The morning after the elections I woke up early and immediately made my way to the computer. It was five in the morning here – so it was ten o’clock in New York. The polls were just starting to show Trump pulling ahead. Glued to the screen, I almost did not move until nine in the evening. As each hour passed, and it became evident that Hillary was really going to lose, the sensation of ecstasy rose. Higher and higher and higher. It was a magnificent feeling.
The next day, looking back, I tried to remember the last time I had experienced such bliss. Then it hit me: May, 1996. Waking up, also early morning, and hearing that Netanyahu had defeated Shimon Peres for the Israeli premiership. By a half a percentage point.
That was similarly as surprising and shocking as the Trump victory. The reaction of most of us on the Israeli right, who had so vociferously opposed Oslo, was not only delight; we thought the Mashiach – the Messiah, had arrived.
It took less than half a year to learn, and then try to absorb, that we were mistaken. Bibi was far from being a knight in shining armor.
Conversely, Netanyahu, who expected to be Israel’s eternal Prime Minister learned very quickly that it wasn’t to be. He was able to politically escape abandoning Hebron in January, 1997, but his signature on the 1998 Wye Accords, whereby Israel agreed to part with more of Eretz Yisrael to Arafat, was his downfall. His coalition fell apart leading to the 1999 elections, when Ehud Barak trounced him.
It took him 10 years to return to the Prime Minister’s office.
I remember speaking to Bibi’s brother-in-law, Dr. Chagi Ben Artzi, who, in those days, spent a lot of time in Hebron. I asked him, following the loss to Barak, if he’d learned his lesson. Ben Artzi’s response made its mark and has remained firmly in my memory: ‘Bibi is sorry, but for the wrong reason. He realizes that Wye sunk him, and as such, is sorry that he signed the accords. But he doesn’t realize that he cannot give away Eretz Yisrael. He regrets the accords because they knocked out of office, but not because he agreed to abandon our land to Arafat and the terrorists.’
Since his return to power in 2009 Netanyahu has been extremely careful when dealing with policies concerning Judea and Samaria. He hasn’t done too much that can be defined as positive, but has also tried to prevent from causing damage that could again be his downfall.
But is seems very possible that he still hasn’t learned his lesson, that is, that Eretz Yisrael is not up for grabs.
Today the IDF, together with police, began isolating Amona, in preparation for expulsion of its residents, and destruction of the community which is scheduled for the very near future. The decision rests with Bibi.
There are those who say otherwise; that the Supreme Court is the final word, and their judgment, that the community must be obliterated within the next few days, is the law of land.
This is total, complete nonsense.
The expression usually spouted is that Israel is a country of law and that Supreme Court rulings must be implemented. Except that the Israeli Supreme Court has assumed authority never legally granted to it.
I would suggest, rather than repeating here, the issues surrounding the Court’s dictatorship, that readers take a few minutes to study the excellent article by Eveyln Gordon, written in December. The article, Disorder in the Court is one in a series of Gordon’s fascinating critiques of the Supreme Court, authored over the years. She explains, in exquisite detail, the authoritarian policies adopted, and labeled as ‘judicial activism,’ i.e., the court, a group of unelected officials, decides and sets policy according to their political agendas, rather than deal with straight judicial issues.
As such, obedience to the Supreme Court is not an expression of upholding the law; rather it is furthering and legitimizing perversion of the law.
Netanyahu knows this. But he doesn’t have the guts to stand up and say no to the ‘holy of holies.’ He prefers to banish families from their homes.
But this is only one reason why Bibi may soon fall.
The second reason is, perhaps, much more serious.
On February 15 he will meet Donald Trump at the White House.
Shortly after the elections I contacted some people heavily involved in Israeli politics, warning that when Trump and Bibi meet, and Trump asks ‘what can I do for you, for Israel?’ Netanyahu might very likely answer, ‘help me to create a palestinian state.’
Unfortunately this scenario is far from being science fiction.
I’ve go so far as to send a letter to certain American officials as to how the United States should react to such a request:
I write this with not a little trepidation. The United States is about to undergo major political changes, one of which, without a doubt, is the relationship to Israel. Eight years of overwhelming animosity and diplomatic pressure from the direction of the White House is coming to an end, thank G-d.
Our major concerns at present do not stem from the incoming President or his staff. Rather, the problem may very well be from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office.
For as long as he has been in politics, from UN ambassador to the premiership, Netanyahu has had to deal with huge international pressure, which led him, amongst other policy decisions, to sign and implement the “Hebron Accords, in January, 1997. More recently, in June, 2009, as the Obama administration commenced its ‘pressure cooker’ tactics, during his famous Bar-Ilan speech, the Prime Minister recognized the idea of a Palestinian State. As recently as a few weeks ago he reiterated his belief in a ‘2-state solution,’ expressing his hope that the just elected Donald Trump, could assist in fulfilling this policy.
As such we could face a situation whereby senior advisors within the new administration might very well oppose the idea of a palestinian state, with the Israeli Prime Minister espousing it as a viable solution. Prior experience has taught us that an American administration might then adopt a policy of ‘why should we be holier than the pope?’ and try to proceed via a palestinian state solution.
This could only be described as catastrophic.
As such, I would like to propose possible United States responses to such a Netanyahu proposal, centered around United States interests:
1) A Palestinian state would not stabilize the Middle East; rather it would only add to already existing chaos. This for a number of reasons, in short:
a) Palestinian infighting amongst members of Fatah, including bloody power struggles for leadership, would create havoc, while leaving the door open for uncontrolled terror against Israeli targets.
- b) A power vacuum would inevitably facilitate ISIS infiltration into the newly created state. The consequences of such would be calamitous for Israel, the entire region as well as throughout the world.
- c) A Hamas takeover would be unavoidable. A scenario similar in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) to that in Gaza would lead to incessant violence between Israel and the palestinian state.
- d) Finally, Israel is presently surrounded by enemies. Hizballah to the north, Hamas to the South, and Syria in the north east. Iran has not given up its vow to create WMDs to use against Israel. Another enemy state, as a palestinian state would unquestionably be defined as, would force the United States into unwanted and unnecessary conflicts, similarly as described above. There is no reason for the United States to be in situation whereby they must defuse very difficult situations which could be prevented in the first place.
These potential situations are certainly not in the best interest of Israel. But they are also unacceptable to the United States. The present instabilities would be heightened, leading to further conflict with Russia, Syria, Hizballah, Hamas, and others. This must be avoided at all costs.
- American-European cooperation to create a palestinian state could only be interpreted by Arab/Moslem extremists as capitulation to their international terrorism. Such a state would be a prize for terror.
But it is clear that their goals do not end with a palestinian state. Their aims, as repeated continuously, is creation of an international caliphate, declaring Islamic law, Sharia, as the law of the land in Europe, North America, and elsewhere.
Having experienced victory with creation of a palestinian state, they would then continue international terror on even higher levels, in an attempt to achieve continued acquiescence from their victims. After all, if the terror achieved its goal here in Israel, why not continue until all their aspirations are met.
In other words, if the United States is viewed as ‘soft on terror,’ that very terror will boomerang back at the United States, very likely in harsher terms than have been witnessed yet.
This is totally unacceptable to the United States under the Trump administration. Terrorists must not be able to declare victories as a result of their terror. The United States must not be seen as capitulating to terror and terrorists. As such, a palestinian state, created with the help of the United States, is totally out of the question.
Should Netanyahu attempt to utilize Donald Trump’s good will to further a policy designed to create such a terrorist state, his mandate should come to an immediate end.
I usually prefer not to espouse what some might regard as metaphysical rhetoric, but some things have to be said. Presently Netanyahu is being investigated for various and assorted crimes. In order to survive them in one piece, he is undoubtedly in need of Divine Providence.
He could never have been elected in the first place without massive assistance from Above. His future status may very well be up to him. The ball is in his court. His decisions in the above-mentioned issues may very well determine whether 2017 will be remembered as the concluding chapter in the rise and fall of Binyamin Netanyahu.