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Now is the winter of our discontent

This line, from Act I, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Richard III came to me when reading the following paragraph from an article published in the Times of Israel “Netanyahu, who is secular and hails from a socially liberal background, is likely to stand as a bulwark against some of the more extremist elements of his coalition”.

The full article entitled “Israeli liberals fear new government will undo progress on social, climate issues” "Members of emerging coalition under Netanyahu are vowing to roll back many achievements of predecessors covering environment, LGBTQ community and funding for Arab minority” can be read by clicking the below link.

The first four lines of the soliloquy read: Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

So why did the words spoken by Richard, Duke of Glouster, and later King Richard III resonate with me?

I am no Shakespeare scholar, but that said, it is straightforward enough to understand the meaning of the opening lines.

The word “winter” does not refer to seasonal weather but rather the concept of “winter”, dark, cold, and misery. And as the season changes, we move from “bad” to “good”. Think Spring following Winter. Summer following Spring.

The line “made into a glorious happy summer” can be seen as a time of triumph and joy by Netanyahu as once again he claims accession to the premiership of Israel. Hail King BiBi, some may shout.

We are exiting the bad times in life, and there is nothing but good times ahead. We have endured the worst of a situation, and things are starting to improve for us.

This surely is the message that Benjamin Netanyahu wants to project to the people of Israel.

Whether it is true or not, time alone will tell.

Two other interesting points from the opening lines.

The reference “sun of York” refers to Richard’s brother Edward IV who grabbed the throne of England. And although Shakespeare writes “sun” the actual meaning is “son”.

Discontent is of course easy to define. The dissatisfaction with the current, soon-to-be discarded Bennett/Lapid government.

The line can also relate directly to Netanyahu. In this case, Netanyahu can claim to be dissatisfied with how life and history have been playing out. The “winter of discontent” is a period that’s now over for him, so he hopes.

So while there is a joy throughout parts of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has still, at least as of now, to calm or maybe even dispatch Hydra, the three-headed dragon that may well in time consume him.

The question is, does BiBi want to slay the dragon that is Smotrich, Ben Gvir, and Moaz? Does he have the balls to do so for the good of the country or is his ego so enormous that he is blinded to all else?


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