The recent polls for the upcoming election have indicated that Bibi should prepare to step down from the premiership and make room for Buji. As captain of Bennett’s cheerleading squad, this news comes as a serious and worrying disappointment. I understand that people in Israel are fed up with the high cost of living. I understand that Israel’s current relations with the Obama administration are at a low and why that’s most concerning. I understand why Israelis are sick of hearing about Iran. And, of course, I understand why the populace of this country wants a permanent solution to what feels like an eternal conflict with the Palestinians. I, too, as a Jew and an Israeli, am praying for a different and more hopeful future.
In terms of the economy, the results of this election will likely spark positive reform with Kahlon’s almost guaranteed spot as minister of finance. With regard to Obama, people need to stop worrying about the downfall of that relationship. If anyone heard Netanyahu’s speech, saw the standing ovation he received, and understood how the American government works, they can confidently say that the Israel-US alliance is still a strong and unbreakable bond. The nations were founded on the same beautiful ideology, and one president who disagrees with the prime minister’s policies cannot change that. As for Iran, no one wants to hear that the leader of a country is tweeting about the destruction of their land, their home, their everything. It’s true that on a daily basis, the Iranian threat does not weigh us down as much as paying bills, but it is precisely for that reason that we need reminders that the threat is still growing and very much so alive. It comes as no surprise that Jews are attempting to paint a prettier picture than the one that Bibi refuses to let us disregard. I will not ignore Bibi’s words, even if he’s been saying the same ones for 20+ years.
The conflict with the Palestinians, however, is my primary concern for these elections. My concern is not necessarily how to solve it, because at this time there is no partner for peace, but rather that the situation will only worsen if the left is elected. I am in utter shock that the Israeli public is buying into the left’s pathetic solution to fixing it. Their stance is to give up land and repeat the same mistakes they have made in the past. The disengagement from Gush Katif in 2005 was a travesty to the Jewish people. It broke our nation apart, forced our beloved soldiers to commit a crime against their will, and allowed our enemies to create a terror fortress where flourishing green houses once stood.
Have we forgotten that these tactics have been tried time and again, and have only made the situation deteriorate further? Have we forgotten that the other side wants all or nothing? Have we forgotten the lyrics of ‘Jerusalem of Gold’ and the tears shed when it’s sung (yes, I cried when Bennett whipped out his guitar)? Have we forgotten the 2,000 years of exile during which we prayed to return to Zion? Have we forgotten the thousands who died fighting for Jerusalem?
I know Israelis have not forgotten. I know that even the captain of Meretz’s cheerleading squad has not forgotten. We all care and we all love this country. Otherwise, not every billboard would have a campaign logo, not every news article would be discussing the elections, and not every conversation would be political. This election affects us all, as a nation and as a people. It will affect our future and the future of our children. Each of us strives for peace and for those children to never need to know what an IDF uniform feels like on their skin or the trauma of running to a bomb shelter. The fundamental difference between the left and right, though, is that the former is lying to themselves and creating a false reality, whereas the latter refuses to forget history in order to pave the path for a better, stronger, and more united Israel. The former is willing to let go of all that we’ve built, aside from Tel Aviv, for the sake of an unrealistic peace, not realizing that once the other side attains parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank, it will demand Tel Aviv as well. The latter may promote maintaining the status quo and only negotiating once there is a moderate figure that will accept our nation as a Jewish democratic state in this land, but that will, and always will be, a better reality than one where Israel is only found on maps of the past.