Always the Same Bibi

Netanyahu has a great deal to say in his own defense: Don’t come to me with complaints, don’t say that you didn’t know who I was when you elected me as if I was new. This is what I am, this is my kind of conduct ... you swallowed the bait.

The public does not have the ability to judge “high-level policy”; we don’t have the tools to measure it. It is true that acts and remarks often look and sound as if they are illogical and meaningless, but who knows, perhaps those there at the top know? After all, it cannot be that blindness is so far-reaching and stupidity so malignant.

The images lead us astray, and it is only a matter of chance when they are matched with the figures as they are in reality. It is enough that there be a small group of opinion formers who declare that someone is promising or successful, and that same schlemiel will be considered an asset, someone with whom one can go to sleep in peace.

Our impression of this person or that undergoes heavy image processing, and we do not taste what is good or bad, or form our impressions, from the Tree of Knowledge.

A court imager-maker, whether a journalist or a public relations agent, is the complete opposite of a free-range hen. The latter lays eggs of superior quality, but the former, by contrast, lays nothing but rotten eggs. And it is precisely these rotten eggs that we will eat for breakfast together with our newspapers. True, even a blind hen can sometimes find a grain of truth, but the consumer, who is a layman, must supervise what he is being fed.

In order to improve our ability to judge those who are above, it is best to look down, at those things we are familiar with.

Personal experience with what is happening at the moment can teach a great deal about what goes on in the world.

For example: A person is known by his pocket, but he knows even more what there is in his pocket, and a blow to the pocket is very painful. A well-mannered pickpocket will not hit someone but rather stick his hand into his pocket.

Suddenly, to our great anger, we will find that our pocket has been emptied. After all, we had been promised a lowering of taxes, we had hoped things would be easier but instead they are more difficult. Everything is more expensive, and not only because of the worldwide rise in prices but also because of local edicts.

After all the juggling tricks − raising and lowering prices in one fell spin − no one can say with certainty whether we have lost more than we gained, or the opposite. One hand gives and the other hand takes away, but perhaps there is no need to take since nothing was actually given. They cancel the excise fee on fuel, they raise the minimum wage, they make water mildly cheaper − the nation hears this nonsense like a raven flapping its wings and trying to fly away as they pluck out its feathers one by one.

It is not so complicated to check the personal benefits of Benjamin Netanyahu through his telephone calls and his zigzagging; that is his low-level policy. It is also not complicated to understand that that is not the way to appoint a chief of staff, or a civil service commissioner, or an ambassador to the United Nations or London. That is not the way to run a bureau in Jerusalem and a household in Caesarea − after all, these are fairly simple tasks − but even these are more than he can cope with. So where does he prove his great strength − in running an entire country?

Netanyahu has a great deal to say in his own defense: Don’t come to me with complaints, don’t say that you didn’t know who I was when you elected me as if I was new. This is what I am, this is my kind of conduct. I have adopted a permanent custom − one trick every week. It’s not me, it’s you − you swallowed the bait.

The blind hen will limp around and find grains of taste in this statement of defense − those who voted for Netanyahu did not buy a pig in a poke. They too must have known that the system of decision-making does not change when one moves from low-level to high-level policy, when one takes time to deal not only with a liter of gasoline but also with a pound of flesh and blood. It is always the same ability to weigh things up, the same prime minister, the same Bibi for whom the Likud central committee is the central focus of his personality.

And until such time as the surveys show him that the citizens of Israel by now understand what will happen here to all of us in the next war, he will not lift a finger to prevent it.