Wednesday, August 09, 2017


Through the years, I've had my ups and downs with Bibi. I did not like him at all when revelations came out about his extramarital affairs so long ago, in 1993. I thought: How can I trust him with my beloved country when he can't even be faithful to his wife?

Simplistic? Maybe. I was younger then. But from my feminist purview, it really was that simple. Fidelity is fidelity. And I wanted someone who would stand by the country, no matter what.

But I found myself wanting to like him as time went on. Wanting to, and not quite sure I did or could like him.

Sure, he's urbane and eloquent, a brilliant orator. But Bibi has done so many awful things during his career, and flip-flopped on so many important issues it's impossible to turn a blind eye to it all. I laid out many of his misdeeds in a 2013 blog called I Want to Like Bibi:

·         He talked reciprocity and gave away Hebron
·         He left the government over Disengagement, then voted for it four times
·         He criticized Oslo, then gave the Bar Ilan speech
·         He's the leader of the Greater Israel party, but froze building in Judea and Samaria
·         He wrote a book laying out the reasons terrorists should not be used as bargaining chips, then released over one thousand terrorists with blood on their hands for one Gilad Shalit
·         He commissioned the Edmond Levy Report, but didn't bring the commission's recommendations before the Knesset
·         He apologized to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident, though Israel was the party that was wronged 
·         He talked the good talk about Iran, but took no real action to apprehend its nuclear ambitions (could he have?)

It's four years since I enumerated all the times Netanyahu waffled and betrayed the country, his fellow Jews. Since that time, there's a lot more. But there's also more in his favor. The way he stared down the UN, for instance.

Masterful.

The way he stayed dignified through 8 years of Obama nastiness, without once losing it. At least not in public. (I couldn't have done it.)



But then there was the time Bibi suppressed crucial military testimony in the Bank of China lawsuit. This was a lawsuit against the bank involving more than 20 families of American victims of terrorist attacks that took place in Israel from 2003-2008, including the families of those murdered in the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva massacre. Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, had initiated the proceedings with the support of the Israeli government, with the knowledge the bank had handled the accounts of senior Hamas officials. Hamas had claimed responsibility for the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva massacre. My friend's son was murdered in that massacre. He was fourteen years old (HY"D).

Avraham David Moses, HY"D, with his little brothers.


It was untenable, unbearable. An agony. But most of all, heartbreaking.

And now, of course, the problem is the way Netanyahu caved on the issue of those metal detectors on the Temple Mount. Everyone knows Bibi let terror win and no one knows why. (Yes. In every case where his behavior is inscrutable, it's always possible there are things we don't and cannot know. Things that go on behind the scenes. But it just will no longer wash.)

Sure. We know about the to-do in Jordan, with the security guard who shot dead two Jordanians after he got stabbed in the back with a screwdriver by one of them. Jordan held him and the Israeli ambassador to Jordan hostage for a short period of time. It was during this time that Bibi had the newly installed metal detectors and other new security aparatus dismantled. This was followed by smiling photos of Bibi sitting with the Israelis released from Jordan. A photo opp.


We were supposed to believe the removal of the metal detectors served as ransom for the Israeli hostages.

But I don't think anyone believed it.

Look, Bibi said it straight out: He wants to keep the status quo regarding the Temple Mount. He wants to fortify the Waqf.

Why? God only knows. I sure don't. I don't understand that at all.

Once again, the Temple Mount was in our hands. Har HaBayit B'Yadeinu! The Arabs were staying away. And we once again thwarted our own ambition. Our highest ambition. (Or did we? Maybe we just didn't care enough.)

Two weeks ago Har HaBayit was empty. It was ours.


And now we have lost our holy place again. Or rather: we gave Har HaBayit to Jordan, once more.

And this time, it's not on Dayan, but on Bibi. Bibi of the "iron wall" remarks of July 23, one day before it was announced the metal detectors were going bye-bye:

"The members of the Government and I share in the terrible grief of the Solomon family. Yosef, Chaya and Elad were murdered by a beast incited by Jew-hatred. The security forces are operating on the ground as necessary, at all times. The home of the loathsome terrorist will be demolished as soon as possible. We are also taking action against those who incite toward acts of murder and those who praise them.
Since the start of the events, I have held a series of assessments with security elements including those in the field. We are receiving from them an up-to-date picture of the situation, as well as recommendations for action, and we will decide accordingly. We are conducting this calmly, determinedly and responsibly and thus we will continue to act in order to maintain security.

Today we are marking the anniversary of the passing of Zeev Jabotinsky, one of the fathers of Zionism. The Cabinet will make an important decision regarding the preservation of his heritage, one of the principles of which – as is well-known – is 'The Iron Wall.'"

It's a disaster, a real one. Not some silly drummed-up charges by those on the left to take Bibi down in court, but a serious reason for the right to boot him out on his butt.

“They are trying to get me and attempting to topple the right,” Netanyahu reportedly told senior officials in his coalition, regarding all the faux criminal investigations surrounding him and his wife. But the "right" isn't right and hasn't been for a long time. Har HaBayit is not ours. We cannot pray there. We aren't building settlements but destroying them. Judea and Samaria are still under martial law.

And there is no iron wall.

The problem is Bibi knows there is no one of his caliber to take his place. This makes him think he can act with impunity, without any accountability to his electorate. This is what we contemplated during the 2015 election. The fact that no matter whom we vote for, we get leftist policy.

We vote for the Likud, for the right, to shore up settlement activity, to be true to Jabotinsky's vision of Greater Israel, an Israel on both banks of the Jordan. We vote for the right so as to end the state of martial law in Judea and Samaria and exercise sovereignty. We vote for the right so Jews will have freedom of worship on the Temple Mount, our holiest site.


But we never get what we vote for. Ever.

And anyway, the alternative is to vote for a small party that can't possibly win enough votes to make noise or effect policy.

A prime minister to replace Bibi: who can find? Moshe Feiglin doesn't have the charisma or the presence. His milquetoast response to the business with the metal detectors was a serious turn-off

"Although I anticipated that Netanyahu would remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount, and although I very much hoped that I would be proven wrong, things developed in such an amazing and fascinating manner that I couldn’t help but think that perhaps we were on the threshold of an historic change."

So, um. He knew Bibi would blow it, but hoped he was wrong? He was WAITING for things to go south?

Um, WHY? This was a time to scream and act. Not hold our collective breath and wait.

This is not someone who can lead my country.

Bennett? The MK who uses every opportunity and crisis to grandstand and verbally kick the PM between his legs.

Lapid? Who knows what the man believes. To the right, he is right-wing on issues. To the left, he is left-wing on issues. He's a journalist who makes stuff up.



A journalist with great hair.

I could happily give a run down on all the people who might take Bibi's place. But it's a waste of my time and yours.

The bottom line is it no longer matters that the person to take over from Bibi won't have perfect English, be an amazing orator, or a brilliant strategist. We've had enough capitulation on the issues that matter most to us as a people. It's time for Bibi to go.

And it almost doesn't matter who takes his place.




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