If you read any of the insane headlines this week, it might seem as if the world is on a high-speed crazy train to WTF-ville. But we’ll keep the focus on Israel.
Two and a half “big” things happened that got a lot of people talking, but the public seems to have responded with a collective yawn.
The Peace Plan
Finally, the “deal of the century” was delivered. Since we are in the middle of our third election, both major party leaders, Netanyahu and Gantz, went to Washington to shake hands with Trump and accept it. As I’ve said in many blog posts, Israel wants peace with its neighbors, without sacrificing security. In this case, neither party has anything to lose by showing early support.
Lots of people in Israel don’t like the plan, but most are pretty sure it will never happen. It’s simply not worth getting excited about. Palestinian leadership called for a “day of rage” while the Palestinian people said “whatever.”
So: Whose election is this good for? Will this nearly impossible-to-implement plan win enough points to overlook corruption and abuse of power?
Release of Israeli in Russia
A young woman passed through the Moscow airport coming home to Israel from India. She was accused of having drugs in her bag. The charges spiraled and she was eventually sentenced to 7.5 years in a Russian prison. She maintained her innocence all along.
This week Netanyahu got her out and went to pick her up in Moscow to fly her home on his private plane. Photo ops abound. They led to a lot of cynical (but hilarious!) memes.
Because again: Whose election is this good for? What did Netanyahu offer Putin to get this deal?
Immunity? I don’t need no stinkin’ immunity!
Netanyahu gave up his bid for immunity in the Knesset and corruption charges were immediately filed against him. The trial will likely get pushed to after the election.
If he wins the election, he expects to come up with some kind of deal to keep himself out of jail.
And that’s where we are
Elections are on March 2. Do we live in a country where handshakes with Trump and Putin paired with gargantuan hubris win elections? Let’s hope not. But I’m afraid that voter apathy and maintenance of the status quo will be enough to secure a fifth term. Perhaps that will finally start a conversation about term limits.