Sunday, December 2, 2012

Golda's Kitchen

Lord Parkinson, he of the eponymous law, once noted that the larger a group is, the lesser the chance that it will be able to make decisions. Fifteen, he noted, is about the maximum; beyond that, you've got a talking club but not a forum for making decisions.

Israel's early cabinets were smaller, but that was a long time ago, on the edge of living memory. These days, cabinets are automatically larger, and equally automatically, they have an inner group which is expected to make the real decisions (the current one has eight members). Sometimes, there's then an even smaller group where the real decisions get made; public lore says that these days it's made up of the PM, Netanyahu, and his right- and left-hand men, Lieberman and Barak, respectively. For all we know, public lore may have it right.

In Golda Meir's day, there was an informal inner group, and it was called ... Golda's Kitchenette (Hamitbachon shel Golda). This may have been an expression of sexism (no-one would dream of talking about Bibi's kitchenette, or Ben Gurion's); yet I've been told, by well-informed folks, that Prime Minister Meir really did host her closest allies for crucial deliberations in her kitchen.

Which brings us to today's document, which is both totally serious, given what we've just said, and a wee bit frivolous: Golda Meir's Chicken Soup!

Honestly! Go look at it!

(A word of caution: in the upper left corner of the page it says "Incoming Cable - Classified". That's an optical illusion. Someone copied our document with the one behind it in the file.)

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