President Rivlin on Wednesday received the 2021 Strategic Assessment from the Institute for National Security Studies and cited two comments from the report on the urgent need to restore public faith in the state.
“Public trust has been badly, perhaps even fatally, harmed this year,” was the first comment the president read from the report. He then cited a second comment, related to the elections and the ongoing political and social schism, saying: “This is the fourth elections in two years, and my last as president. Assuming that the health crisis will soon be lifted, and I hope that is the case, Israeli society will urgently require a stable, functioning government to deal first and foremost with economic recovery, social gaps, and the great schisms between us.”
“We will have to deal with the shocking hatred that undermines our national resilience,” Rivlin said. “And if a stable government is not formed, the responsibility falls on the members of the Knesset, from all parties, who will need to present the Israeli people with a legal or political alternative to exit the ongoing crisis. As Einstein said, it is not that smart to repeat the same thing time after time and expect that the outcome will be different.”
This is as good a place as any to note that Einstein never said such a thing. Also, the quote which is so often attributed to Einstein does not say it isn’t smart to expect different outcomes from the same action, it says it’s the definition of madness.
After a briefing, which was made online by the INSS chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, the president commented that the INSS’s assessment is published at the end of a difficult year, with the coronavirus claiming many lives and the economic, social, psychological, and personal harm it has done, and that alongside the external challenges and threats to Israel’s national security, the country faces several complex internal challenges. The president noted that the assessment is comprehensive and impressive and that its value is not only in the presentation of the threats it outlines but in its comprehensive strategic assessment of all the factors that influence our national resilience.
The president noted: “This report is also important for the resilience of Israeli democracy, because it is open and accessible, allowing every Israeli to take an independent view of the significant challenges we face at present. In the introduction, the editors note that ‘as well as outlining the current challenges facing the State of Israel, we must also take into account the possibilities for dealing with them.’ In this way, you hint at the response to the challenges. Every challenge carries with it the possibility of a new opportunity. Uncertainty can always be a risk, but even risks are new opportunities. We must deal with the risks, and take advantage of the opportunities.”