Well, folks, in a few minutes I’m off to the school building at the end of the street, which has been transformed, as if by magic, into a giant polling station and where, in a quarter of an hour or so, I will respond to the generous gift accorded to me by the law and cast my vote in this, the filthiest, most useless and meaningless, election campaign that I can remember anywhere.
And here I am. I’ve made up my mind (not a that the election will swing on the outcome of a single vote) and this time, I didn’t wait until I’d entered that area hidden behind the curtain.
I chose the piece of paper that bore the letters representing the party of the bunch of blaggards (defined as: “A scoundrel; an unprincipled contemptible person; an untrustworthy person.”) that I mistrusted the least, popped it into an envelope and popped the envelope into the box. After that, there was nothing more to do except to ruminate and wait until tomorrow morning when we will hear the unofficial outcome of the sum of the decisions, errors, and miscalculations of hundreds of thousand of other eejits. There’s little point in waiting up to hear the TV people announce the results of the exit polls they’ve conducted as they were so off the mark four years ago that it’s really not worth the effort.
Mark Twain, along with Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill, is among my favourite people for his ability to have been able to express complex ideas and compress them into a single sentence. The quantity of what Mr. Clemens was referring to in the deeply meaningful quote above and which has been bandied about and slung this way and that over the past couple of months since the Israeli election campaign got under way is unquantifiable. But a lot of what that English 19th-century plumber, Thomas Crapper, who founded a sanitary equipment company that made equipment that efficiently helped to get rid of the stuff that serependitously relates to his name and which is alluded to in the quotation above has descended into the sewage and is causing a needless stench and a much mental anguish among some of the electorate.
And what have we learned over the past two months? Not very much in terms of policy and not very much about the parties either except that the technologies they employ to sling their waste products at one another range from the semi-sophisticated to the disgusting. At least tomorrow the quantity of junk sent to my cellphone will have declined considerably.
We learned that Mr. Gantz, the former Chief of Staff, apparently exposed himself as a teenager in front of one of his female classmates. This was a story circulated by a staff member of Ms. Regev, the Minister of Culture. As it happened, if it happened, nearly half a century ago and the 60-year old woman concerned lives in New York and as it was no more than what some teenage boys do from time to time (I learned this from hearsay, I must emphasize) it’s hardly relevant, this story of Gantz without his pants. We also learned that Gantz’ cellphone was hacked by Iranian intelligence and that were compromising images on it, yet another story that came to nothing. Likewise hackede were the cellphones of the Minister of Justice and a man of the Prime Minister’s party who would like to be Prime Minister should Bibi somehow be forced out of office.
We’ve also been told that Mr. Gantz, who served four years as Chief of Staff, is mentally unstable, an issue that shouldn’t reflect too well on Mr. Netanyahu, the shvantz who appointed him! And as if we didn’t already know it, the Prime Minister is a serial bender of truth and fabricator of fake news who has no compunctions about sending out his minions to disseminate his words, such as “The leftists (read: those traitors) are the heirs of Lenin and Stalin”. In addition to all this, there is a neo-fascist running on a platform of legalising the use of marijuana, who has attracted the attention of some of those interested not in his fascist vision of the future but in his potology. The weed, I assume, will be cultivated in abundance on the hillsides of the newly “liberated” and annexed Judea and Samaria whenever he gets the chance. And so it goes, on and on and on.
As to the democratic process itself and the dangers of populism, I attach a video clip from an Israeli satirical programme on TV. The piece wasn’t aired to reflect the current election or even the previous one in 2015. It appeared in 2016. It refers, I think, to the rise of populism throughout the world, which is a worrying trend, which the world experienced 80 years ago and to its detriment. The piece is set in Germany in 1932 during a stormy election campaign that brought Hitler to power. Germany’s Jews also wondered for whom to vote and in this sketch, there are three Jewish characters: Ms.Blau, Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Eisen.
For non-Hebrew speakers, I provide a more or less reasonable translation of this fictitious three-way “conversation”.
“Nu, Blau, who are you going to vote for?” and she answers: “Looks like I’ll vote for Hitler”. “Hitler?” he says. “And you, Eisen?”. “Hitler. Only Hitler”. “And why?”. “Greenberg, everyone is voting Hitler. He’s all-inclusive, he’s strong, he’s charismatic and it looks like he’ll be good. He speaks well.” “Yes, we heard him talk in our neighbourhood and I was shivering. I’ve never felt so connected to words that a person has uttered. “ “And what did he say?” “Hmm, hmm. Well we didn’t actually hear that because we were standing so far away.” “Really?” “But such hand gestures!”. “His hand gestures were very clear!”. “He’s a patriot. He’s with Germany.” “There’s nowhere more German than where he came from.” “And where did he come from?” “Hmm, hmm.” “Bavaria, the Black Forest”. “But he, in contrast to your elitist Prime Minister, doesn’t boast about his past.” “Yes, all Brüning does is remind us that that he studied in London and that Hitler was in jail. Hitler was in jail, was in jail.” “So what? He was in jail once and that’s marked him for life?” “What was he in for?” “I can’t remember for the moment. All they want to do is blacken his name! But whatever it was, he didn’t do it.” “But you’ll agree with me that a man who spent his time in jail writing a book is a decent person!” “He wrote a book?” “Yes, yes, Mein Kampf. Amazing, an amazing book.” “What’s the book about?” ‘What’s the book about?” It’s a very long book. He’ s an enlightened man. He’s a man of culture.” “He’s also a military man. He was in the last war, don’t forget”. And he looks good with a moustache, that Hitler.” “And what are his chances?” “Good”. “He’s a patriot as well, a brave man. He speaks well, he looks good and also wrote a book. So why should we have doubts? And you know what, Greenberg? And if he proves to be no good, in another four years, we’ll replace him.” “Yes, we’ll replace him.” Exactly. Exactly. Lechayyim! To the life of the people and of democracy. To the life of Germany!
In the run-up to today’s election …
… and on election day itself …
And now for some plain old pictures.
And, hopefully, that’s the end of my political commentaries for a while. And no Brexshit this week because I’ve just about completely lost the plot there, and so it appears have most British politicians.
Have a peaceful day!