Yesterday was so charged with excitement, like most election days are, and as I walked to the polls with Stephane’s mom, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride as I saw the institution of democracy at its finest. This was my second election voting in Israel, but after two wars and almost 5 years, I had a much different appreciation and sense of urgent excitement this time.
Sometimes it is hard living in the Tel Aviv leftist stronghold bubble while still keeping in touch with the true majority of the Israeli citizens. Thank goodness I have enough family and friends outside of the city to understand Tel Aviv is not representative of the people as a whole. We read countless reports saying that Bibi was on the way out, that most of the Israelis were ready to “send him home”, yet, quite surprisingly for anyone who reads the news, Bibi was not even close to being “sent home”. In fact, the man won by a landslide and clear majority. Out of the 8 largest cities in Israel, only 2 didn’t have a majority voting for Bibi and his Likud party. I’m sure you won’t be surprised that Tel Aviv was one of the very few cities whose majority didn’t vote for Bibi.
I am my grandfather’s daughter. I have always veered right regardless of what continent I’m on. But I get it… I understand the bitter disappointment felt by the left. I felt it twice when Obama was elected. I near fainted the second time. I understand the overwhelming frustration the left must be feeling at finding out that, in fact, most of Israel is against them… Not Bibi, and many people voted for Bibi simply to keep the left out of power. I would be frustrated to…Honestly. But what I can’t understand, or stand behind, is the fact that the losing team has to validate their loss by diminishing the capacity, reasoning, and intelligence of the millions of people who went to the polls and voted for Bibi because they felt that he, and a “right” government, was their best hope for the future of Israel.
I can’t speak for anyone except myself, so allow me to explain (not justify) why I voted for Bibi. It comes down to one very simple fact: I trust him. I trust that under his leadership Israel won’t face extinction. I don’t worry that Israel will cease to exist with Bibi and the right in power. I trust that he won’t slice Jerusalem in half and give part to a people who want to exterminate us. I trust that he understands the Palestinian leadership (please pay attention to the fact that I’m mentioning their leadership and not their people) doesn’t want a state… They want Israel, and I trust he won’t let that happen. I trust that he will form a strong coalition with a fair distribution of ministries split between the center and the religious. I want Israel to continue to be a JEWISH state, and I don’t feel that will be in jeopardy with Bibi and the right in power.
I’m not going to lie…There was a small part of me that voted for Bibi just to piss off Obama, and give a screw you to his administration who has worked so hard to meddle in Israeli politics and overthrow Netanyahu. I’m kidding, but it does give me great pleasure to see that the Israeli people gave a big F.U. to the president of the United States. In fact, I voted for Bibi because he is so strong, and doesn’t cower under the thumb of America who is led by a man who, for all intents and purposes, is an enemy of our little, yet powerful, country. I voted for Bib because he represents and speaks for ME on almost every issue. I voted for Bibi because apartment prices, and food prices won’t matter if Israel doesn’t exist, and because I’m confident that Bibi will form a coalition with people like Bennet and Kahlon who could vastly improve the economic situation in Israel, and who have already started to do so. Don’t forget it was far right wing Bennet who achieved the feat of raising the minimum wage in Israel.
I voted for Bibi because I want Israel to remain a Jewish state… and I’m secular. I came to Israel to live in the Jewish state with all of the ramifications that come along with that. If you want a secular nation go to Europe or America. Part of what makes Israel so special is her laws and cultures rooted so deeply in Judaism. You won’t find that anywhere else in the whole word, and that is why I voted for Bibi. Because he won’t jeopardize our Judaism to appease the people who want to make Israel just like every other place in the world. Listen, I get that it is not for everyone, but it is for me, and that’s why I voted Bibi. You can call me racists, elitist, or whatever other exclamatory adjective you can think of, but I will never apologize for wanting to keep Israel the Jewish state.
I stood with people of Israel yesterday. Not all, but most. The votes don’t lie. With over 70% of the population voting, and with those votes translating into a landslide majority for Bibi and his Likud, I was not the exception. I was aligned with so many who love this country and who feel just like me. These are not people who hate Israel. These are not uneducated people. These are not just rich Olim or the poor or uneducated. This was a win for all of us left and right alike (even if some can’t see that). But regardless of people’s choices, and regardless of people’s hopes, Bibi is the reality, and if they love Israel it is time to stand behind Bibi with the people of Israel.
I can’t tell you how many people I heard expressing their desires to leave Israel now that Bib is back in power. Well allow me to give them some advice on where to go. They can go to Europe where they would have to work everyday to hide the fact that they are both Israeli and Jewish while they simultaneously watch radical Islam tear these once beautiful countries to shreds. They can go to America, but I’d recommend places like Kansas or Montana, otherwise they are going to run into housing prices that are worse than in Israel ::SHOCK::. Sure they can make more money in America but good luck getting a job, or affording health care! Or why don’t they just try one of the many Muslim countries and see how they like them when they find out they are Jewish. To those people I say this: Leave Israel if you want, but if you do so for the wrong reasons then you will truly be alone. No country will care for you or protect you like Israel does. She may not be perfect, in fact she is far from it, her leadership might not be the most ideal, but she will always be yours, whether you like it or not. So it’s time you get behind your country and her leader, and save your complaints and criticisms for other things, and understand that the people who voted for Bibi voted from their hearts for the benefit of the country and her future. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my decision, but I do expect everyone to respect it and know that it was from a place of hope and love for my country.
That is why I voted for Bibi. For the future of Israel. May she continue to be a beacon of hope and light in a world full of darkness and hate. Am Yisral Chai!
I love you and miss you more and more everyday, friend, and know you are looking down proud!
Until we meet again <3,