Until the Next Tragedy

In a red suitcase of bones, instead of a red dress and two braids, as the well-known Hebrew song goes, the Rose affair reached its horrifying end yesterday. Twenty-two stormy days in murky waters came to an end. The end to divers, the end to guessing and the end to inflamed emotions.

Very soon, the drowned Rose will sink into oblivion. Our short public memory, plagued by the recent wave of crimes, gang assassinations and child murders, will soon be shaken by a new occurrence, which will immediately be dubbed "the most horrifying affair ever."

Rose's murderers will go to prison: the grandfather and perhaps the mother, too. The foster family will try to rehabilitate her half sisters, her grandfather's daughters - toddlers who have no present and perhaps no future. The grandmothers and great grandmothers will find no succor, and we will move on to the next stirring old wive's tale. In a few years, an exclusive interview with Ronny Ron will be published: He will express regret and ask for a pardon.

She was murdered exactly four months ago today; the murder suspects were arrested exactly a month ago. During those long weeks, we poked around the bowels of this lunatic family far too much. We were drawn into it, one must admit, ad nauseam, egged on by a rash, unrestrained and mostly imprudent media.

Faced with a suspect with a devilish face, an exciting and unusual family story, searches in the river - the Yarkon has never before raised such interest - and a murder without a body, we absolutely wallowed in this story. Oh, how we loved hearing the sexologist talk about the couple's therapy the two lovers received, grandfather and mother forever. How we wanted to peek further and further into the "Israeli Madeleine McCann" family, which suddenly appeared in our lives; we invaded it with a mixture of voyeurism, gossip and a pinch, just a pinch, of real concern for the missing girl's fate. Someone will make a film about it.

Now it's all over, and just as well. Grandmother Vivian will disappear, Ronny will rot in jail, as the saying goes, Marie's tears will no longer wash our TV screens and the child-abuse hotlines won't receive any more calls from parents saying their child is afraid of his grandfather. A professional army of silt, diving, grandchildren, fear, parenting, criminology, psychology and sexology, which babbled itself to death in the past month, will find itself unemployed - until the next murder. Even the groundless prattle about how the horror could have been prevented is winding to an end. So are the daily appearances of Chief Superintendent Yoav Kotler, who has the most flamboyant collection of shirts in the police force and was so photogenic with the river as background. He, too, will disappear from our life - just when we had gotten used to him.

We will hear no more of Ronny's violent childhood and Marie's "my princess's small eyes," of the mysterious babysitter and neighbors who saw or didn't see. And above all, we won't see Rose's pictures - is she crying or laughing? - every day, pictures that were more moving than all the reports and commentators combined. A child with an angel's face, there is no other way to describe it, whose life expectancy was like a butterfly's eternity.

Rose - the end.