Channels 2 and 10 - Not What You Thought

It is boring to repeat the same experiences every year. To ask ?Where were you that night??; has the lesson been learned or not. We have to lay our hands on new, earth-shattering material, lest the ratings drop.

It would have been better had the infamous interview been aired. An opinionated dialogue and serious discussion of the shelved interview give it more "legitimization" than memories of the murderer and his thoughts.

It was as if we were having our cake and eating it, too: We got to hear the main parts of the interview, promo after promo - and also outdid ourselves and nobly canceled the broadcast at the last minute; we allowed the prime minister to intervene and say his piece; and we also gave a chance to those who had other views to speak out, and thus demonstrated outstanding pluralism, by the way. But where was the president? How could he of all people have missed such an opportunity, and said nothing?

It was as if it had all been planned: One channel alone did not pounce on it as if on a lost treasure, but rather two, each channel and its treasure. This occured not by coincidence, but in honor - with energetic precision - of the memorial day that is observed this week. It is terribly boring to repeat the same experiences every year. To ask "Where were you that night?" and repeat the same insights endlessly; has the lesson been learned or not. We have to lay our hands on some new and earth-shattering material, lest the ratings drop precipitously and disappear among the reality shows. After all, the murder itself its not realistic enough for us; it was not broadcast live at the time.

All's almost well that ends well: Such an impressive demonstration of committing sins and purification has not been seen here in a long while. We did stand idly by the blood of our neighbor, but we did not spill that blood. The blue movie was canceled, but it was enough to talk about it to arouse us. Lots of oral sex was seen on the screen on the weekend, in foreplay and afterward.

This excitement is a natural development of what preceded it. Legitimization was not bestowed at once. It is a continuous, 13-year process: As if, even before the murder, when it was not prevented, force majeure was about to strike, but not a lot could be done; as if the Shin Bet security service's body guards are for decoration only, for honor and prestige; as if the handwriting was not on the wall before the victim went pale. With such helplessness, such indifference, there is more than a pinch of legitimacy: Come and assassinate at your leisure.

Then they did not shoot the assassin while he was shooting; there is life after death, depending on for whom. And then they did not really interrogate politicians and rabbis, who allowed the blood to be spilled - why open wounds that are open in any case? And then they trained the instigators and were invited to every memorial rally, chanting lamentations like David for Jonathan - as a man falleth before the children of iniquity, so didst thou fall. And then he got married, and then he was offered a bed for marital relations so he could bring forth offspring. And, meanwhile, whole generations have arisen who did not hear the three shots, and the dead man who was the most alive, is now the most dead. And the bloodshed is being allowed today, as if the sacrifice had not been accepted.

The opinionated people from the two channels aired various justifications as to why, in spite of everything, the interview should have been aired, and only out of special and one-time considerations did they give in this time. Their reasons would have been more persuasive if they had been used ones: They have already cleansed all the foolish garbage from the air: They show "Polygraph" because it is important to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. They air "Beauty and the Geek" because it encourages beautiful women to learn and develop; and the "Biggest Loser" because it's not good to be fat, and because it is important to conquer one's urges and learn self-discipline; and "Survivor," because in the world today only a cool conniver has a chance to make it, and who knows when we might need to eat bugs and worms to keep alive; and "Big Brother," because life is gray and boring. Unfortunate people are looking for another life - they want it and they get it, in big commercial helpings. The commercial channels are not at all what you thought: They are educational television, and the interview with the murderer is for the purpose of imparting knowledge.

It is Yitzhak Rabin whom I see at the forefront of my mind right now, conquering us, as usual with his shy smile. One can guess what he thinks about a tragedy that in its new reincarnation has turned into a farce.