Netanyahu: The Man Who Won't Take "Yes" For an Answer

Article Summary
Hope and normality are anathema to Netanyahu's political agenda, writes Yigal Sarna in this vitriolic opinion piece, which is why he refuses to take steps that would make Israel a better place and focuses all his attention on apocalyptic warnings.

Things are bad. The prime minister is a gloomy man, a man without hope, a weak man, trapped in the hands of others, carrying childhood memories of a somber, subdued home, where the study of the Inquisition set the tone (his father was a historian who specialized in medieval Spanish Jewry). Forever feeling deprived, always suspicious and wary of others, keeping aloof, friendless, anticipating catastrophe where there is no threat, prone to improbable, pessimistic forecasts and casting his gloom over an entire nation. A man entangled in and plagued by unresolved personal conflicts, which are projected to the public.

Thus, his first and second tenures as prime minister have brought on us bleak days of despair, days without hope and with no future. Many find escape in TV reality shows and, in the absence of a father figure, console themselves with the Big Brother.

From his first term in office he was quickly deposed, loathed and despised by many. Way back in those days — 1999, when Netanyahu was defeated by Ehud Barak in snap elections  we still had some kind of political system here. There were two major parties then. A public debate was going on. Democracy was still in force. And whoever blundered and sinned and incited was disgracefully removed from office.

He reappeared on the political stage only when none of these existed any more, when the democratic political process had given way to a business-dominated regime motivated by money, driven by insatiable greed  which was, above all, the rotten fruit of privatization, promoted and nurtured by none other than Netanyahu. For a few, a thin stratum of the wealthy and mighty, he is the ideal choice, which explains his political survival.

He is best for the "no" people  those who do not serve in the army, those who do not live in Israel, those who are not committed to the country. He is perfect for (far-right Foreign Minister Avigdor) Lieberman and his associates, for ultra-orthodox Jews and zealous settlers and for that tiny percentage of the public that is concerned with only its own good and looks after its own interests at the expense of all others. His people are the tycoons and corporate bosses, the bloodsuckers who make their living off the exorbitant fees they charge us, the CEOs and their deputies and all those who take home a six-figure salary for tyrannizing, numb with money, the thousands of minimum-wage slaves.

However, he is the worst choice for all the rest of us  for all those on the positive, bright side of the map. It is not for nothing that he meets with contempt and criticism wherever he goes. Even his close associates, the yes-men and knowledgeable experts counseling him, the Mossad chief, the security advisers and other advice-givers. They all warn against him behind closed doors, as if against the plague.

And this is the man who lectures us on every occasion and from every podium that we should take our fate in our hands  in our own hands. He, whose own fate has invariably been in the hands of others, he, who is always dragged behind by others, at home and outside so that you feel like yelling at him, "Get out of our sight, you miserable man of fear and horror! Take your dark, ominous visions of doom away with you and leave us alone! Give us back the future you have robbed us of!"

You, who not only thwarted any chance for peace and foiled any move for compromise, but actually mortgaged the financial security and future of all salaried workers through that infamous reform of yours (the market liberalization and privatization reform Netanyahu championed as finance minister), in the biggest robbery of the public since the establishment of the State of Israel. You took our money, laboriously saved, shekel to shekel, and transferred it from our neighborhood bank to the unfamiliar hunting grounds of Big Money.

Now, as Ahmadinejad's counterpart, you are waving the bomb in front of us. You need to have a satanic enemy on the outside to make us forget the looting on the inside, the weakness, the absence of leadership. You seek to cover up your failings at home by vehemently waving papers abroad. You declare that Iran should be bombed even if Tel Aviv is bombed in response, knowing that you cannot defend the city which is the heart of Israel.

It is a lunatic vision. The desire to bomb Iran derives from a secret wish to smash Tel Aviv  the last post of opposition challenging your intention to deny us the normal life for which the State of Israel has been established.

Go home, you panicky, scared man, and mend there what needs to be mended. Leave us alone, those of us on the positive, bright side of the map, those who say "yes" to life here, who are still living here, who serve in the army and are committed to the State, and let us go on living here as free people.

Found in: israel, iran

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