After five tries in four years, the Israeli right finally prevailed in the Nov. 1 election. This is truly a time of jubilation and joy in Jerusalem.
The newly reelected Benjamin Netanyahu is the only Israeli leader who could and did make it happen. He did so via perseverance and tenaciousness. However, the real victor is the Jewish people.
Stability was what Israel needed and what Netanyahu achieved. The previous government failed to do so. Terrorism was not being quelled. Jewish identity was being lost. Netanyahu and his coalition partners will address both issues head on.
As to the relationship between U.S. President Joe Biden and the new Israeli government, I do not believe there will be a problem. Neither party wants a confrontation. It is not in the best interests of Israel or the U.S.
After the expected “red wave” in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, Congress will be more supportive of Israel and many members will be friendly towards Netanyahu. The likes of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will be drowned out by a Republican majority. The Democrats allowed these two anti-Israel leftists and their fellow travelers too much power and media space, and are paying the price for it.
Biden has 2024 on his mind and does not want a combative relationship with Israel. This bodes well for Netanyahu. He should be able to complete a full four-year term.
Israel faces existential problems, including the possibility of a nuclear Iran, continuing rocket fire from Hamas, threats from Hezbollah, rising homegrown Israeli-Arab terrorism and the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing pay-to-slay policy. There is also the problem of Syria, where instability has increased as Russia redeploys its troops to the war in Ukraine.
Biden and Netanyahu’s plates will be full. They do not want a confrontation with each other on top of everything else.
The State Department is another story altogether. They have already tried to create a wedge between the U.S. and Israel via a statement saying, “We hope that all Israeli government officials will continue to share the values of an open, democratic society, including tolerance and respect for all in civil society, particularly minority groups.”
Israel, in fact, bends over backwards to accommodate all its religions and minorities. Its democracy is not in danger. The latest election was fair and square, with over 70% of the electorate turning out to vote. The Jewish state remains the only true democracy in the Middle East. By issuing such a statement, the State Department only inflames the situation. The new Israeli government should be given the respect it deserves.
I look forward to Israel’s 75th anniversary with a duly-elected stable government.
Dr. Joseph Frager is a lifelong activist and physician. He is chairman of Israel advocacy for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, chairman of the executive committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim and executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation.