(October 25, 2022 / JNS) Over the past few months, Jews who live in Jerusalem have been scared to leave their homes for fear of running into an Arab lynch mob. Every other day there are stabbing and shooting attacks and our sense of security has been lost. Our soldiers and police are pelted with rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails, but their hands are tied from responding in any effective way.
It doesn’t help the situation that Israel’s current governing coalition is made up of Arab parties who deny Israel’s right to exist as a democratic and Jewish state, celebrate terrorism against Israelis and have transferred billions of shekels from Israel’s budget to Hamas and Hezbollah NGOs.
Another cause for the rise in terrorism is that any Jewish building in Area C, even a measly shack, is immediately destroyed with great force by hundreds of Israeli soldiers at the behest of Defense Minister Benny Gantz. At the same time, illegal Arab construction in Area C and the Negev has accelerated at an unprecedented pace with no government oversight or enforcement.
The apartheid against Jews in Judea and Samaria comes as no surprise from Benny Gantz. After an operation during the 2014 Gaza war in which 14 Israeli soldiers were killed, he stated, “I put the lives of Golani soldiers in danger. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I am very proud of it.” Gantz’s excuse was that he had done this to protect the lives of Gazans.
Perhaps terrorism has been empowered because Prime Minister Yair Lapid gave new legitimacy to a Palestinian state a few weeks ago at the U.N. and surrendered to Hezbollah on the Israel-Lebanon maritime agreement. Perhaps it is because the Iran deal is back on the table. Whatever the reason, these foreign policy failures stem from Lapid’s desire for a diplomatic win as he heads to elections. Weakness and capitulation in the face of Arab terrorism surely strengthens extremist voices in the Arab community.
Over the last year-and-a-half, Israel’s Jewish identity has been put on the backburner. Non-Jews make up close to 60% of immigrants every year on average, and the number is increasing. The current government has introduced educational programs in Israeli public schools that erase any mention of Shema Yisroel, Moses or any other Jewish figures and traditions. The left is on a mission to reeducate young Israelis about family structure and gender identity. They have also given the Reform movement in Israel and the United States hundreds of millions of shekels in new funding. We must remember to give thanks for the rise of this leftist-Arab coalition and all their achievements to Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked for making it possible.
Right-wing candidate and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has less than stellar right-wing credentials. In the past, Netanyahu has made speeches in support of a Palestinian state, given the PLO control over 97% of Hebron in the Wye agreements and on two occasions—in 2009 with Ehud Barak and in 2013 with Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid—deliberately chosen to form a government with left-wing parties rather than parties from the traditional right-wing bloc. Netanyahu may once again prefer a more centrist government that will bring him back to power with a coalition that doesn’t demand a right-wing policy.
To form a coalition in Israel you need at least 61 seats in the Knesset. In recent polling, the right-wing bloc of Likud, Religious Zionism and the Haredi parties is averaging between 59 and 62 seats. Likud is averaging between 30-33 seats, the Religious Zionist Party 12-14, Shas 7-9 and United Torah Judaism 6-7. Benny Gantz’s party is averaging between 11-13 seats.
Gantz could form a centrist coalition with the Haredi parties, who don’t have a definitive stance on security issues. To secure a right-wing government, the Religious Zionist Party—which prevented Netanyahu from forming a coalition with Arab anti-Israel parties after the last elections—must have more mandates than Gantz’s party. In any scenario, Likud will be the largest party in the right-wing bloc and Netanyahu will be prime minister if Likud receives 30-33 seats in the Knesset.
It’s up to you to decide who it will be on Nov. 1: A left-wing government led by Benny Gantz, who has caused Israel’s security situation to deteriorate, put Israeli soldiers’ lives in danger and discriminated against Jews in Judea and Samaria, or a right-wing government with the support of the Religious Zionist Party (letter “tet” on the ballot), which will restore our security and bring us back to our Jewish roots and traditions. Israel needs a strong right-wing government to protect itself and ensure its Jewish identity.
Benjamin Sipzner is the Anglo coordinator for outreach and events for the Religious Zionist Party in the upcoming elections. He is an Oleh from New York, and recently completed his service as a lone soldier in the Nahal Brigade of the IDF. He can be found on Facebook and reached at email@example.com.
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