Sunday, July 01, 2007

The soul of Israel

Had a rather depressing chat with Uncle Avi over the weekend. He is so sick of our once-proud country failing to be anything like Ohr LaGoyim (a light unto the nations), with its endless scandals.

Firstly is the Netanyahu-driven process of encouraging wealth creation through Thatcherite incentives to invest, which are supposed to attract capital and stimilate the economy, although there is invariably a shock to certain parts of the system (the flabby Histadrut certainly needs the therapy). But in the Jewish/Israeli structure of patronage and the predominance of a handful of tycoon families, this has inevitably led to a further concentration of capital and favours amongst a small elite.

And then there's the whole string of political misbehaviour. The final straw is this let-off of the clearly guilty Katsav from most of the serious charges of rape and molestation laid against him, apparently "to preserve the dignity of the state" against the eyes of the world.

Since when has the world given us any dignity? We always get held up to impossibly high standards, but on this occasion we should be making a point of seeking them ourselves. Instead, this evasion of justice and due process is just more grist to the mill.

We are not a tinpot dictatorship (unless Gaydamak really privatises the entire electoral system). So when a slimeball like this is basically let off the hook, it's shameful on a people who believe in the call of "justice, justice, you shall pursue".

It's interesting how we have managed to battle to an effective stalemate with the Arabs, used the relative stability to rejuvenate the economy, and are still able to find ways to tear ourselves apart.

I am increasingly of the view that the battle for Israel's soul has nothing much to do with the Green Line or the Blue Line, and everything to do with the line that divides us from the nations that claim to have a monopoly on "civilised behaviour" (ie Europe), but then abuse their own citizens, manipulate the rules, abort inconvenient investigations and so on.

Israel may not always do things right but I had always assumed it would do the right thing. I guess we are just like everyone else now. Tragic.

No comments: