|The Living, about the Dead
/by B. Michael, The Israeli Daily Yedioth Achronot
Translated from the Hebrew by Victoria Buch/
The whole nation is huddled up in the corner, like a little dog that
urinated on the carpet, waiting meekly for the cruel strike that will
come. Nobody has any doubt that it will come. Only W-H-E-R-E will it
come - that is not yet known. And who are the walking dead that
meanwhile pace among us, that is not yet known either. They were not
notified in advance, or asked for permission, prior to being volunteered
as a sacrifice on the altar of the Sharon-Mofaz military games. Let us
hope that their last days will be sweet, before the good earth will take
Beyond that - a success: The coalition is united again, the PM will have
it easier to fend off the no-confidence-vote, smiles of satisfaction are
blooming again in the Likud Center, settlers smirk like cats after a
large helping of cream, the "disengagement plan" is dying in embryo
inside its father's belly, and there is also hope that the police and
the state prosecutors will think twice before digging into the files of
the Hero that single-handedly exterminated the Man in the Wheelchair.
There is just one little snag - terror. This one was not really
weakened. In fact it is quite clear that terror will gain in strength.
This "terror prevention measure", more than any previous ones, is like
spilling oil on fire. But this snag should not constitute a killjoy, or
a reason for worry. To the contrary - a regular hefty portion of terror
is necessary for regular functioning of Sharon's government. Terror
gives it an opportunity to practice the only activity in which it is
competent: spreading death and destruction. And terror deflects the
public attention from the sad and pathetic reality of today's Israel.
Hot air to inflate the balloon of its withering virility.
It is pointless to argue with the people who are ruling us. They are
beyond reason. Their basic nature propels them, stronger than any
logical analysis. Ministerial ties and politesse will not hide it.
Sharon is Sharon and Mofaz is Mofaz. An attempt to change their nature
would be equivalent to trying to convince an alligator of the benefits
of a vegetarian diet.
But one may wonder what thoughts passed in the head of the sky gun-
slinger when he sent a rocket towards the wheelchair. Did he have a
thought to spare for all the good people whom he thus sentenced to
death? Did he have any doubts before pulling the trigger and setting the
area in flames? Or did he close his mind like a robot? Or perhaps he
adopted, whole-heartedly, the official sophistry, justifying this
idiotic act by empty promises to end terror? "In the short range, the
terror will increase, but in the long run ... there will be peace in the
land. Once upon a time I was young, then I grew old, and never ever did
I experience that "long run", together with the "peace in the land". I
only encountered the "short ranges". One after another.
But the pinnacle of cynicism was that laconic message, accompanying the
report on the assassination of Yassin: "Security was beefed up around
the government ministers and public figures."
We, all of us, shall proceed to walk the streets, sit in the cafes, ride
the buses, shop in the markets and the supermarkets, but that bunch of
people that put us in the bull's eye, will be fortified inside armored
cars and in masking corridors, protected by the reinforced crowd of
faithful gorillas, overflowing with dedication. Were Sharon a real
leader, were Mofaz a real man (I am trying to talk his language) they
would declare loudly, for all to hear, that during the forthcoming weeks
they will only ride buses. They will eat only in restaurants, go for
walks without protective vests, and drink daily coffee on sidewalks of
large cities. Their blood is not redder than blood of any other citizen,
their death will not be more tragic than the death of anybody else, and
their body parts are not more precious than body parts of any other
human. And there is no reason in the world why they should not share
with the rest of Israelis the portion of danger and blood that they
There is a limit to arrogance, and to cowardice.