The elections in Israel are over. Bibi will continue to reign. It appears that the majority is happy and relieved, but many citizens are bitterly disappointed.
In light of the outcome, however, I can’t help but wonder…Does Netanyahu – and do people –realize when it’s time to change? Does he know that HE must change? Does he understand that Israel has real issues with which it must deal NOW before its civil society implodes? Yes, certainly security and defense are of paramount importance, but the high cost of living; dramatically inflated housing prices; undercurrents of racism; gender gaps in business and industry; and “second class” treatment of Arab-Israelis can no longer be ignored or tolerated. Something must be done to promote change. The ideology of Democracy and the essence of Jewish Values demand accountability. “Business as usual” can no longer apply.
It’s so easy for me, sitting here in Atlanta, to assume the role of the arm-chair-quarterback when I actually am not playing the political field or in the middle of the action. My contract and household income do not depend upon playing the game or winning a Super Bowl. I also know that, even if I scream orders or hurl expletives at my television screen, no one is listening to me or cares about what I have to say. Yet, I feel a type of obligation to share my opinion because I CARE.
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Countries have challenges because the people who lead them can’t or simply refuse to see the need to adapt; that the path they are on won’t yield different outcomes. My dear, you (And maybe we all) are stubborn. You resist change even when the need to do so is as obvious to others as it is to yourself. What is holding you back? Why don’t you get on with it and do what needs to be done to fix yourself? You think I don’t understand, but I do.
You are caught up in what you believe are other’s hopes and expectations of you. You are embarrassed to admit failure. You are concerned that you won’t be accepted. You are worried about being judged. You think you should just settle for the “devil” you know. You are convinced that misery and unhappiness are what you deserve. But you shouldn’t be.
I know people who want and deserve a fresh start, but – like you – won’t take the first steps. They too are trapped inside their own false assumptions and excuses. (Take a chance! What do you have to lose?) A separation, a move to a new city, and the start of a new job are all great catalysts to launching change – despite the stress and insecurities they evoke. However, without a “makeover” – new attitudes, approaches, alliances, and tools – even the decision to change may be doomed from the start. You must do everything possible to avoid repeating past mistakes and let others help you. Believe it or not, you are surrounded by people who want YOU to succeed.
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People are more secure with the incumbent and the status quo; yet we cheer for the underdog. People applaud those who, despite all odds, can turn their (and others’) lives around; yet we won’t do that for ourselves.
At the end of the day, we should – we must – work together to strive and push for change. WE must do everything in our power to make our world – to make our lives – better; for our grandchildren’s sake, if not our own. We need to formulate a vision, define who we are (i.e. what we care about, what we stand for, and what we want to achieve), make a plan, and find the resources (e.g. seeking counseling, acquiring new skills, securing funds, etc.) to make change happen.
Israel, and even the world, has been long-focused on external enemies. These existential threats are real and cannot be ignored, whether or not we here in the U.S. fully understand the real and potential danger. Yet, constantly worrying about someone else, an external force, for one’s problems and challenges also can become a convenient excuse for not “cleaning house.”
I think it’s time to stage a real intervention. I pray that Israel and its leadership will take the necessary time to reflect upon, acknowledge, and begin to address the messy challenges within.