On the eve of this week’s Knesset elections and desperate for a win as opinion polls showed his Likud Party floundering – largely because of his own unpopularity – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a prominent Israeli haredi man to the grave of the late Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson in New York to pray for his victory and promise that he will remain faithful to the Land of Israel.
Above: Benjamin Netanyahu
On Eve Of Election, Netanyahu Promised Chabad He Will Never Cede Land To Arabs, Palestinians
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
On the eve of this week’s Knesset elections and desperate for a win as opinion polls showed his Likud Party floundering – largely because of his own unpopularity – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a prominent Israeli haredi man to the grave of the late Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson in New York to pray for his victory, Behadrey Haredim reported.
In return, Netanyahu told the haredi man, Menachem Gesheid, to promise the dead rebbe that if Netanyahu wins the election, he will keep the land of Israel whole and will be will be faithful to the biblical Land of Israel.
Gesheid rushed to the late rebbe’s grave in Queens with Chabad journalist Yossi Elituv and did as Netanyahu requested, including writing a “PaN” (pidyon nefesh, redemption of the soul note) with Netanyahu’s name and Netanyahu’s mother’s name and Netanyahu’s specific request and Netanyahu’s promises.
Immediately after Tuesday’s election, Netanyahu walked back his promise made several days earlier to the Israeli public that he would not allow Israel to participate in any land for peace two-state solution peace deal.
On Election Day, Netanyahu urged Jewish Israelis to rush out to vote because “the Arabs” were “voting in droves” - a racist reference to Arab-Israelis who exercised their legal right to vote that has drawn widespread condemnation from Western democracies and from the Conservative and Reform Jewish movements in the US.
Netanyahu also tried to walk back that overtly racist remark – but only after the election was over and his victory was assured. Analysts believe Netanyahu won in large part by scaring right-wing voters who otherwise would have voted for one of several fractious right-wing parties to jump to Likud at last minute to prevent the “Arab hordes” from having the power to put Jewish centrist and left of center parties like the Zionist coalition, Kulanu and Yesh Atid into power.
Netanyahu’s PaN also reportedly mentioned his close relationship with the late rebbe and noted that it is a great merit that only hours before election, his success is being prayed for at the grave of the late rebbe – a man who opposed all peace deals with Arab countries and Palestinians if those deals including Israel ceding any land, no matter how small or strategically unimportant that land may be be.
The presence of Chabad journalist Yossi Elituv at the visit to the rebbe’s grave and the public nature of that visit was likely meant to stem the hemorrhaging of Chabad votes from Likud and Likud’s likely coalition partner, the haredi United Torah Judaism Party (UTJ), to the hard right-wing neo-Kahanist hybrid Sefardi-Ashkenazi Yachad Party founded by Eli Yishai. Even so, Yachad swept the elections in the Chabad flagship Israeli village of Kfar Chabad in a landslide.
Yachad’s political extremism and over racism would have made it a difficult coalition partner for Netanyahu, despite his dramatic shift to the right in the days before the election.