An open letter to Avigdor Liberman

Mr. Liberman, the polls indicate that you are in a strong position to decide the future of our children and grandchildren in the election on March 2.

Avigdor Liberman (photo credit: REUTERS)
Avigdor Liberman
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dear Mr. Liberman,
I have been following your policies for quite some time, and recently, they left me in a state of confusion. There is no doubt that you are a peace-loving person and that in your heart you want the best for Israel. That is reflected in your commendable service as a member of Knesset since 1989, and subsequently senior minister in various capacities, not least as minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister.
Throughout your political career you supported the movement for a rigorous defense of our country. You opposed the Disengagement from Gaza, and as defense minister you advocated a firm response to the continuous provocative aggression by the terrorist rulers of the Gaza Strip, which made life almost unbearable for our citizens in the southwestern part of the country, whose welfare, peace and quiet was uppermost in your mind.
Your were known as a staunch supporter of the policies of Likud, and even held the position of their director general and even in the Prime Minister’s Office, until Netanyahu began to consider you as a serious rival and relations soured.
Then you founded the Yisrael Beytenu Party on a platform of strong opposition to appeasement of the Palestinian Arab expansionist policy and subsequent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities, achieving seats in every Knesset. You were a strong pillar of the political Right, which is your natural home.
It was not until in recent years that you began to make your support for the political right wing conditional. Of course Israel’s political right wing is what in Britain they would call “a broad church.” We differ because we Jews are a large family, and just as when there are disagreements in a family, divergent opinions of the political Right should not lead to disunity. We are each entitled to our own opinions and free to express them openly. That is democracy; but we neither expel a family member who “goes off the derech”, who wants to go his or her own way, nor would we expect such a member to denounce and leave the family as you appear to be doing.
You are correct that every fit young man and woman must do their duty in the defense of the country; there is no room for freeloaders and only a limited number of highly talented students of our scriptures, who are likely to become the future spiritual guides and teachers should be exempt. But that is no reason to denounce the whole ultra-Orthodox community and refuse cooperation, thereby causing repeated elections and preventing the formation of a right-wing government, your natural home.
It is inconceivable that the rumors circulating about your considering support for Benny Gantz and his Blue and White Party are true, as his desperation to become prime minister may go so far as to join with the Arab list.
Mr. Liberman, the polls indicate that you are in a strong position to decide the future of our children and grandchildren in the election on March 2. The whole country is looking to you. Do not cut of your nose to spite your face. You know better than most that politics is compromise. As
Winston Churchill used to say, “Jaw jaw is better than war war.” Solve disputes by being on the inside. Do not sacrifice your political beliefs on the altar of stubbornness. Come home to where you belong and help to make our country strong and safe.