Fool me once, the saying goes, shame on you. But fool me twice and the situation becomes shame on me. The same can be said of betrayal. Betray me once, shame on you. Betray me twice, shame on me! Years ago, I voted for Ariel Sharon to be Prime Minister. He was a lion of Judea, I believed. A strong and decisive leader who would protect our land. I had heard him speak and even spoken a few words to him. He came to the small yishuv (village) where I lived. It is, as he needlessly pointed out to its residents, on the first row of hills when you travel from the sea towards the east.
“Only a fool surrenders the hills,” he said to much applause. He was saying, or so we thought, that our home was safe from future deals. Only a fool…
I voted for his strength, his cunning in battle, his determination to stand against rather than cower before our enemies. And then, in a sudden and unexpected blow, he turned on the people who voted for him and desecrated the concept of democracy. With out vote, he betrayed all he had said and all he had promised. He destroyed Jewish communities built with love and a lifetime of hard work. And the irony was, as we knew even then, he was doing it for nothing. We warned that rockets would be launched from the very communities he was destroying, and we were right. We warned that no peace would come from his show of weakness, and we were right.
Never again, I promised myself. Never again would I allow someone to steal my vote, my trust. I stayed in the Likud party because in his final days, Sharon left Likud and in doing so, allowed me to hope that he took his weaknesses with him. I voted for Benjamin Netanyahu until I watched him begin to follow Sharon. At that point, I left Likud. Not with my vote will you weaken Israel and risk our destruction.
During the last election, I was torn. I worried that the right wing might lose the elections completely and urged people who would have voted for Naftali Bennett, to give Likud the helping hand it needed to retain power. As it turned out, I had to fly abroad on business when elections were suddenly scheduled and so I was saved from the humiliation of having to make a choice. Even my children didn’t listen to my reasoning. For the most part, they decided a stronger Bayit HaYehudi (Bennett’s part) was a sounder way to support the right than going with Likud. I can admit that had I been in Israel, I would have voted for Bibi.
I’m so happy I had to go to India and was spared giving that small gesture of trust to Bibi.
Last night, it was announced that Bibi had spoken with King Abdullah of Jordan. The public face of this is that Bibi has agreed to remove the metal detectors upon consultation with his security advisers and Kind Abdullah suddenly woke up to the fact that it was illegal and morally reprehensible to hold the staff of the Israeli embassy in Amman hostage. The private face is so much worse.
Bibi, of all people, surrendered to terrorism. His own brother, not a victim of terrorism but one who made the ultimate sacrifice in the battle against it, must be sickened in the heavens. Our policemen were murdered because guns were smuggled on to the Temple Mount….smuggled? Hell, they walked right in with them.
The logical step was to do what Bibi did – what is done all over Israel and all over the world. It’s called Security 101. Metal detectors are tools that work better than any soldier’s eye. A soldier has seconds to identify a threat and while our soldiers are trained to an amazing level, metal detectors are their backup. A terrorist is more likely to try to fool a soldier than the computerized, sensitized metal detectors. They have them, as I said, all over Israel, including at all entrances to the Western Wall, they have them in Mecca. They have them in every airport I have ever been to, and most major tourist sites across the world. They have them to the mall where I shop, the supermarket, and my office building.
Rather than accept this, the Arabs began rioting. One 20 year old who sadly live to smile about it, murdered three people in cold blood. And, in Amman, another Palestinian stabbed an Israeli security officer at the Israeli embassy in Amman. The security officer shot and killed the terrorist. Through a whopping 10 days of violence and rioting, Bibi stood firm. Maybe that’s some kind of a record for him, I don’t know, but last night he crumbled, buckled, surrendered.
And in doing so, he betrayed Israel. He betrayed the Salomon family just a day after their loved ones were buried. The metal detectors will come down, it was announced, and “advanced technology” will replace them. Gee, if advanced technology is a better solution, why were metal detectors put there in the first place. What was the cost of those metal detectors – in shekels, in Jewish blood?
Why are they being removed? It’s called paying a ransom; it’s called surrender. Ultimately, it is Bibi stabbing his supporters as Sharon stabbed his. It is both a betrayal and admission. Bibi is full of talk but he is a weak leader that needs to be replaced. Israel cannot afford to have Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister any longer.
In the words of Donald Trump, Bibi, you’re fired! Go home.