Belgium too has been without a government for more than a year and, miraculously enough, it is functioning and even weathering the global financial storm under its permanently temporary government. What's the worst that could happen? At most it will split into two pleasant, small states on the God-favored North European Plain.
Israel lies in a cursed, treacherous zone, in the East. Here too there is in effect no government, but here it's likely to end badly. For now everything's fine, and the tempests are in a tub of cottage cheese. But everyone senses the approaching storm, and will not be genuinely surprised by the thunder.
Even Shimon Peres, who had been like a red carpet beneath Benjamin Netanyahu's feet, now sings a different, desperate song. Even donors are rising to wrath - clearer and Lauder. The day will come when even Sheldon Adelson picks up the scent of disaster.
The prime minister is living on borrowed time: In prolonging his tenure he is shortening our lives. After two years of him at the helm we can already say that so far Israel has profited from his omissions, not his commissions. Even his followers would be hard put to name a single decision of his that was carried out without seesawing. The bottom line is always the missing line, and there is no hope and no improvement.
We are considered his rivals despite our record of showing charity toward his predecessors, who tried to make peace and to do right. Never mind, so be it. But why are the reports from figures close to him - explicit or implicited, shouted or whispered - being ignored? How to explain the indifference and denial on the threshold of disaster? Who knows him better than his faithful, loyal servants? Do we not understand what they are telling us, shouting? After all, there is no witness to confidential events like the most loyal disciples.
With irresponsible complacency we will observe the revolving door - we change senior officials like we change socks - and refuse transmission of the distress signals from the upper deck. Around a dozen aides have left Netanyahu in the span of two years, and the director general of the Prime Minister's Office is leaving in a month. Frequent turnover always signals chaos and confusion.
It is not only the office staff that are fleeing. So are personal friends, the ones who followed him into the political desert, and just when they reached the good pastures they take cover and leave.
But the most damning testimony comes from the military officials who knew him best. In his first term his chief of staff and defense minister jumped their traces. Joining them now are the heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet security service, and another chief of staff, overtly or covertly exposing an open state secret: That man, Netanyahu, is dangerous.
They can be put into two categories. The first questions his ability to choose the lesser of two evils, while the second failed the test of bonding with the Netanyahu family. Or perhaps it is simply one large category, of individuals who find themselves disappointed and deceived, betrayed and above all frightened. With all the bombs they are setting off now, right after leaving office, we can only image what their memoirs will says.
When a defendant is in court he calls in character witnesses to speak in his favor. The only court here is the court of public opinion, and it is they whose characters will be assassinated as soon as they finish their testimony.
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