Keep Hope Alive? Only Idiots Can

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Amir Peretz at a Labor Party conference, June 23, 2019.

We’re already sick and tired of all the calculations of the experts and the analyses of the pundits in advance of the election: Who will run with whom, who will separate from whom, who will agree, who won’t agree, who will unite, who will split, who will fall and who will rise.

And it’s all much ado about nothing, because the coming election may be entertaining, but it is of no real significance.

Let us explain: All the smart and wise people, and those in the know, have for some reason forgotten the ancient saying of our teacher and rabbi, the Gaon Karl Marx, may his virtue stand us in good stead, to the effect that reality shapes consciousness. In other words, the reality that encompasses a human being shapes his consciousness. Someone who lives the life of a laborer will develop the consciousness of a laborer. A robber will nurture a robber’s consciousness. A member of the bourgeoisie – a bourgeois consciousness. And the occupier, willy-nilly, will develop an occupier’s consciousness.

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And the Israeli electorate too, which has already invested two generations in the operation and maintenance of a contemptible occupation, has developed an occupier’s consciousness that whitewashes every wrongdoing and justifies every abomination. After all, nobody wants to know that he is actually a wicked idiot who is using up his strength, money and blood on a crazy, psychotic vision.

And in order to further increase the suppression, this public chooses only pro-occupation governments, again and again and again. Leaders who will pat his head and whisper in his ear that he isn’t such a bad guy after all. On the contrary: He’s a patriot and a liberal. A Jew and a democrat. Heroic and unfortunate. Strong and persecuted. A genius and generous and not at all cruel. Only holy and just and sweeter than honey.

And that’s how the foolish cycle continues: An occupier’s reality shapes an occupier’s consciousness, which chooses an occupier’s government … and so on and so forth, until extinction. This mechanism is so all-powerful and uncontrollable that it seems to operate in the subconscious as well. After all, that’s the only way to explain the suicidal behavior of Labor Party leader Amir Peretz, the rejoicing in the amoeba-like splitting of the Arab slates and the absurd, phlegmatic character of the “Blue and Gray” party.

Therefore, this is the sad truth: As long as the occupation continues, there will be no government here that will put an end to it. Reality and consciousness will not allow common sense and humane behavior to prevail. And even on the horizon there are no leaders who are capable of extricating us from this trap.

That’s why the upcoming election is insignificant. After all, the main aspiration of all the parties that are challenging the present government is a “national unity government.” The project for dividing booty, authority and honor, which suffers from paralysis as soon as it lands in the Knesset’s deerskin seats. A “unity government” for Israel is like medical cannabis for gangrene: The atrophy continues to eat away at the flesh, but the patient enjoys a pleasant high.

The above words are not a reason for the vestiges of the enlightened, those who already decades ago saw what was coming, to sink into despair. There’s no point in that either. Far preferable is apathetic, sarcastic curiosity, which contains measured doses of self-satisfied “We told you so.” And you may also add a small pinch of masochistic schadenfreude, and proudly check off every gloomy prediction that comes true.

But in order to nurture hopes, you really have to be an idiot. And for those who still insist on grasping a bit of hope, we can offer only two options: either a miracle or BDS. Because only if God, or the nations of the world, finally wake up from their coma, will there be a slim chance here of some type of redemption. All we can say is this: May such a salvation arrive without horrific bloodshed.

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