JERUSALEM — Amotz Aza-El, a respected Israeli journalist, writing in Thursday’s Jerusalem Post has compared the current prime minister of Israel to the biblical Aaron, the brother of Moses, who yielded to popular demand and built the Golden Calf: Aza-El argues:

“Like Aaron…. whose eloquence proved irrelevant when it was time to confront the mob’s demand  that he sculpt it an idol –Netanyahu hastily retreated, then uttered flowery words about rehabilitating south Tel Aviv’s slums, and then joined the mob by pandering to its hatred, twice:

First, by accusing the New Israel Fund of making Rwanda change its mind, and then by contrasting “the distressed neighbourhoods” where the migrants live, with “the strong settlements, the kibbutzim and moshavim” – meaning Labor’s bastions – where 16,000 migrants would be resettled.”

His concluding paragraph reads:

“The Netanyahu who this week zigzagged the way one should when chases by a crocodile, is the same one who reversed his own government’s decision to accommodate non-Orthodox prayers at the Western   Wall; the same one who first condemned Sgt. Elor Azaria, who killed a neutralized terrorist, and then followed his fans’ lead; the same one who before the 2015 election vowed “to pass within 100 days of the next election a law to change the system of government,” but to this day has not even written that bill;   the same Netanyahu who thinks you can’t fool all the people all the time – unless you are Bibi Netanyahu.”

The headline of the above cited article is, “Netanyahu’s leadership: An Autopsy.” The implication is that the prime minister has lost his marbles. However, it’s by no means clear that he’ll resign, because polls suggest that his popularity is growing despite the zigzagging, or perhaps because of it. (The biblical Aaron was also popular; even Moses didn’t or couldn’t dismiss him.)

The loss of marbles seems universal. It’s reminiscent of Donald Trump’s antics that in no way seemed to have made his supporters change their minds. Fake news works in both countries and elsewhere in the world.

It may be different in the Diaspora. By all accounts a growing number of leaders of American Jewry – not only Ronald Lauder – are losing faith in the Israeli political leadership while their followers, especially the young, may no longer wish to support the Jewish State, which would be a tragedy.

And in Israel it’s by no means clear that whoever succeeds Netanyahu will bring back the country to responsible and sane government. But that may be just my pessimism. Many of my friends believe that a change, almost any change, will be for the good. In any case, change may be almost inevitable because it’s inconceivable that all the police investigations against Netanyahu, his wife, and now also his son that are currently going on won’t lead to indictments and court appearances.

All this is very upsetting and very worrying, also in view of the attempt by Hamas from Gaza and Iran from Syria to give Israel a very hard time.

I’m among those to have been particularly upset by the baseless accusation that the New Israel Fund persuaded Rwanda not to take in the migrants. So far, no shred of evidence has been presented. Rwanda has denied it. The New Israel Fund describes it as a lie.

As a way of showing our support for the New Israel Fund I’m among those who’ve today made a donation and asked it to be in honour of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I hope he gets a card from the Fund acknowledging the gift. Feel free to join us.

Republished from San Diego Jewish World