Historians often argue about the single event that triggered major historic events. It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint that trigger or starting point. Will the 17th of Ellul 5779 – the day of the 22nd Knesset elections– be recorded in Jewish history as the starting point, G-d forbid, of the Jewish Holocaust of Israel? It would be ironic, since some historians recall that day – 17 of Ellul– as the starting point of the Holocaust of the Jews of Europe, when Hitler marched into Poland effectively commencing World War II, 80 years ago. Others recall the same day, 88 years ago when the Germans enacted the Nuremberg Laws, that began the official government policy of discrimination and persecution of the Jews. Consider this mind-boggling historic fact: Rabbi Yosef Caro, the author of the Shulchan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law, brings down the 17th of Ellul in his list of fast days. It was on this day, according to some opinions in the Talmud, when the Meraglim, Jewish spies who spoke bad about the land of Israel undermining G-d’s commandment to conquer the land, died out. Their action was the prototype of all future exiles and holocausts, representing the cause of all Exiles, namely the lack of faith to follow G-d’s commandments; fear of the gentiles. It was on the 17th of Ellul 5779 (Sept. 17, 2019), when the Arabs effectively turned into the balance of power in Israel bringing about the downfall of the Bibi government or severely limiting his ability to govern, and triggering the rejoicing of Arab terrorists and Israel’s enemies. Arab terrorists in Gaza announced the launching of balloon bombs carrying the message: Bye Bye, husband of Sara (Netanyahu), less than 24 hours after the final (yet unofficial) counting of the votes that showed the left and the Arab bloc numbering 57 to the right and nationalist Jewish bloc’s 55.
Will Likud or Blue and White break first?
It is not yet final who will be given the first chance by President Ruby Rivlin to attempt to form and head the coalition. It is less clear who has better chances to collate the necessary 61 Knesset members needed to form the next government of Israel, or whether the stalemate could lead to yet a third round of elections. What is clear, is that this instability and chaos has been brought about due to the Arab electorate who came out in force delivering 13 seats to the United Arab Party and another approximate 10 seats to Benny Gantz and the more extreme leftwing parties, without which Bibi and the religious and nationalist Jewish parties would have enjoyed a landslide victory. Why do I speak of a potential Holocaust in Israel? It is simple. The representatives of the Arab parties in Israel speak of the annihilation of Israel as a Jewish state and they celebrate the death of Jews, as they embrace the cause of heinous Arab terrorists. They speak openly about the destruction of Israel, not only through terror, but through the democratic process.
Likud brought the Ben Gvir debacle upon itself
Bibi and the right wing Yamina party have found their scapegoat in the form of Itamar Ben Gvir’s Otzma Party. That’s ok; everyone needs someone to hate and to blame. However, even with Ben Gvir’s 81,000 votes the right would not have a majority 61 seat coalition. The Right has 55 mandates, even with an additional 2-3 seats from Ben Gvir’s constituents (assuming they all would have voted) that would bring Bibi to 57 or 58 at most. Sorry. If anything, an argument can be made that the aggressive scare campaign that Likud and Yamina brutally launched against Otzma and Ben Gvir scaring off voters brought about the demise of the right. The infighting drives many away from any engagement in the rotten political system. It takes little to sow seeds of doubt in people’s minds. Claiming that Ben Gvir stood no chance to pass the minimal threshold – (4 seats) drove away voters from Ben Gvir, who did not want to waste their time and waste their vote. Who knows how many people stayed home, thinking Ben Gvir stood no chance, and too disgusted with the other Right wing parties for their slamming of Ben Gvir? Who knows how many irreligious, yet nationalist supporters of Ben Gvir went to Lieberman or some other dinky party that stood no chance like the agricultural party or the Ethiopian Party? I met two such people in my polling station and there were only 8 people in the station where I voted when I entered into the building.
How can Bibi reject Arabs rights to be in government, yet not address their right to vote?
Bibi shouted forth at his meeting with the press after the election results were more or less known, one day after elections, Wednesday Sept 18, that he must form a government lest Gantz create a dangerous coalition that relies on the Arabs who are not Zionist and who rejects the Jewish character of the state. Now Likud comes to save Israel from the Arabs who reject a Jewish state of any size and who have never come to grips with their defeat against the Zionists? Now, after they have won the elections? Now, after Likud has banned Kach and Kahane Chai and Rabbi Kahane for warning exactly about this existential threat to Israel. I don’t know if Israel has time to save itself. Rabbi Kahane tried to hold a referendum on this very question: Should Israel be a Jewish state or a western style democracy? It is a painful question, especially for those of us who grew up in the West. However, this is the question of the hour which every Jew must ask him or herself. Because if Bibi now understands that the Arab elected officials are a threat to Israel, then you can’t ban the elected officials without discriminating against those who elected them. Either they have a right to be in Israel and to vote or they lack such national rights which would effectively give them the power to democratically vote Israel out of existence. As long as it remains illegal to float such a referendum and to discuss this issue logically and publically in the national discourse then Israel and Likud are doomed to failure. The time to legalize Kahane has come.
Deal with the Arab issue or live with the consequences – It is now or never
Just a final word, food for thought about what really stood behind the Right wing assault on Ben Gvir which sacred away so many of his voters. Let’s face it, for every one person we know who proudly voted Otzma, there are another 5-10 we know who said they would have voted for him, had they thought he would have a chance to pass the minimal threshold. Clearly, without the scare campaign he would easily have gained 4-5 seats. So what really stood behind the scare campaign launched against him? Two things, simple smalltime politics fearing Ben Gvir’s success would come at their personal party expense, and ideological fear that Ben Gvir might gravitate back to authentic Kahane politics, and call for the expulsion of the Arabs. In truth, they had little to fear. Ben Gvir is more scared than Bibi or Smotrich to warn against the Arab demographic threat.
And Ben Gvir’s lack of courage to speak the Kahane truth guarantees that he would unlikely pass 5-6 seats in any given election. Wishy-wash parave right wing politics is not enough to get too many people passionate and excited. Ben Gvir’s fear to say the extreme type of stuff that would light a political fire under the disenfranchised voters, a huge untapped base of support, renders him more or less like Smotrich in the eyes of most potential voters as well as non-voters. At worst, Ben Gvir would have taken a half of a seat from Likud, another half from Shas, and a half to one from Yamina and entered the Knesset with 4-5 seats. That would not have made or broken Bibi , one way or the other. Let’s put things in their proper perspective. Ben Gvir is not that relevant, until he garners the courage and truly comes out in support of legalizing the Kahane-Torah message. Come to think of it, Likud is not that relevant anymore either, unless they finally take a stand to rescind the ban against the Kahane message – the only message that can yet save Israel and Likud from the Arab demographic threat and from itself. Neither appears to have the courage to say Kahane was right about the Arab demographic threat and about the contradiction between Western style democracy and Judaism. However, by warning against an Arab government, it does appear as if Bibi is beginning to understand that the Arabs are a danger to his political career. If not for Israel’s sake, but for his own personal freedom and political survival, he has already taken a major step forward.
Reprinted with author’s permission from YMLP