It is a rare occasion when I agree with Binyamin Netanyahu. Perhaps it should be celebrated. Netanyahu’s latest campaign video
clip mocks the many scandals surrounding his household’s misuse of public funds. Though I have argued here
that the scandals have meaning beyond mere gossip and intrigue, I agree with Netanyahu that the Zionist Camp campaign has not risen beyond them. But like many political writers, I simply do not understand why.
Netanyahu has been one of the worst prime ministers Israel has ever had. He has damaged the economy, endangered security, undermined democracy, jeopardized education and so much more. There is endless ammunition to use against Netanyahu and his party, so why aren’t Isaac Hertzog and Tzipi Livni attacking him for what he has done to Israeli society?
Let’s examine Netanyahu achievements according to his own values. Netanyahu presents himself as “Mr. Security.” Israeli parents, he says, should choose him as their “Bibi-sitter.” Anat Heffetz, one of the founders of the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev, wrote in Ynet that she found this clip offensive. Presenting himself as “Mr. Security,” she said, displays insolence, deep contempt for voters and fantastic detachment from reality. “We in the Gaza perimeter remember last summer.” Heffetz continues:
Allow me to remind you: In July 2014 we had yet another unnecessary war which could have been prevented if the Israeli government had promoted a permanent solution. It was a war in which Hamas took the initiative, in which civilians were killed, dozens of soldiers died, and many people were wounded in body and spirit. When the war ended we were exactly in the same place we started.
Nehemia Shtrasler wrote that Netanyahu has endangered Israel’s security by destroying Israel’s relationship with the US. And “every Israeli knows,” Shtrasler argues, that “intimate relationship with the American president is the condition for our existence – from the supply of advanced military equipment to veto in the UN.” Netanyahu lied to Barack Obama, openly supported his opposition and generally poked him in the eye.
But the proof is in the pudding, as the expression goes. If Netanyahu declared that a nuclear Iran is dangerous for Israel’s existence, and Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power, Netanyahu has failed. He has failed because he antagonized Obama, and therefore endangered Israel. Netanyahu promised to wipe out Hamas, then after 50 days of fighting in Gaza, with civilians and soldiers killed (not to mention Palestinian casualties, which Netanyahu ignores), but Hamas is stronger than it had been before the war. We hear daily that Hamas is building new tunnels and developing ever more sophisticated weapons.
And in the process, Netanyahu succeeded in isolating Israel from the rest of the world. The BDS movement is getting stronger every day. So how can he call himself “Mr. Security”?
Security is only one issue on the table during this election period. The economy, the health and education systems, the environment, and the state of Israel’s democracy and free speech all suffered from Netanyahu’s term in office.
I decided to take this on. In the coming weeks I will conduct a series of interviews, and write about the issues . Please support us by listening, reading and sharing. The Jewish–American public deserves to know.