Benji Lovitt
Because the Middle East is Funny

Bibi Won. Please Tell Me Now What?

So it seems likely that Bibi will remain Prime Minister. He may be among the most surprised. In recent days, he seemed to be panicking. He reminded me of a sports team who will do whatever it takes to win even if they have to play dirty, complain to the refs, etc. Typically the next time the teams play, there is payback (meaning, consequences). He pulled out all the stops: fear, negativity, alienating a fifth of his own country, fighting the Central Elections Committee by claiming that he and only he was being denied the right to speak on TV on election day, and choosing the interesting time of ONE DAY BEFORE ELECTIONS to make a major policy change. You won, Bibi. Now what? What consequences will there be?

I became anti-Bibi in recent years, not as much because I am against what he stands for but because I don’t even know what he stands for. I haven’t heard him tell us. We know what he doesn’t stand for….what WILL he stand for? We have no State of the Union address and he gave us nothing in his campaign aside from “not the left, no nuclear Iran.” Now what?

Some of his supporters are hooting and gloating as would those of any party who won but the hooting and gloating should never happen today, after any election. None of us should be betting on who will win, but who will do the best after they win. Let people hoot and gloat if he makes this a better place over the next few years. He’s had six years to tell us: what is his long-term plan? If he truly stands by his “no Palestinian state” announcement (and who can know what he really believes based on the timing of it), what plans is he making instead to avoid the next war or another uprising of violence? If this is truly policy change, it’s a big one so he and his advisors better be burning the midnight oil to examine every possible reaction days, weeks, months, and years before it happens. I know we are not the only ones in this small piece of land and I do not believe we hold all the cards in this Middle East game but I do represent those who think we do not have ZERO AGENCY IN OUR FATE.

Bibi has made his bed and now we all have to lie in it. I just wish he would tell us what kind of bed it was and stick by it.

About the Author
Since making aliyah in 2006, Benji Lovitt has performed stand-up comedy and educational programs for groups including Jewish Federations, Chabads, synagogues, Masa Israel Journey, and Birthright Israel. His perspectives on aliyah and Israeli society have been featured on Israeli TV and radio and in publications such as USA Today, Time Magazine, the BBC, and more. Benji has worked as a cross-cultural trainer with groups including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Masa Israel and is a popular presenter on the Limmud International circuit. During 2014's Operation Protective Edge, his humorous observations on the war led to his being called in Israel "the only reason to go on Facebook.”