Esor Ben-Sorek

What IF….? (Tongue in cheek)

The third election this year if fast approaching. Most of us are tired of going to the election booths again. The numbers will probably be similar to the April and September elections.

Now… what if tens of thousands of our Arab citizens were to vote for a candidate from the Joint List? What if they would bus in by droves as Netanyahu once fearfully predicted? And what if an Arab candidate succeeded in getting the largest number of votes?

He is an Israeli citizen, supposedly equal under the law. What if he were elected to be the next prime minister? He could not be rejected. A vote recount could substantiate his victory. What would we do?

As a democratic nation we would be obliged to acknowledge his election victory. There is absolutely no clause in our election regulations that a candidate must be of the Jewish faith. Our primary rule is that he or she must uphold the laws of Israel and swear allegiance to the national flag.

Obviously an Arab prime minister would be unable to sing our national anthem whose words declare that “as long as the Jewish heart beats…. Nefesh Yehudi, the Jewish soul… we have not lost our hope of two thousand years to be a free people in the land of Zion and Jerusalem….”.

Perhaps a new anthem could be created for our non-Jewish citizens, 20% of them unable to sing the national anthem and salute the star of David flag. With goodwill all is possible. The trouble is that we lack goodwill. Our 20% minority citizens cannot share in the national hope of Zionist Jews.

Our minorities are not alone. The parasites of Mea Shearim and most of the haredi communities give no allegiance to our flag or our anthem. We dare not forget that in 1948 they waved the white flag of surrender to the soldiers of the Jordanian legion. They preferred to live under a Muslim government rather than a Jewish one.

We owe them nothing and our disdain for them has not abated.

I think in the next election I will make history by being the only Israeli Jewish citizen in my city who may cast my vote for Ayman Oudeh’s party. He cannot win with my one vote but at least it expresses my recognition of Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship and who vote in our frequent national elections.

In previous years, under the respect, love and loyalty to the late Menachem Begin, I became a registered member of the Likud party. In two past elections, I cast my ballot for Binyamin Netanyahu, but due to his changes, influenced by wife Sara and son Yair, he has lost my loyalty.

In the most recent vote I cast my ballot for Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid in the Blue and White party. They will continue to have my loyalty. Change is necessary. A new wind must blow. The current wind must go.

I used to joke ‘forget Bibi, choose Tibi”. But Ayman Oudeh is a more compatible candidate.

So the question remains. “What if” an Arab is elected to be the leader of the Jewish state?

What is left of our failing democracy must be strengthened. We must remain a free people in a free land with a leader who is free from criminal accusations and obvious criminal indictment.

It cannot be Binyamin Netanyahu any more.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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