Redemption Won't Come From Israel's 'Young Success Stories'

We have to free ourselves from the mirage of the young success stories. The hilltop youth and Anarchists against the Wall are more worthy: at least they believe in something.

The moaning and groaning about Israeli politicians is always accompanied by a yearning for "young and talented" people who will go into politics. Give us scientists, businessmen, graduates of prestigious universities and high-tech whizzes, and watch how everything will change. Enough of the party hacks, bring on the success stories.

This week one of their prominent representatives participated in the press conference where a fresh ideological movement was announced, and proved that redemption will certainly not come from those quarters. The titles, proven successes and impressive resume won't help. There's no such thing as a successful politician without a clear-cut worldview, honesty and courage.

She sat there as a striking ornament beside Edud Barak, wearing giant earrings, articulate, elegant, impressive in her appearance, young, educated and promising. And then the air went out of any promise she had. Named by Forbes magazine as one of the world's most promising young women, she turned out to be a major phony while still a political rookie.

MK Dr. Einat Wilf turned out to be nothing more than an ordinary hack. If we once had an MK-electrician from Ashkelon who sold his soul for a Mitsubishi, this time it was the MK and Ph.D. holder, graduate of the Insead business school, who sold her soul to head a minor committee in the Knesset. Between Wilf and Alex Goldfarb there is only one line, the line of opportunism.

She explained that "you can't sit in the government holding a stopwatch for the diplomatic negotiations." That's apparently why she joined the renowned watch expert, Kalanter-Barak.

Stopwatch? Not even an hourglass. Two lost years, 40 lost years, and the academic promise of the alleged left is in no hurry. The left? Wilf explained that she is heading for the mythical center. Labor is too left wing for her. Benjamin Ben-Eliezer is post-modern, Isaac Herzog is post-Zionist, as Barak put it. So be it.

So be it, that a young MK is already joining the party of two-year jobs. But the person who wrote a book whose title was "Founders, fighters and us - the young generation and the next struggle for the image of the State of Israel," came with a different pretension. But if this is the face of this generation and this is its struggle, better to stick with the old, sweaty hacks. At least they don't write "visionary" books full of cliches.

Who needs young people like Wilf, conservative and opportunistic. Their predecessors are enough.

Her prestigious and celebrated resume didn't help. The right high school in Jerusalem, an officer in the right intelligence unit, a Harvard graduate, Insead and Cambridge, no less, adviser to Shimon Peres and consultant to McKinsey and Company, what more can we ask - and what did we get from all this?

An ideological fellow of Orit Noked? A partner to the philosophy of Shalom Simhon? A year in the Knesset, and she's already been a member of two factions. And not a single interesting initiative, beyond calling for the removal of Yitzhak Rabin's portrait from her faction's meeting room.

Wilf is not alone. She claims to speak for an entire generation, "which is not just a collection of people who think of themselves."

We have to free ourselves from the mirage of the young success stories. The hilltop youth and Anarchists against the Wall are more worthy: at least they believe in something.

It was no coincidence that Wilf once said in a Haaretz interview that she admired Abba Eban and Benjamin Netanyahu. They're also graduates of the right universities and masters of hollow rhetoric.

The new politics that Wilf is offering is disturbing: free of any worldview, burnished with cliches about "Zionism" and "vision," "education" and "future."

Its proponents don't like the "endless rehashing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," as Wilf put it. They want high-tech, nanotechnology, prosperity and progress, and above all - success and staying away from the mouth of the volcano.

Neither the occupation nor the destruction of democracy, neither the social rifts nor the racism disturbs them: That wasn't taught at Fontainebleau's Insead or practiced at McKinsey.