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The Prime Minister of Despair

In “The Plague,” Albert Camus writes, “There is no peace without hope.” I really can’t say how much hope is left in the world, and not because of the coronavirus.

This is precisely the role of politics, which has the power to emancipate. Real leaders have the power to infuse hope, especially at moments of uncertainty and crisis. Unfortunately, the crisis catches Israel when it is in the clutches of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has no faith in people or in humanity.

He believes in power and his goal is to survive at any price.

He buys time until they invent the coronavirus vaccine, like he bides his time until they develop a vaccine for Islam, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some day he considers requesting that they freeze him until they find a vaccine for death.

He denies life and acts as though he is not accountable to anyone, not even G-d.

Levy’s despair is deeply connected to Netanyahu’s sick leadership. As someone who doesn’t hate him, he contends with his disappointment in him.

Although it may not have registered in the public consciousness yet, Netanyahu fared very badly against the coronavirus. All his arrogance and authoritativeness turned out to be hollow.

Europe, which Netanyahu likes to disparage, is slowly emerging from the pandemic with its dignity intact, while Israel is trudging behind, the public feeling certain about only one thing — that Israel is headed toward economic disaster.

Strangely, Levy’s opinion piece actually infused me with hope because it reminded me that this despair isn’t necessarily existential. It has a name.

Levy is actually an indefatigable optimist. A spark of light is visible at the beginning of the piece. “The State of Israel actually has somewhere to go,” he declares; it just has no one to go with it. Levy recognizes that the battle isn’t lost, and that the road to victory over despair requires separating Israel from Netanyahu.

We mustn’t forget that Netanyahu is our despair, and despair expresses itself in a feeling that there is no hope for change. The thought that there is no one to replace him is part of the despair. It belongs to the atmosphere that Netanyahu has created.

However, the alternative to Netanyahu is here, among us. It must be. Only despair is hiding that alternative.

Source: Carolina Landsmann – HAARETZ