In recent years, when people say to me, "no, that can't be," I tend to respond by relying on bitter experience, and say, "yes, it can." When they say "that's inconceivable," I say, "conceivable - and conceived." In the midst of all the chaos, in these times when "there is no king in Israel," no responsible person can rule out even the most preposterous scenarios.
Much has been written of great examples from the theater of the absurd. Here are three "small' examples, all from recent months, and as small examples can be even more remarkable than "big" examples. Could anyone have imagined that Emil Grunzweig, murdered more than 20 years ago at a Peace Now demonstration, could have one day been turned into Emil Ginsberg, "a leftist who threw hand grenades at right wing activists"?
That "history" appeared recently in a curriculum for "political tolerance" taught to army cadets at the military engineering school at the Zukei Uvda military base. A month ago, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee empowered me to find out how everything was turned upside down, and not only that Emil Grunzweig (RIP), long buried in his grave, not only changed his last name but also suddenly became the murderer from the peace camp, someone about whom we had no prior knowledge about his deeds or that he even came from out midst.
I looked into the matter and reached the conclusion that the military system for such education is full of holes and lacks any controls, so the errors just keep piling up: Grunzweig won't necessarily be the last one to be reincarnated. I didn't manage to discover who exactly wrote the text or who approved it. The army seemingly made an attempt to find the "source," but came up with nothing. Therefore, even if I couldn't find out if the terrible mistake was the result of an accident or was malicious, or whether an obsessive greed for some unholy symmetry completely crazed the teachers: see, not only the right has murderers. There are murderers on the left, as well.
So, "that's impossible," can be very possible; and is it possible that a staffer at the Education Ministry (whose name I have) could send a letter to school principles and teachers of heritage in which she says, I will be happy if you adopt the recommendations of the pupil, which were written with deep consideration and thought." And what was it that the gifted pupil wrote? He wrote, upon the recommendation of his loving mother, to the education minister: "On the memorial day for Yitzhak Rabin, instead of hanging pictures of Rabin on the school walls, famous quotations should be hung. In addition, posters should be hung, telling of the murders of other leaders for political reasons ... when discussing the Rabin murder, the emphasis should be on the meaning of political murder in Israel and there should be as little talk as possible about Rabin and his way. The murder of Rabbi Kahane should be mentioned ... in a discussion of the situation in the country before the murder, emphasis should be put on the fact that the situation was mutual ... and at the ceremonies marking the day, the number of mournful songs should be reduced and there should be no discussion of Yitzhak Rabin."
In short, a memorial day for Rabin without Rabin, and in the same breath as Meir Kahane - and our Education Ministry recommends this. True, when protests were heard from principals, the ministry expressed reservations about the letter and it's possible the staffer will be fired from her job at the Pedagogic Center. Nonetheless, how could it happen? Did someone try to guess what the "commander's spirit" wanted and didn't get it exactly right?
If someone thinks I'm exaggerating or, heaven forbid, suspects the woman's qualifications, here's the third example: this time it isn't a mid-level staffer but a senior official, head of the department for post-elementary education, who also has written to "my colleagues, school principals." And thus she instructs her colleagues: "In the coming month we will mark two memorial days: Eight years since the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (RIP) and two years since the murder of Minister Rehavam Ze'evi (Gandhi) (RIP) - these two tragic events took place over the past decade, pupils remember them directly, and took part in the public discourse about them. In my view, it is worth conducting discussions with the pupils on these memorial days, about the personalities and heritages of Yitzhak Rabin and Rehavam Ze'evi, while paying special attention to the events and the atmosphere that preceded their murders."
Madam Director of Post-Elementary Education, here are the facts that you should know: Memorial Day for Yitzhak Rabin is marked in every school following a law passed unanimously in the Knesset. The Knesset has not found it appropriate to legislate a memorial day for Ze'evi. More importantly, Ze'evi (RIP) was murdered by dastardly Arabs, who also murdered another 1,000 Israelis. Rabin, an elected prime minister in Israel, was murdered by a Jew, like me, and like you, madam. One of ours. Our very own. Now do you understand the difference?
Nonetheless, if some school somewhere wants to mark Ze'evi's memory, without coercing it directly or indirectly on pupils and teachers, I have no objection.
Is it possible that in another few years, when Yigal Amir gets out of jail before his time, there won't be any more Rabin Memorial Days and the army's school books and the Education Ministry will mention in passing that Rabin was murdered by one Emil Ginsberg?
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now