Outcomes of the Israeli Elections

Outcomes+of+the+Israeli+Elections

 

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo taken by Cherie Cullen.
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo taken by Cherie Cullen.

I love the state of Israel. The same cannot necessarily be said for a significantly growing number of individuals living in the world today. I bear witness to attacks against the Jewish state every day. Through news media outlets I consistently hear statements from both protestors and public officials in the international community labeling Israel as an unjust regime, with attacks ranging from minor war crimes to accusations of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

It is important for me to clarify my belief that the media, especially in the United States, has consistently portrayed Israel in a negative light, making a strong effort to substantiate what I believe to be a false Palestinian narrative. Still, however, just like any other nation in the world, Israel is not perfect, and their recent elections are a reflection of that fact.

Once again, Likud, a right wing Israeli political party, has managed to maintain a majority of seats in the Knesset, thus likely reinstating Benjamin Netanyahu for another term as Prime Minister. As long as this current government remains in power, I am willing to guarantee that the possibility of peace in the Middle East will remain, without a doubt, impossible to come by.

It is simply common knowledge that Likud stands in ardent opposition to the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state. The very platform of the party clearly rejects any such possible notion. In the “Peace and Security” chapter of the 1999 Likud party platform it is stated that “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state.” This position which has been adopted by Likud serves the sole purpose of providing a basis to the false claims perpetuated by the international news media.

While this underlying platform of the party is highly problematic for numerous reasons, the more prominent issue which exists is the current Prime Minister himself: Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Bibi” has proven himself to be quite the strong leader over the years. Netanyahu has played an integral role in increasing the popularity of Likud. His staunchly conservative positions have managed to secure the vote of the religious population of Israelis, while at the same time gaining more popularity among American politicians, a fact made evident by the turnout to his speech made to Congress in March.

Only 56 Lawmakers made the decision not to attend his live address made on the house floor on March 3.

I happened to be in Washington D.C. the day Netanyahu was speaking, attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual Policy Conference. The Prime Minister would be speaking directly to all lawmakers regarding the upcoming nuclear deal to be forged with Iran. Recently, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Barack Obama have been noted as having a more tense relationship than usual, but this speech really proved that to me for certain.

I was one of the few individuals attending the AIPAC Policy Conference who believed the idea of Netanyahu addressing Congress through a live televised speech to be disrespectful. I saw the speech as no more than a snubbing of a sitting U.S. President who, though he has proven himself a loyal ally of the state of Israel in the past, currently holds different plans than the Prime Minister regarding how to handle the prevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. In my mind, there was no way my peers at the Policy Conference could actually be supportive of such a brash decision.

But I felt the mood circulating through the Capitol that day, and the scene I witnessed was one which frightened me to the core. Netanyahu could hardly finish a single sentence without being met with thunderous applause from our lawmakers.

This situation is emblematic of the general persona of the Netanyahu supporter. Such individuals have become so enlivened by Likud politicians like Prime Minister Netanyahu that they become blind to the real facts surrounding the issues being faced by Israel.

The truth of the matter can be summarized in two brief points:

  1. Prime Minister Netanyahu is dissolving his relationship with President Obama. Bibi may hold close ties to Congressmen and women, but that means nothing if he is unable to create a constructive dialogue with our sitting President.
  2. Prime Minister Netanyahu does not and will not under any circumstances support a two-state solution while he is in office, thereby perpetuating the conflict between Jews and Arabs throughout the Middle East.

I will forever remain a steadfast supporter of the state of Israel, the only true democracy in the middle east and the homeland of the Jewish people. I believe in an Israel that is able to secure peace and stability throughout the region while at the same time maintaining a strong relationship with the United States.

Because I believe in this vision for Israel, I refuse to label myself as a supporter of a party as destructive as Likud.