Netanyahu’s Positions Are Not Leaving

Benjamin Netanyahu lost his role as Israel’s Prime Minister over this past June weekend. He served as the longest running head of Israel, and oversaw the country’s emergence as a leading force for stability and democracy in the turbulent Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in May 2021. (Photo by Sebastian Scheiner / POO)L / AFP)

Israeli politics have principally been shaped by four regional realities: The 2000-2004 Two Percent War/ Second Intifada; the “Arab Spring”; the dangerous aspirations of Iran; and the demographics of the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel. It is with that backdrop that one must assess why Israel elected the same politician over-and-again in a vigorous democracy, and what future governments of Israel will look like.

The 2000-2004 Two Percent War/ Second Intifada
and Hamas 2006 and 2007

The Israel-Palestinian conflict was scheduled to reach its conclusion in September 2000 at the five-year anniversary of the Oslo Accords. Rather than accept less than all of his stated goals, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, opted to launch a murderous campaign against Israelis. The “Second Intifada” or Two Percent War watched repeated attacks of Palestinian Arabs blowing up buses and pizza stores to deliberately kill women and children. Only with the construction of the separation barrier was Israel able to stop the Palestinian terrorism.

Hawkish Ariel Sharon, who headed the Likud Party (and later, Kadima) was elected to head the government several times, in March 2001, February 2003 and November 2005, as Israelis internalized that Palestinians would rather slaughter Israelis than make peace. When Palestinians later elected the political-terrorist group Hamas to a majority of the Palestinian parliament in 2006 and watched it take over Gaza in 2007, Israelis understood that land-for-peace was in fact land-for-terror. Israelis clearly saw reality despite cataracts of hope, and elected a leader they thought had a firm grasp of the intentions of Palestinian Arabs.

After Sharon’s debacle in leaving Gaza in 2005 and drift into a coma, it was time for Netanyahu to make his comeback as head of the Likud Party. He assumed the Prime Minister role as head of Likud in March 2009.

The Arab Spring 2011-

The Muslim Arab world has long been ruled with an iron hand by monarchies which lived rich lives while their populations lived in abject poverty. In late 2010, the Arab populations had had enough. Riots to oust leaders sprung up throughout the region including in Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Bahrain. In some countries, leaders were ousted while in others – like Syria – the leadership committed war crimes against its own citizenry to remain in power.

How much the thriving economy and democracy of Israel, right in the heart of the region, inspired the popular Arab revolts in the region will be debated. However, what was abundantly clear to the entire world, was that the Arab world was at war with itself, and Israel was a beacon of stability in a vicious neighborhood.

Israelis understood this. They watched countries around them implode while their economy skyrocketed. They re-elected Netanyahu in 2013 as he offered humanitarian aid to victims of the Syrian Civil War, despite the two countries being officially at war.

Iranian Nuclear Ambitions and Sponsorship of Terrorism

Iran has been listed on the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984. The Islamic regime has repeatedly stated since at least 2005, that Israel should be wiped from the map, and it has taken various steps to make that happen.

Iran funds Hezbollah in Lebanon (went to war with Israel in 2006) and various Palestinian Arab terrorist groups in Gaza (went to war with Israel in 2008-9, 2012 and 2014). It also assists in the creation of an advanced military platform in Syria (2018-).

And over the past decade, it has advanced its own nuclear weapons program.

The promotion of terrorist groups is horrible enough and forces Israel into military confrontations on multiple fronts. But nuclear weapons in the hands of such a government is completely unacceptable. Not only to every Israeli but to various Arab countries in the region including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Netanyahu capitalized on the collective fear of a nuclear Iran and struck the “Abraham Accords” normalization agreements with Bahrain, the UAE, Sudan and Morocco. More countries will likely follow.

The Israeli street was thrilled with Netanyahu’s peace agreements and aggressively combatting Iran’s nuclear ambitions both militarily and politically.

The Demographics of Haredis

There is a common misperception of what a typical Israeli looks like. To read the news, one would think that they are all White-looking Jews like Netanyahu. In fact, the majority of Israeli Jews are from Arab countries and are as Brown as the Israeli non-Jewish population which stands at roughly 25% of the country. In all, White Israeli Jews make up roughly 20-25% of the 9 million citizens.

Within both the European-looking and Arab-looking Jewish population, there is a rapidly growing ultra-Orthodox population, called Haredim. This ultra-Orthodox group now numbers roughly 1.2 million people, or 13% of the country. They have many more children than the non-Haredi Israelis (4.2% annual growth rate versus 1.4%) and their youth account for 58% of the population (compared to 30% for non-Haredi).

In short, they are the future of Israel, should current trends continue.

Netanyahu actively courted their support in his various election wins. While the ultra-Orthodox typically voted for their own parties (Shas and United Torah Judaism), they aligned with Likud to form governing coalitions, as Netanyahu promised them funding for their yeshivas and accommodations for army service.

Netanyahu may no longer be the Israeli Prime Minister but his Likud party trounced all other political parties with 30 seats compared to second place Yesh Atid with 17. More so, the backdrop of Palestinian Arabs unwilling to compromise for peace, Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the rise of ultra-Orthodox community make his positions – if not a comeback of his person – likely to remain.

Related First One Through articles:

Ever-Elections, Never-Elections and Controlling Elections

Missing Netanyahu’s Speech: Those not Listening and Those Not Speaking

The Debate About Two States is Between Arabs Themselves and Jews Themselves

Netanyahu Props Up Failed Arab Leaders

The New York Times Major anti-Netanyahu Propaganda Piece

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“Ethnic Cleansing” in Israel and the Israeli Territories

The term “ethnic cleansing” has been used often in the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The reactions to the comment are in inverse relation to the truth.

Palestinians Claim
of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”

In 2012, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, stood at the United Nations and claimed that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinian Arabs.  At first, he spoke about “ethnic cleansing” when Israel declared independence:

“The Palestinian people, who miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history. In those dark days, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”

Abbas neglected to say that the Palestinian Arabs left their homes while their fellow Arabs launched an attack on the nascent Jewish State to destroy it completely.  The Arabs failed in their genocidal quest.  Yet for its part, Israel granted all of the Arabs living in its territory full citizenship.  A complete inversion of his claim that Israel “intended to extinguish their [Arab] being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence.”

Abbas continued to claim that Israel was engaged in “ethnic cleansing” to this day:

“We have not heard one word from any Israeli official expressing any sincere concern to save the peace process. On the contrary, our people have witnessed, and continue to witness, an unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in Occupied East Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.”

Abbas conveniently neglected to mention the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel throughout 2012. He also neglected to mention that Israel left Gaza in 2005, allowing the Palestinian Arabs to rule themselves for the first time in hundreds of years.

No matter.  The people at the United Nations gave Abbas a standing ovation.

Acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas
addressing the United Nations in 2012

United Nations Claim
of Israeli “Ethnic Cleansing”

In 2014, the “Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories” (yes, that’s an actual title) whose job it is to report on Israelis, declared that Israel was committing “ethnic cleansing” in East Jerusalem.

“The continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with forcible eviction of long residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation that can only be described, in its cumulative impact, as a form of ethnic cleansing.

The facts are the exact opposite: the Arabs in Jerusalem are growing faster than the non-Arab population.

As detailed in “Arabs in Jerusalem,” the Arab population in Jerusalem now stands at 36% of the city, up from 26% when the city was reunited in 1967.  From 1967 to 2011, the Arab population in the city grew by 5.7 times, while the Jewish population in the Israeli capital only grew by 3.4 times over the same period.

No matter the facts. “The Special Rappoteur “called on the Council to undertake efforts to have the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), assess allegations that the prolonged occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem possess elements of “colonialism,” “apartheid” and ‘ethnic cleansing.'”

No comments from United States or anyone else about the absurd and caustic statements, nor on the lunatic who made them (who incidentally, is a big 9/11 conspiracy theorist).

Israeli Prime Minister Claims
of Palestinian “Ethnic Cleansing”

In September 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of “ethnically cleansing” Jews from their historic homeland of Judea and Samaria / the West Bank.  Netanyahu made his statement because Abbas has stated he cannot accept a single Israeli living in a new state of Palestine.

Netanyahu did not even bring up a variety of other Palestinian Authority laws, as detailed in “Abbas Knows Racism,” such as:

  • Palestinian Authority law that condemns any Arab that sells land to a Jew to death.
  • Palestinian universities bar entry to Jews

The origins of Arab ethnic cleansing of Jews dates back decades, to when the Jordanians illegally annexed eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950 and expelled all of the Jews from the area.  Jordan then passed a citizenship law in 1954 that specifically EXCLUDED Jews from being granted citizenship in their own homeland.

“Any person who, not being Jewish, possessed Palestinian nationality before 15 May 1948 and was a regular resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 20 December 1949 and 16 February 1954″ (Article 3)

So what was the world reaction when Netanyahu finally stated some clear and obvious facts?  Condemnation.

The spokesperson for the US State Department responded to the Netanyahu video: “We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful.”

When Abbas heard that Netanyahu used the “ethnic cleansing” charge, Abbas doubled-down by saying again that Israel uses “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians.

No comment from the State Department about Abbas’s use of the term.

The current United States administration and United Nations have no time or interest for Israelis stating simple truths. It would appear, that if you want the world to agree and applaud, you would best be served by denying facts like the Palestinian Arabs.

Related First.One.Through articles:

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

The Long History of Dictating Where Jews Can Live Continues

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

Names and Narrative: Genocide / Intifada

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

The US State Department Does Not Want Israel to Fight Terrorism

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Seeing Security through a Screen

 The 44th US President is surrounded by high walls
and peers out at the world through pretty screens.

In November 2014, “someone” in the Obama Administration chose to belittle the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The choice of expletives aside, the call was not just revealing about how much Barack Obama and his administration disliked Netanyahu, it reflected a smugness and cluelessness of the US Administration about living in the dangerous Middle East.

America at Peace

America has been blessed with peace on its shores. While the country has waged many wars over the past 70 years, the actual fighting was on foreign lands including: Europe; Iraq; Vietnam; Korea; Japan; Libya; Kosovo; Somalia and many other countries. Other than two attacks on American soil, the US has been spared fear and death at home.

  1.  Points in Time: There were only two days that the USA had foreigners attacking the country: December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. America has not faced a prolonged attack on its shores for centuries.
  2. Troops Trespassing: Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attacks were done via airplanes. Foreign warriors did not walk the streets of America.
  3. Families Threatened: The two attacks were on military installations (the navy fleet and the Pentagon) and financial center (World Trade Center).   America did not face an enemy that threatened homes and families.
  4. Existential Threat: America is a superpower, armed with firepower that can destroy the world many times over. It has not engaged with an enemy that could threaten the very existence of the country.
  5. Peaceful borders: America is lucky to have only two borders despite its enormous size. Both neighbors are friends, allies and trading partners of the USA.

None of these facts are true for Israel. Israel is surrounded by several enemy countries. These neighbors have stated their intention to wipe Israel off of the map and have repeatedly gone to war and fired directly into civilian population centers over and over again through the decades of Israel’s existence.

Lawyers as Commanders-in-Chief

America’s peaceful existence has enabled it to calmly elect presidents with no military experience over the last several decades. When America fought its great wars such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World War II, the American people elected the respective generals to become the Commanders-in-Chief in the following years (George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower).

  1. Never in battle. The recent US presidents and vice presidents (particularly the Democratic ones) including Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Bill Clinton had no military experience at all. George HW Bush fought in World War II, while George W Bush served in the National Guard but was never in battle. Al Gore served as a military reporter for a short stint.       Other than HW Bush, these men never faced true fear or saw friends die in battle. They led the world’s largest military machine as Commanders-in-Chief without appreciating the danger and fear of deadly combat.
  2. No draft. America no longer has a draft so every person that serves in the military does so as a volunteer. Such a system can mask the decision of deploying troops for a military commander. Each soldier is a volunteer and trained professional. This “professional army” is very different than “citizen armies” that pull people out of the workforce and touch every corner of a country. As such, American presidents fight wars without the same direct economic and emotional impact that face other countries.
  3. The infrequent visitor. President George W Bush launched the Iraq War in response to the attacks on 9/11 and President Obama invested heavily in the War in Afghanistan. Each president made only four short trips to the regions despite deploying well over half a million troops in each war over many years.

In Israel, every person must serve in the armed forces. Every family deals with disruption to its business and annual routine. Each citizen faces the risks on a very personal level – physical, financial and emotional. Every family in Israel knows someone who died in one of its wars.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu served in the elite unit Sayeret Matkal, and took part in a number of military operations, including the 1972 rescue of a hijacked Sebana passenger jet. His brother died leading a raid to free Israeli civilians hijacked in Entebee in 1976. Other members of the current Israeli ruling coalition include Naftali Bennett who served in two elite units including Sayeret Matkal and Maglan. Yair Lapid served as a First Sergeant in the IDF.

Israeli Prime Ministers do not just visit the frontlines in each battle they fight- they can see the missiles standing next to their families from their bedroom windows.

The Obama Detachment

The detachment from reality regarding the fear and adrenaline of battle for an American president is compounded in the case of Obama, who is generally acknowledged to be a “detached” individual.

  1. Constitutional law. President Obama has referred to himself as a professor of constitutional law. His leadership style exemplified this attitude whether on domestic matters such as Immigration Reform or the Targeted Killing of Anwar al-Awlaki when he delved into the nuances of particular laws in large legal briefs. Despite being the Commander-in-Chief, he is most comfortable as a lawyer surrounded by other lawyers sitting around a conference room table; he is clearly not a military leader surrounded by armed forces in the field of battle.
  2. Community organizer. Obama’s background as a community organizer focused on ways to elevate a particular community within the 330 million-population of the United States. He has no background or experience in protecting the entire country, which every leader in Israel has experienced for several years.
  3. Competitive sports. Obama is very proud of his athletic skills and people have noted his deep competitive streak. However, talking dirt about dunks is divorced from the reality of deploying troops in your backyard against enemies sworn to your destruction while the world admonishes your right to defend itself. Beating an opponent on the court has little to do with protecting ones citizens.
  4. Battle by Remote. The best summary of the Obama detachment is in his moniker “The Drone President”. More than any president in US history, Obama has used drones to assassinate his enemies. The pilots of the drones may be hundreds or thousands of miles from the battle scene. Obama’s army drops the missiles and departs, never personally entering the zone of combat and therefore never exposed to danger.
  5. The Ultimate belief in Self. Despite never being in battle, (other than some competitive basketball games), and relying more and more on mechanized drones in the battlefield, Obama has a tremendous sense of his centrality to the war machine.  After US marines assassinated Osama bin Laden while Obama sat and watched on a screen, his speech to the nation the next day was littered with an active “I” to describe the mission.
    1. “I directed Leon Panetta”
    2. “I was briefed”
    3. “I met repeatedly”
    4. “I determined”
    5. “I, as Commander-in-Chief”

Obama and his administration sit in their comfy offices in their calm country thousands of miles from confrontation and peer into the battle through TV screens and simulators.  They watch their orders for assassinations and wars, with laptops and coffee. Their added security blanket of being a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, adds yet another shield from any serious global charge. As Mel Brooks once aptly said “It’s good to be the King.

obama screen bin laden
Obama, Clinton and crew watch the attack on Bin Laden on monitors,
May 2011

Remarkably, Obama, the cloistered captain, touts his talents and has the temerity to taunt his unloved ally, the besieged Bibi Netanyahu.

The Israeli Prime Minister, the “chick*hit” that the Obama administration referred to, never had the ability to be so smug. His backyard contains a museum memorializing millions of relatives slaughtered for the crime of being a Jew just a few decades ago.  He grew up with a gun in his hand to fight terrorists attacking his neighbors, and armies attacking his country.  He wakes each morning knowing that his house and family are in the comfortable crosshairs of enemies sworn to destroy him, his country and his people.

In addition to his enemies, today Netanyahu has to fight against a world that admonishes him for protecting his people. He has to contend with his greatest ally, the United States, which continues to make it impossible to preemptively attack and destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons.


Insults are not a big deal for a leader who has fought for the survival of his people; Bibi has been called worse by members of his own parliament.

The insult says much more about Obama than it does about Bibi.



The Atlantic on Obama anger at Bibi:

Obama visits Afghanistan:

Bush visit Iraq:

Obama Constitutional Law Professor:

Obama detached:

Obama competitive sports:

Legal Case for Killing:

Obama speech on Bin Laden: