Oh, When Will They Ever Learn?

Rochel Sylvetsky,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Rochel Sylvetsky
Rochel Sylvetsky is Senior Consultant to Arutz Sheva's English site and serves as op-ed and Judaism editor. She is a former Chairperson of Emunah Israel (1991-96), CEO/Director of Kfar Hanoar Hadati Youth Village, member of the Emek Zevulun Regional Council and the Religious Education Council of Israel's Education Ministry. She has degrees in Mathematics and Jewish Education.

Although this title is taken from an anti-war song, its truth is never more evident than in Israel's elections yesterday.

First, the mainstream media. They never do learn, but this time they really should have been sent to the principal's office for unacceptable be‎havior.  Unashamed of their lack of basic journalistic ethics, they trumpeted blatant hatred of Netanyahu the man, malice towards his wife and magnified the spite of his former household worker – and they went too far, as usual, in exceptionally bad taste, and had the opposite effect from the one they intended. 

The headlines (a few days of looking even at the JPost printed edition's first page was an eye-opener in how titles can be anti-Netanyahu, when they could just as easily have been neutral), the nastiness on television talk shows, the negative message "Just not Bibi" -  all backfired.

Listening to voters talking on the radio this morning, one realizes that rather than molding opinion, the media got people out of their homes to vote for Bibi.

The crucial question was whether Israelis would act like the Americans who voted Obama into office, influenced in great part by the fact that the  entire US mainstream media were behind him – and if so, whether Jews really aren’t smarter than other people, as Abe Rosenfeld of the NY Times wrote when the Oslo Peace Accords were signed.

It turned out that Israelis, who had been complacent about voting, and who were somewhat mesmerized by the anti-Netanyahu slogan, decided to think for themselves about what Herzog was telling them about their future under his leadership, the anti-Zionists on his list, his accepting V15 so that he would be beholden to Obama, and the dictatorship of the obviously useless, but constant, polls.

Even now, on Reshet Bet, the Israeli radio station with extensive news coverage, the anchorman is not letting the Likud MK talk and trying to find fault with the choice Israeli citizens clearly made, touting the idea of a unity government and warning Israelis that this will not be a social welfare government. The Likud is traditionally the party of the working class, so this is a somewhat interesting opinion, based on the ridiculous idea that one cannot worry about both security and economics.

Second, the polls. They are either meaningless or purposely misleading. Take your choice. The countrywide addiction to polls has been shown to be a large waste of time and money.

Third, Israel has a right wing majority. It seems that people want to survive despite the price of cottage cheese and not be guinea pigs in another "peace" experiment, as they have been since Oslo. The missiles from Gaza did the job. It is as simple as that. People want more attention to social issues and prices of homes, but they know what comes first.

Fourth, and most painful, the Religious Zionists did it again. If not for Eli Yishai and Chetboun's Yachad, there would have been more seats for the Jewish Home, even though so many religious Zionist voters cast their ballots for Likud, understandably fearing a Herzog victory that would force the Jewish Home party into the oppo‎sition.

Why, why, when there was finally a strong Religious Zionist party with more seats than the sector could get on its own, did they have to break away instead of fighting for their opinions from within? Politics is the art of the achievable, not the forming of a party that is a perfect match to one's opinions. Meretz represents the same kind of thinking and they barely pass the threshold. Tekuma was smart enough to remain in Jewish Home, let us hope that next time there is one Religious Zionist party.

(There is a silver lining proportionally: Jewish Home was 7 seats less than Lapid's Yesh Atid in the outgoing Knesset, while now the gap is only 3-4 seats and Yesh Atid went down from 19 to 11-12 seats.)

Last, and most important, once again we see that G-d is watching over His Torah. It seems that Education Minister Piron's idea of dictating educational content to religious schools will fall by the wayside, so will anti-Orthodox legislation that harms the delicate balance of religion and state that defines the only, beloved land of the Jewish People, and the mean-spirited criminal punishments that Yesh Atid insisted on putting  in the draft law will be dropped.  

Let us look forward to dealing with the many problems of this country, with His help.