The Evil That Men Do

Jews - Israelis in particular - usually remember for all time those who treated them badly.

Pardon and forgive me. I was nasty and cruel this past year. I didn't miss an opportunity to spread vitriol and hatred against Israel as a state, and against its Jewish citizens as such. I hated settlers, I hated the Rothschild Boulevard rebels, I hated the left and I hated the right, I hated Ashkenazim and I hated Mizrahim, I hated the religious and the secular. I divided my hatred evenly between men and women, among Lieberman, Netanyahu, Livni and Yachimovich. Furthermore, to confuse the enemy, I pretended to love those whom everyone hates - for example, President Katsav. The only ones I didn't bad-mouth were the country's Arab citizens and the inhabitants of the territories that are occupied by the state.

Sorry for all that - but is it my fault? My only wish is to be remembered. I want to be famous and stay famous even after my death. And what other way is there to be engraved in the memory of the people of Israel than the negative way? You know, I wouldn't even bother sharpening my pen, as it were, to savage with selective efficiency any Israeli who is a Jew were it not for my powerful passion to be remembered eternally in the hearts of all, even after I die, as a nasty, cruel journalist who didn't miss an opportunity to spread hatred and vitriol against Israel.

cartoon - Assad, Ahmadinejad, Arafat
Eran Wolkowski

Because there's one thing I'm sure of: that Jews - Israelis in particular - usually remember for all time those who treated them badly. As for those who brought them benefit, not only do they forget them, but when someone mentions the name of one of them, they shrug their shoulders and say, "Obviously he did it to further his own interests." For example, think how many circles of hell a non-Jew has to go through here in order to receive the title "righteous among the nations" for having risked his life and saved Jews during the Holocaust. But everyone remembers the name Demjanjuk and will do so for all time. And Mengele. And Eichmann.

In other words, anyone who longs to be engraved in the memory of the Jewish people for all time has no choice but to be a hater of Israel, or at least an anti-Semite. True, one must take into account that after the death of an Israel hater and anti-Semite, people breathe a sigh of relief and add to his name the phrase "may his name and memory be blotted out." But experience shows that in the long term, all those whose name and memory people devoutly wish to blot out are those about whom the attitude morphs from abhorrence to esteem. And what do you get for being a lover of Jews and a sympathizer of Israel? Gornisht!

Ask any rank-and-file Israeli to name even one of the Turkish prime ministers from the golden age of the relations between our two countries. Better yet: try to find in Israeli history books any mention of the heroic acts of sacrifice undertaken by Turkish diplomats who saved Jews during the Holocaust. In contrast, who doesn't know Erdogan's name? The people of Israel have become familiar with every hair of his mustache and with every wrinkle of his brow when he angrily lashes out at Israel. He has already earned his place in eternity.

And what chance would our pal Ahmadinejad have to go down in history were it not for his unrestrained attacks on Israel? On the other hand, there's Mubarak, the former president of Egypt, who at least tried to keep the embers of peace with Israel glowing and often took the trouble to invite Israeli and Palestinian leaders to conciliatory talks at which he was the mediator. Ostensibly, we should have extended our hand in friendship to one who was deposed by his nation - not least because he sympathized with Israel. But, as noted, there's no one who can outdo the nation of Israel when it comes to abandoning its sympathizers in times of trouble with a shrug of the shoulders, signifying, "He didn't really like us - he did it to further his own interests."

No one wants to enter the category of suckers, who in the end are, like Mubarak, carried on a gurney into the cage of the accused. So it is only natural that I chose the path of wickedness, which ensures a more handsome return for my efforts than the path of goodness. On second thought, then, why am I asking for forgiveness here, for heaven's sake?

The people who need to ask for forgiveness, I would say, are those who have benefited Israel in the past year. President Obama, for example: Quite surprisingly, during recent talks about the declaration of a Palestinian state, he moved from the camp of ostensible Israel-haters to that of the seeming Israel-lovers when he pushed declaration of a Palestinian state indefinitely into the future. By doing so he sealed his fate: Until that moment he still had a chance of being etched in Jewish consciousness for eternity, as a president unsympathetic to Israel. Now he can forget about that. His name will dissolve in the mists of time as a leader who sided with Israel, another naive sucker, like most of his predecessors.

Therefore, pardon me, God, for having earlier, in my rashness, asked for forgiveness, and erase my pardon and please enter me once more in the book of the bad. Who knows better than you that the more you pour your wrath on the people of Israel, the more they love you and ask for your forgiveness.