President Rivlin, What in the World Is a ‘Parity Government’?

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Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Netanyahu arrive to a nomination ceremony at the President's residency in Jerusalem, on September 25, 2019. 

On what planet is President Reuven Rivlin living? Without noticing it, right under our noses, a political intellectual giant has sprung up among us. Rivlin won’t be satisfied having “ex-chairman of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team” on his tombstone, oh no. Rivlin wants to go down in history as the Thomas Hobbes of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia.

The job of Israeli president is too small for him; our Ruvi bears on his shoulders, at the very least, the celestial heavens. With pathos that wouldn’t have shamed Atlas, Rivlin stood on the evening of the 25th of the Jewish month of Elul and granted the “outgoing prime minister, Knesset Member Benjamin Netanyahu,” the mandate to form a government.

But this happened not before he shared with the public the magic formula that his mind – feverish from worrying too much about the future of “this dear people that dwells in Zion” – came up with. This was a formula that would rescue the political system from the “political impasse it has fallen into.”

“You must know,” Rivlin said in a serious tone, “that among the proposals that were available to me, I proposed to the two candidates to establish a parity government.” Tell us, Mr. President, from which historical junkyard did you pull out that political plunger?

What in the world is a “parity government?” “An equitable government,” Rivlin explained. What a genius. Why choose one prime minister when we can have two? Why fight over the job when it can be shared? So, you two Benjamins, a Jew doesn’t boycott a Jew. Make peace, not prison.

How come no one ever thought of it before: If there really is an indictment against Netanyahu, and assuming there’s no chance he’ll give up his seat, what’s left for the president of the Jewish people but to change the system of government to let the criminal suspect continue to lead Israel “from here to eternity and beyond”? Maybe later he’ll also propose to edit the Ten Commandments, just a bit; whatever it takes for the people of Israel who don’t want another election.

In his book “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Oscar Wilde described the damage the intellect does to the harmony of the face: “Intellect is in itself an exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid.” It seems that in the past few months, Israel has become a battlefield of ugly noses and foreheads.

And if we’re talking about ugliness, how can we not say something about the schmaltzy performance by our gifted grand master, our Bibi for all eternity, who because of his great IQ has been freed from the force of gravity and is floating in space while traveling in time. After all, what did he ask for? All he wanted was 61 MKs (without Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu), and then he’ll move the world. If Rivlin is living in a dream world, Netanyahu is one of the actors in his dream.

His collection of facial expressions is at least as good as Marcel Marceau’s. “Thank you, Mr. President. I accept the mission you have given me,” Netanyahu said, and a shiver of governability ran down my spine. He replaced his gevalt campaign with a contest of who had a smaller inability to form a government. “My inability is smaller than Benny Gantz’s inability,” he said with modesty, and poetically added: “Neither of us will manage to form a government unless we do it together.”

Together, how come we didn’t think of that before, during all those years when we were urged to attack each other? “I want to take a moment about why we need this unity, this national reconciliation,” continued the serial imposter, as if we wouldn’t recognize Netanyahu’s lingo. “We went through a hard election campaign from all sides against all sides, and we must unite the people and heal the rifts.”

Can someone do us a favor and send the video to the Oscars committee? The hit Israeli film “Incitement” is actually for people who live in the past. Now it’s “yes to peace, no to violence.”

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