Obi-Wan Kenobi’s guide to an evaporating Israeli government

May 30, 2019 by Gidon Ben-Zvi
Read on for article

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.”

– Obi-Wan Kenobi, referring to the lawless desert planet of Tatooine                              (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope)

Gidon Ben-Zvi

Israel is inching towards snap elections, less than two months after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud tied as the largest party in the 120-seat Knesset. Netanyahu has since struggled to cobble together a government from a rogues gallery of splinter party chieftains. 

Time’s almost up for Bibi. On May 27, Knesset members voted to dissolve Parliament. As of this writing, the stage is being set for a new election, tentatively scheduled for September 17. To become law, the bill to dissolve the Knesset must go through two more votes.

The bizarre kabuki dance being performed by Israel’s leading citizens has left me bleary-eyed, irritable and in dire need of a Thorazine drip. Watching the slow-mo implosion of Israel’s government brings to mind a line from the classic political drama All the President’s Men: “Forget the myths the media’s created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.” 

Fortunately, I’ve chanced upon a winning way to navigate the labyrinth that is Israeli politics. Let’s now take a step away from the here and now and go back…to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I think you’ll find that the leading players in Israel’s latest political drama are straight out of Central Casting.

Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud Party): To understand what makes Israel’s current premier tick, think Jabba the Hutt, one of the galaxy’s most powerful players. Like Bibi, Jabba was intelligent, hard-working, articulate and charismatic. The Hutt was a long-serving leader with far-reaching influence, just like Netanyahu. We also know from ex-employees that Jabba was a tough boss and a bit of a micromanager, similar to Israel’s leader. Ultimately, Jabba was a victim of his own hubris. Et tu, Bibi?

Moshe Kachlon (Likud, then Kulanu Party and – as of five minutes ago – back to Likud): During his long tenure as prime minister, Netanyahu has inspired fierce loyalty. Case in point: Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon recently reneged on a campaign promise and agreed to merge his party with Likud. Kacholn’s dedication to his once and future boss evokes the image of Greedo, the extraterrestrial bounty hunter who confronted Han Solo on behalf of Jabba the Hutt. Greedo was shot dead by Solo. Will Netanyahu chuck Kachlon if the latter gets too powerful? 

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu Party): Dr Cornelius Evazan was a mad doctor infamous for his cruel medical experiments. While intergalactic lounge lizards chilled out at the Mos Eisley cantina, Evazan – facing a death sentence in 12 systems – started to threaten Luke Skywalker. Obi-Wan Kenobi came to his young pupil’s defence and slashed the good doctor across the chest with a lightsaber. Meanwhile, Avigdor Liberman is using strong-arm tactics of his own in order to have the draft law passed. Will Liberman actually follow through on his promise and slash the government into smithereens?

Aryeh Deri (Shas Party): Another frequent cantina resident was Kabe, a young female alien who earned her living as a thief. Kabe once hatched a plot to rob one of Jabba the Hutt’s casinos. A few light years away, Israel Police have recommended that Interior Minister Aryeh Deri be charged on suspicion of committing fraud, breach of trust, obstructing court proceedings, money laundering and tax offenses involving millions of shekels. Kabe used her connections with Greedo to gain access to the Hutt’s treasures. Will King Bibi yet again give Deri the keys to the powerful Interior Ministry?

Ayelet Shaked (Likud, then New Right Party, then…Likud?) If you squint your eyes inside the dark and dank cantina, you may notice Bastila Shan, a Jedi Sentinel. The source of her immense power is a meditation technique that boosts allies’ morale and destroys opponents’ power to resist. Back in Israel, Netanyahu is thinking about bringing Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked into the Likud if Israel heads to new elections. If Shaked joins Likud, will she be able to use her formidable talents to unify the party faithful…and bring Israel’s Supreme Court to heel?

A New Hope?

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi hid out on Tatooine during the Dark Times, the time of the evil Empire. It was on this desolate desert planet that he met and trained Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force. With his mad new skills, Skywalker would go on to lead the Rebel Alliance to victory over the Empire and restore a pro-democratic republic across the vast galaxy. 

And what will be the fate of tiny Israel? 

One can only hope… 

Gidon Ben-Zvi is an accomplished writer who left behind Hollywood starlight for Jerusalem stone. After serving in an IDF infantry unit for two-and-a-half years, Gidon returned to the United States before settling in Israel, where he aspires to raise a brood of children who speak English fluently – with an Israeli accent. Ben-Zvi contributes to The Algemeiner, The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Truth Revolt, American Thinker and United with Israel.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.