Picture the scene: A balmy July beach. A 7-year-old has worked for hours to create a truly awe-inspiring sandcastle — walls, turrets, two bridges over a seawater moat. But it’s time to go home. Mom and Dad are calling. As he reluctantly leaves his masterpiece behind, he notices a couple other kids eyeing the castle. Clearly, they want to play with HIS creation! Not gonna happen, his 7-year-old subconscious declares. He darts away from the ‘rents and tramples the castle into oblivion.
This behavior sucks, but it’s familiar. Call it human nature. Call it pediatric narcissism. Call it what you want — but the fact is that most of us get over it by the time we hit puberty.
Most of us. But not, it seems, certain recently-deposed Prime Ministers and their robo-supporters.
I’ll Take the Political Agenda for One, Please
I’m not disappointed in Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s never made a secret that taking care of Benjamin Netanyahu was his overriding concern. Since the 1990s, his single-minded KBiC (Keep Butt in Chair) geopolitical agenda has guided his every decision. And in the great tradition of petty authoritarian wannabes everywhere, he even managed to infuse his personal agenda into his party’s agenda (there’s no party platform…yeah, I double-checked).
Over the years, there were actually many, many times when this Bibi-for-Bibi agenda intersected with the best interests of Israel. And things were good, as long as the times they did intersect outnumbered the times they didn’t. And then that equation flipped. And you know the rest. And finally, Shabtai Moving showed up at Balfour.
But the boys at Shabtai forgot to box up the KBiC agenda. It’s still roaming the halls of the Knesset like a…sorry, it’s gotta be said…virus. And — to stretch the simile even thinner—a Pfizer has yet to appear on the horizon with an effective anti-KBiC vaccine.
We’re ALL the Sandcastle
But here’s the thing: as Netanyahu and his remaining flunkies (I get to say this as a former, and possibly future, Likud voter) race to trample the sandcastle of our shaky democracy before the other kids can play with it, they ignore the fact that they live here, too. They walk the sand ramparts of this rickety island we call home, together with me, together with Tamar Zandberg, together with Itamar Ben-Gvir, and even together with (gasp!) Ahmed Tibi.
And the tramplers, as much as the tramplees, are getting squashed. It’s not that the current government won’t get to play with a democracy in which spite is the guiding principle of policy. Nobody will.
I won’t bother calling on Benjamin Netanyahu to stop telling his gang to kick the sandcastle. But I believe there is hope even for the esteemed Likud MKs still dancing solely to the tune of The-Artist-Formerly-Known-as-Supreme-Leader. To these few, and to their colleagues who recognize the folly of spite politics—I remind you that we all worked hard to build this sandcastle, and we all still live here. Stop trampling. Start building.