Illustration (Image credit: Wix)
Three "national religious" youths demand that an Egged bus driver stop the bus to let them off on the highway where there is no official bus stop. When the driver refuses, the three pull hard on the steering wheel and the bus careens towards the shoulder of the road. The driver stomps on the breaks and the bus jolts to a halt, injuring many passengers but averting disaster.
A synagogue in Lod is warned not to wake the entire neighborhood as the traditional selichot early morning prayers are belted over loudspeakers at 4:30 a.m. every morning for weeks. Finally, the rabbi agrees to the mayor's request to stop the racket - until the next morning. Once again thousands are woken at 4:30 a.m. as the loudspeakers blare into the still of the night. The mayor is so upset at this betrayal that he personally goes to the synagogue with a police officer to demand an immediate stop to the noise. The mayor is verbally and physically accosted by the rabbi and the congregants as the policeman just stands by.
The above incidents are nothing less than shocking and even hard to believe. But did they really happen? If they did, the stories would not leave Israel's front pages for weeks. Actually, they really did happen, very recently - however, the perpetrators were not religious Jewish boys and rabbis; they were Negev Bedouin "youth" and the Imam of the Dahamshe Mosque in Lod.
Now the stories are not nearly as interesting are they? When man bites dog - that is news. But when the expected behavior occurs? Yawn...
This is Israel today. Every day. It was not at all this way when I first came here a generation ago. Our “enlightened elites” have been very busy erasing our national hard drive. We have undergone a kind of “auto lobotomy” while we were put to sleep, guaranteeing us a better tomorrow. Just forget, forget, forget - they try very hard to induce “national amnesia.” A people without a memory is ripe to be recreated as a non-people - or a country of “all its citizens.”
As Shimon Peres preached, “forget history." We were promised a new Middle East, a tomorrow of peace, riches, eating humus in Damascus - if we would only give up the Golan; just let go of the Jewish stuff.
1984’s Newspeak became a reality as it was hammered home by the high priests of national delusion found in politics, the courts, entertainment, academia - all of the beautiful people who spoke of “Oslo,” “expulsion,” “land for peace,” “the price of peace,” etc. The common people watched the elites in an uncertain daze.
To be a member of this exclusive club, you must have been mistaken about every political issue of the last generation and never - but never - ever admit it. So we live with outrage in our hearts knowing that something is very wrong.
I have no demands upon or expectations of the other nations. Their role has never changed and has been foretold. But, I do pray that this year the Israel Police, Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, the Attorney General, the courts, academia, journalists, politicians, and especially the prime minister, will do teshuva (repentance) and finally understand why we have returned to this Land, who we are, where we came from, what our purpose is in this Jewish country - and who is our G-d.