Beyond the Cusp

March 11, 2019

Israeli Election Update Left vs Right


The first thing one need understand about Israeli elections is that the polling is very often slanted leftwards. This slant is not as severe as it once was, but it still exists. Thus when Haaretz has a poll, no friend to the right by any means, claiming that the right is closing the gap and that the Likud and Bibi Netanyahu are closing and may soon be even with the Blue White Party of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, then that is probably exactly what has happened and the bet now is could the left even form a coalition should they be given the opportunity. This is where things start to get sticky and personal feelings and hurt pride can play a huge role. After the elections results have come in and everything has been tallied, then all eyes will be on President Reuven Rivlin, formerly from the Likud Party where he and Bibi had a number of serious quarrels leading to Bibi not supporting him for President, though much of the party was behind him. The President is not bound to even choose the party with the most mandates for Knesset Ministership. He is not bound technically by any sort of legal limitations on who he chooses, why he chooses, or how he chooses. The reality eventually will settle the problem as the President from past traditions has always chosen one of the top two parties and their reasoning has almost always been that the party is most likely to be able to form a ruling coalition with at least sixty-one seats. Many of the polls show that the left, even if the Arab Parties were to accept an invitation to join the coalition, something which would be a break with their normal stance of refusing to be a part of any Israeli ruling coalition, they would probably need to find somewhere between five and seven more mandates.


Bibi Netanyahu, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Yair Lapid, General Benny Gantz, Bezalel Smotrich, Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Lieberman, Avi Gabbay, Aryeh Deri

Bibi Netanyahu, Rabbi Rafi Peretz,
Yair Lapid, General Benny Gantz, Bezalel Smotrich,
Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Lieberman, Avi Gabbay, Aryeh Deri


The results of this poll have some very interesting predictions which include that Yisrael Beiteinu Party headed by Avigdor Lieberman and the Gesher Party each fail to pass threshold of 3.25% with their receiving 2.0% and 1.8% respectively. On the other side of threshold for the first time is Moshe Feiglin and his right-wing Zehut Party with a solid 4.0% showing. Quoting from the Haaretz article, they point to this, “Even more significant is the fact that the right-wing, ultra-Orthodox bloc is overtaking its rivals big time, and in this instance its makeup is rather different and surprising.” What they are referring to is that they are finding that these parties are making inroads in areas formerly considered to be solidly left leaning, even in neighborhoods where the extreme left once ruled unchallenged. There is just under a month to go before Election Day, and anything can happen. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has yet to decide if he will press charges against Prime Minister Netanyahu and if he is to do so, will he decide to press these charges before the election or immediately after the election and either way, will he insist the Supreme Court rule that he is ineligible to hold the Prime Ministership while under indictment. Should Mandelblit press the charges after the election and have Bibi Netanyahu barred from holding the position of Prime Minister, you can bet the losing side of the elections will be howling demanding immediate new elections and the invalidating of the results from April 9 elections. Mandelblit has in the past declared that his office is the final decider on any legislation passed by the Knesset and it is where he decides what is best for the country and what the laws should be. With such an attitude and currently holding so many variables even to the point that he can alter orders given to the IDF by the Prime Minister and can counter orders within the IDF all in concert with the Supreme Court which has assumed such a role with the Attorney General ever since Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, who served as such from 1995 to 2006 and had been on the bench since 1978 while serving as Attorney General for three years before being appointed to the Supreme Court, and believed that the Supreme Court held supreme power over all the other branches of government and much of the government and private sector when he claimed that, “everything is adjudicable.” With this ruling, the Supreme Court became the final arbiter of laws becoming empowered to override any action from the Knesset, overrule the Prime Minister, make law which was considered necessary and virtually every other level of power now sat with the Supreme Court. His legacy has had the Supreme Court countermand orders given be IDF commanders which, in our humble opinion, are simply one-step too far over the line. But why would that stop a court whose President erased all the lines which might have previously restrained the court. One can only wonder when the Supreme Court might decide that they get to appoint members of the Knesset and choose the next Prime Minister, that is about the only area they have kept their hands clean.


There are any number of variables going from numerous different directions and we have not even reached one that would have the most direct influence on the elections, terrorism. Probably the one item which could have the most direct influence on the election would be if Hamas with Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Authority with the PLO or Hezballah with or without troops from Iran and Syria decided to disrupt the Israeli elections and began launching rockets into Israel; this would have a huge affect on the results of the Israeli elections. Bibi Netanyahu would stand to have the most to lose simply because every step he would take would be second-guessed and criticized by those who wish to unseat him, namely General Benny Gantz (ret) and former Chief of Staff. Of course, the media would be piling on both candidates leading their parties, Gantz sharing the role with Yair Lapid, one never to allow much to restrain his criticisms of the Prime Minister and anybody else which came into his sights. Every decision would be scrutinized and taken apart to be inspected piece by piece while whatever Gantz would offer receiving similar second-guessing. Our role in this has already been posted in our article which took a fairly strong look at the career of General Benny Gantz titled, “Benny Gantz’s Israel.” We would be willing to bet that Gantz would once again remind voters that he was a general and Bibi merely a Seren (Captain). We may not have pointed directly at why this is not a fair assessment but the achievements, or lack thereof, by Benny Gantz in his less than spectacular military career where he spent much of his time not making mistakes by not making decisions whenever possible. This, as we state in the above linked article, had some serious and unholy results for which he has never really been held for the scorn and disparagement he deserved. All too often, people are impressed by the fruit salad adorning most generals’ chests, which is unsurprising when they can assign themselves any form of award to add to their salad as they choose. We would not be surprised if at some point a general assigned himself ribbons for his chest because his wife liked the colors and the way they blended. We are not attempting to infer that Gantz had ever done so as we would not disparage a man of such misconduct without absolute proof. There are sufficient deficiencies in his record that we do not need to invent anything additional.


Should rockets start to fall on Israelis from Gaza or Lebanon with Hamas/Islamic Jihad or Hezballah being the source respectively or Iran launching from within Syria, Iraq or even with ballistic missiles from Iran which have sufficient range to reach Israel and can be tipped with anything from large high explosive warheads, biological warheads, chemical warheads or potentially even nuclear warheads, the reactions from the IDF as per instructions from the Knesset and Prime Minister will be criticized from every angel. There will be claims that Bibi is holding back and not responding sufficiently and at the same time others will claim he is seeking to cause an escalation so he can look tough on terrorism and everything inbetween. There is also the possibility that the Palestinian Authority using the PLO terrorist brigades and civilians promised financial rewards in the pay-to-slay program run by Mahmoud Abbas which rewards Palestinian and Israeli Arabs commensurate to the numbers of Israelis they murder and maim, this would pose probably the most difficult decisions as overreaction would be the standing criticism unless Bibi did nothing, and then it is obvious what the critics would be claiming. What we have never quite been able to figure is why the terrorist entities would desire attacking when Israel is going into an election as that usually results in a more right leaning selection for the Knesset as such a situation immediately makes security the most important issue. This is even more crucial in this election as it might reveal the realities of how far to the left Benny Gantz actually leans as well as his partner, Yair Lapid. Thus far, as we see things, Benny Gantz is leaning on his having been Chief of Staff and that this makes him far better suited to be Prime Minister than anyone else plus their party list has three other generals making theirs the party with the highest number of ranking staff personnel. Add in Yair Lapid who was a news anchor and can be convincing reading off any teleprompter no matter what he is being told to say. This allows these two to appear before any group and speak to the crowd giving them whatever they desire to hear. We just hope that these pretenders are revealed for what they are and their true beliefs laid bare for all to see and make an honest assessment. This is not to intimate that there are no Israelis who would be proud to have these two sharing the Prime Minister’s office, there are many for whom these two would be their dream team. Still, the big potential for a surprise still lies with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and whether he decides to utilize the legal system and Supreme Court as well as his powers to force the Likud to put a new candidate at the head of their party a mere few days before the elections thus making it near impossible for anybody to discover his qualifications and very possibly scaring many from voting Likud. If a mere twenty percent were to vote for Blue White instead of Likud, that could completely change the entire composition of the election results which could turn out to be very dangerous for Israel in the short term. Fortunately, Israel will have a healthy and great future as things improve and grow ever brighter as time passes, and this we have believed for quite some time and have watched it begin to unfurl.


Beyond the Cusp


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