Barak Might Make Me Vote Bibi

Does Barak, deep in his heart, want to be Assad, without all the nudniks around him?

This week's meeting of the Labor Knesset faction was so interesting that flies fell off the wall at what they heard. "The left is acting like a little boy when it says 'I want peace,'" said the leader who is now also filling his deputy's role. "Like a little boy who wants a toy now and needs an adult to understand," he clarified.

The adult in question, as you've surely guessed, is certainly no little boy. He is already a big boy, with special needs, very special needs. When other, smaller children try to build something out of Lego, he takes apart their watches and their chances, their governments and their parties, their friendships and their commitments, everything in sight. Ehud B., as his name appears on the faded towel from the kibbutz, quite likes immediate gratification and the most expensive toys, but he is willing to share them only with his family, not with the friends he doesn't have; they have had it with the damage done by this problem child.

For about 10 years now, like a mockingbird, he has been leading the chant that there is no one to talk to. In the faction meeting he added a reason: Mahmoud Abbas - who is now preparing for an impending election, for a fateful campaign against Hamas - cannot be a reasonable partner because he will radicalize his positions for the election.

Hold on now - wasn't it Barak who, just a few days before he himself faced elections, and without a majority in the Knesset, held talks with the Palestinians in Taba? Did he not clutch at them, like a drowning man clutching at a straw, in the hope that some "nonpaper" paper would save him from defeat at the last minute? But he pushes Abbas away with this very same straw.

He raked Daniel Ben-Simon, that tamed rebel, over the coals at the meeting: "You should be careful in your criticism because the other side can hear you." We have not heard such a charge since Golda's day. True, it is not always pleasant when the "other side" listens, writes things down and even quotes you. Sometimes I would be informed that the official Syrian newspaper Tishreen had printed quotes attributed to me. I would be embarrassed for a moment, but just for a moment. If we don't want to be Syrians, there is no choice but to speak in, and listen to, more than one voice. Does Barak, deep in his heart, want to be Assad, without all the nudniks around him?

Imagine Barack Obama castigating his vice president, who is known to object to sending more troops to Afghanistan: "Joe, watch your mouth, the Taliban and Al-Qaida are listening closely." But what a ridiculous comparison that is, considering the people involved: their people of tomorrow as opposed to our people of yesterday.

Everyone has their own nightmares, particularly in the autumn. Lately, when I sleep, I've been hearing a voice whispering: "There are only two candidates left in this country, and you have no alternative but to choose between them - Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak."

A gun is pressed against my head. I break out in a cold sweat, cry out in my sleep and wake up terrified. If that happened in reality, and not only in a nightmare, I might vote Bibi rather than Barak, if only to redeem just a little of the honor of the Israeli left, which Rabin's "heir" will be representing at tomorrow's memorial rally. And why should Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon, who also hails from a kibbutz, not be part of the Labor movement as well? Next year in Rabin Square.