In July, 1992, Itzhak Rabin was elected Prime Minister. In his election campaign he promised he would never hold negotiations with the PLO, that he would hold on to as much of post-’67 Israel as possible and that in general, he would keep to the status quo policy of fighting terror, while pursuing peace with the Arabs. In 1993, Mr. Rabin shook hands with PLO chairman and one of history’s most zealous anti-Semites, Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, ushering in an age of appeasement and self-hate.

He promised to hand large chunks of Judea and Samaria to the newly-formed P.A., provide weapons to Palestinian police and release scores of Palestinian terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons. What took place next will forever live in infamy: a decade-long Intifada with thousands of Israeli civilian casualties. Israel, the state that was born out of the sweat and blood of its sons and daughters stood silent as Palestinians suicide bombers blew themselves up along with scores of Jews on an almost daily basis. Time seemed to stand still.

In 1996, Benjamin Netanyahu, of the right-of-center Likud, was elected in a close race against his nemesis Shimon Peres. Netanyahu promised to route out terror wherever it showed its ugly face. Like his predecessor he promised no negotiations with the Palestinians, no further concessions and so on. Here too, something went wrong from the start. Netanyahu began making overtures to Arafat. The two met on the Wye Plantation in Maryland. As he did in Oslo, President Clinton played a vital role in coercing the Israelis to make further concessions to the terrorists. In return for empty promises, more Palestinian terrorists were freed, another 13% of Judea and Samaria was compromised and almost all of the holy city of Hebron was transferred to P.A. jurisdiction.

In March, 2001, Ariel Sharon, founder of the Likud, former Minister of Defense, the man with the legacy of saving Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, of leading the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and subsequent routing of the PLO from Beirut, the ultimate Zionist, was elected to office. Four years later, Sharon would lead a shameful campaign to rid Gaza of its Jewish residents. As was the case with the newly built city of Yamit in 1982, when Sharon, as Minister of Defense oversaw the expulsion of Jews from the Sinai, now, the Prime Minister led efforts to make a historical part of the Jewish State Judenrein—empty of Jews.

What have we learned over the past decade? That there is no single Israeli politician that can be trusted; that once a formerly-right-wing leader assumes power, he will inevitably bend to international pressure. So, the so-called “settlers”, Israel’s heart and soul, the only people in this country ideological enough to stay in Israel’s historical and religious heartland despite daily terror threats and harassment by the local Arabs, are resigned to give up on politics in favor of faith in G-d and the ageless belief that the Jewish people will survive while their worst enemies disappear from the face of the earth.

While not a “settler” I find myself doubting whether to participate in the democratic process of electing a leader; a practice held holy by Western civilization. I would never as much as question voting in American elections, having lived in the U.S. till the age of 19. Now, I find myself in a predicament. I have a decision to make: vote for a religious-Zionist party like the National Union or abstain from voting. In the best case scenario, a right-wing party will be elected and its chairman will lead Israel to a safer, more stable future. The worst case scenario is that we will elect someone, say Benjamin Netanyahu, who will promise one thing and once in power turn his back on those who helped elect him.

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