The power of habit is greater than the power of fate, because habit determines our fate. Routine - the mother of all evil - is what emerges from bathing in a puddle, and its sister is called acceptance.
I once told a released prisoner that I try to be a decent person because I couldn't stand being imprisoned for even a single day. You get used to it, he told me, you get used to it, you'd be surprised.
We've already become accustomed to many things. Who still talks about "peace" here? The very word is terribly funny. Only people whose feet are not on the ground still bring up its memory.
There is a person unique in his generation walking around among us, who once received a prize in Oslo. Some people believe that he invented dynamite or acetone. He himself has forgotten why he won, since he has become preoccupied with nanotechnology and belles lettres.
We have become accustomed to a Supreme Court that is brought down as low as possible. Its laws are not laws, and its verdicts are not verdicts; they are no more than recommendations. It would be better to defy the High Court of Justice than to make a mockery of it: They will now move five trailers in a settlement by 50 meters, as though they had thereby done their duty.
But what's new about that? After all, that has been the routine ever since Yigal Allon placed chefs' hats on the heads of the Hebron settlers and Shimon Peres put archaeologists' shovels in the hands of Sebastia's settlers. Minister Benny Begin is continuing in their path; he is a devotee of the court and a fighter for the rule of law just like his spiritual forefathers - though his biological father, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, behaved differently.
We have become accustomed to failures that are orphans, to snafus for which nobody is responsible. From one snafu to another, their power merely increases.
On the second anniversary of the Carmel fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Eli Yishai will receive the firefighters' award, which will be minted specially in honor of the event by the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation.
Although Kim Jong Il died this week in North Korea, the personality cult is alive and well on Mount Carmel.
Where is the Prophet Elijah to fight for us against the false prophets on this very mountain? Who will reveal his God in a still small voice instead of with thunder and clarion calls, or with wind and fire and supertankers, or even with the State Comptroller's Report?
We foolishly thought that the first "to understand the magnitude of the event" were the 44 bereaved families, and along with them the refugees of Kibbutz Beit Oren, Yemin Orde and Ein Hod, who saw the work of their hands burning in sight of the sea. But we were mistaken, as usual; that's also the power of habit.
It's a bad habit, becoming accustomed to things. Now they are getting us accustomed to additional things. How many more times, in your opinion, can our president still express alarm about every mosque that was set on fire or desecrated? How many more times will our prime minister, like a muezzin over the loudspeaker, instruct the security forces to catch the "anarchists" immediately? Even speech has limits, as does their manifesto: Make way for future despicable acts, which we will also "not tolerate."
Just as we didn't tolerate the humiliation of women who sang or remained silent or talked too much. After all, you can't expect Peres and Netanyahu, who are very busy, to get up every morning and pay lip service to morality. The routine does its work, the buses continue to travel to Alabama and back, the threshold of revolt is constantly increasing, and even the "dear leaders" are having difficulty faking an orgasm of shock every week.
And just as we once refused to tolerate - when was that? - separation between boys and girls from the dangerous age of 5, or the segregation of Ashkenazi and Sephardi girls. And we buried the children from Ethiopia alive outside the fence. "We won't tolerate it and we won't accept it." But nobody will lift a finger to change the situation, for fear that the coalition will then be short of hands raised to vote.
We have become accustomed to things, and we keep on getting accustomed to things. And there are people who are counting on our ability to become accustomed. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but your entire personality has changed, has become distorted, while you were becoming accustomed to things.
Next time, when news broadcaster Dan Kaner sings the praises of the divinely inspired leader, it will not grate on our ears. They will have become accustomed to it.
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