While listening to a radio show summing up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first year in office, I got the feeling that regardless of what happens in this country, the discussions regarding the PM’s performance will always focus on trivialities.
Is the PM’s wife influential or not (she’s not,) was it really a grain of sand in his eye that caused him to be late for a government meeting (it was), and are there a any disputes at the Prime Minister’s Office (there are exactly two of them.)
Then there was the meeting with President Barack Obama, which was indeed scheduled in a rather odd manner – but there are worse things than that.
It seems that only one question was absent from the discussion: What is the state of the country a year after the new government was formed?
Here is a partial answer to this question: For the first time in a long time, we see a broad political consensus among the public. In his Bar-Ilan speech, Netanyahu managed to unite most of the political establishment, as well as the public, around his vision.
On the diplomatic front too, despite the protests against Israel (which were also being held during Kadima’s term in office,) it appears that we’ve seen a significant change, which is the result of great efforts: The whole world understand today, to a greater extent than it did in the past, the scope of the Iranian threat.
Economy is growing
On the economic front one can disagree with the government’s moves, yet one cannot ignore the fact that unemployment is down to a record low, that the economy is growing, and that several important reforms that will be mostly helping outlaying areas are underway.
Meanwhile, the quiet on the security front did not come out of its own accord. Unlike past realities, each Qassam rocket was met with a quick response. And we are not even talking about secret operations against terrorism.
As to the political arena, a year after the government took office, it seems that half the opposition is looking for ways to join the coalition, and Likud is gaining strength in all polls.
So yes, we also had the grain of sand in the PM’s eye, and the story about Sara Netanyahu’s maid. I think that Rabbi Meir Ariel once said about this: We’ll have to quit these tendencies too one of these days.