This political cartoon was posted exactly 2 years ago in the Jerusalem Post. The world financial markets are on fire and Zipi Livni is busy logrolling and playing spin the bottle with Shas and the Labor Party (who are trying to disguise their own version of corruption as a social conscience).
Omer Zak has written recently about a systematic flaw in Israel’s defense strategy
I know it is fashionable the past 2-3 years to talk about not starting a war without knowing how you are going to get out or what you will do the next day “after”. Iraq, Lebanon etc…
I like Omer’s thinking, but I happen to disagree with him on two basic issues:
1) The root cause of the problem (winning wars and losing the country)
Omer is correct that Israel has a systemic problem. but I disagree that it is Israelis agreeing on what kind of country they want.
Before we attain national consensus (and one can argue that in a true democracy there will never be total agreement on anything), we need to have leaders who can define what they want for the country, and not what they want for themselves.
Israel needs leaders with values. Sharon was a leader but his values were shady. Olmert is not a leader and his values are corrupt and corrupting. Livni is neither a leader nor a value role-model. Her only qualifications for the job are that she has kept her nose clean in 7 offices; but being a woman and currying to Politically Correctness cannot cut it when the world economy is on fire. Let’s compare Livni to Sarah Palin – Sarah Palin has better hair, better fashion taste, an (albeit short) track record in Alaska (Livni’s only asset is that she has no record at all…), and is a tough public speaker (Livni doesn’t even score in this category because a) she doesn’t speak in public and b) her English is atrocious to the point of embarrassment.
We deserve better; the only way we will get good national leadership is by demanding it.
2) Why our leaders don’t lead?
Omer believes that “A consequence of the internal conflicts [in Israel] is that it is impossible for any Israeli leader to define, articulate and consistently pursue any coherent set of [war] goals.”
Olmert’s and Barak’s spin tactics cannot change the fact that they are fundamentally weak and corrupt leaders. Weak leadership and corruption are not a result of a free-wheeling market of ideas and the internal conflicts that ensue.
We will never get the leadership we need without getting back to basics; the basics of democracy, making Israel a country for the people, by the people and of the people.
Perhaps we have become inured to the corruption and violence, but we must remember what Thomas Jefferson wrote over 200 years ago:
“We can no longer say there is nothing new under the sun. For this whole chapter in the history of man is new. The mighty wave of public opinion which has rolled over it is new.”