Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Doldrums

I don't know about anyone else, but I definitely feel that this country has entered a period of the doldrums. I barely glance at the news nowadays, because it just repeats itself over and over.

Violence in Gaza between Fatah and Hamas, meaningless pronouncements by the Arabs that Gilad Shalit will be released in lieu of thousands of prisoners released, Olmert anouncing that he will release prisoners, and then he won't, and then he will again..... Meanwhile Kassams fall in Sderot and the western Negev, and when they don't hit anyone everyone goes back to normal, and when they do (G-d forbid) then the IDF yells for a day or two to let them do their job, but nothing comes of it.

Reports come out about the failures of last summer's war, but noone is expected to pay any price.Rumors are spreading about the possibility of another war next summer, and most people are hoping secretly that the IDF is learning from its mistakes, but there is no way to tell for sure. Peace Now screams whenever they see on their aerial photographs that another caravan has been placed in a yishuv, but of course noone says anything about the illegal Arab building.

The Israeli public can't stand their government, but it is plainly too soon for another round of elections. It is hard to believe, but we went to the polls last March, only nine months ago. So the politicians, as terrible as they are, are getting a free ride for awile. This doesn't stop them, of course, from bickering amongst themselves. As soon as the primaries are announced, then the knives will come out in earnest, but until now it is all on a low flame.

There is a reason for slow times. Hashem didn't create winter for nothing, it is obvious that things are happening under the surface that we can't see. Sometimes it is hard to be patient, though, during the cold months.


Blogger bec said...

maybe i'm just naive about the whole inner workings of the political system, but arent there provisions for when the people disagree with the government? i feel like israel is always changing leadership, and not necessarily in any consistent time frame. i would think (hope) olmert could be overthrown or something of that nature.

7:31 AM, January 03, 2007  
Blogger westbankmama said...

bec - you have just touched on the basic problem here. The politicians are not accountable to anyone except the committee in their party that decides who goes on to the Knesset slate before the elections. The average voter has very little leverage - we can only vote for a party, not a specific individual. I joined the Likud a long time ago in order to have a little say, but as you saw with Sharon, that did little - he changed 180% and pushed through the disengagement plan and the people had little say.

11:36 AM, January 03, 2007  
Blogger bec said...

i wonder if having an american system of democracy would cure the shortcomings in the israeli model. then again, israel wasn't really built on the same history as america and doesn't really have a responsibility to follow the US's form of democracy.
all i know is that just watching the politics unravel from across the world is frustrating, i can only imagine (oy, and experience soon enough) what it's really like to live with such a system.

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