Killing Rabin is wrong
A woman was brought into court with her hands in shackles for having spray-painted "Rabin is a son of a bitch" on a wall. A person or persons unknown in Jerusalem wrote "Rabin is the leader of the leftists in the cemetery."
A woman was brought into court with her hands in shackles for having spray-painted "Rabin is a son of a bitch" on a wall. A person or persons unknown in Jerusalem wrote "Rabin is the leader of the leftists in the cemetery." Others were apprehended by the police after they spat on the memorial to Yitzhak Rabin at the foot of Tel Aviv city hall. One of them, Tuku Bar Sadeh, returned to the scene of the crime and apologized, saying: "I did something disgusting." Then he got a mouthful (Mabat, Channel 1, Monday, 9 P.M.) from a girl from the band of the handsome folks with beautiful forelocks, for whom Rabin is the last bit of overhanging rock to be grasped before the plunge into the black abyss below.
However, temporarily at least, the handsome people with the beautiful forelocks can breathe easy: The bad guys - the ones who were not taught at home that spitting on a memorial isn't nice - were caught and will be punished. The good guys won, because they're nice. They know how to behave.
A bit of the stupidity of these "nice" young people, who know on which side their bread is buttered and learned by heart in their homeroom class that killing a prime minister is really definitely a no-no, could be seen on a special youth broadcast called "Zap" for the Memorial Day of the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin (Channel 1, Tuesday, 5:45 P.M.). There were ninnies from the left, atremble with goose flesh, and ninnies from the right, like that good girl called Tali Batish from Shiloh, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, who said that she is absolutely against the use of violence to solve problems. Was she playing innocent, or does she simply not know how much violence is being used, again and again, to solve the problem of her residence in Shiloh? Or how much blood just the trip from there to the television studio costs? But she's nice - after all, she condemns Rabin's assassination.
The day of the martyrs
Was the mustache that was stuck on the face of New Histadrut chairman Amir Peretz on Tuesday Hitler's or Charlie Chaplin's?
If the mustache was Hitler's - and this is what was hinted to viewers of "Six with Shelly Yachimovich (Channel 2, Tuesday, 6 P.M.) - then clearly this immediately elevates Peretz to the status of persecuted victim and martyr. And what marks the Israeli martyr? That his wife - in this case Ahlama Peretz, a lush and captivating martyress - is invited to talk with Yachimovich about the danger posed to her husband's life, her own life and the life of their Chevrolet. It's a hard life for those who fight for their beliefs. However, averred Mrs. Peretz proudly, her husband has never been accompanied by bodyguards. As if to annoy, in the background to her revelations, her husband was seen speechifying with two burly men in black guarding him from behind.
When night fell, it turned out on Mabat (9 P.M.) that the terrible seditious picture was a graphic artist's prank. It was not Hitler's mustache that had been stuck on Peretz's face, but rather the mustache of Charlie Chaplin in the role of Hitler in "The Great Dictator," which already brings down the degree of the New Histadrut chairman's martyrdom a notch.
I got close to the screen and looked hard: In my opinion, the mustache is really Yitzhak Ben Aharon's! Which might mean that the former chairman of the old Histadrut should demand restitution for having had his mustache stolen and stuck on the face of his empty-headed successor.
This Day of All Martyrs culminated in the filming of Labor MK Yuli Tamir for Mabat, as she stood like Saint Catherine before her tormentors and pointed at the trunk of her car, on which someone had scratched a swastika. How does that advertisement for insurance go? "That's life - it isn't always fair."
Cozying up to the bum
Starting this coming year - as viewers learned on Monday on the "Half Past Seven" news broadcast (Channel 1) - a kashrut certificate from the Shin Bet security service will be needed by anyone who requests a press card from the Government Press office.
As most viewers are not journalists, and it is doubtful that they have ever seen a press card, the director of the GPO, Danny Seaman, could knock off his haughty performance: With the words "all that nonsense," he dismissed the concern expressed by Israeli Press Council head Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, that involving the Shin Bet in issuing press cards is a characteristic of a fascist regime.
Seaman's crude scorn for Kremnitzer's opinion was in itself suspicious. Could it be that his demonstrative arrogance was an attempt to conceal the fact that he had submitted to a dictate from above? Seaman explained that the Shin Bet has to be involved in issuing the documents in order to ensure the safety of people like the prime minister and any other "secured individual." This means, therefore, that the GPO will henceforth also be something of a security firm and Seaman will stand at the door and probe the place where the back cozies up to the bum with a metal detector and ask "Any weapons?"
Out of pure curiosity, I reached around to the back pocket of my pants and pulled out my press card, number 10343, for 2002-2003. For the first time I noticed that it bears Danny Seaman's signature. Good, so at least until the end of this year I'm okay! I returned the card to my pocket, this time in the profound belief that this is its real place, where it cozies up to my bum.
"We invited workers and human beings came," is a famous sentence of Max Frisch, the Swiss Nobel Prize winner for literature. In a paraphrase of this sentence, Ilana Dayan opened one of the best "Fact" programs she has ever done (Channel 2, Monday, 9:30 P.M.), in which she went to extremes of sadness to describe the bitter fate of some foreign workers in Israel. This was apparently a very representative sample of the situation of slavery that has been forced on human beings who were brought here to work and suddenly are not wanted, or wanted only if they are useful work animals who, having no alternative, take any job at all and at any wage in this current era of deportations and persecution.
Dayan focused on several "human stories," among them a number of Filipino caregivers, whose sick or elderly charges have grown so attached to them that it seems as though separating them would be fatal for the charges. Like two miserable creatures dangling over the abyss, these odd couples cling to each other: The patient has grown accustomed to his caregiver and knows that no Israeli worker can replace him or her, and the caregiver needs the patient like a life raft in this country, which often means a life raft, period.
In one happy case, reported Dayan on the program, the members of the family of one elderly man in Or Yehuda who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease managed to get a permit from the government that postpones his Filipino caregivers' deportation. Alas for the happiness! It was almost nauseating to see the sick old man's sons depicting themselves as righteous among the nations when it was perfectly obvious that in their eyes too - just as the state wants - this caregiver is nothing more than an abject slave. When his work is done, he can leave. Can leave? Will be forced to leave!
Laughing with Odetta
The Odetta doll knows how to do only one thing - laugh. So she laughs. And about what does the Odetta doll laugh? Most of Odetta Schwartz's giggles and jokes on her exhausting daily program "Odetta" (Channel 10, 5 P.M.) are based on the motif that there are things that men do and things that women do; anything that doesn't fit exactly into these two categories is ha ha ha. And if she comes in first in the race up the stairs of the Azrieli Towers, then good for her, ha ha ha. And when Tami Sirkis demonstrates how to make pie dough, then the crispiness of the dough between the teeth is something that only women understand - and also gays, adds Odetta, ha ha ha. The instructions for making a quiche are given in the feminine gender, of course, even though for Odetta's girlfriends, the quiche always comes out like a stone, ha ha ha. Ha.
Leave us the country
Whom was Yossi Feldman, the director general of the Council for Preservation of Historic Sites, addressing when he implored in a despairing voice on "From Today to Tomorrow" (Channel 1, Monday, 11:30 P.M.): "Leave us the country, leave us the buildings."? The truth is that there is no one to implore: The Froumine Building in Jerusalem, home of the Knesset from its beginnings to the 1960s, has been sold to a private contractor, who will put up an office tower in its place.
Emmanuel Halperin tried in vain to understand how decisions like that are made with no one raising a hue and cry. Why does the Council for Preservation exist? The director general, of whom apparently no one up there takes any notice, wept together with Halperin over the destruction of our historic beauty spots. Touching film footage showed the building in all of its current misery, after playing host to a branch of the Tourism Ministry. As everyone knows, there is no tourism now, and the offices have been evacuated to some other location. Thus, apparently, another milestone in the history of Israeli democracy has been fated to desecration, on the receiving end of a big gob of spit from the state itself.