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Ethical Sleaze

By David Wilder
7/11/2008, 12:00 AM
Three "major' topics were headline news earlier this week. The first was absolutely revolting, dealing with sex allegations against former President Moshe Katzav. Coverage of accusations against Katzav are described almost down to the last detail. It's as if Israel radio and TV news are attempting to compete with porno shows, rated triple X. Disgusting. I would suggest that anyone in Israel with children at home keep an ear out for such sordid details and be ready to turn down the volume real fast. Before the kids start asking for explanations.

The second item is the juicy quote from our illustrious Education Minister, Yuli Tamir, a founder of Peace Now. During a meeting of the Knesset Education Committee, she said to the former Director General of that ministry, Ronit Tirosh: "I'm clearing out the trash and sh-t you left me."
What fine examples from official Israel radio/tv and the Education minister to Israeli children!

The third item making big news is the impending drought. A former Israeli water authority chief, interviewed during the daily radio news program said that one of the repercussions will include empty water faucets. That shook up the country. Especially when he added that a good rainy winter this year will not solve Israel's water deficiency.

However, no one is asking the really important question which is: why isn't there any water. I'm not talking about the technical reasons: no rain, and refusal by the treasury to finance massive construction of desalinization plants. That's the easy side. But what is at the root of the problem?

Observant Jews repeat at least twice daily Kriyat Shema. However we repeat not only Shema Yisrael, HaShem Elokenu, HaShem Echad. We also recite two other paragraphs from the Torah. One of them speaks specifically about rain. If we implement G-d's will, He will reward us with rain. If we don't do as He instructs us, we will suffer droughts.

A story on the TV news seemed to explain why we are drying up. It was not enough that the Israeli government expelled almost 10,000 Jews from Gush Katif. An Arab who worked for a Jewish farmer in Gush Katif filed suit against his former employer because he, the Arab, had lost his job. The official reaction from the SELA authority, supposedly assisting the expellees, was that the compensation granted to the former Gush Katif residents included funds to pay damages to Arabs demanding reparation because they had lost their jobs and that any such court cases were the expellee's problem, not theirs.

In other words, the government expects citizens who were expelled from their homes, who still don't have permanent residences or employment, to pay off terrorists who are today shooting rockets into Israel from Gush Katif, with whatever is left of their compensation. And of course, it doesn't take too much imagination to figure out where most of that money will go.

Corruption takes many shapes and forms. Israel has witnessed more than its share of corrupt politicians, judges, police, prosecutors and others. Most corrupt people are attempting to either get rich/richer or obtain/maintain power.

But there's another type of corruption. I'll call it moral, ethical sleaze. What could be sleazier than telling people evicted from their homes that they have to pay off their terrorist enemies because the government stole their land and employment from them? This is more repulsive than the Katzav affair mentioned above.

Of course, this is not a 'major news story.' After all, who really cares what happens to those 'settlers' who dared 'occupy' Arab land and were rightfully kicked out of their homes, which were subsequently destroyed?

But in my humble opinion, this is why we are in the midst of a major drought. We are doing it to ourselves. We are drying ourselves out.

(Anyone wishing to express a thought or opinion to the Sela Authority can email them at: sela@sela.pmo.gov.il or fax them at: 972-2-6529217)