web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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.

Hundreds of Jews were murdered in the second Intifada while the Knesset tied Sharon’s hands, but with the left in total disarray, Sharon easily won reelection in 2003 – only to force the expulsion of thousands of Jews from Gaza two years later.

But going back to Netanyahu’s passing up the “throne” in 2001. I knew that for him it was the rebirth I mentioned earlier; i.e., repentance for his past mistakes.

Netanyahu then and there found the inner strength to commit himself to the good of the nation above all. And, indeed, as prime minister these past four years he has stood firm against pressure from the international community, including Israel’s only real ally, the United States.

Netanyahu knows there is no true peace partner. He will never allow a Palestinian state overlooking Ben Gurion Airport. For those reasons, and the ones I mentioned above, he really has been sensational.

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
A would-be preacher delivers his message of hate from the Muslim"holy site" on the Temple Mount.
Al Aqsa Mosque ‘Stand-Up’ Preacher Calls for Annihilation of the United States
Latest Indepth Stories
Greiff-112814-Levaya

My son is seventeen; he didn’t want to talk about what happened, or give any details of the Rosh Yeshiva’s words of chizuk.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

Charley Levine

Prominent Jewish leaders acknowledged that their predecessors had mistreated the Bergson Group.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

The Jew’s crime is his presence.

Hamas’s love for death tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible

Israel recognizes the fabrication called a Palestinian nation; So what do we want from the Swedes?

Arab attacking Jews in the land date back a century, long before Israel was created or in control.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Unfortunately, at present, the rabbinate does not play a positive role in preventing abuse.

Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.

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: