My neighbor asked me who is running Israel these days. Is Benjamin Netanyahu still prime minister?

Yes, I said. Of course, he is.

But didn’t he lose the most recent election?

He didn’t really lose. He simply didn’t win…in what is fast-becoming tradition. Israel’s semi-annual election process.

I don’t understand.

Who does?

Yes, I agreed, it is complicated, and it got no better, for either of us, and that ended that, when I started to explain that Israel operates on something like a 40-Party System.

That’s like 40 years wandering in the wilderness, politically speaking.

Instantly, our USA Two-Party System sounds much better. Except look what it got us. Biden.

Go explain the Israeli system, which is full of traps, so much so that some in the headlines are prepared to hook up with an Islamist terrorist party in order to win the premiership.

You need 61 seats in the Knesset.

Easy. Snap, and a right-wing government is in place again, today, if the three right-wing players, together with their 70-plus seats, dropped their grudge against Netanyahu.

But they won’t.

In Israel, politics Is personal. Come to think of it, so it is in America. But we are so far gone that only a miracle can put us back together again.

But the Israelis are THIS CLOSE if only they’d get their act together.

We are taught that the Second Temple was destroyed partly because of squabbling, vendettas and baseless hatred among ourselves.

Sound familiar?

I won’t mention the players who hold all the cards…because I don’t know them well enough…but must say their behavior is childish and churlish.

Their personal beefs, mostly against Netanyahu, come first, above what’s good for the country.

It is like the Jew in a new town who built himself two synagogues because he won’t go into THAT one.

Both G-d and Moses called us a stiff-necked people.

For sure, that…in. politics.

Are these wannabes aware how lucky they are to be given the chance to do what’s right for so patient and so great a nation? Apparently not. Not so far. Every man for himself.

This politician won’t play ball with that one, and that one won’t play ball with this one – and “if Rubin is in, I’m out.”

It was like that in Ben Hecht’s day, when in NYC he called for a meeting to save the Jews of Europe and it fell apart on account of petty grievances.

Déjà vu all over again.

Our excuse in the United States is that as a civilization we haven’t been around that long.

Israel has been around since time immemorial…plenty of time to figure this one out, you’d think.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epic “The Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website:

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