More and more this past year, we have come across people whose lives have been injected with meaning by Facebook. After years in which their voice seemed to have no impact and their existence in general appeared to them insignificant, they discovered that they finally have a place in a new and militant religion that is taking shape. The nature of this religion is not entirely clear yet. But divine spirit there is - and it is, as noted, a militant spirit.
And there are already duties as well - more precisely, one duty: The duty of waging holy war. Let’s call it jihad. As opposed to Islam, here in the new religion, there is no single central authority that declares jihad. Some mysterious mechanism creates a buzz, from which it is clear to those believers who follow the orders of the social networks what specific jihad is worth pursuing. This is the situation until a new announcement arrives from buzz headquarters, which will then order the jihadist battalions to storm a new target.
For the convenience of those readers who wish to be up-to-date and not perceived either as lacking militancy or leading empty lives, I shall try to present below the approximate forecast of potential jihads for the coming civil year, in order of increasing importance.
The jihad for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual rights went out of fashion this year, and according to my predictions, it will remain at the bottom of the ladder in the coming year as well. It’s sad, but that’s how it is. There are two main reasons for this. One is the embarrassing revelations surrounding the case of the murders at the gay youth center Bar Noar in Tel Aviv four years ago. These made it clear to the public that there are nasty jackasses among homosexuals exactly as there are among heterosexuals.
A second reason is Tel Aviv’s transformation into a national bastion of gays, if not into their own autonomous republic, which has freed the rest of the country from the nuisance entailed in giving that population special attention. In Tel Aviv, even someone who swears on his wife’s life that he’s not gay is not believed. Hence the public’s lack of interest in the recent (failed) attempt to pass a law recognizing gay couples as couples in every way. The public says to itself either, “These jackasses, let them stop murdering each other first.” Or, “What did we give them autonomy for? Let them pass their laws there.”
The next jihad in line was in fact strong this past year, followed by a very palpable weakening of motivation, which in my opinion will continue to lessen gradually next year. This is the feminist jihad. I noticed that it was dissipating when I attended an evening in honor of Yitzhak Laor at Bialik House about a month ago and did not encounter any protest by women outside. It should be noted that on a previous evening in Laor’s honor, also at Bialik House, there was a stormy demonstration outside the gate. It was led by a wild-haired woman, who stopped herself just as she was about to land a blow on me, and instead burst out crying. She claimed that, ever since she became a feminist jihadist, I had stopped publishing the poems her elderly father sends me. “Why is he to blame?” she blubbered in my ear. That outburst of sentimentality already prophesied to me a decline in feminist zealotry. And that is indeed what happened.
Another sign of the declining motivation was revealed to me about a month ago, when I bumped into one of the warriors, who in the not-too-distant past had the Web in an uproar with repeated calls for gender jihad - against me, among others. She was walking toward me along a narrow corridor leading to an elevator and it was impossible not to notice each other. She did not hit me, did not curse and did not spit, merely made do with a biting comment. This relative moderation said it all.
And now for the third jihad, which is growing stronger and picking up steam, but will reach its climax next year, I believe: The vegan jihad. Here it is clear who Allah’s messenger is, if not Allah himself: The animal rights warrior Gary Yourofsky, whose fanaticism is spreading. It seems, in fact, that people are crowding in line just to receive a slap from him, or a scolding or a vigorous curse for disobeying the dictates of veganism.
Not long ago, it occurred to me that if Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas were to hold hands and declare themselves not a Palestinian state but a vegan state, Israeli would find itself returning to the 1967 borders at once, dismantling the settlements - at least those that don’t grow organic crops. Because there may be debate about the legitimacy of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but not about a vegan state alongside Israel. The sticklers will say: A state of all its vegan citizens between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, where the death penalty will be applied to anyone caught eating meat, eggs or yogurt, or walking around with a leather coat or bag.
And now to the jihad to end all jihads, which according to my forecast will persist as the top priority not only for the coming year but perhaps even for the coming decade: The ethnic jihad. Oddly, Ashkenazim recently also declared themselves a deprived group, which seriously shakes the ladder on which are standing those who are entitled to feel deprived. Because the nerve they have to imitate the methods of the original deprived groups drives the original deprived groups to distraction.
If the jihadists on the ethnic front weren’t also fighting on the vegan front, they would undoubtedly eat each other’s flesh. My prediction for next year: High waves to stormy seas.
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