Thursday, December 17, 2020

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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Israeli ballotTel Aviv, December 17 - Observers expecting something original out of the ongoing Israeli political morass voiced their disapproval this week over yet another predictable twist in the narrative, noting that talk of an eleventh-hour deal to thwart early elections could be spotted months away in the story arc, and that the writers have rested on their laurels of late, relying on hackneyed devices instead of genuine creativity.

Likud and Blue and White representatives met again Thursday to hammer out a deal that would obviate a new parliamentary contest in March, less than a year after the previous elections and the fourth such contest in two years. Audiences groaned at the development, with the dominant sentiment among them that whether or not elections occur soon, the writers of 2020 have apparently run out of ideas and have fallen back on recycling tired tropes that surprise exactly no one.

"This is the least shocking thing to happen since the last Trump Twitter diatribe," lamented Ramat Gan viewer and vocal critic Yariv Ben-Yakir. "It's tiresome at this point. Unfortunately we're a captive audience, and we don't really have a choice if we're going to pay attention to politics. The writing team needs to either buckle down and do serious work or just quit. Not a single original idea since like 2012."

"Having Naftali Bennet performing strongly in polls a couple of months ago could have been a promising plot element," acknowledged Ashdod resident Alex Dobrov. "No one on the left, or even in the center, could make a credible challenge to Netanyahu for claim of the Knesset's largest faction and the right to try forming a government first. Bennett, from the right, with Ayelet Shaked at his back, could have mounted a believable campaign to unseat Bibi from the right. But then the writers went absolutely nowhere with that. It had so much dramatic potential, and lent an element of unpredictability that audiences would have oved, but then the writers' cowardice must have taken over, because that plot line disappeared in a hurry. It's too bad."

Viewers have also refused to take seriously the Likud splinter faction now slated to run on an independent list under longtime Netanyahu rival Gid'on Sa'ar. The New Hope Party has performed well in public opinion polls, but most viewers harbor no illusions that after the next elections the party would not quietly reabsorb into Likud, with our without Netanyahu at the helm.


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