Opinion |

Israel Is Ripe for a Strong Leader

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 30, 2018
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 30, 2018Credit: \ HANDOUT/ REUTERS

Democracy, or whatever you want to call the political system we have here, exists only in appearances. It is, in fact, roadkill. We want to believe that elections are a sign of life, that it is possible to revive the system, that if we kick it, it will move. But that won’t change the fact that it is a corpse. A corpse that termites are gnawing. From above, below and all sides.

No one has any idea how long this gnawing will continue and at what rate it will progress. The sound of it is the soundtrack of our lives. Maybe everything is already eaten up from within. Maybe the good parts are being kept for last. Maybe in two or three years, or 20 years, it will no longer be possible to write that we are talking about a carcass. In any case and whenever it happens, it will always be too late to buy a plane ticket and fly out of here.

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In the end, the empty shell will collapse. Slowly, not all at once. Tanks will not surround the television building, barricades will not be erected and blood will not be spilled. After the election, skeletons of laws will grow sinews and flesh. The admission committees law will be expanded from small communities to cities and Afula will be able to exclude Arabs. The law for expelling Arab families will be enlarged with an amendment to expel Jewish traitors. The opposition will oppose the Zionist, value-rich law. But who cares? When the vote comes up, they will be on a study tour of the North Pole.

The law for the prevention of pornography online will be amended with a prohibition of anti-national, anti-Likud, anti-Jewish and anti-prime ministers in office. This time too the opposition will oppose. But that doesn’t matter, because a third of it will be in the Caribbean, on a training course.

They will let the media be. Journalists will not complain. They won’t report and they won’t be surprised. Even before the election they know who will be buttering their bread for them. Nor is their any need to supervise the playwrights and the film directors. What’s there to supervise? The content will be positive, Jewish and national. The funding will be abundant and there will be total freedom of permitted speech. “We’ve always known what is permissible to show and what isn’t,” they will brag at Habima.

Laws there shall be. Laws will pile up, laws will accumulate. Democracies of the Jewish-Zionist sort love laws. They also have them in North Korea and they had them in Germany.

In the end, the branches of government will meld into a single entity, legislators will vanish, people’s courts will arise and people’s judges will be sworn in and who needs legislators when the government initiates most of the legislation?

We will realize that life can go on without legislators and without government ministers. If life goes on when Bibi, as we fondly call Benjamin Netanyahu, holds five portfolios, why shouldn’t he hold all of them? Two months a year he abandons us to travel abroad and we still get up in the morning, go to work, get stuck in traffic jams and pay taxes. So why indeed should he not take all the portfolios?

Even after he takes all of them, full time, your lives will not be any different. With Naftali Bennett as full-time defense minister I will not get a better night’s sleep than I did when Avigdor Lieberman was there, and look at Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel – both of them are full-time but his trains are immobile and her equality doesn’t exist. And do you have any idea what the minister of regional cooperation does when he gets to his office in the morning? Sudoku?

We know of course that ministers aren’t appointed in accordance with their qualifications but rather in accordance with their loyalty, that Haim Katz knows as much about welfare as Ayoub Kara does about communications and that technology interests Ofir Akunis as much as culture interests Miri Regev. But life goes on, because the state is run by bureaucrats and not by ministers. The bureaucrats work full time and equally the ministers travel abroad full time.

After the election we will ask ourselves who needs all their trips abroad, their indolence, their puerile pursuit of honors and the jobs they hand out to friends. When we show up at the polling place three months from now – with indictments, without indictments – we will say that life can go on even if the prime minister is a crook, that he is a leader and he’s also strong, with a big party, an obedient army and a tough police force. And don’t build your hopes on “the people” or “the public” or “public opinion” not letting this happen.

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