Here  we go again; elections in Israel.
It is  always a very interesting time for me, a time for reflection. I have seen a lot in my thirty six years here
I made Aliyah to Israel just after Menachem Begin’s  Machal party  ( today’s Likud)  was  elected for the first time, in 1977 , thus  finally breaking the Labor/Left  monopoly on political power in Israel. since before the founding of the State in 1948.
I recall how proud and optimistic I was  when Begin announced ,”there will be many  more “Elon Morehs” -  Jewish communities in Samaria. The Left, the press  the international community were  very nasty to him  which convinced me he was the right man for the job.
In retrospect, I understand that I moved to Israel  a vital turning point in its evolution. What I and many perceived as the start of a new assertion of national pride and attention  to Jewish roots and values was not going to happen as we expected.
Begin was  the man with the great biography of Jewish pride and struggle , first against  Soviet dictatorship  and then hounded by the British occupation – all the while staying one step ahead of the  the Left in Israel who would  turn him in to the British  authorities- and the gallows. The Begin we all loved and admired and pinned our hopes on…crashed soon after attaining the pinnacle of his career
But  he craved acceptance by the establishment in Israel, to win a consensus he never enjoyed as an under ground  fighter or opposition leader. Nobly, he  wanted to bring the country together and end the  bickering and bitterness.  Labor’s Ben Gurion  hated Begin and could not even bring himself to mention his name. This was a one  way enmity and Begin was determined to put an end to it through consensus building.
He did this by bringing his long time Labor  political rival, Moshe Dayan into his cabinet as foreign minister.
Dayan began secret  peace negotiations with Sadat’s Egypt for a peace treaty in return for massive concessions in the Sinai, an area three times the size of Israel, captured in the Six Days War (it had been captured twice before  when Israel agreed to withdraw in favor of political arrangements)
Making a long story  short, Begin agreed to the Camp David accords which called for bowing to the total demands of Egypt’s Sadat and president Jimmy Carter to withdraw , again, from the entire Sinai conceding Israel’s best air and naval bases, oil fields that made Israel energy  self sufficient, and most significant of all  and setting a historic precedent, expulsion of thousands of Jewish pioneers from their homes in  the Sinai which they transformed into a Garden of Eden.
Begin balked at this tragic step It was against all that he stood for his entire life. Sadat said, “You can burn your settlements, I do not want a Jew in my Sinai!” Carter nodded his approval. Dayan urged Begin not to miss his historic opportunity for peace.
“Peace Now” demonstrators and the Leftist press warned , do not come home with out peace (in our time..?)
Begin caved in and thus began a down hill spiral for him personally and  for the hopes of a real revolution of the  Israeli spirit. The  chorus in the Leftist  press, legal class and academia of “what  will the nations say? How can we be a nation that dwells alone”?  infected Begin.
He could face the Soviets, the British and the Arabs – but he craved acceptance by as many of his own people as possible.
The  expulsions of Yamit and the total withdrawal from  every grain of Sinai” as Sadat demanded was the precedent used by the Left ever since. If eventhe tough  Begin  gave “land for peace” then surely…
It has been down hill since. A huge hole was punched in the dam and the roar  of the waters rushing through drowned out any audible voice of protest.
Rabbi Meir Kahane was one of the strongest  and uncompromising voices  attempting to shake Israel  out  of the cloud of impotence and lethargy  that now enveloped  them.
He succeeded in  reaching increasing ears and hearts… so the Israeli democracy banned him from politics.
Others raised their voices  but the country continued down the slippery slope as the public was kept sleeping.
Then came Oslo in 1993. Israel continued  down the slope – with skates.
“Land for Peace”, “One makes peace with enemies  – not friends” ,
“Sacrifice for peace”, Peace Now” , “The price of peace”,  “Peace partners”
“Moderate Arabs”,The New Middle East”, “International acceptance”, “Land for Peace” The moderates will protect us from the extremists”, Land is no longer of strategic value”,  “Israel will be the Singapore of the Mid East”..etc…
Most of these “1984 double speak mantras” were products  of the  fantasy world of Shimon Peres, the high priest of national delusion.
And so the bodies piled up as did the security  walls.
Hundreds of thousands were employed guarding schools, coffee shops and bus stops from the extremist that  our moderate partners could not protect us from. Or were our moderate partners blowing us up? It became very confusing.
Israelis were dumb struck, confused, enraged and  helpless. The Left  elites assured them it is all part of  an inevitable “process” . There is no other option.
In 2005, facing scandal and indictment, Prime minister Sharon,  war hero, surprised all by continuing and accelerating the policies  of the  Oslo debacle. He announced he was going to expel 10,000 Jewish pioneers from their homes in Gaza  and Samaria and hand over huge areas of the home  land to the enemy. He explained it was for security reasons  and to enhance international support  for Israel.
Of course the opposite resulted but it did keep him out of jail. The press and the courts  rewarded him for embracing the extreme  policies of the  Left – just as he hoped  they would.
Now in the post Gush Katif period, the Left  has not changed their mantras but the people of Israel  however are not buying it as they once did.
It is  clear that the Left parties have noting to offer.  Personalities and egos squabeling amongst them selves is what is remains. The Right will win. Bibi as prime minister will still try to gain respectability  by not seeming “too extreme”. He will try hard  to form a coalition that willl not turn  back the Oslo fiasco, but rather  play the political game of power  and personal  survival.
His greatest poltical night mare of the last  ten years was Moshe Feiglin  and his attempt to return ideology to the Likud and politics in Israel. Now that he will finally  be a Likud MK, things will become more interesting.  Bibi can dilute  his  and other ideoloical MKs  influence by bringing Left parties into the coalition – but the game is just about up.
The people of Israel have suffered twenty years of Oslo and  now a  growing number of true patriots and God fearing Jews will take their place in the Knesset.
We have turned  a corner .Its not over but the free fall  down the slope has been stopped.
Yes, its been quite  a roller coaster for me these thirty five years.
God willling the next thirty five will be a better ride for my children  and grand children


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