Bibi Threatens Israel’s Soul, Elections Are Vital

Israeli Flag hanging outside Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, March 22nd 2024, photo taken by author.

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government” — Edward Abbey. 

In recent years, Israel has been grappling with a leadership crisis that goes beyond mere politics—it strikes at the very essence of the nation’s integrity and future. At the heart of this crisis lies the prolonged mishandling of governance by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose tenure has become synonymous with political maneuvering, personal ambitions, and neglect of the nation’s broader interests. Since October 7th his mishandling of the war against Hamas has shown that now more than ever a “true patriot” is obliged to stand up and demand immediate elections to rescue Israel’s soul from the grip of this egomaniacal leader.

Netanyahu’s leadership has been marked by a series of controversies and missteps that have eroded public trust and endangered the country’s democratic principles. One of the most glaring issues has been his persistent focus on personal survival and immunity from legal scrutiny, overshadowing the pressing needs of the Israeli people and the nation’s security.

A leader’s primary duty is to serve the interests of the nation above all else. However, Netanyahu’s prolonged stay in power has led to a dangerous concentration of authority, enabling divisive policies, and fostering an environment of political polarization. This has weakened the fabric of Israeli society and undermined the sense of unity and purpose that is essential for the country’s survival. By dividing the country into partisan populism he has set the people of Israel against themselves, all in the name of retaining power.  

While some may argue that he is a “true patriot” because he has managed to keep the country afloat despite mounting domestic and international pressures. It is imperative to point out that he has mainly done this by creating a cult of personality around himself, by focusing on nationalistic notions and while dancing a wicked waltz with religious fanatics has distanced himself more than ever from the interests of the majority of the Israeli public. Former US Representative Eugene Victor Debs’s warning on political tyranny rings eerily true now; “In every age, it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People”.

Moreover, Netanyahu’s mismanagement has exacerbated critical challenges facing Israel, from economic inequality and housing shortages to strained international relations. His approach has often prioritized short-term gains and political alliances over long-term strategic vision, leaving crucial issues unresolved and festering.

At the core of the matter is the erosion of democratic norms and the rule of law. Netanyahu’s government has been plagued by corruption scandals and allegations of abuse of power. Instead of upholding the principles of accountability and transparency, he has sought to undermine institutions that serve as checks and balances, threatening the very foundation of Israel’s democratic system.

A “true patriot”, cognizant of these dangers, would recognize that the time for change is now, regardless of the ongoing war. Immediate elections are not merely a political formality but a moral imperative to reclaim the soul of the nation. By calling for fresh elections, Israelis can chart a new course—one that reaffirms democratic values, restores integrity to governance, and revitalizes national unity. 

The call for elections is not about partisan interests but about safeguarding Israel’s future. It is a call to embrace leadership that is guided by principles of integrity, compassion, and vision—a leadership that places the nation’s interests above personal ambitions.

Opponents of a call to elections right now argue that it is not feasible due to the country being at war. An Ill-informed excuse as countless countries throughout history have done so. Countries that had more obstacles to hurdle, such as the UK during WWII when they enabled soldiers across the world to vote, leading to the ousting of the appeasing Neville Chamberlain and in his stead the well-renowned Winston Churchill. Someone or something willing to change will find a way, others will find an excuse. 

Benjamin Netanyahu’s prolonged tenure has posed a grave threat to Israel’s soul and democratic fabric. A true patriot would heed the urgency of this moment and demand immediate elections to break free from the grip of self-serving leadership. The fate of Israel’s soul hangs in the balance, and it is time for the people to reclaim their voice and chart a new path toward a brighter future.

Former US president Theodore Roosevelt said it best: “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise, he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

About the Author
Nadav Weil was born in Israel, and raised in the United States. He made Aliya upon graduating from High school. He is a recent Bar-Ilan University graduate, Writer, Mental Health and Tourette Syndrome advocate, and a passionate believer in travel being one of the best forms of education. It would be nearly impossible to find something you and he can’t relate to or find in common!
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