Eitan Chitayat

Not the heart of Israel

While I don’t like him, I have never been a Bibi hater.
In fact, my stomach turns when people hurl personal insults at him because he’s done a lot for the country. He has. Can’t take that away from him. And the way people attack his wife on a personal level. It’s gross. It doesn’t sit well with me. And I don’t like her, either.
But I just saw his speech yesterday night. About halting the judical reforms – for now. And it made my stomach turn even more.
Not because he’s clueless.
But because he’s not.
He’s a master politician. And the best politicians speak to their base.
He did just that.
He has no intention of healing the rifts between the people in Israel.
He doesn’t want that at all. Someone who wanted that would have spoken early in the day. On such an awful and tense day. And he would have spoken straight. Without awful biblical stories and pathetic poetry. He wouldn’t have called people – like my friends – who have served in the armed forces for 30+ years ‘mutineers’. Or people like my wife and I ‘anarchists’ simply because we go to the streets (for 3 months) to protest peacefully with hundreds of thousands of other like-minded people who are against his extremist power grab. He wouldn’t pick sides. He wouldn’t celebrate in a speech right now – as the country is in shatters – his followers over those who don’t follow him and say he is proud of them, that they are amazing and they ‘move him’, after insulting us ‘others’.
A person truly intent on healing rifts would have said many other things. To unite. To heal. To put aside differences.
But he didn’t. And he’s full of it.
He divided us all.
He deliberately put down his opponents in underhanded rhetoric and did the opposite with his base.
Divide. Divide. Divide.
Mastermove by a master politician. And we all know what politicians need more than anything: power. Because without it, they’re nothing.
And that’s precisely the reason he makes me want to vomit right now.
Because he’s all about power.
Not about my kids.
Not about my wife
Not about my parents or sister and her family.
Not about my friends.
Not about my neighbors.
Not about those who serve in the army.
Not about those who serve as bus drivers, factory workers, pilots, teachers, academics, technologists, the police, the health workers, those in the food, construction or agriculture industries – and the list goes on.
He’s all about himself. And staying in power. The thing that scares him the most is having nothing. Of being nothing. He cares nothing for the country. Someone who truly cares for his country and its people brings everyone together, no matter how hard.
Not everyone has that ability. Not in the everyday non-political world, either. Only some parents can do it with their kids. Only some employers can between co-workers. It’s rare.
When you come across that in a politician that has true character and integrity, and he or she leads, beautiful things can happen.
That’s what we need more than anything right now. Selfless and ego-less people.
Bibi Netanyahu is not this person.
And anyone, at this stage, who believes he is – and I respect their right to have their own opinion – is, unfortunately, falling for an act.
He’s empty.
The jig is up.
And he’s a huge disappointment, even to this writer who still had a small hope that there’s a shred of true care in his heart for this country he claims he loves so much.
But someone who loves his country and ALL its people would put his own needs to the side and rise to the occasion.
There comes a point where it’s go-time and you have a chance to show who you really are as a man, as a leader, as a person of integrity.
He has failed so many times.
But here the stakes are so high. This is not politics as usual. The country is on the brink of turning on itself and real civil war and violence is on the table.
And even now, he did what he always does.
He spoke to his base instead of everyone.
And in doing so, he drove everyone further apart.
My personal view is that he is an embarrassment to the state of Israel and everything – and I mean EVERYTHING -I cherish about it and try to celebrate about it in my actions and words and deeds to others who have never been here or who might not know the true and good Israeli heart.
But his heart is not it.
He is, for now, my prime minister. And while, for me, these protests have not been about removing him from power (they’ve been about opposing how his government under his leadership is trying to change how the system works and in doing so, causing irreparable harm), right now, I just want him to go.
I want him to step down and for responsible leadership from ANY side of the aisle to take over because I do not feel safe with him leading us.
I do not believe in him.
I see what he is doing to all of us.
And I don’t like it.
His heart is not the heart of Israel.
About the Author
Founder of the Natie Branding Agency in Tel Aviv, Eitan has been delivering international brands for over 25 years and has lived in Hong-Kong, London, Tel Aviv, New York and Boston. He created "I'm That Jew" which has been viewed over 12 million times on various platforms and has been exhibited at the ANU Museum of the Jewish People. He also gave a TEDx talk about why he created it, and more recently co-created the viral video "She's that Woman". His clients have included Google, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Medisafe, Nutrino and Waterlogic. He hosts the 'I'm That' podcast and has interviewed Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette, Rob Schwartz and William Green, amongst others. Eitan consults regularly, speaks at global conferences and has been a judge for the One Show.
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