Wanted: One strong leader
We'll still have Bibi after the upcoming elections. And he'll screw us good and proper. Women? They'll eulogize us after the war.
A man named Giora Eppes lives in our apartment block. A good father from a decent family. His daughter is a university lecturer in the history of embroidery in the Urals; the son produces folk-dance shows. He is a Maccabi fan, owns a taxi and has a playing-card collection. He doesn't play poker, not for money. All the drivers know him because of the car radio. "Hey, Eppes are you running?" they ask. He hasn't decided. The people in his inner circle say: "the family is against it." His friends from the unit - he was in combat engineering - are pressuring him to run. Eppes, they say in the apartment block, is undecided.
The problem is that the pundits don't mention his name. He has no criminal record; he only had to fill out a capital declaration for the income tax authorities once, and he declared everything - the washing machine, the foreign currency account, the card collection. Yoav Krakovsky, Israel Radio's political reporter, knows nothing about him. Rina Matzliah, Channel 2's political reporter, says honestly: "I tell you, I never heard that name before." Maybe it's because Eppes was never a basketball sportscaster on television.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, on the other hand, might run. His family is opposed to it, but his friends are pressuring him. Especially the pundits, because they can throw out any name. People in the apartment block ask, why Olmert, of all people, and not Eppes? This is why: Olmert, they say, doesn't have a taxi, and was not in combat engineering in the army. His daughter doesn't know anything about embroidery and his son doesn't organize 400 people to perform the folk dance "Little Shepherdess from the Valley" before a Diaspora audience in Berlin and in Denver. But Olmert is prime minister material. And there are not many who can face off against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. If we want someone to run against him, we are left with former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who can't because he has to stay in bed.
The pundits threw out the name Olmert and it almost caught on. They tried again, it caught on more. "Say, how's the thing with Olmert going," the editors ask. And the writers promise proudly and obediently: "It's coming along. The polls are taking off." The guy was a friend of the late politico Tommy Lapid, they played chess, he babysat for his son Yair Lapid and sang him the well-known lullaby "from Dan to Be'er Sheva/from Gilead to the sea/there is not one inch of our land/that has not been redeemed with blood."
He sang in an authoritative voice. We must have an authoritative prime minister and Olmert is authoritative. He pounded on the table - and our forces destroyed a Palestinian jail in Jericho and kidnapped the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He pounded on the table - and another Lebanon war broke out. He pounded on the table again - Operation Cast Lead came about. He didn't exchange former kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit; he pounded on the table. All told, since the Crusaders, no one has managed to ruin Jerusalem like he did when he was mayor. Nevertheless, our people, which is built by means of opinions polls, commentaries and the Israel Defense Forces, need a strong leader.
And what about a woman as prime minister? Sure, we're all feminists, that's clear. Workers committees should have a woman on them sometimes; and as for shouting in the street "the people demand" - certainly. To lead a protest, the more the merrier, from Rosa Luxemburg to Dolores Ibarruri, La Passionaria, to Daphni Leef and/or Stav Shaffir. But as prime minister? And to run against a man's man like Bibi? Off the record? It won't work out (Really? The Arabs would not have attacked in 1973 if Moshe Dayan had been prime minister and not Golda Meir. ).
So we'll still have Bibi after the upcoming elections. And he'll screw us good and proper. Women? They'll eulogize us after the war and play mournful music. They'll build a nice clean protest tent. We'll come, of course we will. And we'll shout "Bibi, we believed you, and you screwed us. Next time, or the time after, we'll be done with you." We hope.