Multiple choices for 5780

Published in The Jerusalem Post, September 27, 2019; and Israel Hayom, September 29, 2019.

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A pre-Rosh Hashana political quiz: Calculate what Israeli and Jewish future you need to be prepared for in 5780… 

Cartoon: Amos Biderman/Haaretz

After completing the long pre-Rosh Hashana selichot prayers, take this quiz and calculate what political future you need to be prepared for in 5780.

1. Which of the following political, security and economic events will occur this year? 

a. A national unity government will be formed in Jerusalem, but it won’t last long

b. The government will introduce an austerity budget with new taxes and big spending cuts

c. The IDF will mount a massive ground operation to punish and deter Hamas and Islamic Jihad

d. Jeremy Corbyn will become prime minister of Britain

e. Donald Trump will be re-elected president of the United States

f. All members of the “squad” (Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib) will be re-elected to Congress

g. All of the above

2. Which of the following trends will emerge in Israel this year?

a. Many companies will collapse, such as Cellcom, Bezeq, Teva and Michal Negrin

b. Entry of ever-more haredi men and women into higher education and the workplace will be halted by an asinine, short-sighted Supreme Court decision to disallow gender-separate study tracks in colleges and universities

c. The radical Islamists, terrorist-sympathizing ultra-nationalists and communists who currently populate the United Arab List in the Knesset will continue with their usual provocations and shenanigans, preventing real progress towards greater Israeli Arab integration in Israeli society

d. The ugly demonization of religious and haredi Jews that characterized the recent election will accelerate, as religious parties are kept completely out of government, even as junior partners

e. G-d forbid that any of these items come true

3. Which of the following reforms in matters of religion and state will be implemented over the coming year?

a. Civil marriage and divorce

b. Non-Orthodox conversion to Judaism

c. Public transportation and open commerce on Shabbat

d. Construction of a gold-plated pluralistic plaza adjacent to the Western Wall, which will overflow with prayer quorums three times a day

e. Some degree of reform in military draft law that will nudge upwards the number of haredi conscripts, while freeing most Ultra-Orthodox youth to study at college

f. None of the above

4. How will Iran’s hegemonic advance across the region to Israel’s borders be halted?

a. By intensified Israeli air and ground strikes on Iranian and Shiite militia targets in Syria and Iraq, and on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon

b. By a crushing American military strike on Iranian oil and military installations, forcing a re-thinking in Tehran of its programs to export the Shiite revolution

c. By a Trump-Putin global understanding whereby the US accept Russia’s dominance in the Ukraine and Crimea (and ends sanctions against Russia) while Putin forces the Iranians out of Syria

d. Iran’s advances won’t be halted

5. When the IDF is forced to once again strike deep into Gaza, how will world leaders respond?

a. By calling on “all sides” to end the violence

b. By condemning Israel for “disproportionate” use of force, and pouring more cash into Gaza reconstruction after the war without serious supervision of how Hamas uses the funds

c. By condemning Hamas for firing indiscriminately at Israeli civilian centers, for partnering with Iran, and for standing committed to Israel’s destruction; while expressly backing Israel’s right to defend itself against the genocidal Hamas, without reservation

d. Alas, answers a and b

6. What is in the Trump Mideast peace plan?

a. A Palestinian state, with a division of Jerusalem

b. Rejection of the failed Oslo paradigm for Israeli-Palestinian peace

c. Recognition of the inalienable right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria as a matter of historical truth, international law and basic acknowledgement of reality

d. A “green light” for Israel to act unilaterally when the plan flounders on the shoals of Palestinian rejectionism, in support of Israel’s long-term sovereign needs in the broad Jerusalem envelope, Jordan Valley and settlement blocks.

e. Formal Saudi diplomatic recognition of Israel

f. Not answers a or e

7. If Benny Gantz and/or Yair Lapid were to become Prime Minister, they would handle diplomacy and security better than the current prime minister, by doing which of the following?

a. Decapitating Hamas leadership, and sending the IDF on a 36-month-long bloody campaign to re-conquer every inch of Gaza

b. Swiftly reaching a peace accord with Mahmoud Abbas who would assume responsibility for Gaza and bring goodwill to the entire area

c. Getting Egypt to take control of Gaza, and Jordan to take control of the West Bank, ensuring long-term stability

d. Unilaterally withdrawing Israeli troops and settlers from significant sections of Judea and Samaria

e. All of the above answers are ridiculous. None of this is wise or feasible, and neither Gantz nor Lapid would go there, despite the fantasies of many global observers

8. What will be the best books to read in 5780?

a. Benjamin Netanyahu’s memoirs about his longest-ever and completed tenure as prime minister of Israel

b. The memoirs of ambassadors Dan Shapiro and Ron Dermer about US-Israel relations during the Obama presidency

c. Lord Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks’ next book of philosophy, ethics, public policy and Biblical commentary; really, any book he writes

d. Rabbi Uriel Eitam’s expected book on Shabbat as the ultimate path to repair of the ruptures in our world stemming from primordial sin in the Garden of Eden

e. Prof. Yuval Noah Harari’s next book deconstructing all codes of morality, sexuality, family, community, nationality and accepted codes of decency

9. Who will be Israel’s prime minister ten years from now?

a. Arye Deri

b. Avigdor Liberman

c. Ayelet Shaked

d. Yair Lapid

e. Yair Netanyahu

f. Yossi Cohen of the Mossad

g. Yuli Edelstein

h. Stav Shaffir

MY ANSWERS: 1.g, 2.e, 3.e (perhaps), 4.d, 5.d, 6.f, 7.e, 8.c, 9.c.

Shana tova. Ketiva vachatima tova.

David M. Weinberg is a think tank director, columnist and lobbyist who is a sharp critic of Israel’s detractors and of post-Zionist trends in Israel. Read more »
A passionate speaker, David M. Weinberg lectures widely in Israel, the U.S. and Canada to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. He speaks on international politics and Middle East strategic affairs, Israeli diplomacy and defense strategy, intelligence matters and more. Click here to book David Weinberg as a speaker

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