For the fourth time in two years, Israel is going to the polls. The country is in an unprecedented state of political paralysis, and it feels as though regardless of the election results, and whatever government is established afterwards, it will not work. Signed agreements are not kept, alliances mean nothing, and the country is in deadlock.
It does not have to be this way; we brought ourselves to it. We, the people of Israel, must be as brothers to each other, as it is written, “All of Israel are friends,” and until this happens, we are not a nation, and we have no country or society.
At the moment, we are behaving like raucous siblings who were sent to their room because they misbehaved. But we are all living in one room, so we are continuing the unruly behavior while on “lockdown.” If we keep this up, we really will lose the country.
The problem is that we don’t understand that the motto “All of Israel are friends” is not some lofty idea conceived by an ancient sage some 3,000 years ago. It is a goal that we must strive to achieve every moment we are here because this is our vocation as a nation. Our brotherhood is not for our own sake; it is to set an example of unity above hatred and rows. The ancient bond that the people of Israel achieved was unique. It was not a bond among kin or among otherwise related people, but one that was achieved among people whose ancestors came from countless tribes and clans who were often sworn enemies. This is why King Solomon said (Prov. 10:12), “Hate stirs strife, and love will cover all crimes [of hatred].” Only when we conduct ourselves in this manner are we regarded as “the people of Israel,” and only then do we merit living in the Land of Israel.
At the moment, the country is running sort of on its own, but this is not the right way to run things. If we were united as we should be, above our hatred, we wouldn’t let politicians run the country; we’d have professionals running it. Educators should run the ministry of education, doctors should run the ministry of health, and the same goes for commerce and industry, culture, and so forth.
Professionals should run the country and not politicians, who see only the promotion of their own careers.
As long as there is money to waste, we’ll keep going to the polls. And for our own sake, I hope we will learn what we must do sooner rather than later.
[Employees wearing masks adjust boxes during a demonstration for the media revealing preparations ahead of Israel’s upcoming election amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, at the Central Elections Committee’s logistics centre in Shoham, Israel February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad]