By Larry Gordon

These are troubling times on a multiplicity of levels. We know what the issues are both here in the U.S. and in Israel. Many of the problems that currently plague both countries are largely self-inflicted. Now it is time to begin thinking about repairing the damage.

The solution to that which is currently afflicting both countries is fairly straightforward. In Israel, as Bibi Netanyahu said, addressing Naftali Bennett as the summer session of the Knesset opened, “Naftali, it’s time to go home.” However, here in the U.S., our laws make it so that the worst president in modern American history—Joe Biden—is not going anywhere until 2025, unless he is impeached, which is, of course, a distinct possibility. The polls indicate huge Republican victories in November.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich anticipates that the Republican majority after the fall election can comprise as many as 70 seats. If that occurs, Gingrich said, it could take the Democrats two generations to recover—and that could be very well what our country needs.

If that happens, Gingrich said, the Republican margin in the Senate can increase to somewhere between six and eleven seats. That will render Mr. Biden even more powerless than he is today. It will also significantly increase the chances of impeachment.

The crisis and problems in the Israeli government are much more difficult to analyze than the crisis in confidence being experienced here. And that is because in Israel, from the time we finish working on this edition of the 5TJT to the time that it is printed and distributed, a great deal can change.

Let’s take a look at the issue that will in all likelihood finally bring down the Bennett government over the next two weeks: the ongoing, decades-long struggle that is a cross between creating an impression of who controls this most sacred and sensitive area and who actually does have sovereignty there.

A couple of days ago, Bennett reportedly capitulated to the Arab Shura Council and the Islamist Ra’am Party that demanded increased Arab authority on the plot of land where the Beit HaMikdash stood and where someday the third and eternal Holy Temple will stand. Bennett said that did not happen. What that means is that it’s not exactly what took place, thereby permitting him some deniability.

The debate is not whether or not Har HaBayit is Jewish or holy or Divine. The issue is that the Holy Temple is not there presently, and, not only that, but there are two gargantuan mosques standing on the property.

And on top of that, Bennett must have figured, the overwhelming majority of Israelis never even think about visiting or praying on the Temple Mount. Amongst those who believe in the sacredness of that place, the great majority feel that it is prohibited to visit the area because of the uncertainty of precisely where the holiest area is located.

That being so, the political question is: Is it worth creating an international incident that will no doubt result in violent riots and will cost people their lives?

The problem is that the issue does not end there. The opposite is true—this is where it begins. If Israel compromises on sovereignty on the Temple Mount, the process begins to slide downhill, with a demand for creating a Palestinian State, dividing Jerusalem, and so on.

Creating a governing coalition in a Jewish state with Arab party partners should, under conventional circumstances, be workable. This is probably part of Bennett’s calculation. The mistake by Bennett is that such a move requires good faith on both sides. Unfortunately, with the Ra’am Party taking its cues from Amman and Ramallah, as you see, it just cannot work.

Barack Obama said prior to his inauguration in 2009 that we were about to witness the fundamental transformation of the United States of America. Obama in two terms could not really get anything positive or productive done, but that does not mean he is not continuing to try in his role as puppeteer in the Biden presidency.

And now the U.S. and Europeans are trying to force Naftali Bennett’s hand before his coalition dissolves and Bibi Netanyahu reassumes leadership in the country. One of the items the U.S. somehow thinks it is leveraging is a visit to Israel by President Biden.

Why a Biden visit is important to Bennett or what it can achieve for the prime minister’s popularity is a mystery. Biden is presiding over so many disasters in the U.S. to the point that Democrat Party candidates in the upcoming midterm elections prefer that he not visit their state or campaign with or for them because that would only damage their campaigns.

In Israel, the current question is what will take place and what the circumstances will be that result in the Bennett coalition falling apart. Will the Arab party that is part of the ruling coalition walk away? Will another of Yamina Party members, like Ayelet Shaked or Nir Orbach, leave the party and join the Likud, thereby giving Netanyahu a majority without the need for an election? These are the riveting political dramas that will be playing themselves out over the next few days and weeks.

Biden and Bennett have a lot in common—and that is that they are leading their countries in a bad direction. If the world wants to grapple with whether Israel is a classic democracy or whether it is unique in its Jewishness and character, that is for them to figure out. Israel should not have to contend with this debate. Being a Jewish state and a democracy is an ongoing, unique challenge. No Israeli leaders should be in a position of having to make excuses for being who they are.

Israel does not need Joe Biden—the master of disaster—to visit so that he can tell Israel that he wants them to open an embassy-like entity in the center of Jerusalem that exclusively serves Palestinians.

The Israeli government configuration means that the Bennett government can be gone within a few weeks. Here in the U.S., it is more of a drawn-out affair. Still, the U.S. electoral process features its own intrigue, with those seeking reelection adjusting their positions on issues based on what the polls indicate.

For now, here in the U.S., the Democrats are hanging their hats on the abortion issue. The extreme reactions and protests are so pronounced because they feel this is a top priority for Americans. That, however, has not proven to be the case. The Biden calculation is that raging fuel prices, inflation, and high crime will be eclipsed by the abortion debate. That is another one of their colossal mistakes.

In Israel, the race is on: who or which party will withdraw from the coalition and bring down the government? Some feel that it might be Gideon Sa’ar and the New Right Party even though Sa’ar said a while ago that he would never serve in a government headed by Bibi Netanyahu.

That position could change, especially when you figure that polls show that if there are new elections in Israel, the New Right Party will not garner enough votes to cross the electoral threshold and will be out of the Knesset. Netanyahu has the ability to assure Sa’ar of a position in his natural political home in the Likud. The only problem is that if Netanyahu does not deliver, it will not be the first time that he double-crossed Saar.

As you can see there is a great deal going on. Most important is to begin the process, both here and there, that repairs the damage that Biden and Bennett have each brought upon their respective countries.

Read more of Larry Gordon’s articles at Follow 5 Towns Jewish Times on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and live videos. Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome at and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Previous articleIsrael On My Mind
Next articleOpen Doors


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here