Shaked, I’m Proud to Be a Sucker

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked
Interior Minister Ayelet ShakedCredit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

If it’s good for you, it’s bad for me, and if it’s bad for you, it’s good for me. Will the day come when we say: If it’s good for you, it’s good for me and if it’s bad for you, it’s bad for me? Indications are that we’ve a long way to go. Therefore, there is nothing healthier right now than to “foster hope,” in the words of poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Late last Monday night, I saw jubilant Joint List lawmakers celebrate the failure to extend the law to prevent the unification of Palestinian families, whereas coalition Knesset members seemed to be in deep mourning. Indeed, after 119 years of Zionism, it seemed as if this movement was meant more to make Arabs miserable than it was to support Jews.

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Therefore, in light of the wailing and moaning that followed the failure to pass the law’s extension, I would like to propose that the date of this vote, July 5, be declared a national day of mourning. In the meantime, we should not forget to hold to account the people who betrayed the principles of the nation-state, which pulverizes the other nation in its midst to the extent that even one single whole family unit is considered a collective that threatens the existence of this state. From day to day, the darkness thickens here. When the nation-state law was passed, 55 lawmakers, Arabs and Jews, voted against it. Today, even in that bastion of justice, the Supreme Court sitting as the High Court of Justice, the law was approved almost unanimously. Only one justice opposed it, the Arab Justice George Kara. I read somewhere that he muttered: “A man whose hand is in water is not like a man whose hand is in a fire.” Even a Supreme Court justice, if he’s Arab, has his hand in a fire. We’re witnessing a different kind of eclipse. The shadow of the nation-state has dimmed the light of justice.

We used to think that if there is a left wing in Israel, there’s hope that things will get better. Regrettably, here too the situation is grim. Right now, the lifetime mission of the left is to preserve the coalition lest it be devoured by Benjamin Netanyahu, and for this it is willing to tolerate any evil, as long as it is apportioned to Arabs. As long as it’s Arabs who pay the price, the left is very generous. It starts with the march of hatred in Jerusalem, continuing with the surrender to the settlers in Evyatar and on to the law enforcing separation on families. This generosity embarrasses even the concept of absurdity. Show me a leftist movement supporting the breaking up of families anywhere in the world.

Respected online commentators chastise me when I describe this collection of nutty parties as left-wing. They’re right, which is why I’ve decided, after considerable deliberations, to retain the epithet “left,” while adding a small tag, “stinking.” From here on, don’t say “left,” say “stinking left,” donning a mask to deal with the stench of its hypocrisy.

Let’s set aside the “stinking left” and focus on the sign of the times, Ayelet Shaked, whose attitude to Arabs can be summarized in two words: You lost, so suffer! It’s not only Shaked’s mindset, it’s one that drives the majority of Jewish Israelis: Hurt the Arabs as much as you can. You won this time with regard to family reunification? Be careful, now they’re waiting for you around the corner with a Basic Law on Emigration, sponsored by Likud. Not even an Arab bird has a place here.

Well, I’m sorry to inform you that the common ground shared by the two nations is shrinking; at least there still is a sun that shines on both, or rain that falls on everyone. It’s even good that there is a coronavirus which harms everyone, regardless of religion, race or gender.

According to the definition of the vulgar theoretician Shaked, we Arabs are “suckers.” For me, being a sucker is a thousandfold more honorable and humane than to post on Facebook a comment whereby Palestinian children are snakes who have to be eliminated before they grow up. I’m proud to be a sucker for whom children, all children, are what playwright Yehoshua Sobol describes as a joy, a blessing.

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