From Gush Shalom
WE ALL know the picture from the books and the movies: a gambler sits at the roulette table in a casino. He has luck. A lot of luck.
In front of the gambler the pile of chips is growing. Higher and higher. Every spin of the roulette wheel adds to the heap.
When the heap reaches the level of his eyes, he could just get up, exchange the chips for money and go home. He winnings are enough to keep him in luxury for the rest of his life.
But the man cannot get up. Just cannot. He is glued to his place at the roulette table. And then his luck abandons him. The heap of chips starts to shrink.
He could still get up and save a part of his winnings. But he cannot. He is glued to his seat. Until he loses the last chip.
In the movies, the man gets up and puts a pistol to his head.
BINYAMIN NETANYAHU resembles this man. He has luck. A lot of luck. It is uncanny.
The whole country sees the luck. His popularity rises to the heavens.
The economy is flourishing. There is practically no unemployment. More and more Israeli start-up companies are being bought abroad for astronomical sums.
In the international sphere, Israel marches from victory to victory. The president of the world's most important country behaves as if he were Bibi's abject slave. The US has recognized undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Greater Israel. The transfer of the American embassy there turned into a national festival, on the same day as another festival took place in Tel Aviv, an outburst of popular joy over Israel's triumph at the Eurovision song contest. The masses are overcome, as if it was a victory in war.
The world press mentions Trump, Putin and Netanyahu in the same breath. Three giants.
INSIDE ISRAEL, Netanyahu has unlimited power. Emperor Bibi and his wife look like a royal pair.
He has no competitors. Every possible competitor was purged from the ruling party long ago. The remaining Likud functionaries look like dwarfs compared to Giant Bibi. The coalition partners are a miserable lot of small factions, whose leaders know that they have no chance against Bibi. The "opposition" is pitiful, at best.
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