How awful the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, with black crows calling and black ribbons of mourning, to be replaced, as we turn a new page, with a new beginning. This year again, I allow myself to remain an outsider. I haven’t forgiven you and you don’t forgive me.
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Isn’t there anyone for me to apologize to, from whom I beg forgiveness? I looked over my disparaging columns from the past year and checked. I really searched and I didn’t find anything, and what do I care if you believe me? I don’t have regrets and I am not apologizing; you’ll forgive me. Not to anyone or over anything. True, I did write terrible things about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and I have still not revealed everything about what I and others think of him: Forgive me, but the man is an international charlatan who has deceived the entire world. Everyone will eventually see the real situation and his real face will be revealed.
The mother of all deceptions – his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech supporting two states for two peoples – doesn’t get tallied for the Jewish year just passed, as it is already registered from prior years. But we will mention its progeny. Whenever a plan for settlement construction in the territories is exposed, it’s as if “Bibi” is gathering brush that only animals would consume. One time, it’s an egg that will take time to hatch; on other occasions, it’s a foul-smelling egg of no equal. It’s a shame that at the White House they don’t check the facts before issuing condemnations, and a pity that on the domestic front they don’t maintain domestic tranquillity before pointing fingers. It’s only the descendents of Peace Now and the Vikings that still don’t understand.
I have also written unpleasant things about Finance Minister Yair Lapid, even if he is a local charlatan rather than an international one. A man who appropriated the voice of the social-justice protesters and, in the process, picked up their votes. Why should you get tangled up like some kind of insect in the budget web when you will get lost among the numbers (and even they are used improperly)?
Any citizen could ask himself a few simple questions: Has my situation improved since my future was entrusted to Lapid’s Yesh Atid (“There is a Future” in Hebrew)? Have the priorities in this Land of Israel, now split in two, changed, with less for the settlers and more to my family? Is this a new kind of politics or has it been taken out of storage, switched with the social-justice policy recommendations – from public committees headed by Trajtenberg and Elalouf – that now gather mothballs?
Ask any young couple: Has that promised cheaper home begun to rise out of the ground, or have the prospects for it actually sunk? And moms and dads should ask whether the fees that parents pay at school have been reduced, or have they gone up every year instead, the latest in a series of steps to privatize public education. And the poor, elderly and sick also have a lot of questions of their own for Lapid, for Education Minister Shay Piron, Health Minister Yael German and Social Affairs Minister Meir Cohen. But they would be the last to agree to harm the country’s security in a toothless fight over basic staple foods. After all, what is left for these poor souls other than a little patriotism?
Wait a minute. Maybe I have found something that would require me to express remorse, something that was not fair to be so critical over. How is it her fault? When you have a second and third wife, my first wife explains to me, she too will look at you wide-eyed and not pull her hand away. It’s worth your while. I almost apologized, but then a press release was issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. The prime minister’s current wife – his third – had raised a contribution for “hungry soldiers.”
In advance of the holidays, “Sara Netanyahu volunteered to address a solution to the problem, and raised a special contribution of 300,000 shekels ($80,000) from Keren Hayesod,” the statement proclaimed. All who are in need shall receive 250 shekels, along with a nice letter, and give thanks. Weary over her efforts but rather satisfied with herself, the first lady and the prime minister then boarded a leased plane for the United States – one that cost us taxpayers 20 times what her charitable work achieved – so she could applaud her husband as he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly; so she could have lunch with her husband’s supporter, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson; and so she herself could receive accolades from the heads of the Jewish communities in America for her outstanding work with bereaved families in Israel.
Actually, Yom Kippur does not allow us forgiveness when it is done without good faith and immorally. Who has permission to grant forgiveness on behalf of those who have fallen in battle? There are acts and omissions for which there is no forgiveness, even 41 years after the Yom Kippur War.