Like Those Books I Can't Finish

I didn't mind when Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert were using their "honey" to attract corrupt and overly ambitious, self-centered politicians to their party, Kadima. I felt that it provided a necessary "cleansing" of our political establishment.

Batya Medad,

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The news is starting to give me that same feeling as when I read certain books.

I love to read, but sometimes, the more I get "into" a book, the sicker I feel. It's so obvious that something really awful is going to happen. In the end, they may end up "living happily ever after," but my kishkes just can't take the horror in between.

A few years ago I started reading The Firm by John Grisham, but I felt that it was just too obvious what was going to happen, and the main characters were just too nice, and really stupid. Any idiot could see what they were getting into. So, I stopped reading the book before I hit the middle. Recently, I began reading The Majority Rules by Eugene Sullivan, and I'm getting that same awful feeling, so I may as well just throw it out.

It's not so easy when it's not just some novel or movie of the thriller or horror story genre. The story that is making me sick is history in the making - the goings on of the Israeli government.

I'm not the only one who considered Disengagement bad. Real bad. And it was so clear that it wasn't the main course.

I didn't mind when Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert were using their "honey" to attract corrupt and overly ambitious, self-centered politicians to their party, Kadima. I felt that it provided a necessary "cleansing" of our political establishment. Just like many new political parties - which rapidly ballooned and burst, leaving barely remembered postscripts in history texts - I was enthusiastically awaiting its death, long before it reached its peak.

I'm not as optimistic as former minister Moshe Arens, who thinks that Kadima's demise is imminent and that we that can do without new elections.

I would like to see the other parties pledge not to accept any Kadima Knesset members, nor those who ran on the list, as party members. There should be a political cherem on all who played a role in Kadima.

Israel has been plagued by fickle, opportunist politicians who change parties like hairdos. They have no "truths," no ideology except for their own advancement. Let Kadima and its politicians just shrivel up and disappear, eaten up by their own empty ambitions.

At this point, I'm cheered by the impromptu coalition attempting to set up a State Commission to investigate the government's handling of the recent war. I have no doubt that it will be very difficult to find officials who aren't involved in one way or another. That's one of the disadvantages of being such a small country.

While all this is going on, the Israeli president, Moshe Katzav, who was elected because he seemed to be a unifying figure and "squeaky clean," is being interrogated by the police on charges of sexual harassment. In addition, now that his teflon has scraped off, there are also charges that he he illegally granted pardons to prisoners.

What else should we expect? Are the surprises over, or have they hardly begun?

I'm expecting bad news from the members of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) Council. They lost my respect during the struggle to cancel Disengagement. I can't credit them with one good move. And if Anshel Pfeffer of the Jerusalem Post is right, then there will indeed be some bad news from them. I'm sure that Otniel Schneller, now in Kadima but formerly Secretary General of the Yesha Council - and who enthusiastically joined Olmert in planning how to transfer and exile Jewish Israelis from their homes in Judea and Samaria - isn't the only council member suffering from Olmert's "Fatigue Syndrome." Maybe that's part of the reason they did such a tragically poor job against Disengagement.

Another thing making me nervous is this reliance on public relations firms to help politicians. They're hired to get people elected, not to make good, clean government policies and develop the country. Don't forget that Ehud Barak's campaign pledge to leave Lebanon was suggested by professionals - professional election advisors, not defense experts.

Our defense, our very existence, is no more than a public relations campaign - "Will it play in Peoria?" Instead of:

Will it increase security?

Will it be good for the future of the State of Israel?

And the worst of it is that most Israelis are no brighter than the characters in the books I can't finish reading.



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