Cowards All

Many people will debate ad nauseum what is wrong with our respective governments, be it lack of dedication to the rule of law or concern over self-enrichment; but frankly, what is truly wrong with our countries today is a lack of moral courage and conviction.

All of the efforts being used by both Netanyahu and Trump to avoid removal and even prison are on vivid display these days. Rushing into ill-advised “peace plans” is just one manifestation of a growing paranoia to appear that they are on top of things, even as their world is shifting from underneath them and is about to stain their respective legacies. Both leaders have engaged in behavior that appears desperate, even to unseasoned observers, and short-term goals with no consideration of the aftermath of their actions means we are all in grave danger. What is bizarre is that both leaders have so many enablers both in the Knesset and Congress.

In American politics, Congressional members are afraid that Trump will single them out for revenge or Twitter-bashing and lead his television cohorts in vengeful comments that will wreck their careers. They refuse to see that their cowardice in the face of such attacks is what voters will remember, even above their vote to either hold the President accountable, or not. And their actions will dictate who votes for them in the future. We keep seeing interviews with politicians that state they support and defend the Constitution, and then, in secret, take money from those whom they are supposed to be holding accountable. The fact remains that this is an unsustainable government and it must fall. No freedom-loving individual could come to any other conclusion.

Netanyahu’s attitude mirrors Trump’s that there is nothing to see here, so move on. Really, Bibi? There was enough evidence to support a finding by the Attorney General that you did something illegal and should be held accountable for it. A trial is in order where you can present your side and your proof of your innocence, if any. The only difference between you and Trump is that you did not have the presence of mind to bring onboard your own attorney general as Trump did, a man who dances circles around the truth and the rule of law. He will have to answer for his behavior someday before a Congressional committee. Why? Because political parties and their power shift with each election cycle. There is nothing to guarantee that the Republicans will maintain their hold on power in the Senate, even as they already lost their hegemony in the House. Their terror at being harangued by the leader of their own party is only abated somewhat by their fear at being without a job after an election. They forgot that they were sent as their representative to Congress or the Knesset and they are supposed to take their cues from their voters, not their leaders.

What all politicians who dabble in government instead of dedicating themselves to working within the law fail to realize is that they will have to answer to their constituents on Election Day. This is how democracy works. And character actually does count. It clearly didn’t matter in 2016 and we ended up with the most corrupt government in American history. Creeping political turmoil was in evidence at both recent elections when “gerrymandering” in the U.S. and concerns over security at the polls for Israeli-Arab citizens were filling the news services.

Term limits might alleviate this new age of fraud and deceit, but unless people start to learn that having an honest and uncompromising base to operate from, they will get the government they deserve yet again. To quote Shakespeare: “Conscience doth make cowards of them all.”

About the Author
Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical "Israeli Men and Other Disasters" and "Kishon: The Story of Israel's Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice". She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a "hoarder".
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