My Decision Is Final: I’m Hellenizing

Corruption is not the most important issue, it is the only issue. Whoever steals from your pockets will also deceive your minds.

Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid
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Greece's new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, doesn't wear a tie.
Greece's new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, doesn't wear a tie.Credit: Reuters
Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid

The protest that failed in Tel Aviv, succeeded in Athens. While the pus in Greece has started to drain, in Israel it is still accumulating and infectious.

My Hellenizing tendencies are quite famous, and I have confessed to them more than once: “Hellenization is better than degeneration,” I wrote here on Hanukkah. This deviance – yes, to Hellenize – has grown stronger for me since then.

A relatively new party threw two “historic parties” into the ancient trash bin of Hellenic history a month ago: Revolution, revolution, revolution – almost a revolt. The left-wing Syriza party won, since it promised to uproot the plague of corruption, which had destroyed every part of the government. They really were sick of the corrupt there – the very same rich and famous who together led Greece into the crisis. Syriza has pulled them out of their tax havens and the public no longer gives a damn about them – when will they brought to justice here, too? Where’s the money? Look for the billionaires in Switzerland, and that is just the tip of the accounting; look for the billionaires, whose virginity they lost back in the Virgin Islands.

They are wagging their fingers at us, just as long as we don’t reach the same situation as Greece. True, the level of unemployment there is immeasurably higher – but the percentage of poor here is higher. Israel was and remains a rich country and an impoverished society. And if a country is measured by the number of its poor, Israel ranks first in the OECD. Even the conservative Economist magazine wrote in its most recent issue that a number of Syriza’s ideas are not so bad, and it is worth putting them to the test.

This week I completely and finally Hellenized after I read about the new habits of Alexis Tsipras, the chairman of Syriza and new Greek prime minister, and his colleagues. From now on, I am an Athenian. When they were sworn in their posts they did not wear ties; they did not put on ties even when they met for the first time with the leaders of Europe and America. For their inaugural trips they flew on regular flights. Now they are checking for me whether they stayed in luxury hotels and magnificent suites, accompanied by their wives and children. And this week, the new prime minister told the Greek parliament: “Politicians can get by even without an official luxury car.” Hello, Israel, are you there?

Recently, I pointed out once again that “corruption is the most important issue in the election campaign.” I want to quickly correct my mistake: It is not the most important issue, it is the only issue. Whoever steals from your pockets will also deceive your minds. And don’t make me laugh with your “critical issues,” which supposedly are waiting for a serious and urgent debate.

When the decision is made to kill an Iranian general or declare war against America – who knows the motives; who knows who our leaders are working for, and for what.

Money may have odor, but contributions and bribes give off a smell. Sometimes it seems that it is just small amounts, but the price is always high. Dirty hands do not bear peace and hope, they spread handfuls of fear and hatred. And what is the profit in the Zionism of greed? Take your hands off it.

And in the meantime, here in the provinces, one writer accompanies us to the tribune of the “transparent” – the new-old hope of the Mizrahi intellectuals, who do not see the emperor’s nakedness since he is wearing Armani, and have forgotten his theft of public funds, which is passed out in equal and unequal amounts.

And the soul of another writer yearns for the golden age of the kings of Italy and France and the Ottoman Turkish sultans – longing for the noble descendents in Zion, and his head is spinning from their charms.

This is the generation we hoped for, who has built a dynasty of elite: From the Marquise de Olmert through the Archduchess Antoilette. And there are those among us who volunteer to write their genealogy. I no longer understand you, my colleagues.

In Greece they are now cleaning the Augean stables, taking out the garbage; but who here will clean up Bibi’s stables. Their Hebrew is Greek to me, it is actually the Greeks who speak to me.

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