web analytics
October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



When Bibi Did Teshuvah


I’m writing this on the day before Israelis vote for our Knesset, but one thing I can presume is that unless a cow is seen jumping over our ten-day-old new moon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be asked by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, to form the next government.

If I had to choose one word to describe our prime minister, the word would be “sensational.”

No, he’s not a relative of mine. No, he hasn’t done what Heshy Frank of Quality Carpet has done for me by sponsoring my radio broadcasts for thirty-one years, helping me survive twenty-eight years of living in the holy land.

I knew in the year 2001 that Netanyahu had experienced a rebirth, so to speak. I knew then that one day this man would become what our small, holy nation really needs – a true Jewish leader who puts the importance of the citizenry, the importance of the land, and the importance of our Torah above the human desire for wealth, honor and success.

I first met Bibi in 1993, shortly after he’d been chosen to lead the Likud, making him the voice of Israel’s opposition parties during those early Oslo days.

I told him I was “Ben Israel,” a radio host on Arutz Sheva with a midnight show.

“Oh, you’re Ben Israel,” he said. “I like the way you speak!”

I had no idea the Likud leader was a listener.

When the leftist government forced me off the air, Bibi found himself missing my show and asked me to come to his office. “I’ll help you get back on the air,” he assured me. But I decided that since there was no real freedom of speech in Israel at the time, I’d pass on the offer.

Netanyahu’s popularity kept growing, and as it became increasingly apparent to Israelis that the Oslo agreements had been a tragic mistake, it seemed that Bibi would easily defeat Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the next election. But the horrible assassination of Rabin created a huge backlash against the right, and Netanyahu barely beat Peres in the ’96 election – and only by promising to continue the Oslo process

Many Oslo opponents lost faith in him. But I understood that Netanyahu’s honest spirit forced him to be truthful to his word – to govern as he promised he would on the campaign trail.

But then came Sukkos 1996, when a door was opened to the street from the Kotel tunnels. Yasir Arafat’s thugs started shooting at our soldiers, and when the air cleared eleven holy Israeli soldiers were dead.

At that point Netanyahu found himself too unseasoned and politically feeble to do what he should have done. He should have torn up the Oslo agreements and quoted Yitzhak Rabin’s own words: “If they use the guns we give them on us, the Oslo agreement will be terminated.”

Instead, the very next day Netanyahu found himself reluctantly shaking Arafat’s hand before a smiling Bill Clinton.

The Oslo disaster continued, but Bibi’s grudging acceptance of the so-called peace process gave an opening to opposition leader Ehud Barak, who unseated Netanyahu in the ’99 election.

It was right around then that former Likud prime minister Yitzhak Shamir termed Netanyahu “a traitor to his own principles.”

Barak took the reins and promised to see the Oslo agreement through and bring about true peace, but his efforts instead led to a second Intifada. The Likud convinced Netanyahu to return to politics and what was sure to be an easy victory over the now unpopular Barak.

It was then that Netanyahu changed the course of his future. This was to be the last direct election of the prime minister (as opposed to the entire Knesset) and while there was no doubt he would win, Netanyahu realized he’d find “himself at the mercy of the leftist Knesset that had been voted in along with Ehud Barak.”

So he asked the Shas Party, with its seventeen seats, to vote to change the Knesset. Otherwise, he said, he would refuse to accept the prime ministership.

Shas leaders, knowing they would lose several seats in a new election, turned down Netanyahu’s request. Bibi remained true to his word and declined the offer to run for prime minister, which led Ariel Sharon step in and win by a landslide against Barak.

About the Author: Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at dovshurin@yahoo.com. His Jewish Press column appears the third issue of each month.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “When Bibi Did Teshuvah”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Dov Shurin
Dov Shurin

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Dov Shurin

Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that “quiet will be met with quiet.”

Isn’t it comforting to know that our God loves life, grants life, and promises eternal life?

While the phrase “Let It Be” implies doing nothing, “Lu Yehi” implies working toward a goal.

An Israeli company should make “Arafat’s Dead Sea Tonic” with this warning: “may cause severe vomiting or even death.”

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

Boundless love was something Rav Kook had for the nation of Israel. Just as one cannot question the boundless love of Hashem for Israel, one cannot question the boundless love of a Torah giant for his people.

I hollered over and over again, waving a clinched fist toward the heavens.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/dov-shurin-columns/when-bibi-did-teshuvah/2013/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: