Trump and Clinton.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As we bring in the new year, we can say with some confidence that while the sky didn’t fall in 2015, it did get badly cracked.
Who would have predicted at the dawn of the year that we’d witness early Knesset elections that would keep Bibi Netanyahu at the country’s helm yet again, no Palestinian elections that would keep Mahmoud Abbas at the Palestinian Authority’s helm yet again, a nuclear agreement between the West and Iran, a return to full-fledged Palestinian terrorism, a pushback from their Jewish terrorist counterparts and a former Israeli prime minister being sent to prison? Well... actually, aside from the surprising knife intifada, all of those eventualities were entirely predictable in this usually fickle part of the world.
What does 2016 hold in store? Here are some possibilities.
• Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked will spearhead a new NGO funding bill that will require the heads of B’Tselem, the New Israel Fund and Breaking the Silence to physically carry cardboard folders containing copies of all receipts of contributions made to them by foreign bodies. Refusal to comply will result in the punishment of having to sit through a Knesset subcommittee meeting on the subject.
• In addition to banning from high school literature classes the novel Hedgegrow by Dorit Rabinyan about the relationship between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man, the Education Ministry will also remove titles like John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, about an illicit affair between mice and men, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, about the sordid love tryst between two cities, and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, about the forbidden love between crime and punishment, censorship and a free society.
• US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will announce just before the New Hampshire primary that he intends to nuke Mexico on his first day in office to stop illegal immigration.
His poll numbers will skyrocket.
• The US will finally allow Jonathan Pollard to move to Israel. The former spy will go to work in a high-level position in a dusty corner of the Jewish Agency and will never be seen or heard from again.
• Following the installation of the Likud’s first openly gay MK, Amir Ohana, the party will announce a further liberalization policy by allowing north Tel Aviv residents with round glasses to join (but only under the “Don’t ask... don’t tell” policy).
• Islamic State fighters approaching the northern border of Israel will turn back when they discover how outrageous the cost of housing is.
• While serving his 18-month sentence, Ehud Olmert will be placed in solitary confinement for recruiting fellow prisoners for a lottery to win a Holyland complex penthouse that someone already owns.
• Arye Deri will serve as interior minister for several months before realizing how easy he used to have it, and agree to participate in a time-sharing prison rotation with Olmert and Moshe Katsav in an effort to reduce overcrowding in the nation’s jails.
• The BDS movement will officially ask Roger Waters to please just shut up, because he is embarrassing even them.
• Mahmoud Abbas will finally retire and open a souvenir shop on the road to the Dead Sea selling copies of all the agreements with Israel that the Palestinian Authority has turned down.
Avraham Burg will be elected the new head of the PA, beating out Marwan Barghouti in a close race.
• The natural gas deals will provide a boon for both the economy and the business tycoons, but I still won’t be able to get my stove-top burners to work correctly.
• Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet with US president-elect Hillary Clinton before the end of the year and pledge his commitment to a two-state solution.
He will then be off the hook to do anything about it for another year.
• Israelis will finally stop loudly stating their opinions about everything, robustly disagreeing and calling each other names. That will mean Big Brother and Survivor have been canceled.
So many unpredictable things will take place in 2016, they will make the above seem positively plausible.
Happy New Year!