As Independence Day celebrations were winding down Tuesday night, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu made a guest appearance on Channel 2’s left-wing satire show
Eretz Nehederet. One of the final questions that the show’s host Eyal Kitzis
asked the premier was how he would like to be remembered after he leaves
Netanyahu thought a moment and said, “I’d like to be remembered
as the leader who preserved Israel’s security.”
On the face of it,
Netanyahu’s stated aspiration might seem dull. In a year he’ll be the
longest-serving prime minister in the state’s history, and all he wants is to
preserve our national security? Why is he aiming so low? And yet, the studio
audience reacted to Netanyahu’s modest goal with a thunderclap of
After pausing to gather his thoughts, a clearly befuddled
Kitzis mumbled something along the lines of, “Well, if you manage to make peace
as well, we wouldn’t object.” The audience was silent.
between the audience’s exultation and Kitzis’s shocked disappointment at
Netanyahu’s answer exposed – yet again – the yawning gap between the mainstream
Israeli view of the world, and that shared by members of our elite
The Israeli public gave our elites the opportunity to try out
their peace fantasies in the 1990s. We gave their peace a chance and got repaid
with massive terror and international isolation.
We are not interested in
repeating the experience.
We will be nice to leftists, if they are
polite. We might even watch their shows, if there’s nothing else on or they are
mildly entertaining. But we won’t listen to them anymore.
This is why US
President Barack Obama’s visit last month had no impact on public opinion or
Obama came, hugged Netanyahu and showered us with love
just like Bill Clinton did back in the roaring ’90s. He praised us to high
heaven and told us he has our back. And then he told us we should force our
leaders to give Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to our sworn enemies even as they
teach their children to aspire to kill our children.
And we smiled and
wished him a pleasant flight home.
Obama had no idea what he was getting
into when he came here. Like Kitzis and his colleagues on Channel 2, Obama
surrounds himself with people who, like him, prefer fantasy to reality. In
Obama’s world, Islamic jihad is about the West, not about jihadists. In Obama’s
world, the most pressing issue on the international agenda is apartments for
Jews in Jerusalem and Efrat. And in Obama’s world, what Israelis need more than
anything else is for leftist Europeans to love us.
But a lot has changed since the 1990s. Twenty years after Yitzhak
Rabin shook Yasser Arafat’s hand on the White House lawn and so officially
ushered in Israel’s Age of Terror, most Israelis don’t really care what the
Europeans or the Arabs think of us.
The Europeans prattle on about
Israeli racism, and threaten to put yellow stars or some other nasty mark on
Israeli goods. They ban Israeli books from their libraries in Scotland. They
boycott Israeli universities, professors and students in England. In Italy they
hold rallies for convicted mass murderer Marwan Barghouti at their national
Senate. And in France they butcher Jewish children.
And then the likes of
Catherine Ashton expect us to care what they think about us. Well, we
For their part, Americans are bemoaning the resignation of the
unelected Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and insisting that he was a
true partner for Israel, who just couldn’t make a go of it due to forces beyond
his control. While most recognize Fayyad’s departure has nothing to do with
Israel, some US pontificators have blamed Israel for Fayyad’s failure. Elliott
Abrams, for instance, wrote, “Israeli governments also gave him less cooperation
than he deserved.” To that we answer, Fayyad was nothing more than a Western
delusion, like Arab peace with Israel.
Fayyad didn’t have a chance of
leading the Palestinians because he never personally killed a Jew. And the
Palestinians only accept murderers as their leaders. But the fact that he never
killed a Jew personally didn’t render Fayyad a partner for Israel.
dutifully used donor funds to pay the salaries of terrorists in Judea, Samaria
and Gaza every month.
He led the Palestinian branch of the boycott,
divestment and sanctions war against Israel. He made working for Israelis and
buying Israeli goods criminal offenses. Fayyad personally led raids into private
homes to inspect people’s refrigerators to see if they had Israeli cottage
cheese on their shelves. He organized and attended bonfires where they burned
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is not the
sort of behavior you would expect a peace partner to engage in.
Americans who insist on mourning Fayyad’s departure refuse to accept the obvious
fact that Palestinian aspirations for statehood are a cheap, shoddy,
for-export-only Arab product. The Palestinians don’t want a state. They want to
destroy Israel. Unable to accept this basic fact, the Americans invent lies like
Fayyad-as-peace partner and try to shove them down Israel’s throats. Well good
riddance, Salam Fayyad.
Obviously Fayyad is not the last word in Western
delusion. They will think of a new perfect solution to replace him in short
But in their endless search for the next silver bullet, the
Europeans and the Americans and their Israeli followers miss the fact that the
easiest way to build a secure and peaceful world is not by wooing terrorists.
The best way to achieve these goals is by accepting the world as it is. This is
what the Israeli people has done. True, we needed to have our fantasies blown
away in suicide bombings before we reconciled ourselves to this simple truth.
But life has been better, happier and more secure since we did.
“international community’s” inability to accept that sober-minded contentment is
better than pipe dream fantasies has caused leftist writers in Israel, Europe
and the US alike to express mystification at a recent survey carried out by the
OECD, which ranks Israelis among the happiest people in the world. The ranking
made no sense to commentators.
Israelis work harder than other members of
the OECD. We complain more than other members of the OECD. We don’t have
“peace.” And yet, we are among the happiest people in the OECD.
gives? For decades before we embarked on the phony peace process, Israel was a
model socialist state. We had paralyzing tax rates and failed government
industries that crowded private entrepreneurship out of the market. Monopolies
ran every sector and provided shoddy goods and horrible services at astronomical
prices. The Histadrut labor union owned most of the economy along with the
government and in every sector, Histadrut commissars ensured that anyone with an
ounce of initiative was subject to unending abuse.
around the time we began extricating ourselves from our socialist straitjacket,
we were also recognizing that the peace thing wasn’t everything it was cracked
up to be. And at that point we began to understand that happiness and success
aren’t about what other people give you – money, treaties, a phone line after a
five-year wait. Happiness and success are about what you accomplish.
that point, sometime between 1996 and 2000, Israelis began creating large
families and embracing the free market.
Today, with an average of three
children per family, Israelis are the fecund outliers of the industrial world.
And as David Goldman at PJ Media has demonstrated, there is a direct correlation
between children and human happiness. This is why fruitful Israelis have the
lowest suicide rate in the industrial world. When you have children, you have a
And when you have a future, you work hard to secure it, and have
a generally optimistic outlook.
What could be so bad when your kid just
lost his first tooth? Israelis are also happy because we see that we can build
the future we want for our families and our country even without another glitzy
signing ceremony at the White House every six months. Our country is getting
stronger and more livable every day. And we know it.
Those on the
international stage that share our view that life is about more than pieces of
paper signed with Arab anti-Semites recognize what is happening. For them Israel
is not “that shi**y little country.” It’s “The Little Engine that
Take the Chinese. Last July China signed a deal with Israel to
build an inland port in Eilat and a 180- km. freight railway to connect Eilat to
Israel’s Mediterranean ports in Ashdod and Haifa. The purpose of the project is
to build an alternative to the Suez Canal, in Israel. The Chinese look at the
region, and they see that Egypt is a failed state that can’t even afford its
wheat imports. The future of shipping along the Suez Canal is in doubt with
riots in Port Said and Suez occurring on a regular basis.
On the other
hand, Israel is a stable, prosperous, successful democracy that keeps moving
from strength to strength. When the freight line is completed, as far as the
global economy is concerned, Israel will become the most strategically important
country in the region.
Then there is our newfound energy wealth. Israel
became energy independent on March 30, when the Tamar offshore gas field began
pumping natural gas to Israel. In two to three years, when the Leviathan gas
field comes online, Israel will become one of the most important producers of
natural gas in the world. Moreover, in 2017, Israel will likely begin extracting
commercial quantities of oil from its massive oil shale deposits in the Shfela
Basin near Beit Shemesh.
Geologists assess that the field alone contains
some 250 billion barrels of oil, giving Israel oil parity with Saudi Arabia.
Chinese, Russian and Australian firms are lining up to sign contracts with
Israeli energy companies. International analysts assess that Israel’s emergence
as an energy power will have a stabilizing impact on the global economy and
international security. Israel can end Asia’s oil and gas hunger. It can reduce
European dependence on Russia. It will remove OPEC’s ability to dictate world
oil prices through supply manipulation.
Israel’s discovery of its energy
riches couldn’t have come at a more propitious time. Had Israel discovered its
oil and gas 65 or even 20 years ago, we wouldn’t have had the economic maturity
to manage our resources responsibly. But now, with our free market, our hi-tech
sector and our entrepreneurial culture, we can develop and manage our resources
wisely and successfully.
At 65, Israel is becoming a mature, responsible,
prosperous and powerful player in the international arena. The only thing we
need to ensure that we enjoy the fruits of our labors is security. And the one
thing we can do to squander it all is place our hopes in “peace.” And so we
won’t, ever firstname.lastname@example.org