Wednesday, March 31, 2004

This morning on page 2 of the English edition of Ha'Aretz I saw a picture similar to the one that illustrates this article. Search and find the differences between these young men/children who throw stones at our soldiers and their Arab colleagues. Also today on my television screen I saw settlers heckling our beloved Prime Minister at the Likud convention. Likud mass meetings always make me wonder whether Israel isn't really a shoutocracy ( or crimocracy, see here, and remember that many questioned MK's Gavrieli's qualifications for membership of our parliament and the way in which she received a prominent place on the candidates' list in her party's primaries; that two of the few times that she professionally made major headlines were when she insisted - against the urgent advice of the police - that she had the right to go up the Temple Mount and when she used some very not nice qualifications to describe her respect for the police force, after her father had been the target of what seemed to be a gangster-style assassination attempt ), but this time even veteran Likudniks were surprised by the creative interpretation of democracy by their leadership. Really, all the signs have been there for many years. I arrived in Israel in 1992, and, as much as I love the country ( this afternoon I talked with a colleague at the university and told him how good it was to get back home after six months in France ), it was never as beautiful as the one which tempted me to come here in the first place. Still, today I have the impression that records of corruption, of selfishness, of contempt for the state and all of its institutions, and of mutual hatred between the different components of Israeli society are broken on a daily basis. I am ashamed to admit that, although I share the concern expressed by their authors, when I read articles such as this one and this one, I shrug my shoulders and at the very most write some angry lines here on my blog, whereas if I really was an engaged and responsible citizen I would go into the streets, try to be heard and improve things, even just a little bit. These days, my faith in politics has reached rock bottom. Seeing how businessmen, sportsmen and some Argentinian youngsters succeeded in serving Israel's interests better than any politician ( see here and here ) brought a big smile on my face, something that these days is rarely caused by reading the newspapers or watching television.

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