Welcome to the Weekend Holyland Wrap, where unlike the rest of the country (where it’s all Schalit, all the time – and everything else be damned) we actually care about other stuff as well. Please take your anti-nausea pills, as some seriously repugnant individuals are soon to be back in circulation.
The Schalit festival is of course in full effect, with the media camped outside of his parents’ Mitzpe Hilla, groupies doing pilgrimage and polluting the family’s front yard with soft drink cans and cigarette butts.
The media has well and truly gone off the reservation on this one. After breathlessly reporting on every little phase of the preparations at the family home (They mowed the lawn! They trimmed the hedge! They opened the blinds in his room for the first time since he was captured! They put the Israeli flag back atop the house!!!), came phase two: interviews with everyone possible, no matter how tenuously connected with man of the hour. This includes the neighbor who owns a dog who is reportedly excited for the return of his old playmate (I shit y’all not. This is apparently a very mnemonic mutt), the midwife who delivered him, and the Goddess alone knows who else. I guess we’re lucky they didn’t go for the mohel, or display his enshrined foreskin for all to see.
Worse than these are the various dignitaries (From the Prime Sinister on down) jockeying for a photo-op with the returning “boy” – a guy who needs a bunch of strangers crowding him like he needs a hole in the head.
Amir Oren had a cryptic note in his opinion piece in Haaretz today about “wives of politicians” trying to wiggle into the frame when Schalit touches down. This seems to point to Judy Shalom Nir Mozes, wife of Silvan Shalom, Minister of Regional Development and Bibi’s most bitter rival within Likud. Judy, a vulgar bimbo who glories in devotedly following teeny bopper fashions and the most lame-brained of “mystic” practices and charlatans, once got a deputy Ambassador to the US fired because he wouldn’t or couldn’t get her face time with Madonna.
Now this was published by Oren on Sunday morning, but one must assume he called for comment on Saturday, because the aforementioned Judy, who is very active on Twitter, released this little tidbit: “Somebody ask Yair’s mother why she brought false charges against her son’s boyfriend and tried to have him deported? Just unbelievable“. The only Yair that comes to mind, especially one with a mother in position to move the police to do her bidding, is of course Yair Netanyahu, the Prime Minister’s Arab-hating soldier boy. Therefore one assumes that the leak about “wives of politicians” came from “circles close to the PM”, and that said tweet was made in retaliation. Now, if both allegations are true (and if we read the pointed arrows correctly), then Judy is guilty of her usual revoltingly bad taste, whereas the Prime Minister’s unhinged other half is guilty of offenses quite worse. Good times…
Back to the Schalit deal: Not everyone is ecstatic about it. This includes everyone to the right of Netanyahu, as well as the majority of those who lost loved ones to the murderous activities of those slated for release. One of these, a Shevuel Schijveschuurder, who lost both parents and three siblings in the suicide at the Sbarro pizzeria, protested the deal by defacing the memorial for murdered PM Yitzhak Rabin – hallowed ground for the establishment milquetoast Israeli “Left” – dumping some paint on it and spraying the words “price tag.”
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai (whose name most appropriately means “the rat”) bleated that this most unfortunate person should “have his hands cut off“. Me, I’d sooner see that happen to Huldai himself, if anyone. While the act isn’t “nice”, I for one would not presume to judge someone so terribly afflicted, and in general the establishment left really needs to get over its cult of Rabin, which has done the cause of peace more harm than good. Schijveschuurder was arrested but released shortly thereafter, and now he and his remaining siblings are threatening to leave Israel and return to the Netherlands in protest. Other victims of crimes committed by the prisoners slated for release, while not defacing memorials, are also seething, and have futilely petitioned the Supreme Court against the deal. Many of them are also complaining that the security establishment didn’t even have the decency to notify them of the release of their loved ones’ murderers, leaving them to find out about it in the news. This of course sounds absolutely right for an establishment run by the high-functioning autistic Ehud Barak.
Not enough props were given to the role of Dr. Gershon Baskin, peace activist extraordinaire, in mediating this deal. But you can be sure that the first time one of the released terrorists kills again, he’ll be blamed vociferously.
This being the Middle East, there was of course some last minute drama, when Hamas – capable and competent organization that it is – realized it had misreckoned the number of female Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, and therefore the list they had finalized the deal with left a handful of ladies behind bars. But even they eventually understood that the deal was signed, sealed, and irreversible, so they’ll have to deal with the egg on their face.
As for my own opinion on the deal – I won’t even try to decipher the security risk is releasing a bunch of scum responsible for the deaths of nearly 300 civilians. Nor will I say overmuch about the stunning about-face in the position of Netanyahu, who used to be strenuously against the deal. The point that pisses me off about this deal – other than the release of the monstrous Amna Mona, who seduced a 16 year old boy online and drove him to his death – is the fact that a few Arab Israeli citizens who participated in terrorist acts are being released in this deal as well.
If Israel gave a crap about statehood and citizenship, rather than caring only about tribal ethnicity, this would never ever stand. But just like Israel is embracing the cancer of occupation that will kill it, so it is handing Hamas standing as a representative of Israeli citizens. Clever!
OK, enough Schalit and on, as promised, to a few other matters that still matter:
The labor relations court issued an injunction voiding the resignation letters of hundreds of medical interns. This is the second time it has done this, and this time it has done so after the interns submitted personal resignation letters as the court specified they needed to the first time around. Basically, the court is saying they can’t quit no matter what, rendering them forced conscripts who must continue to work for salaries of around $11 per hour, which after working 250+ hours a month with much overtime pay for nights and weekends comes out to just under $50K a year. Not surprisingly, there aren’t really that many young Israelis lined up to replace those who have had enough. Would you pay for 7 years of grueling school and then work like a rented mule (with exposure to malpractice suits and the violence of frustrated or bereaved relatives of patients) all for that kind of pay? Me neither.
Saturday night saw a resumption of the “J14″ social justice movement, with a demonstration on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Blvd. but this time the media had another toy to play with, and so it ignored the event for hours despite there being quite a bit of action, arrests, protesters surrounding pig cruisers until the arrestees were released and so on.
Speaking of J14 and social justice, have a tidbit: In Israel, 10% of all workers are employed through temp agencies, which enable their employers to avoid paying them even the most basic benefits. In the rest of the developed world, such modern slaves constitute.
Under the cover of the FestiSchalit, Israel’s Jewish first, democratic-later-if-at-all ruling coalition has submitted a bill calling for a draconian increase in the sums of libel verdicts – from ILS 50K without proof of damage today to 300K. The new bill also calls for punishment if “full response” was not run with the article itself. So the subject of an expos’e can forestall publication either by dodging requests for comment, or by submitting a response of such length as to render publication of the piece impractical. Those behind the bill may bat their eyelids all they want and simper that “just write the truth and you won’t have to pay”, but their intent is clear – to curtail the freedom of the press.
It’s olive picking season, and that means skirmishes all over the west bank between Palestinian villagers and settlers determined to impeded their access to their lawfully owned groves. The army pretends to maintain order, but more often than not sides with the settlers. Just the other day they left a Palestinian man bound and blindfolded in a field for seven hours.
Civics teachers in the religious sector are reporting that since the leading rabbis began issuing fatwas against the renting of homes to Arabs, they are finding themselves increasingly unable to relay to their pupils concepts such as equality under the law and the impermissibility of racial or ethnic discrimination. Concurrently, a little tempest broke out when some ass or other demanded that only religious instructors be allowed to train teachers of civics in religious schools. Note that we’re not talking about the teachers themselves – EVERYONE agreed that only a properly indoctrinated jehovaist may come into direct contact with the impressionable minds of the young sheep themselves. No. This was about the instructors of adult teachers.
And on that separate and unequal note, we shall call it a wrap. These tours are not responsible for any illusions, sympathies or misconceptions that may have been misplaced on our tours. Please collect your senses and check your comments where appropriate. Thank you for flying the crazy skies.
Rick’s book, “Jewcy Story,” a popular history of the 2nd Temple Era, can be bought for Amazon Kindle, for cell phone or for PC here.