Robbie Michaelson
Neither Right Nor Left - Just Passionate

It’s Almost Like Living in a Banana Republic

These days living in Israel is becoming more and more like living in a Banana Republic. Or maybe we are just simply living in a dictatorship. Whatever state we are currently living it is certainly not the Zionist dream.

As our country crawls toward a third election in less than a year, with no relief in site, one might ask if we have really fallen off the cliff. Or are we just living through  some bad Orwellian dream? How is it that in a country full of supposedly smart people we have arrived at a situation where a man who has now lost the past two elections and is under criminal indictement in three separate cases can continue on as our Prime Minister with most of the powers and benefits of his office? And how is it that people have not taken to the streets, as in Beirut, Baghdad, and even Tehran to protest this travesty?

Smart people can enunciate all of the political and legal reasons why we are suffering this sad state of affairs. One should add that often glossed over social-economic conflict in Israel, between the haves and the have-less, the techies and the real working class, the intellectuals and the “Bibi is king” crowd, are playing a large part in this deadlock. Were our current divide just about money and status that would be tragic enough, but our national security is being jeopardised and nothing and no-one person should be more important than that.

Our hospitals are over-crowded and underfunded. Important programs are languishing and being cut due to the lack of a budget. The actors and people who work at the Habimah theatre have not been paid in three months. We have a “Captain” as Defence Minister and an Army reject heading the country’s transportation infrastructure. The current Minister of Education believes gay people can be re-educated. And our can do nothing Knesset members still are collecting their generous salaries. All the while our Prime Minister remains in office, heading the country, because the very system that he wants to tear down affords him the protection of remaining in power during this power vacuum. Is this not an insane situation?

Throughout the history of the Jewish people there has always been ample evidence that we are our own worst enemy. The Likud, the people who support the Likud, and the Prime Minister are living proof of that. At the end of the day their refusal to put the interests of Israel ahead of any and all defence of their status quo is harming Israel more than anything that has transpired since Israel was reborn. By putting up with this lack of a national moral fibre we are all complacent in the state of affairs that has become our banana republic!



About the Author
First came to Israel as a volunteer after the Six Day War. Made Aliyah in 1972, served in the IDF, stayed in Israel for 4 years. Returned again to live permanently in Israel in 2017. Am widely traveled & strong supporter of Zionism. Have an M.A. in International Relations from McGill University.