New York Times Editorial: Israel Cannot Be a Normal Country

Today’s New York Times editorial on Israel’s elections is somewhere between obnoxious, patronizing and offensive. We are already used to the fact that the New York Times patronizingly thinks that it understands Israel’s security better than our Prime Ministers and governments understand it that Prime Minister Netanyahu has sacrificed Israel’s security because of his approach to negotiations with the Palestinians. We are already used to the fact that the Times always thinks Israel is responsible for the fact that Palestinians do not have a state yet. The NYT’s black ink never smears the feckless Mahmoud Abbas.

The NYT is entitled to its opinion.

However, it is not entitled to dictate the agenda for our domestic elections in Israel. Yet, discussing Yair Lapid’s election success, today’s NY Times editorial says:

“We wish Mr. Lapid’s election success constituted an unambiguous endorsement of vigorous peace talks, but voters in exit polls said they were more focused on domestic issues. “

Really?? Damn those stupid Israelis who focused their votes on such mundane domestic issues like how to balance a budget and form a better social fabric for society. What a backwards society those Israelis must live in.

According to the Times, the Israeli electorate should not be allowed to vote their domestic issues like religion and state, budgets and taxes like every other normal nation. Did the NYT ask why the US Presidential election was not about Al Qaeda in Mali, Benghazi and Pakistan?

This is downright patronizing.

Here is the right way to look at Israel’s elections.

22 Arab dictatorships surrounding Israel are melting down in terrorism and chaos. The Arab Spring is a nuclear winter. Israel had free democratic elections where 50 new members were elected to the Knesset’s 120 seats. How’s that for throwing the bums out and a vibrant democracy?

The elections in Israel elected a record number of women, nearly 1/5 of our Parliament is made up of women. Two of our parties are led by women. Sheryl Sandberg can move to Israel because here women have a seat at the table. What other country can boast that?

Moreover, the elections in Israel gave a very clear picture of where the Israeli majority is at and since I believe it the wisdom of the crowds, I suggest the NY Times pay attention. Most Israelis believe in a two state solution. Most Israelis believe there is no Palestinian partner for that solution and there will not be for a while. Most Israelis believe, therefore, that we must focus on building our economy, strengthening our social fabric, mutual support and civic solidarity. We want to build an economy that is daring, growing, innovative, inclusive and that makes the world a better place. I think that is a damn good election result and I could not wish for more. Actually, maybe I wish it for America as well.

[Originally published on 24th January 2013 by MIchael Eisenberg]