Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Yes, we can steal

This is the slogan that will be used by the ultra-orthodox sefardi party Shas for the upcoming elections. Ken, Anahnu Yekholim! It is the exact ( not that translating the phrase was that difficult, I suppose ) Hebrew translation of Yes we can!, recently and quite successfully used by a popular American politician. While that politician was elected mainly because he promised ( and embodied ) change and innovation, in the eyes of many Israelis Shas stands for fossilization, religious narrow-mindedness, ethnicity as a political power base, the use of public funds to 'buy' public support ( not that this or ethnicity are Shas' monopoly ), the direct and very intimate link between politics and religion/rabbis, and other things that often make Israeli politics so ugly. Did the Shasniks identify with that immensely successful black American politician because their leaders and many of their voters wear black? Or did they simply believe that well nicked is better than badly invented? After all, honesty has not exactly always been their best policy.

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