In Tuesday’s national elections in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu could get re-elected. Or, he could lose. Or, he could lose and still become the next Prime Minister (see below).
Only G-d knows who will win. Only G-d knows what will happen after the ballots are counted. Only G-d knows who’ll be Israel’s next Prime Minister.
During the July-August 2014 war with Gaza, Netanyahu was a hero. His approval rating rocketed to 82 per cent.
A few weeks later, as that 50-day war ended, Netanyahu’s approval rating plummeted to 38 per cent (“Poll: Netanyahu’s approval rating plummets”, JTA, August 25, 2014). He had failed to finish that war in a way that met our approval.
In a matter of weeks, he had gone from hero to bum. His supposed failure then may play a role in Tuesday’s elections. When historians write the history of the 2014 Gaza-Israel war, they might conclude that that war gave birth to Netanyahu’s defeat. They might write that Netanyahu never recovered from his ratings drop.
Did that war destroy Netanyahu? Only G-d knows.
If Netanyahu loses, it appears that US President Barack Obama will be happy. Supposedly, Obama inspired a campaign in Israel (managed by former Obama campaign workers) called ‘Anyone but Bibi’ (Netanyahu’s nickname). This campaign brought money and manpower to Israel to do one thing: ‘unelect’ Netanyahu.
Was President Obama behind this interference? Only G-d knows.
American-inspired interference to unseat a sitting leader in a foreign election might be illegal. On March 14, 2015, Fox News reported that a bipartisan U.S. Senate committee was investigating just that question (Aaron Klein, “Senate targets Obama meddling in Israel election”, WND).
Has the US attempted to manipulate Israel’s national election? G-d knows. That Senate subcommittee may never find out. Then again, even if it did find out, their findings might not affect the outcome of this election.
Or could they?
Only G-d knows.
Two days before the election, everyone in Israel is bewildered. Polls here are notoriously unreliable. Could they be correct this time? Could Leftists beat Netanyahu?
Only G-d knows.
Even if Netanyahu loses, he could win. A Netanyahu loss means only that the winner gets first crack at forming a new government. If the winner fails, that task goes to the second- or third-place finisher. That could be Netanyahu.
It’s happened before. In 2009, Tzipi Livni beat Netanyahu at the ballot box. But she couldn’t create a coalition. Second-place finisher Netanyahu then got the chance. He succeeded. He became Prime Minister.
This time, if Netanyahu loses, there’s a new wrinkle that could work in his favour: pro-Hamas Israeli-Arab leaders of a new United (or Joint) Arab Party.
In Israel, once an election is over, it’s the President of Israel—currently Reuven Rivlin—who asks the winner to form a coalition. But, apparently, he isn’t required to ask a winner to do that if the resulting government could threaten Israel (David Newman, “Borderline Views: Israel’s elections and the Joint Arab List”, Jerusalem Post, February 23, 2015).
It’s been reported for months that Herzog has been talking with leaders of the Unity (or Joint) Arab Party (Cynthia Blank, “Kuwaiti Report: Herzog in Contact with Joint Arab List”, Arutz Sheva, March 15, 2015). The openly anti-Israel Arab leaders of this Party have given speeches that make them sound more like Hamas representatives than Members of the Israeli Knesset.
That could be a problem because conventional wisdom suggests that Herzog cannot cobble a coalition together without the Joint Arab Party. He needs them to become Prime Minister. Will Israel’s government be safe with Arab Party members who openly justify Hamas attacks against Israel? (Charles Bybelezer, “Preventing an Israeli Fifth Column”, Front Page Mag, July 23, 2014).
Will Israel’s President fear that anti-Israel Arabs inside a ruling coalition will have access to security secrets? Will he fear they’ll share these secrets with Israel’s enemies?
According to the Jerusalem Post (David Newman, above), if Israel’s President has such fears, he may not ask Herzog-Livni (if they win) to form a government. He could go to the second-place finisher. That could be Netanyahu.
If such concerns don’t bother the President, they might bother potential coalition partners. Those potential partners might be reluctant to join a government that includes pro-Hamas Arabs. Their reluctance could be the kiss of death for a Herzog-Livni coalition.
Will that happen? Only G-d knows.
There’s no way to know who’ll win this election. The election marinates in unknowables. It has enough imponderables to suggest there is indeed a Divine Hand at work here.
The G-d of Israel has written a Story. That Story is about the Jewish Final Redemption. The unknowables, imponderables and convolutions of this March 17, 2015 election all point in one direction: HaShem, the G-d of Israel, uses this election to move forward the Destiny of the Jewish people.