Coming Soon From Israel's So-called Government of Change: Missiles

B. Michael
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Current Israeli PM Naftali Bennett looks at former PM Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to an Israeli army base in the Golan Heights, 2019.
Current Israeli PM Naftali Bennett looks at former PM Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to an Israeli army base in the Golan Heights, 2019.Credit: Atef Safadi/Pool via REUTERS
B. Michael

There’s no point in denying it any longer: We really have a level-headed, responsible and well-mannered government, which is running the country with a sure hand and farsighted discretion. For example, it has just become clear that Israel’s GDP will be higher than anticipated, and already Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has decided where to invest all this newfound money: in advanced ground-to-ground missiles.

Bravo and hats off. Finally, we will put an end to the heartrending missile shortage, which for years has embittered our lives. We will no longer see teary toddlers grabbing their mothers’ apron and wailing aloud, “Mommy, mommy, where is the missile? Why does everyone have advanced ones except me? I want a missile, mommy! A ground-to-ground missile … “ And finally the mothers will be able to hug their sobbing little ones and whisper to them softly, “Soon, sweetheart, soon … Uncle Naftali promised.”

And the young adults among us, those who have already despaired of finding an affordable home, will certainly be happy to hear the news. For a moment they may have worried that this additional money would be used for the construction of rental apartments, to reinforce public housing or simply to bring down the price of apartments. But no. Everything will go for missiles. What luck that we have a government of change.

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And the disabled in their wheelchairs. And assistants in nursery schools. And kindergarten teachers in kindergartens. And the senior citizens whose shrunken allowance doesn’t last for even a week. And the elderly who can’t afford a caregiver. And the patients in the corridors of the hospitals. And those waiting in line for a bus that doesn’t show up. And those who count their money with trembling fingers to pay for medications.

And those who buy their food sparingly, to leave a few pennies for the next day. And the 40 pupils crowding into a single classroom. And the homeless who are rotting on the street corners. And the residents of buildings that are collapsing on top of them. And the women who are battered for lack of a shelter. And the neglected neighborhoods that nobody cares about …

All of them, and certainly tens of thousands of others too, will be overjoyed. How good and reassuring it is that the government of change (which some people call the “miracle government”) pays no attention to our petty complaints, and won’t waste even a single additional agora on our bothersome nagging. Everything for the missiles. And maybe for a few advanced lasers too.

Wait a minute! A correction: Not everything will go for the purchase of foreign-made missiles. Part of it will also go to the Israeli “defense industries.” To further expand the local industry of weapons of mass destruction. So that it will serve both for our own use and for commercial purposes. After all, one can always find additional dubious customers who can appreciate the technological efficiency and moral flexibility of the blue-and-white death industry.

Did the prime minister hesitate for even a second before deciding to devote the entire increase in GDP-GNP to expand the Israeli missile collection? Did he have a passing thought that it may be a good idea to take a bit of this money and devote it to society and its welfare? I’m betting that he didn’t. After all, he’s a team commander in an elite commando unit, not a paramedic.

But thanks to him, and to his ilk, we have had the privilege of fulfilling the biblical verse “By your sword shall you live,” in both senses: a sword to wave in perpetual useless wars, and a sword for commercial use, to be sold to the highest bidder, and to profit from it.

Yes, yes, I know: The sly above-mentioned blessing was the one that Isaac gave to his firstborn son Esau. Not to Jacob-Israel. Only a few decades ago, some even say 70 years ago, Jacob became a different person and turned into Esau. So it’s no wonder that Isaac’s blessing was fulfilled through him too.

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