Thursday, March 19, 2015
I'm left scratching my head after Bibi Netanyahu's election victory in Israel. I always thought Israelis saw through cheap political stunts, but apparently they are as bad as Americans at falling for xenophobic cries of more security. The current Prime Minister appeared to have no reason to call this election in the fist place. It may have undercut his "majority" in the Knesset by resorting to what can only be described as American style campaigning, underwritten in large part by American citizens. Yet, it is the Obama administration that is being taken to task for purportedly "funding" the Victory15 political coordinating group in the election, which was committed to ousting Bibi.
I would like to think the US Senate would similarly probe Boehner's motivations for inviting Bibi to Congress only two weeks before the election, although the highly publicized state visit didn't give him much of a boost. Many thought Netanyahu would lose to the coalition party led by Herzog, but in the end he prevailed by resorting to the type of tactics all too familiar to American voters, making one wonder who was actively supporting who here?
We might as well make Israel our 51st state, if we are going to take such an active involvement in their politics and see the outcome of these elections to our advantage, which the Republicans seem to think. With Bibi at the helm there will be no talk of a Palestinian state anytime soon, not that there has been for quite a while.
Still, the Palestinians will continue to press their case, no longer relying on the US to act as their intermediary. They will "internationalise" their independence drive, although unfortunately the US holds veto power in the UN, which it has exercised repeatedly under the past two presidential administrations.
I'm sure Israel will survive these elections, as it has these past 67 years. The security issues were grossly overplayed. There is no threat to Israel, but unfortunately that didn't stop Bibi from playing on deep-seated fears that still reside among many Israeli voters.