I voted Likud

The real difference between Left and Right is the degree to which the dream for peace ignores reality.

March 30, 2015 22:09
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during his victory speech at Likud headquarters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during his victory speech at Likud headquarters. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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The elections are over, the dust has settled and I can safely come out of the closet. I voted Likud.

Contrary to the arrogant, condescending and presumptuous left-wing definition of a Likud voter, I am not a settler. I do not kiss amulets, worship idols or prostrate myself on the graves of saints (Yair Garbuz). Except for the occasional bar mitzva, I do not go to synagogue, not even to a Reform temple. I am not of Middle East or Asian origin and am, to the best of my knowledge, not retarded (Prof. Amir Hetsroni). I do not read Israel Hayom and I do read books, plenty of them (Amos Oz).

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I voted Likud despite the scare tactics of the Left whose main message was the empty slogan “anyone but Bibi;”

• despite the unfounded accusation that the Likud cares naught for the health, education and housing of the poor or the under-privileged;

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• despite the unbridled and vicious attacks on Sara Netanyahu, who was not even running for office, as an obtuse way to vilify Bibi;

• despite the unveiled threat from the White House of the dire consequences if the Israeli electorate did not vote as Mr. Barack Obama craved;

• despite the overt hints from the UK, the EU and who not that they too would not be pleased if we didn’t vote the way they wanted;

• despite V15 and transfers from foreign governments and NGOs that funded the “anyone but Bibi” campaign and the so-called apolitical organizations;

• despite the foreign financial support from the aforementioned to get the Arab voters to come out en masse to vote for the Joint List.

• I voted Likud because of its achievements over the last years, hampered by an unwieldy and unmanageable coalition as it was;

• because the Likud maintains loud and clear that the State of Israel is a Jewish state and is proud to do so;

• because the Likud was virtually the only party whose primary concern was the security and safety of the State of Israel and its citizens;

• because, as much as I would like my 10 grandchildren to be able to afford their own homes, I realize that without security, cheaper housing, free medical aid and free education are worthless; The Left presumes to define the difference between the Left and Right by their respective desire for peace, which they translate as a willingness to “negotiate with the Palestinians.” This is fallacious.

Everyone in Israel dreams of peace and yearns for peace. No one in Israel wants their spouses, their children and their grandchildren to have to serve in the IDF.

The real difference between Left and Right is the degree to which the dream for peace ignores reality.

On the one hand, the threat of a nuclear Iran is worrisome not only to Israel but also to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, among other Muslim countries.

Obama and Kerry do not even have the support of all Democrat members of the Senate and Congress for their upcoming agreement.

On the other hand, anyone who takes the time to read transcripts of what appears on the Palestinian Authority’s official TV and in the official PA Facebook page cannot but doubt the sincerity of President Mahmoud Abbas. Just in the last fortnight viewers and readers were told that Jaffa, Safed, Acre, Tiberias, Nazareth, Haifa, the Upper Galilee and Mount Gilboa, Ramle, Mount Carmel and the Sea of Galilee are all part of “Palestine.”

To reinforce this message a young girl performed a song incorporating this dogma at festival organized by the PA TV children’s program in cooperation with the PA’s Ministry of Tourism.

As for the contentious problem of the “status quo” on the Temple Mount, until 2000 there were no restrictions on visits. Christians were permitted to pray and to read from the New Testament and Jews were able pray, usually at the southern corner. As a guide who led many a group on the Temple Mount and into the Dome of the Rock and al-Aksa Mosque, I can attest to this.

The PA has renewed the vicious libel that Israel is trying to destroy al-Aksa.

The PA Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein said Israel aspires “to build the alleged temple on the ruins of the blessed al-Aksa Mosque.” The PA Minister of Religious Affairs Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is warned that since January, Israel has made “over a hundred attacks and incidents of desecration of al-Aksa Mosque and the Ibrahimi Mosque [Cave of the Patriarchs]” and that “the al-Aksa Mosqu is in grave and direct danger and that with every sunrise, this danger grows.”

It is not surprising then that this week Abbas’ Fatah posted a photo on Facebook showing masked Fatah members stepping on the Israeli flag during a ceremony and placing a PA flag above it. A poem printed on the photo demonizes Israel and promotes martyrdom-death for “Palestine” as the means to attain “paradise” and its “pleasures.”

These references are barely the tip of the iceberg, the iceberg of vitriol emanating from the PA, which includes a rewriting of history, rejection of the legitimacy of the State of Israel and a denial as to the existence of a Jewish temple. With all this on record, I wonder how anyone with the minimum of intelligence can maintain that Abbas and the PA are viable “partners” in peace negotiations. (Apologies to the Left for my presumptuousness.) The recent J Street conference has shown that there is a new generation of Jews, reminiscent of those during the years leading up to and during World War II. Then, apart from the Peter Bergson/Hillel Kook group, they did not want to rock the boat or draw attention to themselves by confronting President Franklin Roosevelt and the Americans with evidence of the looming Holocaust. Now they don’t want to risk their status as Obama’s “court Jews.”

The undiplomatic and crass behavior of Obama towards the democratically elected prime minister of Israel over the last six years should shock every proud Israeli, left- or right-wing alike. While his petulance and vindictiveness have dismayed even his own Democrat supporters, amazingly the Jewish left-wing, both here and in the US, has joined in a chorus to “blame Bibi.”

Clearly, the majority of the Israeli electorate, which voted Likud, understood that this is the real world in which we live.

The author is a registered Israeli guide and author of A Historical Tour of the Holy Land.

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