Even the oldest of China's old-timers, and they are myriad, cannot recall a visit like this one. When was the last time a foreign ruler came for a week, accompanied by an entire retinue – the queen consort, two successors, state workers employed as maids and governesses and a chauffeur acting as butler and porter? And they combined business and pleasure so beautifully.
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So suppose the Chinese, in their innocence, and the Israelis, in their stupidity. What do they think of the cost of each flight, the price of the bed? He that keepeth Israel shall rest on his travels, his helpmeet shall slumber at his side.
They, his subjects, are already accustomed to the royal dynasty, its habits and amusements. Many nations are preoccupied with their blue bloods and are prepared to support them willingly and generously. And for us it is a pleasure to see the pair of lovebirds, Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and his lady wife Sara, who instill in the populace an air of stability and infinite devotion; how pleasant it is to see them walking hand in hand – Sara’s hand never leaves his for a moment – the two of them striding, glowing, coiffed and made-up, into the national sunset.
And it’s not so nice to involve her, the lady: They drag her along so she schleps along - noblesse oblige, after all. She goes on every visit, forced to leave her benevolent work at the municipality. She insinuates herself into every photograph, lest she be ignored by history. She excludes her adversaries from the entourage, lest her elevated mood be brought low. She has needs and demands of her own; she is not merely the wife-of.
Now is the time to open the Sara file to the public, because what is proper here is not right: Will she accept the favors but not the sense of revulsion? Had she not stuck her own finger into every pie we would blame him alone. How were they raised, in what sort of homes? It must be that their parents – sterling pedagogues –failed in their upbringing, for they did not instill in them humility.
Had this happened but once, “He didn’t know how much it cost,” then we would have called it absentmindedness, inattention. But as it keeps recurring it must be a matter of temperament, a character flaw. They cannot conquer their impulse to submit to temptation. And it is not clear who is tempting whom, Adam Eve or vice versa? If Bibi fancies himself Alain Delon, then Sara thinks herself Brigitte Bardot or at least Nicol Raidman. And why shouldn’t she be on "Rich" ("Me'usharot), Channel 10 Israel's approximation of the "Real Housewives" franchise?
There is a Great Wall of China between the high-living imperial couple from Caesarea and their subjects. What will it take for people to realize that the two of them are dancing dirty, indeed, uninvited guests at all of our weddings?
“He didn’t know” - but what about you? Didn’t you know about the fancy ice cream and the gourmandism, the appetite and the avarice, the cosmetics and toiletries? And didn’t you hear about the fat fees every step and misstep of the way? And how much dirtier can it get, when we pay NIS 100,000 a month for cleaning? Something is rotten with the romantic couple.
From distant China he announced his support for the harsh decrees of the new state budget. For himself he dug a deep pool of cream, for us a NIS 40 billion pit camouflaged in lies. He has made corrupt hay and we have fallen for it. Is this not sufficient reason to oust him? What is left to investigate?
I checked in with Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s fictional Riki from Hadera, whose teacher's salary combined with her husband’s high-tech wages cannot support a family, after all the budget cuts and tax hikes. She is considering a second job to make ends meet. Perhaps the royal couple will hire her as a part-time cleaner. After all, Caesarea isn’t far from Hadera. Having no alternative, she is prepared to take the risk.