“There’s only one thing we can all agree on: that what we really want, all of us, is just to be together.”
Who’s responsible for this bit of wisdom? Was it Yair Lapid, Israel’s perennial political superstar and a serious contender for its prime ministership, or the latest catalog from Swedish lifestyle giant Ikea?
That’s the question posed by a new humorous online quiz spreading like wildfire throughout the country. Its creators, Yulia and Dan Ronen, report thumbing through Ikea’s massive tome one day and cracking up at the battered aphorisms before realizing that the catalogue’s cluster of clichés sounded just like a certain someone. “A smart man once said that we learn from our mistakes; we believe that man”—Ikea said that, but Lapid might have. “The definition of a good life is a meaningful life”—that’s Lapid, but it could’ve easily been Ikea as well.
Unlike other entries in this most trivial of general, the quiz is an invitation to ponder the paltriness of current Israeli statesmanship: what does is mean that the most popular politician around sounds like a multinational corporation’s marketing pitch? Is sweet redemption at hand, promising that peace will come together as neatly and quickly as a Kallax Shelving Unit? Or has the vision that once propelled this too promised land to greatness slowly drying up? It’s hard to tell: according to his Facebook page, the bemused Lapid took the quiz himself and only got four of the answers right.
Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.