In the 1948 American presidential elections, the media produced headlines pronouncing Thomas Dewey victor and announcing the defeat of President Harry Truman. Life Magazine immortalizes the 'moment' of the morning after with a victorious Harry Truman holding aloft the papers with the headline: "Dewey Wins".
So, too, on the night of Israel's 1996 elections, we saw the media, particularly CNN, reveling in the false illusion that the exit polls showed Shimon Peres with a 10 point lead over his opponent, Bibi Netanyahu. The Left-leaning media were once again engaged in trying to tilt the Israeli elections - even as the voting was still in process. Peres was their man. Wishful thinking (and manipulating) was the order of the day. But, the morning after, Netanyahu is leading and Peres has lost. Labor with 34 and Meretz with 9 together lost 13 seats! Likud has 32.
For the last 6 months the media, both in Israel and America, have not tried to report the news regarding Peres and Netanyahu. Instead they have engaged in making the news as if they were employed by the Peres/Labor/Meretz bloc. Netanyahu was always cast as the man against peace even as the number of terrorist killings rose along with the fear of the suicide bomber. All ethics of the media profession were cast aside and the fourth estate (the Media) engaged in character assassination and false characterization of Netanyahu.
The media refused to lay a critical glove on Peres although his reputation as a lying politician advanced before him (like Pinocchio's nose) as each lie was uncovered. Peres engaged in illegal and dangerous negotiations, refusing to share his dishonest and secret concessions of land, water and holy sites either in the Knesset or to the Israeli people. Will there be a shredding of 'secret' papers and erasing of computer memory? One worries about what dangerous withdrawals Peres may yet undertake as lame duck Prime Minister. Hebron is definitely at risk of abandonment by the Peres government while he still holds the power.
Shimon Peres was the darling of the Leftist Press. The more he gave away - the more vulnerable he made the nation - the more he acted the handwringing ghetto Jew, the louder he was applauded by the Press. We watched them moan the loss of their idol as the election results moved inexorably from a Peres/Labor victory to a Netanyahu/Likud/Religious parties' triumph. The American media is implying that this is a terrible tragedy. The biased media working directly for Peres/Labor failed in their attempt to tilt the balance - even though 2 hours before the polls closed they broadcast on television especially to the Arabs urging them to vote. Labor Knesset members walked door to door in Arab villages pleading for votes. All Mosques in Arab villages called for voting. This explains why, in the last 2 hours of balloting, the Arab vote rose by 20%. The Arab lists increased their Knesset seats from 5 to 9. However, tens of thousands of Israeli-Arabs placed blank slips in their envelopes for Prime Minister.
If one discounts the Arab vote, this was a landslide victory of Jews voting for a strong, Jewish state. Netanyahu is leading by 11% in the Jewish vote. The last days saw desperate Laborites with great viciousness accusing Habad of racism because of their banners that Jews should vote for Netanyahu because he is good for the Jews. Israel was created to be a good home for the Jews of the world. Why shouldn't the leader of a Jewish State be proud to be good for the Jews? This in no way implies that minorities would not be accorded their full civil rights.
The Arabs have no democratic rights in the 22 Arab states as they do in Israel. When he thought that Peres had won, Minister Uzi Baram said: "A great thank you to all of the Arab voters!" The Israeli Arabs boasted that they would pick Israel's Prime Minister. They told reporters: "Never will we allow the Jewish Nationalist camp to return to power." However, all democracies require a loyalty oath as a basis for citizenship. Perhaps it is time for such a law.
Interestingly, 30,000 Christian Arabs voted for Netanyahu. The fears of a secret, planned IDF withdrawal, as reported by Colonel Barakat of the South Lebanese Army, caused many Christian Arabs to experience the "Lebanon Syndrome". In pre-election polls, Netanyahu scored almost 90% among those Christians such as the Maronites, Assyrians, and Copts whose people suffer greatly from Islamic oppression in their countries of origin.
Sadly, the same cruel nations who sided with Hitler (both Axis and Allies) also conspired to fulfill the Arab dream of a vulnerable, crushable Israel, by applauding their creature../...Shimon Peres. President Bill Clinton engaged in unusual and undiplomatic interference in the electoral processes of a fellow democracy by urging Israelis to vote for Peres's Peace - falsely insinuating that Netanyahu is against peace.
Despite the manipulations of media, Labor, Meretz, the Arabs, Clinton, the Europeans, et al, the Israeli people's voices came through loud and clear. Bibi Netanyahu came up to win from a low of minus 30%. Labor lost 10 seats and the religious parties gained 10, almost doubling their seats to an unprecedented 25 Members. Including those in other parties, there will be approximately 30 Orthodox Members in the 14th Knesset - 25% of the whole. Apparently, many non-Orthodox Israelis voted for the religious parties, probably because they correctly perceived that Israel's government and society was moving dangerously away from its Jewish and Zionist values and education.
Thursday was, indeed, a "Truman Morning" as the Press and the Nations who poured so much valuable assistance into the Labor/Peres's campaign now sulk in ineffectual fury.