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This Man Needs a Gimmick!

By Tamar Yonah
7/3/2007, 12:00 AM

See Chaim. See Chaim walk. See Chaim walk ALONE. Why was Chaim walking alone?

Chaim Saperia is a good guy. He's an Israeli who owns a string of pet shops, lives in the Golan, and is tired, tired, tired of the government 'spitting in our faces'.  He went on a trek of approx. 250 kilometers on foot, from his home in the Golan, until Jerusalem.  He walked along the highways where drivers and passersby could see him.  He would stop in different towns, set up a table, and speak to people about his protest against the government ignoring the people's wishes, whether it is for Olmert's resignation, a change in government, a respect for the people, -whatever.  But the problem was, that the TV ignored Chaim. A few radio stations gave him time, but the TV wasn't that interested. No one wanted to give him any news time or send a camera down.  I guess the president's sex scandal was more important than a citizen carrying a flag down from the Golan in protest, hoping others would join him, not unlike Vickie Knafu that did this a few years ago from the south of the country up to Jerusalem, and got loads and loads of TV attention and was crowned the media darling of the working class.

Chaim walks (left) with his T shirt that says, "Enough, Stop Spitting on us".

I interviewed Chaim for the last two Weekend Editions Shows on the radio.  Click HERE to hear him on the last leg of his protest march. He was a lone marcher most all the way.  He never had a chance.  Why was the TV uninterested?  We have at least three major news channels that have one hour news programs every night, in addition to all the 'talking heads' shows before and after the main news broadcasts.  Why didn't they make time for this story?

I think Chaim needed 2 things...

1)  A solution or a demand to be fulfilled by the government, not just a message that he is angry and that the government is 'spitting in our faces'.

and

2)  He needed a 'gimmick'.  Walking from the Golan to Jerusalem was good, but it didn't cut it for prime time TV news. Sports did, weather did, sex scandals did, as well as other news stories.  So what should Chaim have done?