The Jewish people have always swung between a sense of impending doom and a feeling of imminent redemption.
Even in our sovereign State of Israel we could not let go of the worldview that we developed during our long years of exile.
The haunting memory of the destruction of the Temples and the legends and tales of heroism in our past are woven into Israel’s daily public discourse.
Life in Israel consists of cycles in which the nation is under threat from foreign powers followed by a short period of normality. It is life that swings from euphoria to terror, between visions of salvation and terrible, creeping doom.
This all hurts the resilience of both our society and the individuals who exist within it, not to mention the sense of the country’s own stability.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was always a master of manipulating these cycles of public mood for his own political gain.
He knows how to control them, direct them, fan the flames of the depression they induce.
The prime minister has no qualms about informing the people of Israel that we are a global superpower one minute and crying that we are on the precipice of an existential crisis the next.
He knows just how to steer this bipolar worldview, since it fits his own political nature like a glove.
“Sometimes it’s heaven, sometimes it’s a train to hell,” as famed Israeli singer Shalom Hanoch once sang.
The protests against Netanyahu all across the country are picking up steam, proving that after years of tweaking people’s emotions, it is no longer enough to control them.
The protesters who on Saturday night gathered in front of the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem – and many thousands like them across the country – understand just how destructive Netanyahu’s behavior and rhetoric has been during the coronavirus crisis.
Netanyahu can no longer sweep the masses along with fake prophecies that veer from tragedy to triumph.
Since the fight against the coronavirus is shrouded in real scientific uncertainty, Netanyahu’s manipulations only intensify people’s fears.
It will also surely make decision-making all the more difficult for Netanyahu, who is known to be a reactive and “panicky” politician.
The current crisis and uncertainty does not mean rational decision-making is impossible.
Many previous Israeli leaders successfully overcame such trials, but Netanyahu’s personality and behavior are simply ill-suited to cope with the current crisis or the challenges ahead.
The decisions made by the prime minister and his cronies only highlight just how bad his addiction to playing with our minds is – for both our society and the state.
Government decisions that seem to have been plucked from thin air have not only damaged the psyches and livelihoods of many Israelis, but also threaten to completely destroy Netanyahu’s status and legacy.
With every passing day, public anxiety deepens, begging the question: Can Israel survive this?
Header: Protesters, mask-clad due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, gather for a demonstration against the Israeli government near the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem on August 1, 2020. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)
Source: Prof. Yossi Shain – YNETNEWS