The blessing of the Israeli election being called early is that it truncates the electioneering to a short few months which is a very short time frame especially if the party plans on having a primary to determine their roster of candidates and their order which can be very important as nobody wants to be the person occupying the roster position one or two positions higher than the number of mandates garnered by their party. Such was the case in one of the primaries where a recount made the difference placing one candidate likely beyond electable position and in their place within reasonable expectations the person who otherwise would have occupied the cold seat beyond expectations. The brevity also allows for parties to misrepresent their positions and makes it difficult for the opposing parties to reveal and lay out the truth about their opponent’s positions and the ramifications of such. This has led to some strange situations where the nationalist parties have stressed security and a strong stance against Iran and Arab terrorism with the religious Zionist parties stressing retaining every inch of what is defined as the lands for the Jewish State and they are very firm on this point. At the leftist end of the spectrum we hear that the claims that Iran is a threat and terrorism is a major threat are simply ploys trying to scare the electorate into voting for the right wing and national Zionist parties. The leftists claim that what is the central point is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been responsible for much of the terrorism and the threat from Iran is overblown as United States President Obama has stated he will prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons through the P5+1 Iranian negotiations and that the speech that Prime Minister Netanyahu gave to the United States Congress was simply just electioneering and grandstanding and held no resemblance to reality. They claim that the real challenge to Israelis are the high cost of living and the lack of the Knesset under Netanyahu had ignored the central issues of adequate and affordable housing, acceptance of same-sex marriage, lower food prices and a plethora of social issues pertaining to family cost of living, single parent homes, rights for non-Jews, and the pursuit of a respectful peace through the two states for two peoples framework. The left claim that they are needed so as to repair the relations with the United States, particularly with the White House as Prime Minister Netanyahu has alienated the relations with the President and strained relations with the United States to the breaking point and they know they can work with President Obama and together they will be able to reach a peace with the Arabs which will provide peace and an end to terrorism.
Never mind reality, we are talking about elections which are often removed from reality. The perception is that the two sides of the political spectrum not only hold different and even diametrically opposing views, they cannot even admit to each other the definitions of the problems facing Israel. The right sees threats on almost every front while the left sees mainly domestic threats. The right claims Israel must retain as much if not all of the lands of Judea and Samaria and definitely a unified Jerusalem. The left claims that by surrendering all of the lands beyond the Green Line including the eastern half of Jerusalem that there will be no change to traveling to visit the wall as there will be peace and thus an end to terrorism. Iran does not even appear on the leftist shopping list of problems while same-sex marriage and minority rights are nowhere to be seen on the rightist, nationalist agenda. Obviously both parties cannot be right and it will not be easy for the average voter who has not been all that attentive to the world situation and politics to discern which side is correct in identifying the problems before the Election Day arrives and they must vote. This is where the media has been less than forthright in their coverage of the elections. The media has ridiculed and been disparaging treating the claims from the nationalists who identify keeping a hardline approach to negotiating with the Arabs and not surrendering additional lands and are very wary of the nuclear program in Iran and the threat a nuclear armed Iran would pose not just to Israel but the world and the rest of the Middle East. The most egregious adventurism has been the cooperation and unified front being presented by President Obama, the European political elite and the world leftist dominated media in mocking the nationalists as alarmists and painting a picture of the world as being peaceful and not full of threats against the nations of Israel portraying the most pressing problems in Israel to be identified step for step in sync with the leftist agenda.
This plotting gets worse because the average voter does not have the time to research deeply into the problems of the times and easily is confronted with monthly bills, food prices, petrol prices, traffic delays and the plethora of problems in day-to-day living and they do not have the time to assess the world scene so they rely on the media for such information. As an example of the media slant one need look no further than the coverage given Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of the United States Congress. Nearly all the coverage quoted Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi’s comments, “insult to the intelligence of the United States,” and it had her “near tears” through most of the speech. For the sake of repetition and in case you missed it; here is the entirety of Ms. Pelosi’s official statement,
The unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel are rooted in our shared values, our common ideals and mutual interests. Ours is a deep and abiding friendship that will always reach beyond party. Americans stand shoulder to shoulder with the Israeli people. The state of Israel stands as the greatest political achievement of the 20th century, and the United States will always have an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.
That is why, as one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.
Today, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated something we all agree upon: a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable to both our countries. We have all said that a bad deal is worse than no deal, and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons is the bedrock of our foreign policy and national security. As President Obama has said consistently, all options are on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.
This was very likely the most covered commentary on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s historic speech to the United States Congress. It also provided so many notable quotables that the media had a field-day choosing what each writer felt were the most damning words. But there were also the criticisms from President Obama who had some very specific complaints of the speech for somebody who attested that they did not see the speech but had perused a summary given before the speech of what Prime Minister Netanyahu would say. President Obama went to great lengths to insist that the choice presented by Netanyahu was between the deal which the President assured all was an excellent deal in the makings or war. Netanyahu’s alternative to the peace being sought by the P5+1 with Iran was war. The Prime Minister added nothing new to the conversations and his alternative was war. This last assessment is probably the closes to being factually accurate but still suffers from the greatest lie put out from the White House, namely that Netanyahu was proposing to go to war with Iran. Even before the speech President Obama was casting aspersions on the coming speech claiming it would offer nothing new, simply that the Prime Minister would claim that the peace being negotiated was inadequate and a bad deal and that war was necessary to stop Iran. The war claim was also omnipresent despite it being a completely false claim. What Prime Minister did say concerning war were the following quotes,
To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.
This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.
Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.
Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war. The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.
Notable in these quotes is that in none of them does the Prime Minister expect or even desire that the alternative be war, he precisely stated the opposite when he proposed that the alternative should be a better deal. This was his comment which flat laid it out where he stated, “Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.” His stand was definitely against war but instead he spelled out using the same sanctions which were used originally to bring Iran to the table in the first place, the same sanctions President Obama is so overtly anxious to lift off of Iran having removed many of them during secret talks held without even informing the other members of the P5+1 group which are France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany. History will note should a nuclear exchange emanate from the Middle East either between Middle Eastern and North African nations or launched in a first strike from within the Middle East on Europe or the United States or Canada that the situation was due to the releasing Iran from the economic sanctions without having first attaining a stronger deal that the agreement reached and that Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu had warned that the sanctions needed to be reapplied and a far better deal needed to be the goal,
One might expect the above to be all over the media in Israel. It is almost nowhere to be found, especially not in the television or radio news or even in the majority of the print media. There are a few journalist and editorialists sprinkled throughout the print media such as Caroline Glick at the Jerusalem Post who give the nationalist news makers the recognition they deserve but are rarely mentioned by such as Haaretz, probably one of the iconic names in news around the world as it has an English edition which is politically right in line with the leftist Jewish audiences in Europe and the United States where it is almost considered the official representation of the news that is news. Instead you find every negative story imaginable against Netanyahu and favorably slanted coverage of Yitzhak Hertzog and little mention of Tzipi Livni as her name has polled as negative influence and that Hertzog is far more acceptable to the Israeli public thus Tzipi is ignored despite the rumors that she will be Prime Minister the first two years and Hertzog the last two years if there is still an Israel left to govern. There are now a mere five days until the elections.
The most unbelievable news which should be spread across the top of every news source in Israel, we will see today what coverage this gets, is the statement from the Palestinian Authority that they were arresting as many Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as they could find in order to prevent any attacks between now and the elections so that the people will be more inclined to vote for Hertzog and Livni than for Netanyahu and the nationalists. It has also been reported, unsurprisingly, that the Arab leadership is already salivating over having Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Hertzog as Prime Minister of Israel. The descriptions given of the two candidates qualifications they most profoundly admired were also revealing. They claimed that Tzipi Livni was responsible for the terms in the 1701 peace accord which was to be enforced by UNIFIL forces in Lebanon and the terms in this agreement were so lenient and poorly written that instead of preventing Hezballah rebuilding their positions and rearming, it had allowed Hezballah to rebuild, add onto their bunker and tunnel networks and resupply and add to their rocket arsenal increasing it twenty fold and also being allowed to gain longer range rockets and even some guided missiles which now enable Hezballah to strike all of Israel and to target reliably targets in central Tel Aviv and the Dimona complex in the Negev regions. And as far as Yitzhak Hertzog their assessment is that he is a weak and timid person who will be easily pushed and shoved into making weak deals which will provide the Arabs with the advantage in any dealings. The Arabs also note that both Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Hertzog have stated that they plan on repairing relations with the White House and forming an alliance with President Obama and using his guidance to seek a pathway to peace with the Arab Authority and pursue the two state solution stipulated in the Oslo Accords. They are expected to bring great rewards and potentially the downfall of Israel should they be elected and chosen to lead Israel. It is towards this end that all terror operations have been stifled and placed on hold until after the election so as to give the appearance that terrorism is over and the situation is ripe to make sacrifices for peace and that is the reasoning behind this quiet lull Israel is experiencing. Of course that is unless one decides to go up onto the Temple Mount. Enter the Temple Mount and the truth becomes evident, but that is of little matter as so few will enter the Temple Mount and those who do will not vote in a manner conducive to the Arab aims for the destruction of Israel once they gain all of Judea and Samaria and hold the high grounds overlooking the heart of Israel, a heart they intend to pierce with the same rockets which have made Sderot into a ghost town during the last war with Hamas in Gaza, that will be the fate of Tel Aviv and its surrounding suburbs from Ashdod to Netanya. Will five days be long enough or will Israel once again learn the hard way that Never Again was more than a polite phrase to be chanted at rallies and otherwise forgotten.
Beyond the Cusp