It Had Nothing to Do With Hitchhiking
Israelis walked to prayers with heavy hearts this Sabbath, unable to put the three abducted boys out of their thoughts. Over and over, one heard people say in pain-filled voices: "If only they would not have hitched a ride. It's so dangerous. We must put an end to hitchhiking. Why did they do it? If only, if only…"
But, listen everybody - it has nothing to do with hitchhiking.
It has everything to do with the Palestinian Arab's implacable Jew-hatred.
Not hitchhiking might have kept these particular boys safe, but the Palestinian Arab terrorists are not limited to hitchhikers alone. There is much variety in their activities and they keep trying.
They kidnap. Gilad Shalit was not a hitchhiker. Remember?
They blow themselves up. On crowded buses, at hotel Seders, in restaurants.
They cut throats: Remember the Fogel's (Hy"d) slaughtered in their beds?
They use sharpshooters: Remember little Shalhevet Pas, 10 months old and in a baby carriage?
They shoot five-year-olds hiding under a bed from point blank range: LIke Daniel Shefi of Adoura.
They shoot or throw boulders at passing vehicles: Remember the Palmers? Tali Hatuel and her daughters?
So it has nothing to do with hitch hiking, although I, too, hope we find a way to make that once-ubiqutous.so-Israeli practice called "tremping" (easy to see the source of that word!) unnecessary.
It has nothing to do with hitching a ride. It has everything to do with cruelty. Everything to do with barbarity.
Life in Israel: Blood Tests in the Apartheid State
I spent an hour at my medical center several days ago for routine blood tests.
The smiling, head-scarved Arab nurse who took my blood updated me on her children.
The Russian manager of the center waved from her office.
The Moroccan pharmacist filled my prescription.
In addition to the usual Hebrew-speaking sabras, Yiddish speaking hassidim, new immigrants speaking Russian, Persian, Amharic, English and Arabic, there was a young mother trying to control unruly tots in French.
That is a fairly new phenomenon. It seems the family decided to brave the Apartheid state and exchange "liberte, egalite et fraternite" for not being afraid to wear a kippah in the street.
Olmert Was on the List
A recurring topic of conversation in Israel is what has transpired in the lives of those who were in power at the time of the Gaza disengagement and either supported it or carried it out.
A partial report:
Ariel Sharon's son then MK Omri went to prison for fraud.
Chief of Staff Dan Halutz had to resign due to the damning findings of the Vinograd Report on the Lebanon War, where he phoned his stockbroker as the war was erupting.
President Katsav received 7 years in prison for sexual abuse of power.
Then head of Negev police forces Niso Shaham, especially hated for treating protestors viciously both physically and verbally – was later suspended for sexual harassment.
Then Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi had to resign in ignonimy as a result of the Zeiler report on what went on during his period in office .
Disengagement proponent then MK Haim Ramon had a similar public outcry over forcing his sexual attentions on a staff member.
We have just-convicted Ehud Olmert, who planned further disengagement-type expulsions of Jews, as the latest on the Divine retribution list.
The general expression used is "Yesh Din veYesh Dayan", a Talmudic expression meaning that there is justice and there is a Judge (alluding to G-d's punishing the wicked who have escaped paying for their crimes by human justice).
Without taking an iota away from belief in Divine Retribution, but also without tracking it down, I would like to suggest another way of looking at this shocking list of criminals and good-for-nothing leaders.
Not the fact that their crimes and low characters became public knowledge, nor how they were punished for them, but a pause to think of the kind of people they are and the positions they held.
Look at the caliber of the people who, serving at the highest levels of decision making in the state of Israel, had the power to expel 10,000 people from their homes in a disastrous security fiasco that destroyed thousands of lives, wasted thriving communities and industry, and brought thousands of rockets on southern Israel: one adulterer, two sexual predators, an incompetent CoS who calls his stockbroker when war breaks out as 3 Israeli soldiers kidnappings are reported to him, a PM who would do anything to prevent public knowledge of his sons' dishonesty, and his son, and most recently, a man called "traitor" by the Supreme Court Judge who sentenced him to 6 years in prison for corruption and accepting bribes.
And this is before the recent presidential race.
G-d help us.
Not just by punishing those who deserve it, but literally help us by having us merit worthy leaders.