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The Price of the Nation State Law Is Learning to Wipe Your Own Parents' Butts

Zeev Smilansky
Zeev Smilansky
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Elderly people with a foreign caretaker in Jerusalem, May 26, 2019.
Elderly people with a foreign caretaker in Jerusalem, May 26, 2019.Credit: Emil Salman
Zeev Smilansky
Zeev Smilansky

On the way down you must pause at a few stations of humiliation, to recall the pleasure of being forced to rinse your face in garbage juice.

This week had two such stations. In the first, police officers in black arrested a woman and her son, a 12-year-old special education student whose only language is Hebrew, and dragged them to the airport to get them out of our faces. Where they would go was immaterial.

What did you expect? She signed a document saying such and such, when she came here she knew the situation, what can you do – it’s a small country and it’s impossible for everyone, etc. etc. What did we want from them anyway? Just to wipe our parents’ asses, feed them mush with a spoon and disappear.

Why does this woman, Ofresina Koanka (what kind of a name is that, anyway? What do we need women with unpronounceable names like that here?) even need a head, and with thoughts in it yet, and a soul, and reproductive organs for that matter? All she really needs is one hand to dip the spoon in the mush and another to adjust the diaper, and maybe a pair of legs to dispose of the poopy diaper.

At the next station, our resolute men in black, this time aided by bulldozers and an armored vehicle, throw 72 families onto the rocky ground near the separation fence and reduce to rubble their homes, in Sur Baher next to Wadi Hummus in East Jerusalem.

Wadi Hummus? What can you expect when you build a home in a place with a name like that? For someone to come and say, Wadi Hummus is no place to build, let’s try to find an acceptable housing solution; we’re responsible for you and you have no right to anything. Of course not, especially after our learned High Court of Justice said it’s totally lawful. So you have five minutes to hightail it out of here, then boom boom boom – there goes your house.

Nice, huh? There’s something these two marks of shame share: the nation-state law, the law that is so important to so many good people – Lieberman and Galant and Dichter and Shaked and Bennett and Erdan and Regev and Gamliel and Hotovely and Bitan and Amsalem and many more. Meanwhile, Haredim are smacking their lips, happy that the word “equality” does not appear in the law. They know why, and they’re right: Our entire sickening system would collapse were the word “equality” to be inserted in it.

Are there really two types of people in the world? Perhaps there are hundreds, as in in India? Are there people who are permitted only to wipe the butts of old people and prohibited from having children? Are there people who are permitted to build a home and others who are forbidden to do so?

Are there people who are permitted to recover the house that was stolen from them 70 years ago, during the war, and others who don’t stand a chance? Some who deserve a road and electricity and after-school clubs, while others have to make do with a tent, rags and water in a plastic jug, because their home was taken and given to others, as in Susya, for instance?

And if our government does say there are several types of people, each with specific rights, do we agree with that? Do you, ma’am, and you, sir, really want to live in such a country?

Perhaps the answer is yes, because let’s admit it, the unfortunate folks from Wadi Hummus are kind of theoretical for many of us, so after a shake or two of the head we can move on to more p

ressing matters – the cost of flights to Vienna and the rising temperatures. But our aging parents’ asses is a nagging problem for many of us too. So what do we want now, from Netanyahu, Dichhter and Galant? What were we thinking when we brought Ofresina Koanka here to wipe our elderly mother’s ass?

Did we think that she was a Homo ass-wipius while we are Homo Thailand vacationus, so please, she shouldn’t have children here, and if she did well she signed something, she knew, she understands, and so do we.

Just watch the news: those overgrown cops in black uniforms, two holding Ofresina on either side and two holding tight to her son Michael James lest he somehow flee. And these four — no, they are not space aliens, they are you. You, who didn’t want to wipe your own mother’s ass.

Zeev Smilansky is a technologist, wine expert and novice poet.

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