If results count for anything - Binyamin Netanyahu will again be Israel’s next Prime Minister – heading a Government which hopefully will be more stable than the three previous short-lived coalition Governments he formed after elections held in April 2019, September 2019, and March 2020.
Netanyahu has told voters:
“I pledged to take care of the citizens of Israel and I do so with a deep mission. I brought vaccines and four peace agreements, there are four more on the way,”
This is not the self-promoting rant of a desperate politician seeking re-election – but an accurate description of what Netanyahu has personally done to protect the health, safety and security of every Israeli citizen – Jew and Arab – irrespective of their political or religious beliefs.
Sigal Atzmon – founder and CEO of Medix Global – has lauded Israel's successful vaccine program:
“Firstly, Israel's vaccine program is the envy of the world. As of Mar. 14, 59.7% of the 9.3 million population had received at least one dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
Secondly, the successful rollout means that Israel is confident enough to start reopening its economy again. Citizens who have had both shots, or who have recovered from COVID-19, are eligible to download an app developed by the Ministry of Health. This gives them a unique QR code, which lasts for six months. Scanning it gains citizens entry to gyms, theatres, restaurants and bars. It is also helping to encourage greater vaccine take-up.”
Pfizer’s Chief Executive Officer - Albert Bourla – revealed Netanyahu’s personal involvement in achieving this spectacular result in this Bloomberg article:
“Pfizer Inc. chose Israel for a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination study, supplying enough shots to quickly inoculate the entire eligible population, after dozens of phone calls from its prime minister, sometimes in the middle of the night."
The country’s relatively small size and electronic health records that cover more than 99% of residents were two important reasons for siting the study in Israel, Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said in an interview late Thursday with Israel’s Channel 12 news. But what tipped the scales in Israel’s favor was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s persistence, which Bourla termed an “obsession.”
“He called me 30 times,” Bourla said. “He would ask me about the variants, what data we have. And I would say, ‘Prime Minister, it’s three o’clock.’ And he said, ‘No, no, don’t worry, tell me.’ Or he would call me to ask about the children, ‘I need to vaccinate the schools.’ Or to ask about pregnant women. So he convinced me, frankly, that he would be on top of it.”
On advancing the personal safety and security of every Israeli citizen – Netanyahu has overseen:
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco establishing diplomatic relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords.
- Kosovo - one of the few Muslim countries in Europe - establishing an embassy in Jerusalem.
- The UAE announcing the setting up of a $10 billion fund to invest in Israel
- Israelis visiting Dubai in their tens of thousands
- Several more Arab countries reportedly being on the brink of joining the Abraham Accords -including Oman, Qatar and Mauritania.
- Normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel beginning with Saudi Arabia granting overflight rights to Israel and - most recently - allowing an Israeli racing team to participate in the Dakar Rally.
- An offer of Gaza, 70% of the West Bank and areas of Israel’s sovereign territory being made to the Palestine Liberation Organisation for the creation of a second Arab State – in addition to Jordan – in the territory formerly comprising Mandatory Palestine.
Denigrators and detractors contesting Netanyahu’s re-election face an uphill battle.
Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively by the author —is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog.com
David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country. He founded the "Jordan is Palestine" Committee in 1979.