I have proof of God's existence! I have solid, scientific proof that the good, beneficent and merciful God, who saves the worthy poor and punishes the wicked rich, really does exist! But I won't reveal the proof to you unless you, at your end, provide me with solid, scientific proof that Ofer Eini - appointed by the good, beneficent and merciful Lord to head the Histadrut labor federation and to be his representative on Earth, to save the worthy poor and punish the wicked rich - really does do good things for the people he is supposed to help. Or, alternatively, proof that, heaven forbid, he is only pretending to be a savior.
One bit of proof that God is satisfied, for the time being, with Eini is the length of time the man's kept his job, without dirtying his name in any corruption scandals - and, in general, without creating too much noise or drawing too much attention to himself. Eini is proof that God apparently loves those ordinary, anti-celebrity, anti-leadership types.
Just look at him. Doesn't he remind you of the insurance agent you can't complain about except for the irksome feeling you have that another agent would have given you a cheaper deal? Or the guy from the appliance store who convinced you to buy a product you swore you wouldn't buy under any circumstances, proving in every way he could that the product you wanted was no good and that, in any case, everything these days is made in Turkey, even if it says "Made in Germany" on it?
Like that guy, Eini is here to serve every customer regardless of race, sex or political affiliation. Let's assume that there's a sense of dissatisfaction in the country over rising prices. Let's even assume that the dissatisfaction is blowing from the direction of the Likud, the anti-labor party, which the Histadrut should have opposed rather than succumbed to. But Eini's expertise, just like that of the guy from the appliance store, crosses ideologies. His expertise is to convince his customers, whoever they may be, that he has the ideal food processor for you - one that can chop the cucumber that runs the Finance Ministry, slice the squash that heads the government, and squeeze the juice from that radish at the Bank of Israel. And behold, just from the noise created by this food processor, the cucumber, squash and radish become so alarmed that they bow down to Eini and promise to give him whatever his heart desires.
Herein lies the secret of the real power of the Histadrut chief: Although he has nothing of his own to offer, he realizes he is dealing with a squash head. And that is the promised proof of God's existence: If the Almighty didn't love Eini, he wouldn't have put at the head of this country someone willing to pay any price and perform any trick in order to retain the title of prime minister. So, through Eini and through the chronic weakness of the prime minister, God is able to shower his beneficence upon the Jewish nation. Soon the Lord will no doubt order Eini to hit the squash on the head, and cheap fuel will pour out and flood the nation and its cars.
But even if Eini strikes a stone and nothing pours out, he will be etched in our memory as the person who brought hope to this nation. Because now, after Tahrir Square, people here, too, long for an uprising, and it makes no difference why or against whom or in favor of what. The sense of deprivation is sufficiently vague and overriding for anyone to feel part of it, whether it be the owner of the luxury, gasoline-guzzling SUV, the gas station attendant, the passenger on the bus, the prime minister himself - who, incidentally, recently disclosed details of his own meager salary - cabinet ministers, judges, Knesset members, teachers, doctors, university professors or the homeless. They're all deprived, they're all overburdened with work and none of them have time for anything. In the meantime, the money is slipping through their fingers.
Shouldn't it be clear to anyone with eyes in his head that the Histadrut and its leader have taken a ride on this vague and overriding sense of deprivation to gain power by belligerently flexing their muscles just for the heck of it? Well, it is, but at the same time, there's nothing that excites people more these days than the faceless, directionless and consensual vagueness of various types of "protest."
Now that they've finished protesting (it's not clear against whom exactly ) the assassination of Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin and have become tired of demonstrating (it's not clear against what or whom ) for the release of Israel Defense Forces hostage Gilad Shalit, the new bon ton is to protest rising prices. With God's help, as we've said, as long as Eini heads this campaign, it's sure to succeed. Because the brand name stamped on his noisy product may be "Histadrut," but as we know, everything comes from Turkey, or God-knows-what other belligerent state in the Middle East.
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