Roadside Etiquette?

How curious that the nation's leader, who was so complacent and at a loss for words and actions during such complete upheaval, has suddenly found the means to articulate and express his wrath (too bad that his own people are the target).

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Ellen W. Horowitz

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"The government must take 'every measure' necessary to end acts of violence and road blocking by 'rampaging' right-wing extremists... 'under no circumstances can we allow a lawless gang to try to take control of life in Israel,' he [Sharon] said. 'The country's citizens must understand this danger, and every measure must be taken to end this rampaging.'" (Haaretz, June 30)

I find the above statement beyond odd, considering that the man who uttered it essentially gave carte blanche for lawless Arab butchers to rampage in our streets, and destroy and disrupt our lives with their savage attacks for more than four years.

How curious that the nation's leader, who was so complacent and at a loss for words and actions during such complete upheaval, has suddenly found the means to articulate and express his wrath (too bad that his own people are the target).

In the last 10 days, we've lost five of our people to Arab terrorist outrages, and the premier has remained remarkably silent.

How disgraceful that the prime minister has reduced a vital concern over security, land, homes, livelihood and our future, to one of mere image. He told Yediot Ahronot newspaper, "What is happening before our eyes isn't a struggle for the Gaza pullout, but for the image of the country."

How insane that a country that has "proudly" institutionalized the public sector strike as a means to effect economic and social change now rejects our right to use it when it comes to protecting our lives and land. How many times have our daily routines been disrupted by the chaotic actions of the Histradrut and their electricity, phone, transportation, teachers, airport, agricultural and postal services strikes? As burdensome as those activities can be, do government officials commonly refer to those workers as "rampaging, lawless gangs"?

How overturned is the thinking of Ariel Sharon when, in reference to a purported assault by settlers, he attempts to pander to international opinion by saying, "The wounding of the Palestinian boy is a barbaric, wild and heartless act."

Ironically even Israel's arch-nemesis, the international media, gave a more accurate account of the assault. On USA Today, it was reported that "an Associated Press reporter saw a group of settlers beat a Palestinian, leaving the man lying motionless on the ground. Moments later, the man was seen getting to his feet."

Israel Radio reports that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz will establish limits for public anti-pullout demonstrations. But how can we possibly accept or adhere to limits dictated to us by a legislature that has turned justice, morality and the rule of law on its head?

The very people who are on the streets protesting are the citizens who more than anything crave law, order, justice and peace. How can we play by rules that are abominable and the antithesis of everything that's right and true ? It's as if we live in Sodom - and, in a sense, maybe we do. As I write this, the fourth annual Gay Pride Parade is taking place in Jerusalem. This year's theme is "love without borders". It was a Jerusalem court that overturned a ban on the event.

Thank G-d that there are far more than minyans of righteous people living in our cities. Many of them can be found on the streets and, like Mordechai, they're crying "a loud and bitter cry."

So, let me save Attorney General Mazuz the time and effort, by declaring what's not permissible:

1) intentionally endangering or harming a fellow Jew;

2) sitting at home and doing nothing to stop Sharon's catastrophic plans;

[The writer is the author of the The Oslo Years: a mother's journal. The book is available through retailers listed at http://osloyears.com/retail.htm.]


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