I wish that the election results in Israel on Tuesday had come out differently. I wish that in order to pull off his miraculous comeback victory, Benjamin Netanyahu did not have to isolate Israel further by claiming that no Palestinian State will happen while he is Prime Minister. I wish that Bibi did not need to make racist anti Israeli Arab statements in order to scare people into voting for his Likud party. I wish that Israel would not have continue to endure the greatest income disparity in the Western world over the next few years brought on by the heartless policies of King Bibi and his circle of oligarchs. I wish that Israel did not have to face the most right wing, religiously fanatic coalition in its history, likely reversing great strides made by the last government in getting Haredi society to contribute to the defense of the country. I wish that the new coalition does not increase subsidies for thankless fanatics who don’t work and don’t contribute to the defense of the country.
I wish that the newly empowered Arab bloc, all citizens of Israel did not refuse to join a coalition and used their influence to denounce violent conflict and promote equality in Israel for all its citizens. I wish that the people of Israel had voted with their pocketbooks and not their fears. I wish that my Israeli friends on the right would not tell me who to vote for here in the US, disparage me for not hating President Obama and question my Zionist bona fides because I’m a Democrat, then tell me to stay out of Israeli politics because I don’t live there. I wish that my Facebook wall and my Twitterverse was not filled with ignorant gloating by those who whitewash an at best mixed record on security that Bibi and the Likud have. I wish the voters of Israel had taken into consideration the failure of the Likud government to uncover the Gaza terror tunnels and their failure in last summer’s Gaza war.
I wish that Bibi had exercised better judgment and not driven a wedge between American supporters of Israel and that he did not use the false premise of Israel’s security to meddle in US politics. I wish that Israel did not have to endure a future with Israel’s Marie Antoinette, Sara Netanyahu and her use of the Israeli treasury as her personal checking account. I wish that people would recognize the mediocrity of Benjamin Netanyahu and not idolize him for his gift of gab. I wish Israel did not face more years of Ultra Orthodox rabbinic hegemony over matters of marriage, death and conversion. I wish that illiterate Haredi yeshiva students did not get subsidies from the government while half Jewish Russian immigrants fight and die for it.
I wish that Israeli voters had focused on Isaac Herzog’s intellect rather than the pitch of his voice. I wish that Israeli elections were conducted with dignity and not the lowest common denominator. I wish that Israel would live up to the vision of her founders and not the sound bites of political consultants. I wish for Israel the best but I worry about her direction. I wish Netanyahu was not such an egomaniac and that his most talented deputies did not leave him in droves.
The jury is still out. Netanyahu might still surprise us and cobble together a competent government, improve the economy, make Israelis safer and level the playing field for all of Israel’s citizens. Perhaps the center parties won’t give Bibi the necessary support he needs and Buzi will pull off a miracle and form a government. Perhaps I’ll win the lottery and retire. One can wish anyway, right?