Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud as well as the entire rightwing camp appears to be on the verge of a historic come back and win after last night’s Israeli elections. However, there is another story unfolding.
The Joint List, which is composed of mostly Israeli Arab parties appears to have secured between 14 and 16 seats in last night’s election. This would be the most ever for such a list.
How did the list grow from 10 seats in last April’s election to a whopping 14-16 seats in last night’s election?
The answer can be found in disenfranchised Meretz voters that jumped ship when their party headed by Nitzan Horowitz decided to form a list that focused on social issues with Labor and Gesher. Meretz voters, who are decidedly far more leftwing than the other two parties moved naturally to Ayman Ouda’s Join List.
Why would an Israeli Jew vote for a party that espoused support for terror activities?
Shimon Riklin, rightwing journalist tackled this question on his Twitter feed:
“The abandonment of many leftist voters by Meretz and their move to the joint list indicates that there is no real left in Israel.
There are a bunch of people who don’t want a Jewish state or Judaism.
And that’s enough to vote for the Arabs.
And that’s what they do.
Because that is how the erasure of Jewish identity is fully achieved.”
The Israeli Left and the Joint List are fast becoming the real Leftwing Opposition to the National Camp. The challenge for Israel going forward is fast moving towards a country like all other countries or a Jewish State that acknowledges the need to take care of all of its citizens Jew and non-Jew alike.
The choice for Israelis is finally clear.
The fact is, the real debate in Israel has always been about this issue. Of course what the hard left fails to understand is that Ayman Ouda and Ahmed Tibi of the Joint List don’t want them here either. The irony is that if all things were equal, most members of the Joint List identify with the religious right in Israel on social issues – not the Left. We are already seeing this in small amounts.
The deep issues running underneath Israeli society are all connected to Jewish identity. Prime Minister Netanyahu as Chaim Rimon, a former Justice Minister said this morning “Gives people a sense of pride” about being Israeli and ultimately Jewish.
The left does not. With the majority of Israelis identifying more and more with Jewish tradition, the secret to Bibi’s success is simple – be joyous about being a Jew and success will follow.
After all, the great Chassidic master Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches: “One who is joyful, is always successful.”
The Israeli Left and their new Arab leadership would do a lot to learn from Rebbe Nachman and Prime Minister Netanyahu.