A crisis is something exceptional. The Israeli political landscape, a permanent exhibition of intellectual misery, is better described as degradation.

A country that votes for a party as amorphous as Kadima or for a person like Olmert, whose two sons deserted the army, evidently lacks political choices. Such a lack is odd for the opinionated Jewish population.

Israeli dissent is dying out under the burden of hopelessness. We have tried every conceivable option: we fought the Arabs, accommodated them, offered economic cooperation, isolated ourselves behind the wall, defied world opinion, abided by the UN resolutions—and are still at war. Bewildered Israelis no longer trust their common sense and look for wise politicians to solve the unsolvable. Wisdom is hard to ascertain, and well-connected, well-financed politicians are presumed wise. A similar phenomenon exists in the economy: when customers cannot ascertain the quality of services, they opt for the largest providers.

Israeli voters are mostly reasonable and often prefer even vaguely realizable programs to big parties or popular TV idol leaders. Thus the support for the lunatics who destroyed Gush Katif: hey, we haven’t tried to appease the enemy by dismantling our towns, so let’s try that. (Actually, Israel tried that in the Sinai and got a nuclear Egypt with a hostile parliament dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.) Thus the Russian aliyah voting for Lieberman: perhaps we can better the Jewish state by making it culturally Russian or somehow peacefully resettle the Arabs from Gush Etzion who do not want to leave it.

Israelis vote for those absurd schemes only because they have no realistic political plans. No major party has come up with the basic platform: reduce the compound tax rate to 35% and the income tax to 15%, dismantle the welfare state and relegate charity to private donors, shorten the conscription period, and make the army lean by legitimizing a nuclear first strike, deport Arabs from Israel, Judea, and Samaria to Jordan through economic incentives and limited application of power, annex core Jewish territories. Plain and doable. Resolve needed.