The impasse that has paralyzed the Israeli regime is producing a feeling of despondency. Whether you support the government or oppose it – you want there to be one.
Stable national leadership is one of the cornerstones of one’s self-confidence.
Just as one should know where his next meal will come from, just as he needs a roof over his head, he also needs to know that there’s someone managing the basic national interests – that is, protecting the national structure from external enemies and from internal disintegration.
Something about this impasse is disturbing to us – regardless of which side of the dispute we’re on.
So allow me to shine a positive side on all of this chaotic mess, and even if it may sound funny, it’s very serious.
For almost a full year, every Knesset member, along with their assistants and those working for the Knesset and its systems, have received a salary for doing nothing. Worth every penny…
I actually think this is a worthwhile investment, because for a whole year, they’ve done no harm.
No – I’m not writing a satirical post – I don’t think Knesset members are useless, on the contrary, they are very talented people, which is how they managed to insert themselves into this so sought-after role.
Nor do I think they don’t want to be of benefit and make a difference.
So why am I willing to pay them to continue their vacation?
The thing is, in Israeli political culture, an MK’s success is measured by the number of private member bills he passes – or at least files.
Israel’s parliament passes more laws than its counterpart in any other legislature in the world.
I used to call this disease “legislative fever”. It seems that even if the Knesset were to continue to sit actionless for another two years, the number of private bills that will be tabled in the coming decade will still be greater than any other parliament in the world.
And why is that so awful?
Because every law, even if it’s perfect for the purpose for which it was filed, constitutes another limitation within the system as a whole. The more laws there are, the less liberty we all have.
No – I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be any laws at all, and we clearly require a legislative process.
But look at the general picture during the almost a year when this process hasn’t been taking place.
Israeli GDP figures continue to rise, the Israeli shekel insists on strengthening, a young person’s chances of obtaining an apartment remain the same… The Tel Aviv skyline (among others) continues to climb, the number of rockets we’ve been attacked with is rising at the same rate (no higher…), schools are teaching at the same level, we’re getting the same services at hospitals, and from the police as well. Bottom line, for better or for worse, everything’s staying more or less the same.
For those who imagined that the state functions because of the dedicated people behind the national steering wheel – I suggest considering another possibility. That it doesn’t happen *because* of their existence but *despite* their existence… it happens because they don’t interfere too much.
“What is the first law you want to pass?” – I was once asked on the Knesset channel. “That for every bill submitted, two previous laws need to be repealed,” I replied.
Whenever they asked me what I plan to do when I get to the Knesset – I answered, I mostly plan not to interfere.
Not to interfere with patients being cured as they wish.
Not to interfere with parents educating their children.
Not to interfere with entrepreneurs opening businesses.
Not to interfere with contractors building.
And after many more such instances of “not to interfere” to get to the main thing –
Not to interfere with the citizens of Israel choosing their own way in faith and culture. Allow them to examine one another without fear of coercion, to enrich ourselves one from the other, and also to let our Jewish/Israeli identity shoot up to new heights instead of getting stuck in years of endless wrangling.
Smile, friends. As of now, at least they aren’t interfering.