I must have received 100 emails, phone calls, WhatsApp’s and even handwritten notes (yes, I have some very old friends…) from people asking me to summarize what is happening in Israel. Left wing protests, right wing protests, Defense Minister fired, highways blocked, airport closed, hospitals on strike… well, at least the falafel guy is still open. Ok, here goes:
First the good news. Pesach is next week and despite the nonsense and all the noise, 98% of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael will sit and enjoy the seder. Where’s the last 2% - you ask? That’s the tragic “5th Son” that never made it.
Let’s get back to answering the question. There definitely is a serious problem in Israel, but it’s not what you think. I have spoken to many of the protestors and the overwhelming majority of them have no idea what “judicial reform” is all about. The original ones that started screaming a few months back had genuine objections about proposed changes to Israel’s judicial system but that expanded into something far bigger than the original protest. Today’s protests are organized by sore-losers who cannot accept defeat and realize that they will never win at the ballot boxes… so they took their supporters to the streets instead.
The opposition parties in Israel’s Knesset received more than 1,000,000 votes in the last election. That sounds like a big number – but it was far less than expected. The nation turned towards the “right” and rejected the likes of Lapid, Gantz and Michaeli. What did these 3 clowns do? They joined forces with another political sore-loser; Ehud Barak, and put together a team of PR experts and media people – with a budget that could have ended hunger in the world. Their goal was simple; to delegitimize Prime Minister Netanyahu and his right wing / Haredi coalition partners. They couldn’t do this from the Knesset, since Bibi has a strong majority of 64, so they proceeded to destroy the country they supposedly love.
Their opening punch was a fight against judicial reform. “Bibi wants to take control of the Supreme Court”, they screamed! “This will be the destruction of the third temple” (yes, they said that!!). The problem was that the response by the government was weak and often non-existent. All Bibi had to do – to end this immediately – was explain the facts honestly and accurately but the Attorney General prevented him from speaking. This was a master stroke in the plan.
Most people simply have no clue as to how much power Israel’s Supreme Court has! There is literally no example of this anywhere in the world! In a recent interview with Piers Morgan, Netanyahu said the following; “Israel’s Supreme Court can nullify any decision of the Knesset, can nullify any appointment of the government, can intervene in military matters, can intervene in the fight against terror and can even try to stop the government from taking gas out of the sea… a project that will bring billions of dollars into the economy!” He stressed over and over that there is no democracy in the world that gives the judiciary this kind of absolute power.
Had this been explained in a clear and simple way, the protest movement would have ended before it began. However, the government dismissed these protests as meaningless. However, the attorney general forbade Netanyahu from speaking on the issue, calling it a conflict of interest. Her conflict of interest was glossed over - after all, the plan reduced the authority of the most powerful figure in Israel's judiciary except for the Chief Justice.
This was a gamechanger. The right also didn’t realize how well organized and, especially, how well funded the protestors were. People were being paid to attend these rallies – I know this for a fact; 250 shekel to attend the rally plus an additional 100 shekel for transportation expenses.
The political losers (Lapid, Gantz, Michaeli and Barak) then went to stage 2. They claimed the current government was against women, peace and democracy.
Stage 3 was an attack against Haredim – the usual favorite pin-cushion of the left.
During all these months, the response by Bibi's team, lacking his oratorical and leadership skills, was poor and disorganized and the left jumped on it. They continued with their full court press and nonstop attacks. They used a brilliant marketing technique, which I call “Claiming Ownership”. This is simple, yet highly effective. It works like this: 10 companies are in an industry, all competing for business, when all-of-a-sudden one of them – just one of them – claims that they have a money-back guarantee. They then say that they have 5 engineers on staff for quality control, a 24 hour customer service center, a website in Spanish etc… In reality, all 10 of these companies have the same thing… but since they didn’t say anything – the one that announced it – Claimed Ownership!
This is what happened in Israel. The leftists claimed they are pro-democracy, that they want equal rights, that they care about the future of Israel and the biggest one of all; that they don’t want a civil war (Lapid and Barak said there will be blood in the streets). They never said the right wants a civil war, that would have been terrible. Instead, they said that they don’t want one and, as stated previously, since there was no response from the right, the people started to believe that its Lapid and his gang of election losers who want unity, democracy and brotherly love while Bibi, Smotrich and Ben-Gvir want war, bloodshed and dictatorship.
One more important point must be made. Israel is very similar to America in one critical way. The majority of the people are good and strong and live according to religious values but the leadership in all areas are in the hands of the weak, apologetic, politically correct liberals. Just think for a moment about Hollywood, the military, the academia, the media, the economy and the whole digital world. Outside of a very few exceptions, these are all in the hands of the political left. Israel is exactly the same way.
This is why, when they saw Bibi silent, they jumped on the opportunity to join the fight. The pilots (most of whom haven’t flown in 30 years), the labor union, the healthcare system… they all joined in the “Get Bibi” fight when they thought he was going down.
Remember what I wrote above: The leftists suffered a major defeat on November 1, 2022 (election day) so they decided that if they can’t run the country… there won’t be a country to run.
The lesson for us in this big mess is simple. For years the right-wing built settlements, planted trees to keep land in Jewish hands and established Torah-based communities all over the country. Our guys started amazing chesed organizations, kiruv programs, pre-IDF training centers and much more. We did everything except the most important thing of all: unabashed leadership. We left that in the hands of the left and now we see what that means.
Years ago, I started an organization called “Manhigut Yehudit” – The Jewish Leadership Movement – together with my dear friend, Moshe Feiglin. We screamed and yelled about this concept, but our message fell on deaf ears. We said then – as we say now – that while everything listed in the previous paragraph is important, if the leadership remains in the hands of the leftists, it won’t matter what happens on election day. I am sorry to say that our “prophecy” came true… but its not too late! Let’s learn from this fiasco and make sure that we enter the world of leadership in all areas of the country.
Am Yisrael Chai!