Yesterday I wrote, as part of my political wishlist, that Israel get rid of its personality cult-ism. I would like to elaborate on this.
The biggest problem the Democrat (aka “left-wing”) parties have nowadays is the lack of leaders. They have leaders, of course, but the suggestion that any one of them might become a prime-minister is considered an absurd in Israel. “Can you imagine X as a prime minister?“. Well, actually I can’t, but it’s irrelevant on two grounds:
(1) our definition of “presidentially” is wrong. Presidentially is that kind of charisma any leader must have. President Obama has great presidentially and he looks great in all of his photos. I guess it’s important for the American people that their president will look good, I think it’s fair, although I wonder if they’ll prefer the incompetent handsome president over the wise but less visually appealing. In Israel, look is important but experience is a much bigger advantage. Former prime-minister was seriously considered to re-election in spite the face waited for a trial verdict related to corruption. The notion was eventually dismissed when he was found guilty and sent to prison. Experience is the same reason action president Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu might be re-elected for the third time. I’m not sure what should be the criteria for selecting a leader but I would like to see integrity and humility in my leader. Lack of experience can be dealt with when you’re not ashamed to admit your faults and find ways to overcome them.
(2) We should vote on ideology and not for a leader. The most likely candidate the become a prime-minister in the upcoming election is Netanyahu, which is quite impressive considering his last term in office. It’s not clear to me why people vote to him; I even heard someone saying “I’d vote for Bibi even if he was the head of the labor party”. I think this statement leaves room for a good anthropological research for the reasoning people do when electing their leaders, or better questioning what would be considered a betrayal or a failure of the leader. Following the leader blindly without any criticizing means the leader may act as a he pleases.
Democracy’s worst enemy is apathy, that permits extremists rise into power and cancel democracy altogether. But people don’t care, they have much more interesting to think about, and I don’t blame them. In fact, I completely agree with them: I think the state should run smoothly with my best interests in mind. It should be transparent from my point-of-view. I don’t need and don’t want an important leader to talk about or to admire. I just want to decide every now and then what my interests by selecting the political party that thinks like me.
Our democracy is far off from ideal and in fact at the brink of death. It needs to be tended and cared for until it will come about, and this can be done by *not* selecting the mighty dictator that promised us to revive democracy, rather than by making the well informed decision on the ideology in which you believe in.
It seems very likely that Israel will have an election to parliament in 3 months times and in spite of talks on the need for unity on the democratic (aka “left-wing”), I believe it will be the Nationalists (aka “right-wing”) that will join forces with the religious parties and take the lead. I prefer “democrats vs nationalists” over “left and right” because “left” became so loaded it now have such a bad connotation in Israel nowadays some people won’t vote to anything that may be labeled as left. Having a nationalists government is bad from my point-of-view but it doesn’t mean it’s not efficient or doesn’t care for the people. However, the narrative of the current government (which is also nationalist) forces them to spread hatred against anyone who can be blamed for the crisis that we’re having, instead of actually trying to resolve our problems, painful as it may be.
I believe that Israel’s biggest problem is corruption, which prevents it from efficiently resolve any other problems. It definitely won’t be easy, in a state that has a TV-show “you’re righteous!” (יצאת צדיק) to find those very few service providers that won’t con their customers (and sadly, there aren’t that many). Most people find wonderful excuses to legitimize their personal corruption. But I also believe that the corruption can be reduced by setting an example and acting by one own’s ideals, acting as if we are living in the world we would like to live in.
- We should push for maximum transparency;
- Israel must adopt the Norwegian Law prohibiting ministers to act as members of parliament at the same time;
- Public money wasted on the election process should be immensely reduced and spent more efficiently to provide the general public with the relevant information;
- We should stop the personality cult -ism around our politicians – it is ideology that should drive us and not a person that will sell his own skin to maintain his own powers.
- High-officials’ wages should be determined as a function of the minimum wage;
- We must deal with our ever growing economical gap, along the problems creates at its ends
- Fix regulations that works against the consumers and the employees and prevent us from “healthy competition” in favor of cartels, monopolies and Capitalist elites.
- We should treat our natural resources as a loan from our children and not an inheritance from our ancestors (by having a “State Resources Steward“)
- Provide incentives to waste reduction and elimination at both supplier and consumer level;
- We must rebuild our collapsed public services sector;
- Privatization of the religious establishments (I think that religion is the individual private affairs and the state should not discriminate because of religious preferences);
- We must actively encourage a culture of empathy, acceptance and discussion as the very basic step to promote a peace process; Only when we will be truly able to see a conflict from the other person’s point-of-view, we shall be able to find the just compromise.
- We should put our efforts to build a life worth living by reducing the numbers of our worked per week and designing walk-able cities that are safe and accessible.
- We should promote a complete denuclearization of our area in the immediate future.
I can go on and on this, but the more items raised – the less acceptable the solution will be as a whole.