Book-carrying mules have wasted their best years without understanding a thing. Instead of taking the national bull by its proverbial horns, they caught its tale. I'm familiar with each and every one of them.
- A victim in Churchill’s clothing
- Netanyahu's mistake: Turning Iran into Israel's issue
- Luckily, we don’t believe Bibi
- Give us hope for our blood, sweat and tears
It's not the “system,” stupid, but rather those who are making idiots of us all: ministers singing the national anthem, forcing the public to stand at attention, before pickpocketing it shamelessly.
I've already told the story of my meeting with career officer-turned-politician Yigael Yadin, who visited me at my home 40 years ago and tried to persuade me that, together, we could change the electoral system and form of government, thus healing all the country's ills. He left disappointed. Ever since, in every generation and election we have parties with “change” written all over their banners. And ever since, they use the system as an alibi for their inability. It’s the fig leaf of every failed leadership - we want to but we can't, our hands are tied.
Well, maybe now they will no longer be able to hide or be hidden. Maybe now is the moment when they will solve the real problems. They would have us believe that the form of our government is the root of all evil; the hand that ties down the prime minister, that halts his initiatives - why, one can't even build a balcony freely! Every tiny party can demonstrate its unlimited power, and every tiny party will, when it can.
Therefore, as the Knesset reconvened this week, the coalition is getting to work in earnest, focusing on new legislation - mainly the infamous Governability Bill. This would increase the electoral threshold, lay heavy on all opposition actions and ensure salvation to the people of Israel. Yes, the opposition - which is barely alive - will now be completely suffocated.
Oh, the reformist sighs, to be like the United States - only two parties, an omnipotent president, and regional elections for Congress. Wouldn't that be perfect?
But the U.S. president is the most bound man in the Western world. Every Texas congressman can feed on his liver; every casino owner in Nevada can bet on his head. A huge party moves to the craziest place on the right possible, and it takes the White House hostage: cancel your health reform plan or we'll continue the federal shutdown and default on the national debt. And this goes on until the last minute, until the abyss is in clear sight.
Most U.S. citizens support a new, reasonable, compassionate immigration law, as well as curbing free-for-all weapon sales. But the House objects, since congressmen do not represent the general public, but only their district. Ninety percent of Republican congressmen come from avowedly Republican districts, and fear only a more right-wing contender for their seat. And this is the system we should envy and hope to implement here?
Imagine a polarized Knesset, "like in America," with Danny Danon, Yariv Levin and Tzipi Hotovely in the roles of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann; the only thing missing would be a tea party in the Likud Center and its local branches. One can close the country and declare bankruptcy. We might yet miss those tiny parties.
Netanyahu's buddies in Washington and Jerusalem do his work for him. Nothing is his fault; it's the world gone crazy. If Obama, in his situation, would have compared himself to George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, he would have been led away by men in white uniforms. But Netanyahu positions himself in a group photo with Winston Churchill and Theodor Herzl.
You might think he has a very high opinion of himself, but, somehow, the comparison does hold water. Israel's prime minister is now the strongest leader of the Western world who must be weakened. He's more powerful than David Cameron - who was defeated in the U.K. parliament over a possible attack on Syria - or Angela Merkel, who, despite her huge recent election victory and a high electoral threshold, is still getting caught in the web of her coalition.
Netanyahu plus a cigar equals Churchill. And all this Churchillian posturing might end in us facing another world war.