Why Should We Bother to Demonstrate?

Most of the public is too tired and exhausted to judge. Perhaps it would like to believe that responsibility is like honor: He who flees from it is chased by it.

The person who succeeded in plowing through the complete Winograd Report has improved his chances of winning a TV survival contest on a desert island. The voice of the committee sounded distant and detached. And all this even before the lecturer was let out of the bag and the professor's colleagues were forced to eat crow.

It is hard to find the bottom line of the report, which has only top lines. And the bottom line is: The prime minister will be tried by the public, which will determine his fate.

Where are the members of the committee living: Israel has not had such a proceeding for a long time.

Ostensibly, the public can judge in three ways: through protest that shakes the country's foundations, or through its elected parliamentary representatives, or in general elections.

I was outside the Knesset this week and saw the ineffectiveness of the protest: about 200 demonstrators gathered in the Rose Garden, a handful of bereaved families and reservists.

And inside the Knesset, the elected representatives expressed confidence in the prime minister, whereas most of the public does not believe in him and does not believe him, as all the opinion polls show.

It seems that there has never been such a distant and shuttered Knesset.

And elections - still a distant hope - will be held in another year or two, which is an eternity in local terms.

In Israel there is no trial by the public because in Israel we are living in twilight time, a time of confusion and quandary. Life here is conducted in the demilitarized zone between apathy and despair.

Citizens say it won't help in any case, why should we demonstrate. After all they, at the top, are holding tight to their seats, and we are like grasshoppers to them.

And the people also say: In any case they're all alike there, at the top.

What difference is there among them, one will fall and his twin will rise, and nothing will really change.

And there is no greater danger for a country, for a regime, than dashed hopes for a different tomorrow.

Our hopes differ because our viewpoints differ. Some are still hoping for a diplomatic agreement, and some are hoping for another test of strength that will restore the old deterrence.

Both will fail: No path will succeed and no hope will be realized when those in charge behave like foxes.

Although the words ahra'i (responsible, in charge) and aharai (follow me) do not share the same linguistic root, they do share the same root in terms of values. The person in charge who says "follow me" is the only one capable of leading to peace or to war.

It's hard to run a country when every year a government falls - that's true; but it's impossible to run a country without an iota of trust, in constant disgrace - and that is even truer.

Most of the public is too tired and exhausted to judge. Perhaps it would like to believe that responsibility is like honor: He who flees from it is chased by it. At the moment there is no evidence of that: Honor has been exiled, and responsibility has quit the country as well.

A squad commander and two soldiers were tried this week for exposing their backsides to Palestinians.

Two days after the Winograd Report, in what was described as a "joyous atmosphere," the wealthy of the land greeted the prime minister - "He's innocent! He's innocent" - and exposed their backsides to us.

His honor the judge, i.e. the public, is invited to kiss them.