It would be interesting to find out how many Israelis are aware or care that election day coincided with St. Patrick’s Day. It would be astounding to find out how many Israelis are familiar with the saying Luck of the Irish or its Yiddish counterpart A glick hot mir getroffen. Because when all is said and done, that’s what Tuesday’s election was all about.
“Who would have thunk”? The burning issue of the election was not the Palestinian threat. The main concern of the average Israeli on the way to the polling booth was not Palestinians plowing their vehicles into crowds of innocent and unsuspecting Israelis at bus or rapid transit stops as well as random stabbings of civilians by individual “humiliated” Palestinians driven to acts of “desperation”. Similarly, the average Israeli is not having recurring nightmares of being annihilated by a nuclear Iran, despite the recent visit of the Israeli Prime Minister to Congress warning our leaders of the dangerous threat posed by fanatics wearing shmattes on their heads in Teheran. The average Israeli approached this election as a referendum on the economy!
If that weren’t enough, the vast majority of Israelis will not tolerate the lavish as well as extravagant spending habits of the Netanyahus, who seem to believe that Shekels grow on bushes. Dye Kvar! Enough already! That’s all the average Israeli can stand, because the average Israeli can’t stand no more (sic)!
The poverty level (read, in Jerusalem) has doubled in the past generation! Could this possibly be due to the fact that thousands upon thousands of twenty and thirty year old males truly believe that they were brought into this world to sit out their lives studying Talmud, interrupted only for life’s essentials such as eating, drinking, celebrating life cycle events….and making babies?
As far as putting a roof over their heads as well as food on the table – Gott vet helfen (the role of Gott has been subsumed by the Israeli Government as well as by chumps such as “yours truly” who simply can’t say no to those collecting for Yeshivas in Israel).
There are so many Israelis that can’t seem to make ends meet. Could this possibly be because there are also so many Israelis who can’t get a parking spot in Long Term Parking at Ben Gurion International as they head off for a week in Europe or elsewhere (when the Rebbetzin and I were in Prague 13 years ago, we saw trucks with Hebrew advertising)? Please understand!
How a person spends his money, whether paper or plastic, makes no difference to me. But who could ever have imagined that the day would come when Israelis, for whom Europe is by no means a foreign destination, bellyache about the economy? True, they may not have two chickens in every pot, but they have two cellphones for every ear as well as an entire array of the latest of gadgets in every home.
The first time I visited Israel, parking spaces galore were the norm, in that the average Israeli simply could not afford a VW Beetle which was then the most popular car. After all, it sold for double of what it cost in these United States. Now when I visit Israel, traffic jams galore are the norm, in that the average Israeli not only has his choice of European, Japanese, Korean and American cars, but takes little if any pride in ownership the way his grandparents did … that is if those grandparents could afford a car.
Yes, housing costs are astronomical in major Israeli cities. But then again, it would be interesting to see what percentage of Americans living in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago or Washington D.C. can afford a home today, compared say, to generation and a half ago.
Somewhere, there is a group photo taken close to 50 years ago, where together with some 15 others, I am standing with David Ben Gurion, Israel’s George Washington. I can’t help but wonder what his reaction would be to the overriding concern among Israelis of last Tuesday’s election.
Israel Go Bragh!