"Right now, neither Kadima nor the Labor Party nor the left endangers your political hegemony," Ari Shavit summed up the media bon ton: There is no alternative to Benjamin Netanyahu ("Likud, you've stepped over the line," January 5 ). It will make no difference if elections are brought forward or if they are held on time, Benjamin Netanyahu will be the prime minister of the State of Israel. As we all know, the media creates a reality, so, accordingly, all the small talk expresses the same total acceptance vis-a-vis the "reality" that nothing can change.
This acceptance is bound in subscribing to some other "truths" too - that the public is turning toward the right, that in any event the Palestinians are not willing and/or capable of signing a peace agreement, that Islam is merely growing stronger in the Arab countries, that capitalism is the best and only way, that Israel's economic situation is excellent while the rest of the world is struggling, that it is forbidden to "breach" the budget framework, that the protest movement of the summer did not bring about political power.
A series of cliches that the media and the public recite like a mantra, without stopping for a moment to test them. The thing is, these sayings continue to be conceived as truths merely because they are repeated so often in politics and by the media. It is not as if they have been proved correct, they are simply stated so many times by so many "important" people who "know what they are taking about" that they become understood to be truths.
Only, that is the dynamic of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Simply because so many people accept and subject themselves to and repeat those supposed truths, they eventually become true. Because the public tells itself that since all is lost anyway, why bother voting or why "waste" my vote on a party that doesn't stand a chance anyway? Even those men and women who think of going into politics, to try to make a difference, feel helpless, unless they are very rich and very close to those who are already there, like television presenter Yair Lapid, who just announced he's going for it.
And those who are already there, including the young right-wing Knesset members of the Likud, become more and more haughty and insolent from minute to minute.
Most regrettably, it has everything to do with the fact that the other parties are headed by women - on the face of it, a wonderful achievement for women. In actual fact, there is broad consensus that not one of them is any kind of real option for the premiership.
Tzipi Livni, who came very close to being prime minister and is one of our most senior politicians, is suddenly "unsuitable." The media enjoy making fun of politicians for being incapable of being in the opposition, but it seems that the media themselves prefer those in the government: The first person for years who took the important step and went to the opposition no longer appears to them to be so attractive.
Shelly Yachimovich, too, who has proved her seriousness, determination and ability to focus on goals and to achieve them, does not seem to them to be an alternative.
One can argue with the economic, social and political positions of every one of them; but the commentators consider this mud-wrestling among girls, and all they discuss is who will take away more votes from the other - Shelly from Tzipi or Tzipi from Shelly. That is to say, Bibi will win against the backdrop of the cat-fight.
It is amazing how lacking in vision are the Israelis, who, time after time, cast their votes for those who have proved that they do us nothing but bad. Even Arab dictators moved aside when a smaller percentage, relative to the size of the population in their countries, took to the streets to protest against them as was done in our country in the summer. Only here, in the sole democracy in the Middle East, do the citizens bark while the prime minister's caravan, with its scandalous sirens and funding of trips abroad, goes on its merry way. At this rate, even Syrian President Bashar Assad is likely to go home before Netanyahu.
How unsuitable can Tzipi Livni be when compared with the cumulative damages caused by Netanyahu? How bad can Yachimovich's lack of experience be in contrast to the experience of Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman or Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman?
This is not a force of nature. It is not a divine decree that Netanyahu will once again be prime minister. The reality is what we create and produce. Every one of us, women and men, must begin to think about the upcoming elections, whenever they may be, and get used to the idea that there is an alternative. There are several alternatives. And every one of them is better than the destructive mantra that nothing can be done and that Netanyahu will be prime minister once again.
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