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Most intelligent PM of Israel?



Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel--and a man without a theory. (Has he forgotten his earlier protest against empty reciprocity with the PA?) A secular man cannot understand the real Jewish theory--the Torah. Is he being a little too (Vichy) French for his country's safety? Maybe not. He took a stand against illegal immigration recently.

It has often been said that Bibi is Israel’s most intelligent prime minister. Let’s make a simple test of what his intelligence amounts to.

Israel loses in “land for peace”

Everyone knows that Bibi is wedded to the Palestinian Arabs by the policy of “land for peace,” and that he expects “reciprocity” when negotiating with these Arabs.

Now, it so happens that this policy of “land for peace” to which Bibi is wedded had eminent match-makers, namely, two outstanding professors of political science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. One, Shlomo Avineri, once served as Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The other, Yehoshafat Harkabi, served as Director of Israel Military Intelligence.

Israel, Judea-Samaria, and Gaza. All these are the real birthright of the Jews.

Israel, its neighbors, and disputed territories. Graphic: Central Intelligence Agency

Both academic matchmakers had had appointments as visiting professors at American Ivy League universities. Both also held positions at prestigious American think tanks. And since they were Middle East experts, more familiar than Americans with that turf, it was only natural for the Americans to defer to the Israelis regarding the Arabs. Hence, it was only natural that the Americans would defer to the Israelis regarding the policy of “land for peace.”

Now, let us ask Jimmie, an intelligent high school student from Brooklyn (my hometown) about this policy of “land for peace.” Let’s ask him whether “land” is commensurate with “peace.”

Jimmie might reply, “What do you mean by ‘commensurate?’” To this sensible question you answer, “Well, commensurate means making land and peace equal.”

Since kids from competitive sports-loving Brooklyn are not dummies, Jimmie may respond, “I don’t understand. How can ‘land,’ a physical thing that can be divided into two or more parts, be made equal to ‘peace,’ which is a non-physical thing? Isn’t peace an attitude or state of mind that can’t be divided up into two or more parts? Besides, once you give up a piece of land it’s gone. It’s not yours anymore.  But the fellow who was supposed to give you peace for this land can simply change his mind and tell you to go to hell.”

Surely Bibi, known as Israel’s most intelligent prime minister, is as smart as Jimmie, a mere high school student.

A long and not-so-smart record

No one has served as Israel’s Prime Minster as long as Benjamin Netanyahu. As a consequence, no one serving as Israel’s Prime Minister has endured the tragedy of so many Jewish fatalities and casualties. Nevertheless, the people of Israel have repeatedly given Netanyahu’s Likud party a plurality of the votes cast in Knesset elections. This fact may be attributed to public ignorance regarding the pathetic character of the Likud, or to the absence of a better alternative to that party – which suggests that there is something terribly wrong with Israeli opinion makers – say the media – as well as with Israel’s political system.

In either case, we look in vain for a serious and sustained effort to rectify this deplorable and apathetic situation. However, public apathy may itself be attributed to a fundamental and well-entrenched flaw in Israel’s system of government, a flaw that fosters public apathy, and does so because Members of the Knesset are not individually elected by and accountable to the voters in constituency elections.

This flaw is so obvious and pernicious that it constitutes a reflection either on the political wisdom of those who established the modern state of Israel in 1948, or on the rectitude of their intentions, since the system they established effectively disempowers the people on the one hand, and consolidates the power of their rulers on the other!

This undemocratic system cannot be rectified by conventional politics. Seven decades of periodic multiparty elections are more than enough to verify this awful conclusion.

Israel’s flawed political system is incurable, short of a revolution, and a revolution is not in the cards. Since no political party in Israel possesses the wisdom and courage as well as the power to rectify this impossible situation, which was born with the founding of the state – and no wants to sully the exalted status of Israel’s founding fathers – it may well be that those Jews who pray for the coming of the Moshiach constitute Israel’s most rational citizens!☼

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