Everybody in Israel is going crazy over the recent elections. Yes, the voting part is over…but who won? I realize that in most countries this is a ridiculous question, because by the end of the night either your guy won or your guy lost. However, here in Israel things are a bit more complicated. Gantz and his Blue and White party received two more Knesset seats than Bibi and his Likud party… so Gantz won, right? Well, no, because “winning” in Israel means that you are able to form a government of 61 Knesset members and Gantz only has 33. Therefore, Gantz needs to team up with a bunch of other parties and add their Knesset members to his total. Without going into all the boring details, and assuming that all the leftist/charedi bashers join his coalition, Gantz will have a grand total of just 52. That’s a far cry from 61.
“But wait,” says ex-IDF General Benny Gantz. “I have a plan. The United Arab List won 13 Knesset seats and I am willing to bring them into the coalition! Therefore, simply add these 13 to my 52 and – walla! – you get 65… which is even more than I need!” If this happens, Benny Gantz will indeed become Israel’s next prime minister (so I guess he did win? Wait… just wait…) but it will also mark the first time in Israel’s history that an Arab party was invited into the coalition, and people all over this country are screaming bloody murder…except me. I am actually laughing and enjoying the prophetic wisdom of my holy Rabbi Meir Kahane, who promised that this would happen.
Let me illustrate this point with an actual conversation I had a few hours ago with a good friend. He saw me walking by and immediately called my name. I stopped to say hello and to wish him and his family a “shanah tovah,” but he didn’t let me get in a word. He was waving his arms and almost screaming at what Benny Gantz said. “A former IDF general is ready to make the Arabs part of his coalition? Have you ever heard of such a thing before?” (Note: Allow me to point out that three of the top four spots in Gantz’s party are ex-IDF generals! Gantz #1, Ashkenazi #3 and Ya’alon #4 – this makes things even more unbelievable!!) Okay, back to my screaming friend: “How can he do this? These Arab Knesset members can’t be trusted! They hate our country, they support terrorists, and they advocate violence against Jews. How can Gantz make them part of the government?” My answer back to him almost made him faint.
“It’s actually a brilliant move on his part and will make him the prime minister. What’s so bad?”
“Are you nuts, Sackett? Have you gone totally mad? These 13 Arab Knesset members identify with the enemy. How can we let them run our country?”
I then said the following. “My dear friend. If everything you said is true – and it is! – that they support terrorists, advocate violence against Jews, and identify with the enemy… what are they doing in the Knesset in the first place? For the past 71 years you had no problem with Arabs being members of Knesset and only now you woke up when they might actually run this place? What were you thinking would happen…that they would just sit there, get salaries as Knesset members and be like pictures on the wall? The problem is not with Benny Gantz, the problem is with the fact that every Israeli government, from Ben Gurion to Begin, from Shamir to Sharon, and now from Bibi to Benny encouraged Arabs to vote and took great pride in the fact that Israeli Arabs were involved in the electoral process. Only one Knesset member in Israel’s history – just one: Rabbi Meir Kahane – who served in the Knesset from 1984-1988 – begged that Israeli Arabs not be allowed to vote. And what was the reaction to him? He was called an anti-democratic racist and was forbidden to run in future elections. Israel’s Supreme Court upheld the ban so that democracy could flow freely throughout the land. Well, I told my friend, you wanted democracy?? You got it… and if you let them vote, you have to let them win.”
I must stress that I have had this discussion with 10 people so far and I leave them all with their heads spinning in disbelief. I point out how they are all hypocrites because on one hand they want the Israeli Arabs to vote but on the other hand they are not willing to deal with the reality of what these elections can bring.
This is why this recent election is making me laugh. After all these years, Israelis are finally being confronted with what Rabbi Kahane wrote about is his book Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews (published in 1987): Can the Arabs democratically decide on who the prime minister of Israel is? His answer to that question was short and to the point. If “yes” you are an anti-Zionist and if “no” you are Kahane…it’s one or the other.
Dearest friends, the time has come to declare the truth, even though it is not politically correct. The Arabs of Israel must become similar to “green card” holders in the USA. Someone with a USA green card can register his kids in public schools, obtain a driver’s license, and even get social security and Medicare benefits. The one thing they cannot do, however, is vote in federal elections. Some states allow them to vote in state and local elections, but they are absolutely forbidden from voting in federal elections.
We need to adopt that policy in Israel as well, and maybe this recent election will be the catalyst to get this started. Without it, Knesset member Ahmed Tibi, former advisor to chief terrorist Yasser Arafat (may his memory be cursed), will decide who really won these elections.
Remember the key point: You can’t have it both ways. As stated before, if you let them vote you have to let them win. The only other option is to take that privilege away from them and deal with a week of condemnations at the UN. Like my mother used to say, “They’re going to scream anyway, at least give them something to scream about!”
May our people be blessed with leaders who have the wisdom to know what’s right and the courage to act upon it.
Am Yisrael chai!
Shmuel Sackett is a 100% product of Queens. He was born in Middle Village and moved to KGH shortly before his bar-mitzvah. He graduated from YCQ (1975) and YHSQ (1979). He was Havurat Yisrael’s first Youth Director (4 years) and started the first 2 NCSY chapters in Queens. Shmuel made aliyah in 1990 and co-founded Manhigut Yehudit, together with Moshe Feiglin. His website is www.JewishIsrael.org Sackett is married with 6 children and 4 grandchildren. He lives in Herziliya Pituach.