Home, Sweet Home!

Half & Half is back after a long-needed break in the Big Apple. As usual, Karen and I, whenever in the best town on Earth, flirt with the idea of moving over and taking our chances in the Goldena Medina, maybe even ze Upper Vest Side..

But really, what is it about that place? The cleanliness? The civility? The politeness? The order? Those huge supermarket aisles, everything stacked so perfectly (so perfectly it makes me wanna take a stick and whack down all the cereal from the shelves)? Is it the subway with the guy flipping pages on his Kindle while the pregnant woman goes up and down the car asking for handouts? Is it the service? Ahhh, the service… hmmm… so nice to be a customer…

But alas, the pangs for a good ol’ plate o’ hummus from a cold and apathetic waiter and a juicy, never-ending conflict put those dreams on the back burner. That’s right, gimme a plate of chick-peas with a drizzle of warfare – and I’m all yours.

It’s quite amazing, though, I get back home, and it only takes a day for something to piss me off. Mind you, it’s hard to get me annoyed about anything while severely jet-lagged (actually, make that “with two severely jet-lagged kids”). So, these must be pretty bad things.

Last Friday, the police dispersed the weekly Sheikh Jarah demo with force. Not anything like the force used against settlers who demonstrate in the same place, or like the force used against Haredim who riot all over town whenever they want. It’s nothing like that force, because that kind of force is rarely used against settlers or Haredim to begin with.

It doesn’t matter what side of the map you’re on. But if you’re on democracy’s side – you should be very upset about this. That pretty much sums it up.

And democracy’s advocates should also be at least a tad worried about the treatment MK Hanin Zuabi received this week. Yesterday she was stripped of her special privileges as a member of parliament for her taking part in the Gaza flotilla.

Zuabi hasn’t been arrested, investigated nor charged with anything. She did not break Israeli law. Yet this Knesset has rules of its own, and it shall decide who’s wrong and who’s right. Forget the justice system, they’re just a bunch of pansies. Did someone say “fascism”?

Ah, and how can I forget, last but not least, the Giora Eiland report into the conduct of the army in the Gaza flotilla fiasco. If the U.S. is the land of opportunity, then Israel must be the land of “the opportunity to screw up and not pay for it”.

As expected, Eiland concluded that mistakes were made, mainly intelligence-wise, but he didn’t have the guts to jot down any names, to get some heads rolling. Nah, a general doesn’t do that to a fellow general. Not in Israel. As Amir Oren pointed out in Haaretz:

“But Eiland, in his insistence on avoiding making difficult personal recommendations against generals, is repeating the behavior of members of the generals’ club. Somehow it’s easy for them (although not necessarily for Eiland personally, who also has pity on the lower ranks), to dismiss a corporal, major and even a brigadier general. When the flames are approaching the club, the arguments of principle are pulled out. We can go back decades and not find a single case of a general being dismissed, while division commanders and those below them in rank and command are crushed like flies. A general does not dismiss a general.”

And guess what’ll happen when the Turkel Committee’s report examining the political echelon’s role is published? That’s right. Nothing. Everything will be normal. Heads won’t roll. Things will go on as they always do. As is necessary. Ehud Barak will play piano in his flat way up in the sky in the Akirov Towers while hallucinating that he’ll one day be prime minister again; Bibi will light another cigar as he thinks of even more creative ways to stall the peace process; and his wife Sara will slowly be taking off another shoe as she slyly creeps up behind yet another maid…

It’s all good.


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