Campaign, Show Thyself

You have no idea how much I enjoyed myself on the night of Meretz's primaries. It was pure joy. I enjoyed myself, because I was at an entirely different show - the Israel Opera - to hear and see Verdi's Don Carlos, a breathtaking production, conducted magnificently by Asher Fish. I had proved to myself that I could cut myself off; the results in Meretz could wait until the curtain came down.

Once all the parties have completed their lists of candidates, the real election campaign finally begins, it is customarily said. Will it really begin? I'm not sure. Kadima continues to plow onward like a big ship in a thick fog - the captain is very sick, and the first officer has taken command. Who knows where his blank face is aiming, who knows what heading its blunt bow will take. Benjamin Netanyahu is both the man who rose to topple Sharon, and his natural heir - two voices coming from one deep throat.

Labor is also daubing war paint on its face, and not even a minimum remains of the old mantra of minimum wage. The social theme of Peretz has been drowned out by the economic tone of Avishay Braverman - already it is impossible to say whose note will make the music here.

Therefore, when the election campaign seems to be opening, it is actually ending, because it isn't at all clear what it's really about, and it's doubtful whether it will ever be.

Now that the trumpet blasts have died down over the weekend, the traveling "celebration of democracy" has switched off its lights, and every party has presented "the best team in the country," it is time to congratulate the happy ones who made it and commiserate with all the wretched ones who did not. At this time we can tell both sides a secret: your primaries are much ado, and its hard to understand about what.

Is the public really interested, do you think, where the candidates are placed on the list? Is it really important? Has anyone known anyone who tugged his sleeve impatiently to find out what Ehud Yatom's final and accurate place in the Likud was, or Danny Yatom's in Labor? The expanded Yatom family is probably interested; but why are we to blame? Why do we deserve this suspense?

I'll go so far as to ask: between us, do you really care what the ballot box held in store for Benjamin Ben Eliezer and Ephraim Sneh on the one hand, or for Yuval Steinitz and Limor Livnat on the other? Has the upgraded or downgraded status of Abu (Avshalom) Vilan on Meretz's new list kept you on tenterhooks, or only a dozen members in the Hakibbutz Haartzi movement?

To avoid saddening the reader too much, I will not sprinkle salt on his wounds and refrain from going into the issue of Meli Polishuk-Bloch and Ilan Shalgi of Shinui, which is still open at this stage, and their fate remains unknown as these lines went to print .

The primaries are first and foremost an internal event within the partisan bubble, and should be kept within the family circle. I'm under the impression that the greater public is more interested in tickets to shows that crown singers and dancers, stars who are born in open SMSs rather than in closed deals.

This has been the week of the "big winners" - Moshe Kahlon in the Likud and Isaac ("good morning to you and to the listeners") Herzog in Labor. The boy from Givat Olga was born with a slice of brown bread in his mouth, while the other, from Jerusalem, was born with a silver spoon in in his mouth. Despite the differences, there is quite a bit of similarity between them. They were both elected to the first slot on their party's list not because they did such an excellent job or due to their high-profile activity, but because they did not arouse anyone's resentment and attract undue attention. Under the auspices of pallor, these two nice guys reached their lofty spot. The apathy and equanimity toward them puts them on an equal standing.

If there is an election campaign at hand, let it appear at once. Soon it will be over, and we still have no idea what the controversies, if any, are, and what the big debate is about, and who is saying what. Spats and squabbles do not address the pertinent burning problems of our world, the things that matter for our very existence. There are grounds for fear that too many leading politicians will continue to take advantage, until March 28, of their right to keep silent and the right to stutter, hem-and-haw and obfuscate. Only the right of idiocy cannot be disputed; it is a natural right of its owner. But that is really an entirely different show.