A Candid Look At Israel’s Electoral Choices

March 11, 2015

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The Obama administration has openly declared its intention to orchestrate the defeat of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In addition to its extensive problems with its Arab neighbours, Israelis struggle to make ends meet on salaries that are widely seen as being too low. The price of a house, as well as the price of food makes earning a living a daunting challenge for many Israelis.

It is this array of economic problems that are the cornerstone of the drive to topple Netanyahu. In reality, Israel’s diplomatic, military and security issues are inextricably tied to its economic problems. Israel has a huge military budget, and faces enemies that seek to cripple the Israeli economy through boycotts, divestiture and sanctions.The choice to have Israel engaged in extensive and costly self defense measures was not a choice made by Israelis, but by adversaries sworn to its destruction.

If pulling back from territory resulted in lower defense costs and more diplomatic recognition, a case could be made for “taking risks for peace”. Unfortunately, Israel’s extensive concessions in Oslo and in Gaza resulted in the emboldenment of its enemies, as well as increased terror attacks on Israelis, making a dovish approach to the peace process more costly in both lives and money.

There is no doubt that Israel’s economic difficulties have discouraged both immigrants and native Israelis, resulting in people leaving Israel.Such problems, if ignored can result in damage to Israel’s future that would, combined with military threats be serious indeed. Any Israeli leader who expects to be taken seriously must have an answer to Israel’s economic as well as its military and diplomatic difficulties.

It must be noted that Israel faces enemies who have, beyond all logic sacrificed their own well being to attack and destroy Israel. If Hamas and ISIS had their way, there would be a final solution to all of Israel’s economic problems.

Israel should indeed be actively engaged in peace talks. Secular and religious Israelis, Ashkenazim and Jews from Arab countries, as well as poor and wealthy Jews should be engaged in an effort to understand, care for and appreciate each other. But no time should be wasted trying to placate those who are sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Juxtaposing self defense and economic well being is disingenuous and dishonest. Israel’s political future should be discussed candidly on Israeli terms and not on terms set by a hostile administration in Washington D.C.

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