In a little over a week we head to the polling stations (again) to elect a leader most able to form the next fragile coalition. We go in search of someone to lead our country through the security quagmire and domestic social reforms that continue to tire and depress the nation.
In reality few of us want this day off work, this decision making pain, this waste of money. BUT we’re here and it’s our duty to vote to make a change.
Between the well thought through ad agency slogans of; us or him, me or them, Bibi go home…. our eyes and ears have been filled with childish and instantly forgettable empty pledges and slanders. Now we’re left to make our voting choice based on personality alone.
Like many, I’ve attempted to navigate the party websites trying to find some meaning in their claims to raise the country economically, to unite the mixed population and repair international perceptions, but to no avail.
Most parties have failed to document any kind of manifesto worth the pixels it’s digitally printed on, those that have make the wildest claims of being our knight in shining armor, a leader who will ride in upon a white donkey and fix all that has become decayed, corrupt and broken.
I don’t buy it. Not one ounce of it.
In any normal country these claims may have a substantive base, however in our little corner of the world where every leader is daily bogged down by two critical and career threatening weights, we see what we always see…that all the best intentions mean little more than a child’s promise to always keep his room tidy.
The two bogs of pain for every leader are simple:
1. Our fragmented political system always results in a weak coalition where keeping all sides happy (and preventing threats of ship-jumping) invariably means nobody is kept happy long enough to complete their mission.
2. The international community. Here we can combine neighbors who vow our destruction together with friends who share our democratic philosophy but fail to understand and support our tenuous position.
Both these factors result in plans being re-prioritized, neglected and eventually left on the political scrap heap to moan over at the next election. Yes Bibi has had 6 years to find peace with the Palestinians, though it takes two sides to want peace. Yes Bibi has had 6 years to bring down the cost of living, we are beginning to see signs.
However real action requires real commitment from not just the leader, but importantly it requires the full support of both the coalition AND the media. Neither of which Bibi has enjoyed.
And so… with just over a week to go we’re left with the populace demanding change, Bibi has had 6 years in office where apparently, all he’s done is upset the world and achieved little domestically. Combine this with his wife who’s an unfair boss and way too thrifty for the media to stomach.
Again, I don’t buy it. Not a single solitary ounce of it.
Bibi put his career on the line last week by standing firm and speaking to Congress and the American people. The 12 standing ovations together with the affirmations from Saudi Arabia and other friendly Sunni states should stand testament to the clarity of his message and the dangers this bad deal poses to the entire world.
This election has come about for many reasons, not least the dangerous politicizing by both coalition partners an a constant stomach churning assaults by the left-wing controlled media.
In reality, our security standing has never been stronger, Hamas are a spent force after both our ruthless operation last summer and our friends in Cairo who’ve done more to end the flow of arms into Gaza than anyone in history. A great source of pride and unity was seen when our military technologists again proved their value with the immense Iron Dome capabilities
Hezbollah have done little more than threaten. Simply put, our military deterrent remains strong. Our trade with India and China is on course to outstrip that of the USA. Our little start-up nation is now boasting swaths of actual and potential billion dollar companies.
Our man Bibi may not be best we’ve ever had, or will have. The Likud may not be everyone’s ideal choice. Though the alternatives to Bibi should fill nobody with confidence.
The time has come for the people of Israel to stand firm, strong and give a solid mandate to Bibi to lead un-fettered by the demands of fly-by-night parties, centrists or left wingers who seek only to regain power lost dramatically after the futile Oslo foray for peace.
The time has come, whether you like him or not, to put faith in the only leader we currently have who’s simultaneously respected by our international friends and feared by our enemies.
We have 10 days to avoid coming back to the ballot box too soon.
I’ve been in Israel for 9 years, and sadly this will be my 4th election. We might not be able to control our external enemies, but we can deal our internal ones and not vote for parties who may not exist at the next election, not vote for parties who run on joint lists just to secure their own power base without a solid platform, and not vote for parties or people who will only serve to weaken a coalition.
The time has come to end the fragmentation of the Knesset, give one man the power he needs to truly lead us into a prosperous and safe future.
So I say…if you really want change. Vote Bibi.