Grumpy Old Man: New Year's resolution

By
September 17, 2015 14:09

For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Reach out to US President Barack Obama. He might be naive, but he means well. Besides, the US is our only ally




Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

To welcome the new Hebrew year, the numerologist in me presents 25 (5+7+7+6) resolutions.

Not for me. For other people.

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For those who say they’re absolutely sure the Iran deal will work: Back this up by wagering your life’s savings. Do so in writing, and then have the wager notarized.

The wager will also apply to your estate, so don’t forget to tell the kids you’re betting their inheritance.

For those who say they’re absolutely sure the Iran deal will be a disaster: See “For those who say they’re absolutely sure the Iran deal will work.”

For right-wingers who insist that a one-state solution, with citizenship for West Bank Palestinians, will not pose a demographic risk to Israel: See “For those who say they’re absolutely sure the Iran deal will be a disaster.”

For left-wingers who insist that doing away with Israel in favor of a single state “for all its citizens” will not pose a risk to Jews: See “For those who say they’re absolutely sure the Iran deal will work.”

For people who say Israel should open its borders to refugees fleeing Syria: Let us know where you live. Provide information regarding the size and layout of your home, including balconies, terraces and yards. While you’re at it, make a few extra copies of your house keys.

For people who say Israel cannot afford to do anything for the refugees fleeing Syria, or even those fleeing Africa: Get a heart.

For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Reach out to US President Barack Obama. He might be naive, but he means well. Besides, the US is our only ally, and right now, judging from the Republican roster of presidential wanna-bes, there’s a very good chance of another four years (at least) with a Democrat in the White House. Also, start holding monthly news conferences.

You’re good at it. What are you afraid of? For opposition leader Isaac Herzog: You are the only hope people have to rid themselves of the Cult of Bibi, so stop being all whiny and mealymouthed. If that’s not possible, get out of the way.

And please, lose the sanctimoniousness about that little dustup back when you were running Ehud Barak’s election efforts – a politician who pleads the Fifth over campaign funding is far worse than a prime minister who ducks the press.

For Education Minister Naftali Bennett: Teach democracy and the rule of law to some of your voters. I don’t mean the so-called hilltop youth – they’re beyond hope. I mean the grownups who nurtured them and are now trying to convince the rest of us simply that boys will be boys.

For MK Yair Lapid: Don’t wag your head when making a point. It makes you look even more arrogant than you are. It’s also bad for your neck, and you should keep in mind that collar braces do not come in basic black.

For MK Oren Hazan: Go back to Bulgaria to manage that casino. The salary and perks will be much better. In addition, you won’t need to campaign for primaries, so you’ll have more time for those leisure activities you’re said to be so fond of.

For Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan: Do your homework next time you have to choose a new police commissioner.

For ex-police commissioner Yohanan Danino: Don’t go into politics. Go into acting. You’ve got the looks. You also did a great job portraying a chief who remained blissfully unaware of the shenanigans going on one floor down.

For Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon: Stop trying to remind us how you reduced the price of cellular service. Start reducing the price of housing. Tax the ownership of second homes and ghost homes all you want, but give first-time buyers who will be living in their dwellings a free ride. No taxes. In fact, give them subsidies. At the same time, reduce the overall cost of living, not just the levies on alcohol. Also, stay away from cronies with deep financial interests in sectors you’re involved with. And if that offshore natural gas ever starts flowing, make sure the royalties end up in a well-protected sovereign fund that boosts our education, health and welfare sectors, not a bunch of narrow political sectors.

For Yitzhak Tshuva: That offshore gas is not the Plaza Hotel. It belongs to the citizens of Israel. Do what you have to do to get it flowing, even if it means lowering the relative price for domestic consumption and making at least a little room for competitors. We are not socialists, but we should not be greedy, either.

For Nochi Dankner: We haven’t been hearing about you lately. Keep it that way.

For the Israel Electric Corporation: Stop throwing obstacles in the path of entrepreneurs offering us electric power from the sun or other renewable sources.

You are a dinosaur in a hi-tech world.

And do something about those bloated holiday gifts for your employees. The free electricity they get all year round should be enough.

For the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund: You are said to be sitting atop untold piles of wealth. As with the offshore gas, it’s ours, not yours. Stop squandering it on ridiculous salaries and perks, including your top executives’ frequent junkets the world over.

For the Claims Conference: Clean your bookkeeping stables. The stench is overpowering.

For Kim Davis, the US county clerk jailed for refusing to issue a marriage license to gay couples because of her staunch Christian beliefs: Although you are not Jewish, this is the perfect teaching moment, so stop looking in Israel’s direction for a theocratic howto guide on performing public duties.

Also, tell your supporters to stop looking in our direction when they claim you are under fire for being a Christian.

Like our cries of “anti-Semitism” each time someone says something impolite about our country, it’s ridiculous.

It gets stale fast. And try to stay married the fourth time around; this husband sounds like a keeper.

For the chief rabbis: Get out of people’s private lives, and stop regarding your positions as family heirlooms.

For Rabbi to the Stars Shmuley Boteach: Write just one column without the incessant name-dropping and plugs for your Jewish-oriented touchyfeely books. You have good things to say, but we have to slash our way through a dense underbrush of self-promotion to reach them.

For Channel 2 military commentator Roni Daniel: Just admit that you want to be the IDF spokesman and get it over with.

For Channel 2 foreign news editor Nir Arad: Learn to complete a sentence without using the word “uh” 20 times.

And when you’re invited to take part in one of those Friday night roundtables, don’t bait Roni Daniel by bringing up military issues. His blood pressure is high enough.

For readers with comments over at The New York Times: See if you can talk about Republicans or even climate change without somehow bringing up Israel.

For readers with comments right here: Keep those letters coming. But please, please read the guidelines. It will mean an easier year. At least for me.


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