Netanyahu's victory last night was, to put it mildly, somewhat unexpected. If members of his camp pay attention to English football, they may have suggested Bradford's victory against Chelsea was slightly more likely so as to ground their election chances. However, unlike that Bradford victory, I am much more isolated when it comes to being delighted with the outcome that I attempted to have an impact on. I flew to Israel to exercise my rights as an Israeli citizen and voted - proudly might I add - for the only man I wanted to see leading my country. It seems the majority of friends I have on Facebook and people I follow in twitter are somewhat downhearted by the Israeli electorate's decision.
My decision to vote for Bibi was an easy one. He is the only man I trust to speak for Israelis. He is the only man I trust with Israel's security. He is the only man I trust to stand up for Israelis in the face of a world that is increasingly trying to delegitimise Israelis and Israel. The West cannot control Netanyahu and that infuriates them. If nothing else, that is worth voting for. I don't want to be led by a man that is scared and weak. There is this view that Israel needs a more docile leader. One that will pander to the whims of the USA and Europeans as if they have our best interests at heart and know what is best. One that views the peace process as the most important single issue facing Israel as if somehow it is the West who can choose what that issue is. The criticism of Bibi highlights this. We are told to object to his re-election because it somehow means that peace is now less likely. Ignoring the fact that peace will, unfortunately, never be as simple as who is in charge, that charge assumes that everyone in Israel should be voting as if that were the most important issue that they face. It is not, nor does anyone in the West have the right to dictate Israelis that it should be.
The most important issue for me was Israeli security. In a world where the threat from Iran is downplayed and commonly ignored, it is no surprise that people outside Israel cannot understand voting for Netanyahu when it seems being tough on security is all he brings to the table. Believe me when I tell you that I do not care what you think the threat posed by Iran is. We've done that before. We've done the trusting other people to fight our battles for us before. Never again. It has only been 70 years since the Jews emerged from the Holocaust after years of inaction from Western powers who did not believe and chose to ignore what was going on. It may have been Hitler's SS who constructed the gas chambers and threw the Jews into the crematoria, but it was the willful ignorance of the West in the face of unspeakable evil that meant they almost succeeded. Forgive me for caring not one iota whether you think this genocidal threat from Iran is a real one. The time has gone when Jews are powerless and silent in the face of a genocidal enemy that is bent on Jewish destruction. And Bibi is the only man I trust to speak for me in the fact of a genocidal enemy that is bent on Jewish destruction. Something tells me people would prefer it if Israel were quiet, if the Jews were quiet, just like we have been throughout history.
Netanyahu is not everyone's cup of tea. I accept that. But you'll find the reasons who despise him often turn out to be the very reasons I am proud he is my Prime Minister and speaks for me.
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