Isaac Gerstman

The inimitable magician Netanyahu

We all know that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of Israel’s most gifted orators whose aptitude for persuasion could easily make a used car salesman blush while selling his whole lot of useless jalopies in a single afternoon. But what we, the citizens of Israel, did not know up until the recent election, is that PM Netanyahu is actually an inimitable magician who is busy performing his most impressive magic trick ever.

We have all seen or heard of famous magicians, like the great Harry Houdini, who could perform feats that were so fantastical and improbable that we were left spending many hours and days scratching our heads wondering how such a trick was performed. Oddly enough, after spending so much time trying to figure out the kuntz, at some stage we begin entertaining the possibility that perhaps there was indeed some inexplicable magic involved.  Like David Copperfield, PM Netanyahu has found some way of defying the laws of physics applying to us common folk or has performed some form of mass hypnosis on the public-at-large leaving us dazed and confused after the magic is performed, much like the hapless hypnosis volunteer being awoken after barking for the audience like a mad chihuahua oblivious to the hoopla and laughter.

Well, the sane public of Israel has finally awoken from the stupor amidst the hoopla and laughter of Netanyahu and his cronies.

In 1983 David Copperfield performed one of his most famous illusions by making the Statute of Liberty disappear before a live audience. Forty years later it is Netanyahu’s turn to perform his most ambitious trick – he’s making the criminal charges against him as well as the entire bulwark of judicial autonomy disappear, but this is no illusion. Unfortunately, Netanyahu will sacrifice the judicial system, proper governance, checks and balances, economic certainty and the future of our hard-earned democratic values on the altar for his own selfish needs, and it seems he is very close to pulling it off.

However, if we’re already talking about the occult, I have my own crystal ball and after peering deeply into it I see a majority of Israelis shaking off the stupor and rising up against this insane and misguided plan to alter in just a few weeks the underpinnings of our democratic and pluralistic society. I foresee in the near future that the protests will continue and bring the entire country to a standstill. Israelis of all walks of life and religions will put a stop to this madness, and Netanyahu and his cronies will eventually be tried before the very courts they sought to undermine and will serve time in prison.

Is this all wishful thinking? Maybe, but one thing I am certain of – after writing these lines I am going out to exercise my right to protest while we still have one and join the throngs of protesters hoping to avert this disaster. The question is: what are you doing about it?

About the Author
Originally from New Jersey, Isaac has lived for many years in the UK, Australia and Israel. He trained and worked as an Israeli lawyer but currently runs a legal translation business based in Tel Aviv. He holds a master's degree from King's College London and has spent a lifetime trying to better understand how history develops in this corner of the world.
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