On All the Saras and Sonias

Sara Netanyahu is not the late Sonia Peres; Sara has chosen to be a 'mega-celeb,' as the prime minister's new adviser called her this week. And anyone who intervenes should expect to be criticized.

Now everyone will be investigated, which is indeed fair, but also deceptive. If the entire community sinned, who can we direct our rage against? Now rules are going to set about indulgences, something which is indeed necessary, even if it's devious too: Until now, no rules were in place, and therefore no one could have actually broken any of them. Just like that naive minister who had never heard of mistaken political appointments, until someone, by chance, informed him. And now the prime minister has taken it upon himself to defend his wife, a move both gallant and shrewd: It's not me, it's her, take it up with her and you'll be accused of provinciality.

This was the week of people standing up for others. At the head of the merry wives of Windsor, standing should to shoulder with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, was Israel's president, who has also come to Netanyahu's defense. Once again President Shimon Peres went to Washington and, when speaking president to president, he once again presented the bricks to build the future - instead of another two years of hay and straw. His visit was accompanied by the announcement that new permits for construction in the settlements had been granted.

Integrity and capability are supposedly two different things, but that is not actually so. A crooked person is not someone who can make peace - which requires that that person be straight with both himself and others. And a crook cannot cry out, "follow me!" because who will hear him and come along? Every responsible and daring move first of all requires the trust of the public.

Netanyahu defends his policies like he does his wife, with baseless claims. We already know that Sara is a woman "who goes to work almost every day and takes care of children." We are all familiar with mothers who work every day. They take care of other children and care for their own children, and they don't have a housekeeper to assist them or to get into arguments with. Only recently, thousands of social workers - who had been insulted because they hadn't been able to increase embarrassing salaries that made it difficult to get through the month - went back to work. Their salary is equivalent to the cost of about one feast for a king, which the king doesn't even have to pay for anyway.

Peres and Barak are disqualified from giving evidence on behalf of the defense. They are infected with the very same weakness - the friends are the same friends, the donors are the same donors, the indulgences are the same indulgences. With defense attorneys like these, who needs prosecutors? From the president's perspective, given his age and the place where he is seated, and from 35,000 feet above the earth, everything looks small, to say nothing of petty. What are these nano-issues when compared to the great ideas of the super-visionary?

Peres, in particular, should have been more familiar with the Saras and the Sonias. Even in when he was Shimon the hated, and before he became popular with the public, the media refrained from poking through his wife Sonia's dirty laundry. Because she was not a pushy person, no one tried to stick their nose into her affairs. She was meticulous about maintaining her own privacy, and whatever she gave she did so without any publicity; in this way, her desires were respected and she gained respect.

Sara Netanyahu is not the late Sonia Peres; Sara has chosen to be a "mega-celeb," as the prime minister's new adviser called her this week. And anyone who intervenes should expect to be criticized. But should she only get the good, without the bad? Those are the rules of the game, which Gila Almagor has been able to understand; to realize that if the wife of a public figure is always present at his side, if they appear everywhere hand in hand, they will be judged together as well. Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni are judged in the same way.

When intimacy between a couple is extroverted, it commits them to a greater degree than the credit it necessarily bestows upon them. This occupation with Sara, as with Barak's wife Nili Priell and with Aliza Olmert, merely upsets the peace in a number of households. Women complain to their husbands - you cheated all these years. When we finally agreed, after so many years, to fly with you, you sent us to a travel agent from Warsaw, instead of Rishon Tours or Ayala Tours in Jerusalem.