Netanyahu prevails with creativity and humor… and lots of support!

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Friends,

It seems that three’s a charm, and our Prime Minister has pulled off a fabulous, positive, even humorous campaign in an atmosphere of national despair at being called back to vote once again. Click here to watch as he celebrates in song upon hearing the exit polls.

And vote we did, in droves. Voting percentages were historic. The ‘periphery’, or really any cities and towns that aren’t in central Tel Aviv :), voted overwhelmingly and as usual for the Likud. The conservative nationalist-religious people chose between Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s ‘Yamina’ (Move Right) and Netanyahu’s Likud – probably burnt by past losses, with most voting for the large party to take over and set things right at the helm of a new coalition.

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AND IT WORKED. Early polls rumored a clear win for Netanyahu and his camp. Nervous TV anchors and commentators sat stony faced or tried to beat the 10 pm announcement with excuses on how the left can still make it work. We knew, while nervously tuning in after a day of voting, canvassing and vacationing (it’s a national holiday in Israel!), that literally, the votes were cast, and the coalition could be formed.

With not much left to analyze, we watched the Netanyahus gathered with their advisors, a young crew with a head for social media, break out into song, based on Proverbs. The Trump Deal is alive and well, in a healthy sense- the pitfalls of forming a palestinian state before the PA rids itself of corruption and terror, before it recognizes our right to exist as Jews in our country, before the four years their leaders have been given to clean up their act… is prayfully a thing of the past. What we do have is the historic opportunity to act on what we know to be right for our little Israel, extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, Israel’s longest border and an integral part of our history and security. Apply sovereignty too, over Judea and Samaria, the heart of our homeland, the source and sites of the biblical texts, the very reason d’etre of our presence in the region. Jewish presence brings peace. Israeli rule provides the absolute only democracy in the Middle East. With no Palestinian Authority elections after its first set, and none in more than 15 years, this cannot be a fair alternative for the people living here. Currently Israel provides jobs, with permits to enter and work here – why not spend some time combating terror, building infrastructure and creating an atmosphere that encourages freedom, rather than subjugate and oppress their own people. It’s no wonder our Arab neighbors meet behind the scenes with us to say they want to live within the borders of Israel. No, it’s not perfect, but at least we are working on it, and we care to create better conditions.

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WORDS ARE IMPORTANT IN A POLITICAL DEBATE

Let’s take a look at just one example from the current discussion of a new political map –

Left – Center – Right .. Who’s left? What’s center? And who’s to the right?

What’s the deal with our political spectrum? Take a look – the media has created an alternate reality, in which almost all will report on the ‘Center and Left blocs’, while the Likud is ‘Right’. This skews potential self-identification for voters, and categorizes Israel’s ruling party without regard for its centrality to Israeli political ideology for decades. Here’s just one chart to see what we mean:

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The truth is simple. After so many years of Likud rule, chosen by the voters again and again as the most popular choice, this is ‘Center’. Left of center, or of the Likud, is left. Right of the Likud, is right.

The ruling party, and it’s no fluke, is center by its very being. The majority of Israelis choose Likud – again and again and again. The Likud forms the government in a coalition of parties. The Likud is the center of Israel’s political scale.

That’s not so comfortable for many of our pundits, and so they choose to skew the story. Exit polls and ongoing analyses play the coalition-building game, describing the mix of parties on the left and center left – always giving Labor and Blue&White the ‘center’ stage. Likud is described as ‘right’, with any others ‘far right’. What? Let’s get real. Labor et.al. is left (we hope they’ll one day return to their historic place as center-left) and the Likud is center-right, if you will.

Admit it – the Likud keeps winning the hearts and votes of the people, no matter what the elites think. This central party will God-willing continue to lead a coalition for Israel’s prosperity for the next four years, at least.

Now that’s central.

All the best,
Ruthie

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Photo Credit: Gedaliah Blum

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