They're being ambushed at every corner: Let them make the big mistake already, and that will be the end of the protest. It's enough to recall the joy that overcame Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz when it seemed for a moment that they had slipped up: They're demanding videotaped negotiations; how lovely! And direct talks with Netanyahu rather than through emissaries; what an embarrassing mistake! What were they thinking? The nargila smoke must be making them dizzy.
Their supporters also assailed them, in order to bring them back to the straight and narrow. And the young leaders quickly admitted the mistake that never was - because in fact, it was necessary, and should be reinstated.
The truth is that chutzpah can change the usual way of doing things. Here the norm is that the government is permitted to humiliate its subjects - doctors, teachers, social workers, Holocaust survivors, the disabled, pensioners and members of the Shalit family - but the subjects are not allowed to humiliate the prime minister, who must always receive due respect. It is also the norm here for negotiations to be conducted in sealed rooms: Sunlight blinds the lazy eyes of rulers, and transparency is subversive by nature.
It was actually the inexperienced ones who proved to be very experienced this time: To ensure that they, too, would not fall victim to deceptive tricks and feel cheated, they decided to take precautions from the start. Perhaps now, when the useless negotiating committee has been appointed, the sages will admit their foolishness, while the youth will stick to their path. One more mistake like this and they've won.
Are suspicious people to blame for being suspicious? Not necessarily. After all, everyone who has ever spoken with Netanyahu - both at home and abroad, both fans and opponents - has been burned and has sworn to be careful. Ask U.S. President Barack Obama, Israeli President Shimon Peres, or anyone else. Netanyahu has earned the natural and historical suspicion people have of him through consistent dishonesty.
And if we've been talking for the past month already about a change in values, another change should be considered: no longer saying one thing in private and another to the media.
As for a face-to-face meeting - why not, really? Why should a prime minister refuse to meet and conduct a discussion with the representatives of 300,000 actual demonstrators and thousands of other potential ones? What's the matter, is it beneath his dignity? Let's not have "experts" without a mandate speak in his name, or ministers who are nothing more than pawns, whom Bibi toys with as he does Steinitz.
It is neither a roundtable nor a square table that can provide answers and solutions, but only the person sitting as its head, and he alone. The mass dialogue will not run aground, because it will never set sail. Thus calls will soon be heard for the personal intervention of the captain, as a last and imaginary savior.
So why not start from the end? Why not put all the cards on the table at the beginning? Why not learn the lesson of the doctors, who are exhausted after 150 days of humiliation?
He is the address - not only as prime minister, but as overall minister of the economy, whose word is law, because he insists on that. And also as chairman of the socioeconomic cabinet, which bores him to the point of constant absenteeism. So why release him from responsibility, as though the title does not obligate him and is only a title of respect?
The sushi eaters were right; the noodle eaters were wrong again, as they usually are. Next time, let the responsible adults refrain from hastening to correct the tyros, so that they won't spoil things. And if those who are awake at night don't want to sleep, because they want to go crazy sometimes, that possibility should also be considered before we reprimand them and call them to order.
Don't give them advice, and don't urge them to be realistic. We have already seen where the "situation" has dragged us and where "reality" has landed us. We can rely on nothing but the mistakes of the inexperienced. So here's to the mistakes to come.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now