The Betrayal of Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel’s election results have yet to determine who will emerge as Prime Minister, yet when hearing the political pundits, the leading columnists, and the left and center left political parties, the only message that is conveyed is that the Netanyahu era is over and that Israel must choose a new political leadership. One widely read national columnist even smugly predicated that the Netanyahu era has ended and that his “magic” has dissipated.

Despite the deadlocked election results, in which the Likud Party and Prime Minister Netanyahu have yet to create a clear path to claiming victory, critics have no hesitancy in denying the unprecedented success of Netanyahu’s policies that have resulted in a booming  economy as never before : near-record-low unemployment, a record number of Israelis working including unprecedented Israeli Arab and Ultra-Orthodox employment participation, increases in workers’ wages and family incomes, low interest rates, low inflation, steady GDP growth and a strong stock market. In poll after poll, Israeli’s have expressed a very high life satisfaction rating and rate their standard of living highly. Israel’s strategic military standing has never been stronger and the emerging Israeli-Sunni alliance is changing the face of the Middle East and creating a true possibility of peace between Israeli and the Muslim Sunni nations.

Yet the real source of why Benjamin Netanyahu is despised, demonized, and the subject of incessant and never ending primal hatred is due to his desire to push back — politically, socially, economically and culturally — against what might be called the elite postmodern progressive world, in other words, the “Old Guard”. These progressive political and economic interests have never accepted their ouster by the voting public and will do everything in their power to claw back and get their greedy hands on the budgetary spigot and political control of the country. These old guard political and economic powers have been able to create an immense tsunami of false anti-Netanyahu accusations. The broadcasted and digital media have willingly been enlisted to be nonpartisan and impartial in their effort to rid Israel of Netanyahu, given his danger to the progressive liberal future. The anti-Netanyahu campaign has been largely effective and many of these false accusations have stuck creating a dissonance between expected voting patterns and the actual election results.

The electoral betrayal of Netanyahu has been a national phenomenon, yet the population group most visible in crossing the political lines has been the Jewish Ethiopian community in Israel. These seemingly distant strangers in every way, different even in the color of their skin, have over the past 30 plus years been brought to Israel, not to be forced into servitude as in other periods of human history when blacks where shipped to faraway lands only to become slaves. In fact, there are no other examples of similar acts of kindness in human history that can compare to what Israel has done for the far away Jews of Ethiopia by bringing them over, 140,000 in number today, back to their ancestral homeland. Never in human history has there been a similar act of benevolence towards a whole community by a developed nation. Since the 1980’s, despite the immense dangers, the religious obstacles, the logistical impossibilities, the cultural barriers; Israel has brought tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews from one of the most underdeveloped countries on the globe to the shores of the Promised Land.

During the last election cycle, many young activists of the Ethiopian community have been given monetary (jobs) and organizational support by left wing NGO’s from Israel, Europe and the United States to promote an anti-Israel and anti-Netanyahu agenda abetted by local left wing activists who have their origins in the anti-Netanyahu political alliance and has resulted in the following narrative being portrayed as a factual backdrop to the abandonment of Netanyahu by the Jewish Ethiopian community:

“Longstanding Israeli policy is notoriously racist – worse than South African apartheid according to observers familiar with both systems. Palestinians face ruthless persecution in a nation affording rights to privileged Jews alone. They have virtually none whatever. Ethiopian Jews fare no better – unwanted because they’re black. Citizenship doesn’t matter. Persecuting them is standard Israeli practice.”

This unholy alliance of many of the Ethiopian community leaders/activists and left wing radicals threatens to undermine the notable progress that the Ethiopian community has made by successfully integrating into Israeli society. Over the last decade, during the Netanyahu administrations; Israeli governmental agencies, the Jewish Agency, the Federation system, and many tens of NGO’s have funded hundreds of programs for every age group within the Ethiopian Jewish community with only one goal, making their integration into Israeli society accessible and possible; all this during the Netanyahu era. Despite the gaps in education, technology, culture, and vocational skills only a generation ago, their integration into Israeli society is in actuality a real success story. The messages and prepared statements that are conveyed by many of these self-appointed Ethiopian community leaders/activists are nothing more than a conglomeration of anti-white racism and the anti-Netanyahu political propaganda with the goal of creating a political abandoned by the Jewish Ethiopian community of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The defamation of Benjamin Netanyahu and the false narrative conveyed to the Jewish Ethiopian community cannot and should not be based on random examples of discrimination and prejudice against Ethiopian Israelis. There is no institutionalized discrimination and racism in Israel, and claiming so is not only a moral disgrace but intellectually dishonest.  The betrayal and abandonment of Benjamin Netanyahu by the Jewish Ethiopian community has contributed to the deadlocked election results yet is only one piece in the larger political landscape in Israel where the political discourse has become a vulgar and personal crusade to destroy the political legacy of one of Israel’s greatest leaders. The vulnerability of the Jewish Ethiopian community should not be used cynically by the progressive anti-Netanyahu alliance who themselves have a highly questionable history of racist policies adopted during the period when hundreds of thousands of Jews fled the Muslim nations of the Middle East during Israel’s formative years.

Benjamin Netanyahu will most likely emerge as the only politician able to create a coalition that will end Israel’s political deadlock. The Jewish Ethiopian community as well as other sectarian groups would be wise to rehabilitate their relationship with the ruling Likud Party and their leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ron grew up in the South Bronx of New York, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO’s and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world.

To contact: medconf@gmail.com                       Website: www.ronjager.com

About the Author
Ron grew up in the South Bronx of New York, making aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic concultancy to NGO's and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world.
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