It wasn’t even close. Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party stunned the prognosticators, coming back from polls showing them behind to actually gaining more seats in the Knesset than they currently hold. Not only the pre-election polls were wrong, but the exit polls were also, as they indicated a too-close-to-call result. I love it when polls are off; it means individual decisions still matter.
No matter what public face the Obama administration attempts to put on Israel’s election results, it has to sting internally. They are probably furious, and trying to figure out how to undermine Netanyahu’s honesty about the Iranian threat.
What has to be particularly galling to them is the utter defeat of the “Chicago Machine” that was behind the effort to oust the prime minister. All the funding of the opposition and even sending over a key Obama campaign operative to engineer Netanyahu’s defeat were all in vain.
It’s no secret, no matter what you may hear today from the White House or the State Department, that they were hoping to overthrow the current Israeli government. And no matter how gracious Netanyahu will be in public toward Obama, he is no fool; he knows Obama has no love for him or the nation he leads.
Me? I obviously rejoice over this turn of events. The only down side is that I had this really nice comparison I was going to use in today’s blog, placing Netanyahu beside a picture of Winston Churchill, another great leader who was turned out of office. What a travesty that was—inspiring a nation to overcome during WWII, then losing to the Labour Party even before the war ended. Ingratitude is a common human trait when the opposition promises to provide all one’s needs, as the Labour Party did. All Britain got in return for placing them in power was years of rationing and austerity caused by government policy.
So, I can’t make the comparison I was going to make. But that’s fine with me. I can still compare their courage in the face of a threat that seeks to destroy their civilization. May Benjamin Netanyahu meet this challenge and go down in history as another Churchill.