Israeli voters will sway US policy
Israeli voters will sway US policy

Many of us around here thought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a shoo-in going into Tuesday’s elections. Instead, it’s a toss-up.

The latest polls suggest a tie between Left and Right.

Whoever wins, Netanyahu or his challenger from the Left, former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, expect the result to shape US policy.

It may not show up transparently or immediately, but to American observers, particularly the Trump administration, whatever comes will be taken as “message delivered.”

If Netanyahu pulls it out, it will be understood that the Israelis are satisfied with the status quo, and are in no mood to make bargains of the type that led to the Gaza catastrophe.

Netanyahu, his scoffers never mind – in the face of BDS and rising worldwide anti-Semitism, Netanyahu has been masterful worldwide.

Who else drew in the Sunni Arabs, and who else managed to keep both America AND Russia on the safe side? (So far, at least.)

For all the factors that drive Israelis to vote this way or that, it will always come down to pride of sovereignty, yes, or pride of sovereignty, no. Or put it like this – are Israelis still in the mood to make “painful concessions” and “take risks” for the sake of “peace” with an enemy that wants nothing less than the entire land and all Jews dead and gone?

Is today’s Israel comfortable in its own skin or weak in the knees and ripe for the taking?

A vote for Gantz, if it amounts to a win, will be taken by US policymakers as a sign that the Israelis can still be played.

Whatever “Deal of the Century” emerges, expect it to reflect whichever Israel emerges after Tuesday – a nation to the Left, or a nation to the Right.

If to the Left, message delivered that enough voters to put Gantz in power consider themselves as occupiers, and always ready to give up more land.

Gantz gave the signal when he announced himself more than pleased with the forced evacuation from Gaza where in Gush Katif thousands of Israelis had prospered. For Gantz, it was a “model” withdrawal, so perfect that, if elected, he more than hinted, it would serve as his model for similar withdrawals elsewhere…always Jews, never Arabs.

It’s a good thing that the Golan Heights got nailed down just in time, but too bad it wasn’t done in time for Judea/Samaria, just in case the government falls into the wrong hands.

It is a plain fact that the vast majority of Israelis do not feel Gantz’s way.

In overwhelming numbers, they support a strong Israel. The Land is sacred to them, Dear God they’ve shed enough blood as proof of this, and they have no appetite for further territorial concessions, like Gaza. Nearly all agree it was a horrible mistake, still exacting a terrible price, but which came as a blunder from Ariel Sharon, another general.

Netanyahu seems fated to suffer the consequences from one general to another – as does the entire nation.

If only through the same lie repeated day after day, the media can mesmerize an entire country – as here they’ve been drubbing Trump, and over there.
But Gantz could still pull the upset. We know how this works. We’re dealing with it in the United States, where all we hear from the Democrats is that we are guilty. We ought to be ashamed. We owe the world apologies. This sounds like Gantz. Not so Trump. Trump wants us proud. This sounds like Netanyahu.

But the Leftists know all the tricks and they control the entire culture.

From here to there, from Washington to Jerusalem, they control the books, the movies, the television, the theater, the radio, the universities and certainly the news media.

In the weekend edition of The New York Times, Bret Stephens urges Israelis to vote for Gantz without a single clue as to how Gantz features to be the better man. Nice try, though.

Or maybe at the Times any Leftist will do and columnists must simply follow orders.

If only through the same lie repeated day after day, the media can mesmerize an entire country – as here they’ve been drubbing Trump, and over there, Netanyahu, largely through the Hebrew press. For both leaders, it’s been a nightmare of out-for-blood media bias, never for a moment to pause for clarity or fairness.

The coverage has been brutally one-sided, as a means to hand victory to the Left at any cost…and no matter how ceaseless the name-calling or how dirty the politics.

So it goes when they operate as one Leftist machine, and so it is no wonder that the most disreputable Democrats running for president draw big money and big crowds.

Our turn comes in 2020, to find out which America we’ve chosen, the greatness we’ve earned, or the shame that’s been so deceitfully foisted upon us.

For the Israelis, it’s the same question for Israel come Tuesday.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He is the author of the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal.” His latest is the newsroom drama “News Anchor Sweetheart.”  His Inside Journalism thriller, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” is being prepared for the movies. Contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website: