Op-ed: Give Israel seven Arab armies and they’ll be dealt with within six working days. But rain? Rain is above all the budgets and technologies we are familiar with.

Raanan Shaked 10.31.15

Not so long ago, I asked the prime minister (in my undeveloped imagination, yes?): Will we forever live by the sword? And I think he said yes.

I was pretty amazed by that defeatist answer, but in the meantime that question has become almost marginal compared to much more urgent questions: Will we forever live, every winter, in a huge, uncrossable puddle? Will we forever live without electricity for unreasonable periods of time? Will Israel’s cities forever be flooded upon the first rain’s arrival? Will the distance from here to Venice forever seem like two improvised paddle rows as we sit on the roof of our sinking car?

A long week of severe storms have quickly washed away the heat of summer with lightening storms, flooding and power outages, but some have managed to make light of the change in season.
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I assume that like with our sword, the answer is yes, yes and yes. And I assume that just like there is no partner, there is also no infrastructure, no drainage, no responsible people, no learning or drawing conclusions, and mainly no chance or hope for something to ever change – because we are talking, as you know, about a force majeure: Rain.

Who can overcome rain? Definitely not us. Give us seven Arab armies and we’ll deal with them within six working days. But rain? Rain is above all the budgets and technologies we are familiar with.

Welcome to the Israel of 2015; and of 2014; and 2013 as well. Feel free to keep going, although it’s likely that the Israeli time tunnel is also flooded at the moment, so I wouldn’t go in if I were you.

Because we haven’t learned a thing. We’ll never learn. If a large Israeli public votes for a government which offers no platform, no security and no proper conduct, why should something marginal like infrastructures, welfare or – the greatest luxury, ongoing power supply to our homes – move forward? Change? Improve?

No, we will remain backward by choice and march in place – I mean, in the puddle. We will remain a first-world country which moves into the Third World every winter. We will remain with a national and local leadership which can only promise you, as Winston Churchill did at the time, blood, sweat, tears, floods, power outages, darkness and a rerun next year.

And, at the end of the day, what are we looking at? Rain. True, the Israeli rain has become in the past few years – like all of us – more radical, impulsive and violent. Still, we are not talking about Hurricane Katrina. We are talking, at the most, about Storm Mina. Storm Moshe. Drizzle Haimon. About rain in its season.

As far as Israel is concerned, we are talking about, every year, a predestination which we have no way of defending ourselves against. And let the citizens drown quietly. After all, what can we do? Stop paying taxes? Demand a commission of inquiry? Inform the Israel Electric Corporation that we are moving to its competitors? I made you laugh.

Here’s what we’ll do: We’ll get home, swear, dry up, change our clothes, sit in the dark and keep living – on our sword, as the prime minister recommended.