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The Emperor Has No Clothes

Benjamin Netanyahu reminds me of the Hans Christian Anderson children’s tale, “The Emperor Has No Clothes.” In the tale, a vain and mighty king was concerned with his clothes above all other things. He needed a new suit and a pair of weavers, who were new to town (aka swindlers), convinced him that the colors and cloth that they were “weaving” were perfect for him. For months, they “worked” on the special gossamer “cloth,” “weaving” the perfect suit for the king. When the king’s advisors came to check up on the work, they could not see anything, but were too embarrassed to admit it. The king, too, was persuaded by the “weavers” that the suit was only visible to people who were clever enough to see it, so, he too, gave in to their scheme.

However, when he appeared in public with his “new suit of clothes,” a local child protested that the king “wasn’t wearing anything at all.” Then, all of the people who saw him appear in public echoed the child.

Now, how does this apply to Netanyahu? While on the one hand, Netanyahu is attending the court sessions, he is simply pretending that the cases against him in which he is accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust don’t exist or don’t stand up (like the clothes); that the budget that he refused to pass (and that Bennett subsequently did) was irrelevant (after all, he had to block Benny Ganz from becoming Prime Minister and afterwards, broke his promise to hand over the reins of power — somehow conveniently forgotten); that the money that former Finance Minister Israel Katz handed out to all and sundry (including the rich) was the wisest possible decision; that the lockdowns (which cost Israel 5.4 billion shekels per week in March-April, 2020; 3.2 billion shekels per week the following September; and 3 billion shekels per week in December 2020-January 2021) according to Bank of Israel estimates were the best way of dealing with the corona outbreak and that all of the achievements which Bennett did ratchet up simply didn’t happen. That it was the “worst government ever.”

Who is he kidding? After all, Israel finds itself in this situation — of repeated elections and a lack of majority in the Knesset — purely because of Netanyahu. Even a child can see that he is simply concerned with regaining the power he lost, and staying out of prison — and nothing to do with the welfare of Israeli citizens.

Like the king’s people in the Anderson tale, a large percentage of the Israeli public seem to be blind to these facts and many others.

About the Author
Helena Flusfeder is a content writer with a background in journalism and editing. Her work has appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Jewish Chronicle, The Times Higher Education Supplement, University World News (on higher education issues in the world), The Jerusalem Post, The Baltimore Sun, International News Services and others. She is currently doing research for a book on World War II and her father’s experiences in Warsaw and Russia.
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