Unnatural Disaster


1-26-07, 9:00 am

Zionism appeared in Jewish life waving the flag of normalcy. The idea was that Jewish sovereignty would pave the way to a normal existence and deliver the Jews from the vicissitudes of life among the goyim. Critics of the Zionist project were quick to point out that normalcy would mean that there would be Jewish criminals and even Jewish prostitutes – it being clear to all involved in the debate that “no such animal existed” up to this point in Jewish life.

The Zionist advocates sighed and argued that this was a small price to pay for the overriding advantages of independent national existence. But even those who had steeled themselves for some unpleasant aspects of national existence were not ready for the deluge of criminal behavior in high places that characterizes Israeli public life today. A short list of the present, distinguished leaders of Israel, who are also distinguished by virtue of the fact that they are defendants involved in criminal prosecutions, will tax the outer limits of Zionist normalcy.

Our predator President is going to be indicted for four sexual assaults. They can be considered crimes ex officio because they were all inflicted on women employed by the government. Four other accusations were squashed because of the statute of limitations. Our Prime Minister is busy preparing to dodge three separate indictments for things like influence peddling, illegal appointments and real estate rake offs. Our suspended Minister of Justice is awaiting a verdict in a sexual harassment case. Malfunction, misfeasance and just plain “shlumperei” (sloppy inefficiency)  by the government and the army related to last summer’s war in Lebanon are being investigated all over the place.(The time in Israel for dealing with serious accusations regarding war crimes has not yet arrived). The former Minister of Justice, Hanegbi, cannot serve as a minister because he is charged with handing out a hundred jobs to party hacks without bothering about qualifications. There is a case brewing against the Finance Minister for not reporting a major robbery in the health fund that he headed at the time. Oh, did we mention that the top officials of the Tax Service are being investigated for advancing the careers of members of the senior staff who have the proper attitude towards money people who had previously suggested them as the right person for the job? I am certain that there are other important instances, but I think the reader will get the idea.

It seems that Israel has hit the “normalcy” jackpot and is now out to win the Olympic finals for the most corrupt public servants…

Now, this is the point that we have to come clean and reveal our obsessive belief that somewhere and somehow all this is definitely linked to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the mud mountain of illegality, injustice, corruption and  brutality slipping and sliding westward from the West Bank and northward from the Gaza Strip.

Ten thousand Palestinian political prisoners are languishing in Israeli jails. Whatever the opinion regarding their actions, it is clear that they are not common criminals. It is far from clear that this can be said regarding those holding them.

--Reuven Kaminer lives in Jerusalem. Read his blog at www.reuvenkaminer.com/english.