Dedicated with Compassion to Israeli Politicians who are Living in a Film

Older readers, who, like me, were teen-agers during the sixties, may still remember the film ‘Grand Prix’ that came out in 1966 and described the lives of Formula One racing drivers during one racing season. The questionable hero of the film, the American racing driver Pete Aron, is thrown out of the Jordan racing team having irresponsibly caused a severe accident in which his team mate was badly injured and the company’s two cars were destroyed. He finds himself a laughable job as a TV car racing commentator while he looks for another company that would be willing to employ him despite his limited abilities. When he arrives at Ferrari, he is received with obvious aversion by the manager Agostini Manetta who summarises their meeting with the following words: “There are at this time 30 people around the world who are qualified to drive Formula One cars. Three or four of them could become world champions. Unfortunately, you are not one of them.”

In Israeli politics there are a few people who remind me again and again of Pete Aron. People with a huge gap between the way they perceive themselves and the way they are perceived by the sane electorate. People who believe with all their heart that they have the right, the skills and the abilities to metamorphose over night from class C sickening political ‘machers’ to towering leaders of a state facing critically testing times. Someone with authority and a sober view, someone like the Ferrari manager Agostini Manetta, needs to sit them down behind closed doors and say to them directly in their faces: “There are at this time 120 people qualified to sit in the Knesset. Three or four of them could become Prime Ministers. Unfortunately, you are not one of them.”

Pete Aron, by the way, does surprisingly win the coveted title of world champion at the end of the film, but not before other contenders, much more deserving, are killed in accidents or are forced to retire. In Israeli politics there were also those who won coveted titles after others, much more deserving, were killed or were forced to retire. Let us hope that history will not repeat itself.

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