Careful what you wish for, Israel

In the civilized Kingdom from whence I came (up, I was always told), one’s voting preferences were very much a private matter. Indeed, any inquiry as to the identity of the political party for which even a close friend or relative intended to exercise his or her democratic right would have been as welcome as asking them whether their style was more missionary or doggy (currently, I’d take either).

Not so, however, in the jungle I now inhabit. On a par with every Israeli’s entitlement to know how much you forked out or received for your home is his right to be informed as to whether you will be assisting to put in place his government of choice. And not possessing the Briton’s finesse for small talk – NW4’s and 11’s “Who are you eating/davening byyy?”, for familiar instance – the native has no inhibition accosting even a virtual stranger with “Who are you voting for?”

My stock four-letter response these past months, “Bibi”, has raised quite a few eyebrows in my midweek Tel Aviv stomping grounds (though rather fewer in those of the Jerusalem of my long weekends).

Polling day for the 20th Knesset is this Tuesday, but I have taken little or no interest in the campaign . . . a sign, I am sure, of my (still) having one foot out the door, but also of having been relaxed in the knowledge that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would still be in Residence at the top of Rechov Aza when I return, at the start of May (coalition building in the jungle can take a good month and a half), from watching England lose its Test series in the Caribbean.

Yonit LeviBut, getting my thrice-weekly Yonit (right) fix a few evenings ago, I was rudely interrupted by her lead item: it seems that my having taken for granted a Likud victory has been more than a little misplaced, with the centre-left Zionist Union alliance now two or three seats ahead in the polls . . .

Well, I almost spilt my box of Kleenex! The thought of that spineless runt Isaac Herzog – co-leader of the alliance, but who has only been in charge of Labour for 15 months and possesses all the charisma of a lentil seed – running the country is a terrifying one, and a sure sign (if the polls are correct) that many of the natives are losing all reason. Although our late fathers were friends, the sole encounter between their sons left this one somewhat less than enamoured: see Curbing My (Irish) Enthusiasm – in just a few seconds, I had seen the ‘man’ (and my instincts in such matters are generally reliable).

In the interests of even-handedness, the following is the most flattering English-language interview with Herzog I could find . . .

“You wanna know something . . .” Dear, oh dear! Just the drone of those adenoids is enough to make one lose the will to hear. Should Herzog, heaven forfend, become Prime Minister, the ch’nun (nerd) will be exposed to non-stop media scrutiny (and bias), with every non-hearing-impaired person who cares about this country begging for their Bibi back.

Netanyahu is running for his fourth term (third consecutive). It is not difficult to see how familiarity has bred contempt (or merely boredom). And it has become über-trendy to bash him. Of course he could have done some things better. But, if you believe Israel to be “broke” merely because many of its citizens cannot afford to buy apartments in its financial and cultural capital, or that the way to go is to be more conciliatory to the Arabs, then perhaps – like the “idiots” and “lunatics” proscribed by UK legislation – you should not be allowed to vote at all.

So, come Tuesday, I will be voting along “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” lines. Bibi has steered a remarkably steady ship through extremely turbulent waters and years, during which for much of the world – cowed by and cowering before Islamofascism, or influenced by its all-pervading disdain for the Jew – Israel could do no right.

With Islamic State now on our borders and – thanks to that jug-eared nob in the White House – a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran, the security situation will get a whole lot worse before it gets any better. And, if Herzog becomes Prime Minister, Hamas and Hizbollah will be laughing all the way to their tunnels. It is not difficult to imagine the next war in Gaza. It is, however, to imagine Isaac Herzog leading us through it.

Changes, as Dovid Bowie once proclaimed (“I still don’t know what I was waiting for . . . and every time I thought I’d got it made, it seemed the taste was not so sweet”), are not always for the better. And those now pining for Bibi’s demise may, with a limp dick like Herzog in his place, have plenty of time to repent their naivety in having fussed over who owns what in and around Rothschild Boulevard. Bibi and Buji (November 2013)

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36 responses to “Careful what you wish for, Israel

  1. There is no question that the Beeb has a deeper voice
    we’re looking for a deeper intellect.
    The Big B would make a great government spokesperson – no question
    or even a furniture salesman – been there done that – Bye Bye BB

  2. I figure that anything or person that Obama so vehemently opposes couldn’t be all that bad. Gonna hold my nose and vote Likud yet again.

  3. Indeed, ‘be careful what you wish for’. Netanyahu is the only option.

    With the likes of ISiL, Iran controlling Bagdhad, Damascus, Sanaa & Tehran, Hamas re-arming, lunatic autocrat running Turkey & US inspired nuclear Iran, Israel’s security is paramount, and Bibi is the man I trust.

  4. adamhalevi777

    I tend to agree with you Mike, but I wouldn’t overate charisma if I were you. After all, several recent US presidents have had oodles of charisma “apparently” (including old “jug-ears” apparently) and look where that got us.

  5. My sentiments exactly!!!!

  6. Yonit…nothing made sense after that

  7. If Herzog is such a danger to Israel and there is absolutely no replacement for Bibi – What lengths would you go to to save Israel from this danger.
    Unfortunately we know what lengths so-called Zionists will go to

  8. Moshe (why do people use silly nicknames) Abelesz

    Are you trying to tell me that Carribean still hosts Tests?!!!!

  9. Ze'ev Portner

    With 35% of Israeli children living in poverty, with food extremely expensive, with it taking 148 average monthly salaries to buy a flat, whereas in the UK it is 64. What hope and vision does Bibi offer the people of Israel. None. As for security, Amos Yadlin’s the Zionist Union’s recommendation for Defence Minister was one of 8 pilots to destroy the Iraqi nuclear reactor. And in any case it is not Bibi who prevents terorrism but the IDF. Totally disgree with you Mike.Furthermore, at the moment Bibi and Sara are not residing in Rehov Aza. They are in the official Prime Minister’s residence in Balfour Street named after British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour. The final clincer for me is that the great man Big Al would be a fan of Herzog will DJ would be a fan of Bibi.

    By the way Mike Mr Seurity let hundreds of tunnels in Gaza to be built before doing anything about it.

  10. If a Defence Minister has the credentials of an Air Force pilot that destroyed Ozirak, then perhaps I would not be so worried about Herzog.

  11. Geoff Melnick

    Have to agree with you 100% regarding Herzog. Can’t say I share your ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ faith in Netanyahu.
    Leaves me in something of a dilemma as to what to do on Tuesday. But I’m sure I’ll figure something out

  12. Eloquent, and spot on! As usual….

  13. stanley cohen

    Couldn’t agree more! If the sum total that the media and political opponents can come up with is deposits on bottles then the inference is so bloody obvious it needs no further comment. Bibi has negotiated his way through six years of shit from within as well as without and though not perfect has handed us a prosperous country with little of which to be sorry or ashamed.

  14. Aharon Factor

    I agree, I shall be voting Machal, for a large Likud

  15. Not much charisma is one thing, Adam, but Herzog is something else!

    Should you ever decide to take a break from TA, Ze’ev, you will discover that the PM’s offical residence is on the corner of Balfour and Aza (where I live, hence the mention).

    Some use nicknames, Moshe, because they must surely be too embarrassed to be identified with their comments. Silclay – an ex-Hasmo (that doesn’t give too much away!) – for excellent example . . .

    “What lengths would you go to to save Israel from this danger. Unfortunately we know what lengths so-called Zionists will go to”

    Perhaps spell out your implication more clearly, Silclay. Could it be from the same school of ignorance as the morons who placed Rabin in an SS uniform?

    Amongst all the “Bibi Out!” op-eds in this weekend’s Haaretz, Israel Harel concluded his piece (“The expected victory for the coalition of hate”) as follows . . .

    “Yitzkah Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert – and also Ariel Sharon – all agreed to give the enemy, some more and some less, large parts of Judea and Samaria. And they never, for some reason, found buyers. These concessions only hardened the hearts of the Palestinians. They are not asking for peace, but the disappearance of the Jewish state. Deep in his heart, even Isaac Herzog knows that.”

  16. I have a user name but my righteous name is David Silver aka Squeak
    the Shabach have reportedly had to increase the protection detail on Herzog given the palpable threats to his safety from the “defenders of Zion”.
    It is interesting how many of Israel’s leaders when they get into power suddenly realize the necessity of territorial compromise it’s as though at their first briefing, the heads of the security services have a whisper in their ear and what they could believe in before coming to power is rendered irrelevant by what they now know. This includes Begin (Sinai) and even Bibi who suddenly felt he had to return Hebron and later declared his desire for a 2 state solution. the deep seated problem with the man is not necessarily his views though they differ from my own, it’s his inability to actually have a firm plan and carry it out rather than getting buffeted around by events. He simply can not decide and calls his inaction a policy. He had a wonderful opportunity at the end of the Gaza conflict to reach an understanding with the so-called moderate Arab states and deal with the Palestinian problem in an holistic way – he even declared that he wanted to , – then NOTHING as always inaction won over daring do. massive amounts of good will with Saudi and Egypt – wasted.

  17. Point taken (re Herzog’s safety), David . . . though I am not quite sure where it gets us in the discussion.

    The point Israel Harel makes (see my last comment) is that any “firm plan” or “policy” any PM may entertain soon goes out the window when he understands realpolitik (i.e., the Palestinians).

  18. Avraham Reiss

    I was recently sent for a medical examination to be performed by a certain piece of machinery, at one of Jerusalem’s large hospitals. I was told to begin fasting 4 hours in advance which I dutifully did.

    When I got there I was informed that there would be no examination, since the machine had broken down and they were waiting for a spare part to be brought. I was very annoyed and asked why they hadn’t phoned me. After checking the lady-in-charge told me that all other examinees had been notified by phone, and I wasn’t because Kupat Cholim had made some clerical error on a form.

    The lady-in-charge said to me “it’s not worth getting angry about”, to which I replied: “you think I’m angry? Wait til you see hertzog the day after the election”. Conforming to Mike’s opening statement, the l-i-c asked me “so who are you going to vote for?”. “Likud”, I answered. The l-i-c gave me a big smile and said “Likud? You’ve been fasting for 4 hours, come into the office and we’ll make you coffee”, which she did. I was also given some chocolate and a biscuit.

    Conclusion: you don’t neccessarily have to vote Likud, but it is apparently advantageous to say that you will.

    {In the light of recent events, I’d amend my estimate, and say that hertzog will be getting angry about a month after the election, when it will become clear to him what everyone else already knows, namely that he can’t put together a manageable government.}

  19. Does it really matter if Herzog has personal charisma or not ? … all Israeli politicians are the same when it comes to Defence & Security policies – they all liase with the IDF & Intelligence agencies and they work in a collective political team that has wide-ranged experience of these matters .
    Herzog was an officer in the IDF’s elite Military Intelligence Unit 8200 – and Tzipi Livni was part of the Mossad hit-squad that assassinated Palestinian terrorists after Munich .

  20. Avraham Reiss

    livni was not part of any hit-squad; she was responsible for upkeep of a Mossad safe-house in Paris.

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Channel-1-Livnis-past-in-Mossad-not-spectacular

  21. I just met someone who used to work with Herzog in his daddy’s law firm. Apparently, he was not there on merit, and there was a running joke in the office that, if anyone should spot him by the law books, they should raise the alarm! Add to that his total lack of personality or leadership experience . . . and what are we left with?!

  22. Avraham ,
    Actually neither of us knows what exactly Livni did in Mossad – at the very least She was part of the Logistical framework of Operation Bayonet by organising a safe house – She might have been more involved ( Mossad will often give only as much information about it’s operational methods & history as it absolutely has to ) .

  23. Ian, you asked if “it really matter[s] if Herzog has personal charisma or not?” I’d say it helps! But even if we ignore his lack thereof, what exactly does he bring to the table: great intellect, career success, business acumen, political skills, or leadership experience? “None of the above,” I’d say.

  24. Think of Bibi’s experience and skill set before he was elected the first time

  25. A message from the Islamic state of UK. Chuck Norris and Jon Voight are right. Vote for Bibi:-

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/192636#.VQgoyI6sXwE

    Voight, in his address, argued that a vote for contender Yitzhak Herzog places Israel in imminent danger during a volatile time.

    “I love Israel,” he begins. “I want to see Israel survive, and not be overtaken by the madmen of this world.”

    “President Barack Obama does not love Israel,” he continued. “His whole agenda is to control Israel, and this way he can be free to be friends with all of Israel’s enemies.”

    “He doesn’t want Bibi Netanyahu to win this upcoming election,” he added. “America has not been the same since his presidency.”

    “I beg everyone, all of you, to understand the truth: those – like Yitzhak Herzog – who believe that deal-making is the solution to what Israel faces are as wrong as Neville Chamberlain believing he made a peace deal with Hitler,” he concluded. “We must learn from history where the true danger lies.”
    ================================================

    Rabbi Herzog Ztz’l will not be happy. The shnip has his face plastered on the side of Jerusalem buses, financed by Obamalek. Tel Aviv suffers from the mental illness of leftism. Many years ago King Saul was appointed to protect the people of Israel from the Philistines and sadly he suffered from bouts of leftism. I hope Israel learns from its mistakes. Today, I hope and pray that God judges us all favourably.

  26. john Voight is a powerful voice but when his opinion is considered more relevant than the heads of Israel’s security services who are vilified as enemies of Israel I have a big clue as to which side I want to be on

  27. This is the 2nd time you’ve mentioned that you’re spending a lot of time in J-Town. Only this time you were more specific: weekends. Did I miss it, or have you yet to tell us for what purpose these every-w/e; w/e’s only jaunts are for? In fact, a full post on the subject would be most welcome!

  28. Avraham Reiss

    Ian,
    Avraham ,
    Actually neither of us knows what exactly Livni did in Mossad – at the very least She was part of the Logistical framework of Operation Bayonet by organising a safe house

    – that’s a typical leftist tactic – just raising doubts and questions, with no proof as to their validity. It’s like Oslo Criminal #1, Shimon Peres, always asking “what is the alternative?” – when there usually is, but his supporters never had the guts to answer him.

    In the previous election Livni – then head of the party that destroyed Gush Katif and gave Gaza to Hamas – got the largest party but couldn’t put together a government. Last night we were tod that her presence is impeding hertzog’s chances of doing so.

    If you find the need for a heroine, you have Miri Regev, Zippi Hotobeli or Ayelet Shaked (who are all also more feminine that livni).

  29. Livni’s dad blew up the King David hotel.

    Anett Haskia puts a lot of Jewish women to shame and is as brave as the soldiers of Ammunition Hill.

  30. Well, all’s well that ends well, I guess.

    I almost went Yesh Atid at the very last minute, when – on my early morning route with the dogs – the exhortations of the Shuk Levinski “monkeys” to vote Likud had the very opposite effect: had I, God forbid, become one of them?!

    But, as I walked out of my building towards the polling station a few hours later, the dodgy Libyan secondhand fridge salesman downstairs persuaded me – for that I spent three years studying for a degree in Politics at Manchester University – that a vote for Yair Lapid would be one for the Left.

    Anyway, as usual, Melanie Phillips nails it . . .

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/As-I-See-It-Benjamin-Netanyahu-the-Jew-among-world-leaders-394522

  31. Please keep writing. I enjoy your style. The comments reflect a good exchange of views. Kol Hakovod.

  32. trevor leigh

    hallo menchy mike. Good piece of writing, I watched the Herzog clip, he’s not so bad. How are those turd machines you mistake for dogs?

  33. Honoured to have you on these modest pages, Tricky!

    The “turd machines” are well, thank you, and operating at full capacity.

    I was sorry to see that your slimmer, saner cousin, Avigdor, only got the six seats this time around. At least there’s still the Lord brother (not sure about that photo, though . . . does one attain the expression of an upper-class Englishman merely by spending too much time with them?!)

    Happy Pesach, and well over the Fast!

    Menschy x

  34. David Silver

    Happy Pesach to all

  35. Shimona from the Palace

    Are you so sure that the Kingdom from which you and I came (up – without a doubt) is, in fact, all that civilised these days?

  36. Hello Mike,
    Just dropping by to say hi
    I miss reading your blog. It’s been over a year since your last post 😦
    Hope all is well and you continue to do well.
    All the best
    Yossi

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