Ten wishes for the year ahead
1. For the precept of giving in secret to be restored to public life here. The stories in which poor and hungry people are seen on the television screen waiting in line to receive a minimal amount of food in honor of the holiday don't actually improve the situation, but only humiliate and shame the people involved.
1. For the precept of giving in secret to be restored to public life here. The stories in which poor and hungry people are seen on the television screen waiting in line to receive a minimal amount of food in honor of the holiday don't actually improve the situation, but only humiliate and shame the people involved. The poor, too, have self-respect, and I'm not sure that the television stations asked their consent to be extras. On Sunday, charity morphed into an embarrassing entertainment show on Channel 2. What's next? "A poor person is born"?
2. For the shame that has gradually faded from public life here to be restored. Knesset members who are being investigated or are under suspicion of one sort or another walk around in the Knesset, take part in committee meetings, vote, and maintain close ties with dubious members of the Central Committee. They enjoy a high standard of living, don't miss any family event in which gifts flow in envelopes, and the connection between capital and government proceeds as it does in Third World countries.
3. For the Holocaust and Nazism no longer to be invoked in the public debate. The Holocaust is history. We have to focus on the dismaying fact that we are still the only country in the world without permanent borders.
4. For the custom to be restored for an interviewer in the electronic media letting his interlocutor complete one sentence without butting in. And for our well-informed commentators to refrain from explaining, after every world terrorist event, from Russia to Madrid, how the IDF would have handled it better.
5. For a stop to the stream of media appearances by IDF officers, led by the chief of staff. In the olden days here, the military censors prohibited Haaretz from publishing a critical article about a public appearance by a certain chief of staff on the grounds that the chief of staff was portrayed as being stupid, and that information must under no circumstances reach the enemy. The same argument holds today. Less talk, fewer failures, less driving us nuts. Let actions speak, not mouths.
6. For a stop to frightening the people of Israel with talk of a civil war if settlements are evacuated and threatening that fanatical settlers will destroy, smash, provoke, murder and defeat the IDF. The hard core - and this is authoritative - of the settlers who don't listen even to their rabbis, who have no God, and who are capable of anything total between a few dozen and 150 people. In the face of the majority of the public, that bunch doesn't stand a chance.
7. For the phrase "it's not done" to be introduced into public morality. It's aimed primarily at public figures, and covers the gray area of politicians who could not be tried due to insufficient evidence but who were not actually cleared of all suspicion. There are a few like that. Sharon, for example, wasn't tried, but the huge salary he received from a person who is accused of bribery is in the realm of improper acts. In the enlightened world, the "it's not done" category is enough to send a politician home for good.
8. For the pathological preoccupation with Yigal Amir and his wife-by-correspondence Larissa Trimbobler, who have become media stars, to be terminated. As far as I am concerned, let them finish already and get out of our sight for good.
9. For the police to go back to their basic tasks: to catch thieves, to make the citizen secure in his home, in his neighborhood, to fight crime and traffic accidents - and at the same time to give the citizen the needed protection against terrorism. It is not the task of the police to engage in evacuating settlers and to leave the state wide open for the full takeover of organized crime.
10. For this to be a good year, which will be remembered as the year of Sharon.
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