Home  > Israel-News Today  > Week in Review
In political masterstroke, an example of out-of-the-box thinking (ISRAEL HAYOM) Amos Regev 05/09/12)Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=4265 Israel Hayom Israel Hayom Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Shaul Mofaz and Benjamin Netanyahu vexed all those who tried pushing them into a no-win situation. Instead, they provided a solution by redefining the problem. They pulled the plug, they changed the rules, and they won.

With the situation collapsing all around him and his ship on the verge of crashing, the captain and his crew were on the precipice of certain death. It was at that moment that the young cadet, James T. Kirk, pulled the plug on the computer, and the lights in the training room switched on. The exercise was over, and cadet Kirk — eventually Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise — had become the first cadet in Starfleet Academy to stay alive during the Kobayshi Maru, the final test in officer training school. All his predecessors had crashed, and perished, during the exercise that tests a candidate´s mettle when faced with a no-win scenario. Among Star Trek fans, the Kobayashi Maru is often referenced with regard to one´s ability to provide a solution by redefining the problem. Cadet Kirk changed the rules of the game and stayed alive. He made himself a winner.

That, in a nutshell, is the lesson we learn from Captain Kirk throughout his intergalactic career: There is no such thing as a no- win situation. That Star Trek episode is a little more complicated than the description above (cadet Kirk actually reprograms the test simulation), but what is important is the principle it portrays.

And that, in a nutshell, also sums up the last-minute maneuver executed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz during the early hours of Tuesday morning. The two had found themselves players in a game whose rules were being written by others: bystanders with vested interests, politicians and journalists. Mofaz was supposed to be politically wiped out, Netanyahu was to be worn down, and others were to become the heroes of the day. So what did Netanyahu and Mofaz do? They pulled the plug, they changed the rules, and they won.

Let´s start with Mofaz: About a month after his victory in the Kadima primaries, and after democratically defeating his predecessor, Tzipi Livni, who had failed, he found himself with his lines of defense broken. His bunker was caving in, his troops were in retreat, with his enemies closing in, set to administer the final death blow. Livni, with the aid of vested individuals and supportive journalists, was once again being painted as the Great White Hope. Mofaz was a mere step away from political oblivion.

At the last minute, the former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff and minister of defense managed to read the battlefield conditions correctly, making the one bold move that would keep him alive. What did they expect him to do, commit suicide to cheers of "Bravo, Captain"?

Netanyahu, for his part, arrived on the scene from an entirely different direction. Despite the flattering approval ratings at his back, he was facing minefields everywhere, from the political-defense arena to the economy, and within his own party. And above all else, there is the uncertainty surrounding the Iranian issue, as well as the political and economic developments in Europe.

From the beginning, the prime minister wanted stability in order to deal with these matters. It was others who tried pushing Netanyahu toward early elections, all the while hoping he would drown in the stormy seas they had stirred up around him.

Thus was born the Netanyahu-Mofaz partnership. This is why the unity government was formed. Ironically then, it was the ships of those who tried dictating the rules that, in one fell swoop, were sunk at sea. This is how political journalists and super-pundits found themselves having to admit — despite their arrogance — that they didn´t have a clue as to what was happening; that the main actors refused to play the roles others had written for them, and simply pulled the plug out of the socket. Netanyahu and Mofaz thought outside of the box, like Captain Kirk did.

By the way, just to reassure the pundits and journalists, this move is good for Israel, for the Israeli public, and creates real opportunity in almost every single area that needs care. Stability is always preferable over instability, unless one wishes to sing "The world is about to change its foundation" from "The Internationale" anthem, and create a new world in one´s own image.

By all means, those who wish this should try and create that new world — in the next elections.

Return to Top