the Palestinian Arabs their state, then everything would be rosy and it would shower lemon drops with the sunshine. They were not the solution needed but the political situation in Israel is a sticky problem. As long as the threats remain as they are, and as long as there does not arise a leader who generates the confidence and resolve to address these problems and end the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs as well as the Israelis under rocket fire, then Bibi Netanyahu knows that he is all but guaranteed to remain as Prime Minister for as long as he desires to lead the Likud Party. But there will come a day, hopefully not too far distant, where such a person will rise and challenge Bibi from the right rather than trying to best him from the left. The person we believe who could fill this bill is a man who is soft spoken but firm and strong. One who can excite people through his sincerity and the fact that he means exactly what he says and says what he means. A man of his word with a pedigree which would make for a challenger to Bibi who may arise sooner rather than later.

 

One person many have thought could be that man is a woman, Ayelet Shaked. She had an understanding, or at least this was what people believed, that she would not upstage Naftali Bennett. Now that Bibi targeted their New Right Party a couple of days before the election when he announced his intent to extend Israeli civil law to the settlements in the Shomron, the main point which Bennett and Shaked had been running their campaign around; they fell below threshold while Bibi gained as much as five additional mandates as he also took from the Combined Right led by our party, Jewish Home, though we still passed threshold. Bibi and Bennett have a history which may have fueled Bibi targeting Bennett’s Party which he formed when he all but destroyed Jewish Home the day after elections were called and he left the party taking the number two and number four people from what was our present Knesset list along with his position as chairman of the party. Jewish Home was leaderless and the New Right took half of our Knesset list as they ran out the door leaving destruction in their wake, but we rose in a stronger position in our belief. We weathered the storm and, in the end, may have found just what Israel needs and a potential answer to who could possibly replace Bibi and instill the faith of the people of Israel to trust a new leader with a new direction and new answers to the most vexing of the problems Israel faces.

 

Think of a man who spent their early years in the IDF as a combat helicopter pilot. Helicopters are not the easiest of vehicles to master, ask any pilot, fixed wing or rotary wing. He retired as a Brigadier General and was the Chief Rabbi for the IDF. That right there should answer any questions as to whether you can trust what this man says. On the other side, he understands combat and the risks and would not risk the precious lives of our IDF soldiers in any empty actions for political gain. He has a soft demeanor but commands respect and when he speaks, it is with a quiet strength which makes his words heavy with the force of truth behind them. The Israelis may get their first glimpse as the coalition is cobbled together. This person has already faced a form of challenge to his leadership within our ticket which was a group of parties with one led by a man with great drive and energy who thought he could force his way to unseat the chosen leader. This likely got him a nice quiet, calm, patient and even understanding reading of the riot act and he then settled down knowing he was not to try such again. There were no theatrics, no shouting, nothing that even the news reporters could discern which might have made for a tasty morsel in their articles. Things simply were straightened out and the rules cemented. Now comes the bigger game, the coalition and what price for the support of our group. This will be interesting as this person we have been describing has made it perfectly clear, annexation of Area C of the Shomron will be required to be largely annexed such that all the towns, cities, neighborhoods and industrial zones will be annexed and be placed under civil law and removed from military rule. This and the other lesser points will make for an interesting measure of who is the more forceful and stronger man between Bibi Netanyahu and Rafi Peretz.

 

Rafi Peretz had to be convinced to take the helm of the party as he had little if any desire for entering politics. That might make one believe that this would make him less likely to be anything other than the man filling in for the time being. General Peretz is not the kind of person who would take such a position with such an attitude. No, he was convinced that the Jewish Home Party required a person of his stature and caliber in order to make the Party credible again. A political party does not lose its leader and the next in line along with yet another critical member and just shake it off and continue on. When you are not one of the main parties in the polls, early ones had Jewish Home with zero mandates and we ended up with four or five depending one how one places the division between the three parties which made up the Combined Right group. Rafi Peretz was quoted speaking with Arutz Sheva soon after the Monday ceasefire took effect stating, “This battle needs to result in one thing: a clear sense of deterrence – but we didn’t not achieve that. We need to continue work to prevent attacks, continue to hit critical targets which we have the opportunity to strike at. We can’t stop this [campaign].” His words appear measured and not the words of a man satisfied with the current results. The one good thing about this ceasefire is that it was reached pretty much all on Bibi Netanyahu’s head as there is no real government seated currently. In the current Security Cabinet, you have people who will not even be in the next Knesset and missing some of the people who will be heads of departments and included in the Security Cabinet such as Rafi Peretz. We suspect that should there be another string of attacks from Gaza which result in as unsatisfactory an end as occurred this time, the coalition will be the cost as it is highly probable that Rabbi Rafi Peretz would pull our group from the coalition which will probably be sufficient to bring new elections. That is unless Bibi has something entirely different in mind.

 

Jewish Home Leader Rafi Peretz

Jewish Home Leader Rafi Peretz

 

We have covered the possibility for Bibi Netanyahu to find a peace through the recognizing of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority as the core for forming Palestine in our article “Expectations of Next Netanyahu Government.” This scenario would still exist but would also spell the termination of Bibi Netanyahu politically and clear the way for new leadership in the Likud and a shaking up of the right with unknowable results. The Likud would be divided by such a move as described there which would make it possible for one of the other right-wing parties to take in numerous disgruntled and angry former Likud members. But even without Bibi having a complete meltdown, there will come a period which will forever be known as the post-Bibi era. When that era arrives, we would be proud and pleased for the next Prime Minister after Bibi to be Rafi Peretz, but the smart money is split between Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked. Nobody has counted them as out, simply as down but the count has not reached ten. It will be interesting to see what they do, whether they stay together or split and exactly what Bennett will do to resurrect his party the New Right. We can guarantee one thing; Bennett will not pin his campaign on any single item but will have at least three points upon which he will base his hoped-for return. Fortunately, for the foreseeable future, Jewish Home and the Combined Right will be led by Rafi Peretz and this will be interesting to watch. Bibi may be the consummate political operative, Rafi Peretz was of command rank, well educated, capable as a helicopter pilot, the Chief Rabbi of the IDF and best of all, was not overly interested in entering politics and did so for the good of Israel, and it may be for that good which will end up propelling him into becoming Prime Minister. In the meantime, Rafi Peretz will pressure Bibi from the right and perhaps cause him to be more proactive in responding to provocations by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and whatever other terror group attacks Israeli citizens in any manner.

 

And that brings us back to the current imbroglio with Hamas. The way this ceasefire was reached remains murky and the reason behind making such a hasty arrangement could have everything to do with the Eurovision Song Contest which is being held in Tel Aviv. They should have insisted on holding it in Jerusalem as Hamas has not proven they can reach Jerusalem while we know they can reach Tel Aviv. Bibi was probably under quite a great deal of pressure to get things settled and settled immediately no matter the cost. This is not the way to be able to negotiate when your opposites know that you are desperate for the quiet which they control. What is the main problem is that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not exactly known for keeping their word or observing ceasefires. This recent weekend of rockets, over six-hundred at last count we saw, occurred during a ceasefire but somebody thought it might be fun to set off a barrage of rockets and once it started, well, it got out of hand. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are both aware that the reprisals from Israel largely strike the same targets over and over of which one is the Hamas training field which resembles a soccer pitch which bombing does little to destroy such a facility. Furthermore, much of Hamas’s and Islamic Jihad’s machine shops which make the rocket motors and bodies, chemical explosive production and other assets are buried deep underground and likely beneath hospitals, schools, mosques and other buildings which Israel is reluctant in striking as they would prove to be propaganda and news nightmares. Imagine the news wire streaming reports from Gaza that Israel bombed a Mosque, school, nursery or any other such sensitive target. No matter how much proof Israel could produce subsequent to such news that there existed a chemical shop making rocket warheads and fuels or a machine shop underneath making the rocket components or other military type targets placed underneath the sensitive structure, the European Union, United Nations, numerous United Nations Agencies, dozens if not hundreds of NGO’s would be screaming and headlines would persist for weeks and it would be a black eye for Israel as the world does not care about Israel’s right to defend itself, the majority of the world simply desires Israel to be erased and will do everything possible to assist in her demise. There is only one question which the world need worry over, will the Eurovision Song Contest continue through to its conclusion without a hitch or will it prove too wonderful a target for Islamic terrorist entities to resist. The whole idea of a singing contest is, to these supposed purists, completely anti-Islamic and sacrilegious. It would almost be a holy imperative for them to strike at the Eurovision Song Contest. This ceasefire which was so hastily cobbled together almost out of the blue may dissolve just as quickly and prove to have been a ruse to try and give Israel the idea that a respite was coming where there would be no rockets for quite some time. It seems we are always reaching ceasefires we hope are going to give us a respite and before we turn around, we hear the sirens, or reports of sirens depending on location, and people are sleeping with their children nestled around them in bomb-shelters. This is something which we are fairly sure that Rafi Peretz will insist that more definitive actions be taken should such occur while he is in the coalition.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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