Netanyahu's dash off stage was a victory for terror groups
Analysis: Some residents of the south no doubt observed Tuesday's events with some satisfaction after the prime minister finally experienced some of what they have been living with for so many years as he was faced with sirens warning of incoming rocket fire from Gaza
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not easily forget his quick exit from an Ashdod campaign stage Tuesday, as sirens blared to warn of rockets launches from Gaza.
Regardless of political affiliations, Israelis will not forget that scene either.
Hamas, a terror organization, chased the prime minister away from his campaigning and into a secure area, as he was surrounded by bodyguards.
The terrorists could not ask for a better image.
Hundreds of supporters who trust Netanyahu to provide them with security looked on, one held his head in his hands as if having received terrible news.
There was no reason to panic. The two rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and a number of minutes later the prime minister reappeared and resumed speaking.
But the effect of terror is not measured only by damage to life, limb or property.
It is measured by pictures, symbols, the ability to control the public discourse and the public's sense of security. In that, the terror groups achieved a great victory.
The Israeli government policy towards Gaza is an unintelligent one.
It has chosen to fight what is seen as a common enemy it shares with Hamas: The Palestinian Authority.
Since Israel's fight against the PA became a priority, despite its security forces cooperation with the IDF and its active assistance in combating terror on the West Bank, Hamas has been regarded as the lesser of evils.
The terror group's acts of aggression along the Israel-Gaza border are acceptable in the eyes of the Israeli cabinet, which ensures the flow of cash from Qatar into the Strip and refrains from any initiatives that would help rebuild the besieged enclave.
In fact, the Israeli leadership is keen to leave things as they are and presents no solution to the recurring rounds of violence beyond bombastic statements.
This is a resounding failure. Perhaps the voters in the southern cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be'er Sheva and in the communities around the Gaza border think there are more pressing issues that must be decided in next week's elections.
Perhaps they think other parties have more to offer.
They must not be patronized or chastised. Some of them, no doubt observed Tuesday's events with some satisfaction after the prime minister finally experienced some of what they have been living with for so many years.
"Netanyahu is in a league of his own," proclaim Likud campaign posters spread around the southern towns. But Hamas has now sent the distinguished gentleman back to reality with the rest of us.
His pompous declaration that he will annex parts of the West Bank, his trips to meet world leaders, his complete reliance on U.S. President Donald Trump despite his lack of reliability will not solve the pressing problems facing this country.
Netanyahu has donned the emperor's new clothes for the elections. And it took a vile terror group to show him in all his naked glory.