Michael Boyden

“I Don’t Have Another Country”

The samples of all of the Israeli television channels indicate that Benjamin Netanyahu has won the election, and will once again become prime minister.

Present indications would suggest that Bibi will be unable to form a coalition without including Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party, which is predicted to hold 14 seats in the next Knesset.

Bibi could change all of this by retiring from politics and allowing the parties to re-group, but this seems unlikely to happen.

In all probability we shall be faced with a right-wing government of the type that Israel has never known before, which will include the successors of Meir Kahane’s Kach party, some of whom admire Baruch Goldstein, who entered the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron in 1994 killing 29 Palestinian Muslim worshipers and wounding 125 more.

I can’t help thinking of the lyrics that Ehud Manor wrote following the death in 1968 of his brother, Yehudah (Yadi), who was killed in the War of Attrition.

Corinne Allal composed the music and sang the song together with Gali Atari at the memorial gathering held in Tel Aviv on November 12, 1995, just one week after our prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, had been assassinated at the same location by a Jewish terrorist.

“Can’t keep silent in light of
How my country’s changed her guise.
Won’t quit trying to remind her
In her ears I’ll sing my cries,
Until she opens her eyes.”

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quoted those words as she urged Republican lawmakers to back the removal of US President Donald Trump from office over his supporters’ storming of the Capitol.

There are dates that will go down in Israel’s history as marking the changes that took place in her society. We shall not forget November 4, 1995 when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, and we shall not forget November 1, 2022, which saw the election of those who threaten Israel’s character as a liberal, democratic state.

When Gali Atari sang Ehud Manor’s words, she cried. There will be many people crying today.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
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