Photo: Flash 90
Sharon. What is his diplomatic program?
Photo: Flash 90

Just stay sleeping

Sharon has no political, social, or any other plans. How appropriate for the current climate

In previous elections, Ariel Sharon successfully anesthetized the public. His animosity for Ehud Barak won him the 2001 election, feelings of frustration and hopelessness worked in his favor in 2003, and Sharon - who managed to escape being held accountable, even when he was prime minister - campaigned with no platform whatsoever, and won big.


For several weeks it seemed that this time, things would be different. Amir Peretz won the Labor Party premiership, and said he would put social issues at the center of his campaign.


Every politician, in theory or practice, has worked on a diplomatic program - Disengagement II, negotiations with the Palestinians, each according to his personal leanings - believing the public will vote for the candidate promising the correct policy.


Only Sharon, experienced and cynical, knows the truth: The public is asleep.


Just keep sleeping


The Palestinian Authority is crumbling? Mahmoud Abbas is coming to the end of his rope and Hamas is gaining power from day-to-day? Don't tell the Israeli public.


The Palestinians have never garnered much in the way of ratings, never less than now. Let them elect people who reject the very idea of a political solution, and who aren't prepared to even speak about it. Let them stew in despair and poverty, the mother and father of future terrorism. What do we care? Just don't wake us up.


Social issues in Israel are getting worse? Israel is becoming a collection of cantons, those who have and those who don't and those who can't quite see how their going to manage any better in the future? Let's not talk about it.


When they are asked, Israelis say the domestic splits worry them more than anything else. But this merits no political expression – no demonstrations, a concept that has disappeared, and at the voting booth.


Lip service


Sharon, Peretz and Netanyahu present no vision of just how they plan to change things. None of them pays more than lip service, including "a plan for the war on poverty," as if the person presenting must try hard not to break out in laughter. But we don't really care. Just don't wake us up.


The country operates like it's in a dream world? Countries that don't even have any sunshine to offer are bursting at the seams with tourists, and here we are celebrating 2 million tourists, a pathetic number compared to the country's potential.


The school system is crumbling, our best brains are going overseas, there are no plans for anything and no responsibility for anything? Just don't wake us up.


This is the third time we are expected to vote in droves for Sharon, who doesn't even pretend to change things, to make Israel a little bit nicer, a better place to live.


Government offices are pointless, critical administrative bodies don't function, and the phrases "national goal" and "national project" have become an outmoded joke. But we don't really care. Just don't wake us up.


Failed potential


This campaign could really have focused on so many things. But a populace that doesn't really care just puts its fate in the hands of a man with no diplomatic, social, or any other sort of vision.


Sharon really is the right leader for the country at the present time: A man whose entire message is, "Go ahead, and keep sleeping. I'm here, everything will be alright."


It is entirely appropriate for a sleeping nation, which instead of turning this election campaign into a campaign to clarify our national priorities and goals, prefers to remain silent. 


פרסום ראשון: 12.26.05, 11:52
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