Even in today's world, where English has become a fairly universal language, there are situations where people find themselves in a place where there is no one who speaks their language. Such situations are extremely frustrating since the people basically find themselves unable to communicate with the outside world.
As the negotiations to form a governing coalition in Israel drag on, it is become increasingly clear that this is what has happened to Bibi Netanyahu.
While Bibi is well-known for his polished communication skills in Hebrew and English, the truth is that the main language that Bibi has been speaking over the past few years is Corruptese – a language spoken extensively by politicians here in Israel and throughout the world. It is the language of those who believe that is justified for a politician to enter into any deal there is – just to stay in power.
There is no shortage of Israelis who have no problem with Corruptese being the primary language of politicians – they accept this as a fact of life that cannot be changed.
However, the results of the national elections in Israel were a clear indication that there is an increasing number of Israelis who refuse to accept this. These are people who believe that everyone should have principles and live their lives in accordance with those principles – even politicians.
Yari Lapid and Naftali Bennett both see themselves as representatives of these people, and seem to be determined to show that politicians can have principles too.
This is what's driving Bibi insane.
Lapid and Bennett talk about reducing the size of government, and determining the number of Ministers (and Ministries) based on real need, not political expediency – and Bibi has no idea what they are talking about.
Lapid and Bennett talk about abolishing the absurd arrangement whereby the chareidim receive complete exemptions from military service – and Bibi has no clue what they are rambling on about.
Lapid and Bennett talk about reducing government spending in order to reduce the tax burden on the middle class – and Bibi desperately scours the Google Translate screen, looking for an option that will translate their language to his.
At first, Bibi was quite confident about forming a government, and he was further encouraged by the ease with which he was able to reach an agreement with Tzippi Livni, the woman who had painted him as the devil, only slightly worse, during the election campaign. But he is finding that there are fewer and fewer politicians who speak Corruptese.
With Lapid and Bennett showing that they plan on sticking to their guns, Bibi has become increasingly desperate. Just as people who find themselves in a foreign land go from person to person, hoping to find someone who speaks their language, Bibi goes from party to party, hoping to find someone who speaks his. His attempts to bring the Labor party into his coalition are worse then pathetic, given the huge gap between his policies and theirs. But he clings to the hope that Shelly Yachimovich's ideological image is just a front, and that she too will sell out if he hands over enough political booty. Fortunately, this looks like it is not going to happen.
If Lapid and Bennett stand firm, they have a golden opportunity. They can demonstrate to Bibi that he will have to learn to speak another language if he wants to stay in power.
Polls taken last week indicate that if elections were held again today, Lapid and Bennett's parties would only increase their strength. This is a strong indication that more and more Israelis have decided that it's time to make Corruptese a language of the past, that it's time to tell politicians to start representing the interests of the people or to start packing their bags.