The highly clichéd pop psychology definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. If we accept this meaning, then our electoral system here in Israel is just plain batty, nuts, cuckoo, whacko and doolally.
This third election, hopefully, there will not be a forth although right now it looks probable, is no different from the first two elections last year. It’s all about deciding which lunatic is going to run the nuthouse.
Surprise, surprise, when I uttered the above words a few days ago, I was severely reprimanded for not showing respect for the 120 Knesset members. My rejoin was simple. When they start showing respect for the citizens of Israel, I’ll be the first to stand up and defend them against such statements. And yes, I am aware that there are a (small) number of Knesset members who genuinely do care about Israel and work tirelessly to improve the lives of its citizens. But they remain a minority. It would appear that the vast majority simply want to stay on the gravy trains regardless of cost or damage to the State of Israel. And they, therefore, warrant my/our detestation.
A quick look at the shenanigans of the last few days simply highlights the notion.
Benny Gantz complains that the sudden investigation into Fifth Dimension, a company that he once headed, has a “political aroma” and that “are we in Turkey”? Wow, what a thought. Mr. Gantz, wake up and smell the coffee! You are up against the master manipulator, a man you can put a spin on a nose bleed. His lapdogs will dig and dig, looking for every scrap of scandal, every skeleton hidden away in a remote cupboard. And even if you are virgin white and innocent as a newborn baby, they can still trash the dirty. If not, why suddenly raise the Gadi Ashkenazi Harpaz affair, days before a national election?
He may not openly admit it but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a secret admirer of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and of Vladimir Putin, and how both dominate both their supports and rivals. And, although I have been shot down numerous times for expressing the view, I still see Netanyahu eyeing the idea of changing Israel's constitution (Israel actually does not have a constitution, and maybe that is one of the problems) and making himself president with full political powers, just like Erdogan and Putin.
And am I the only one that sees in “she who must be obeyed” the shadow of Eva Peron (Evita) and far worse, Elena Ceaușescu. Both women were the power behind the throne, manipulating their husbands like marionettes.
So Mr. Gantz, are you really that naïve?
I get zero pleasure in referring to a former IDF chief of staff as naïve but if he wants to run the nuthouse in Jerusalem, he needs to wake up to the real world. Just because he was IDF chief of staff, he thinks he has the answer to all Israel’s problems? That to me is being naïve, living in La La Land.
The electoral system in Israel is broken, maybe beyond repair.
The old adage goes “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” that is exactly the stand that the not so honorable members are taking. Instead of fixing the problem, they are instead looking to increase their number from 120 to 140 or even 160, citing the growing population of Israel. Of course, this does not address the fundamental issue that the system is broken.
Only last week, Netanyahu in yet another attempt to get Itamar Ben-Gvir to drop out of the current round of elections, suggested that the threshold could be lowered next time around to 1.5% from the current 3.25%. A spin of course but shows that while democracy is all-important and that Joe Public has the right to be heard, do we really need 25, 30 or more so-called political parties and interest groups partaking in national elections? It really is time to raise the threshold to 10% and consider both a boundary and proportional representation electoral system.
Is anyone brave enough?
Of course, if the gravy train riders were to take affirmative action and reform the electrical system which may well result in their departure and loss of perks, they could well be heralded, in certain quarters, as nutters!