Ovadia Yosef 03/09/10 Eran Wolkowski
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He’s the one who is the real actor − even more than all those who are called actors, who have been trained to declaim texts written by others, including the script of the sad comedy called “After 43 Years, We’ve Suddenly Remembered That There Are Occupied Territories and Settlements.” He, the real actor, comes up with his lines all by himself. They emerge from him even if he does not write them down in advance, because the persona he portrays already knows intuitively what to say in order to arouse the audience and whip up its emotions.

The real actor never studied acting, not with Stanislavsky nor at the Beit Zvi school; indeed, it’s doubtful whether he has ever visited a theater. And yet, without his being aware of it, he is a student of the rational school of theater − the one summed up as follows by 18th-century French philosopher Denis Diderot, in his work “Paradox of the Actor”: In order to express emotions credibly, one should not really experience them, but rather use one’s intelligence to transmit the external manifestations of that emotion and to present them.

Therefore, there is nothing more absurd than complaining to the real actor just because he is good at what he does and plays the part of the conservative, folkloristic, Archie Bunker type, who does not believe in peace talks with the Palestinians and wishes for them all manner of strange deaths. Did people come with complaints to Sir Laurence Olivier when he played Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice”? The complaints should be addressed, if at all, to Shakespeare, who wrote the play. In any case, even someone who understands nothing about theater knows that there’s a difference between the persona the actor is playing and the person he is in real life.

The actor in question, in real life, says to himself: We have to restore the lost glory of the party to which I was appointed spiritual leader. All those idiots who are also in charge of my party have screwed up too often recently. Especially that dumbbell who became the interior minister and insisted on going to war against 400 children of foreigners, and dragged our name into the abyss. How do we save the situation?

The real actor gets down on his knees to pray. “God,” he begs. “Just as you helped Moses in his time, guide me as to what to tell the people during my next appearance before them.” And God has mercy on the old man, and whispers the answer into his ear. It is possible that due to his hearing problems, the actor didn’t hear the answer well but didn’t feel comfortable about asking God to repeat his words in a louder voice.

Whatever the case, the real actor could guess, out of a profound familiarity with God, what was meant. After all, the Bible and the halakha ‏(Jewish religious law‏) and the Midrashim are full of curses against goyim who plot against the Jewish people.

Therefore, all you have to do is choose the appropriate sadomasochistic wish from the inventory. Shattering the heads of babies against the rocks, as the poet of Psalms says? Slaughtering passersby on the street for no reason, for the fun of it, as in the Book of Esther? Cutting off parts of penises and flaunt them publicly, as David did with the foreskins of the Philistines in the Book of Samuel?

The real actor knows that he has to be careful. He makes do with something general. With one of the Egyptian plagues: the plague of pestilence. And it works. Because the actor is a rationalist and this was his calculation: To say that the Palestinians should die of pestilence and plagues and go to hell doesn’t cost me a penny. But the political capital to be gained by my words − not only among those close to me − is inestimable. Because, as everyone knows, I’m forgiving toward every Jew, and toward those who aren’t Jews, as well.

First of all, he says, I’m arousing those leftists, may their name be expunged, from their sleep, and that’s already a positive act. Second, I’m exposing the hypocrisy of the secular Jews, may their name be expunged, who complain to me about things that I say − but somehow forget who it was that cruelly slaughtered hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza during Operation Hanukkah two years ago.

And third ‏(muses the great actor‏), deep down I’m in favor of the Palestinians, may their name be expunged. The curses I’ve showered upon them will only benefit them. They now have a strong card to play against Israel at the negotiating table: If until now Israel always claimed that there is incitement against it in the Palestinian Authority, from now on they can claim they are the victim of incitement on the part of Israel. And all thanks to me.

The great actor removes the gold-embroidered robe and the dark glasses. Then, in his underwear, he looks in the mirror and smiles to himself with satisfaction. He truly believes that real peace will come only when the Jews learn to curse the Arabs in the style of the Arabs. And only a great actor can mimic that style.