There are two things that we will decide on Tuesday. The first is, to some extent, where Israel will go in the next few years, and what Israel will do. The second is who will be the one to decide this.
Under Netanyahu, the world sees us as strong and even proud. As he stood before the US Congress, Netanyahu told the world - for the first time in 100 generations, WE can defend ourselves.
He has led this nation to war - twice - rather than allow our southern residents to continue to be bombarded with rockets. Say what you will about Netanyahu but the fact is that Israel's southern residents aren't staying within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter right now; people in Ashkelon and Ashdod and Beersheva are not glancing nervously at the skies above us.
With Netanyahu, our enemies know that we will respond if threatened. Our security will not be in the hands of the Americans and Europeans but in the hands of our army, our sons and daughters. Under Netanyahu, the Iron Dome has been expanded, strengthened, spread far and wide as needed. As much as it protects, it stands as one of our most powerful deterrents because Netanyahu has used it properly. He did not worry about our northern enemies misinterpreting our move when we put an Iron Dome there and he didn't hesitate to bring it to Jerusalem to protect our skies. He didn't hesitate and he didn't ask permission from Obama or anyone else.
Our economy is doing well - no, not great, but much better than most other places. Under Netanyahu, our foreign relations have improved with important markets such as India and China. Sitting over Shabbat with the Chabad Rabbi in Bangalore, I was told how the Prime Minister of India came to the Israel booth to honor its grand opening at the recent Air Show - a major event that happens every other year and attracts millions. The Prime Minister came to Israel's display area - not to that of the US and most other countries. He has proven himself again and again as a friend to both Israel and the Jews who live in his country.
The Jews in India, though few in number, are safe and protected, unlike those in most of Europe. A store promoting Nazism and Hitler opened in Bangalore recently...and was closed within 24 hours. Jewish homes, synagogues, and cemeteries are protected and honored.
What is clear is that Obama understand that Netanyahu is a strong leader and cannot be controlled and so he is pushing us to vote for the candidates he knows we CAN control (and that would be Livni/Herzog and potentially some of the other left-leaning parties (without question, he could never control Bennett or Lieberman).
Perhaps this is what drives Obama so hard in his effort to interfere in the independent elections of a foreign nation. So hard, in fact, that he has sent an estimated 75 campaign workers to influence - more, to determine, YOUR vote.
He did the same thing in India recently. There, Obama worked hard against the election of Narendra Modi, current Prime Minister of India. In the end, despite Obama's meddling, Modi was elected. In the six years since that happened, he has refused to meet Obama and proven himself a tremendous friend to Israel..
That's internationally - as for within the country - the statistics are there - crime is relatively low, hi-tech is thriving, innovation is everywhere. Unemployment rates in Israel under the Netanyahu administration have continued to decrease
I don't know many countries in the world who can say that they are better off today than they were six years ago. Certainly, the United States can't say that. Few Americans I speak with have anything positive to say about Obama, the economy, the new healthcare system, the real estate market, education, racial relations, etc.
By comparison, Israel has maintained a relatively stable and vibrant economy despite worsening global economic conditions. Israelis benefit from a national health program that always seems to be struggling and yet still manages to meet the needs of the vast majority of Israel's sick and injured.
So, the first thing that will be decided this week is whether we are willing to risk the relative stability we have experienced amidst a sea of instability by electing untried and largely incompetent leadership. Without question, to establish a coalition, Herzog and Livni will crawl into bed with pretty much any party - certainly, they'll deal with Yesh Atid...and Yair Lapid has basically admitted his own incompetence. It may well be the first government in the history of Israel to join with the Arab party/parties because clearly they believe their political viability is more important than the needs and future of Israel.
And the second thing that will be decided this week is whether we are willing to risk allowing the standing US president to decide who should lead our government and what path we will take in the coming years.
One thing that I have always loved about Israelis is their "davka" personality. It is what gave us our victory in 1948 and ever since.
We davka won't give in, we won't surrender. When all the world thinks we can't...we do. When the world thinks we are defeated...we rise above, work together. We are Israelis - that is the message we must send to Obama. And we will NOT allow him to choose OUR government, our future.
When you go to the polls this week - be Israeli, be davka. Davka don't let Obama win!
If you don't believe me, read these articles and then answer whether you're going to allow Obama to choose how YOU vote.