Most Americans, Jews included, cannot understand the Israeli political situation. They see a prime minster mired in various legal battles involving allegations of corruption, yet somehow able to outpoll the center left opposition. Three elections and they cannot dislodge Bibi Netanyahu. The answer lies in the motivation of most Israelis. They vote for security. American vote their wallets. ‘It’s the economy, Stupid,” doesn’t work in Israel.
Progressive Americans, who cling to the idea of a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict watched in horror as Trump and Netanyahu worked out a peace plan that blew up a flawed paradigm that has been the center of US foreign policy for almost 50 years. In large part, the opposition to the plan is centered around a personal hatred of both Trump and Netanyahu. They have been attacked from all angles, including from the liberal biased media, judiciary and security apparatus. They have pulled out all the stops in order to defeat them both, even if the proposed solution might break the deadlock that has left thousands of dead on both sides and economic ruin for the Palestinians.
Saying this Netanyahu government, if he’s able to cobble together 61 votes, may end the viability of a two-state solution is pure speculation. But whose fault will that be? If the Palestinians wanted a state, they could have had one decades ago. The true solution will not be a one state solution; Palestinian cantons, however they choose to rule themselves, are more likely. No one knows better than the Israelis themselves what a single state solution would mean. Let’s break through the insistence that Israel will wind up either a democratic state with a Palestinian state alongside it, or it will be undemocratic and oppressive to a Palestinian majority in order to preserve the Jewishness of the state.
I am not buying into the “apartheid” argument, either. Israel isn’t going to subsume millions of Palestinians. There are other ways to deal with them other than to become a single state and thereby be a minority. It’s time that some of these pundits begin to think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be a dichotomy of either Jewish or democratic but not both. Israel can have both. And the Palestinians will smolder as they have for a near century in their areas due to their own intransigence, terrible leadership and corruption.
Lastly, if the Palestinians continue to teach their children Jew-hatred, then Israel will need to continue defending its citizens. The progressives either choose to ignore or just simply excuse this reality. There is another side here which needs to think and act and be held responsible for those acts. I’ve long grown weary of Jews speaking for the Palestinians.
Realizing that Netanyahu is not Satan in all of his doings; realizing that most Israelis, 36 seats worth, care more for the safety of their children and their country than whether or not their prime minister accepted cigars and champagne as gifts, we can come to understand why Netanyahu succeeds.
He is anathema to most Americans who don’t understand Israeli power politics. We do not realize how coalition politics work. Shame on the progressives, and fellow Jews, who speculate and “cry wolf” when the actual wolves aren’t necessarily from the Israeli side.
For all his flaws, Netanyahu is a patriot. His foresight and vision while serving as finance minister liberalized and unleashed the hi-tech economy Israel currently enjoys. During his current run as prime minister, he has maintained Israel’s security. The alternative of a Blue and White led center left coalition minority government supported by the anti-Zionist and communist Arab Joint List is terrifying.
The picture is still unclear and the situation fluid. There is even the possibility of a fourth election. One thing is clear, Bibi Netanyahu may be weakened, but no challenger has come close to knocking him off his perch.
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