June 4, 2004
I keep planning on writing something light, more personal. I don’t like this impression I’ve been giving that I’m some sort of intense political-type, preacher person. I even have this piece I wrote and stored in another “file” about my first grandchild’s first birthday and what it means to me to be a grandmother. But I just can’t get it “ready.” Not long ago I opened this file to start a new “musing” and discovered the beginnings of something claiming how boring and ordinary life is here. For the life of me I couldn’t remember what I had in mind and ended up deleting it.
You may find this hard to believe, but I try to limit my “news” exposure. For me the 7am English radio news program, two email news digests and the very occasional glance at the TV news on the way to or from the kitchen are all I can handle. Bad news, unfortunately, finds ways of getting announced, so why look for it?
Today when my husband started talking to me about the Minister of Tourism Rav Benny Elon’s playing “hide and seek” with Sharon, I didn’t understand what he was talking about. Then I got the story: Arik, like a Mafioso in the movies, in order to get the majority he wants in the cabinet, has been “eliminating” the dissenting ministers from the government this morning. The only difference is that instead of a bullet, or wire around the throat, or cement shoes, he hands them a letter sacking them. That’s right, and he’s not even embarrassed.
Yes, I know, that since I was raised in America, in the moral idealistic fifties and sixties, I have a very, very, very different concept of “democracy” and “justice” than many other Israelis. The American Government is based on a balance of power between the three branches of government: the Judicial, the Legislative, and the Executive. I hope my memory isn’t deserting me. (Since I learned it decades, many decades, ago, it should be more reliable than anything I learned this morning.) I remember an important concept in democratic government. It is called: “Checks and Balances.” According to American Law, no one branch has veto power over the other two.
Now Arik seems to think that democracy means that once elected he has totalitarian powers, and everyone must obey/agree with him, and if they don’t…. they’re fired. This is very dangerous. It is also not democracy. Also, Arik was not elected on a personal ticket. He is Prime Minister, only because he is head of the Likud Party. Likud members, at his orders, held a referendum and decisively defeated his proposal by two to one. He no longer has the backing of his party and the people who voted for him, or it, as referring to the party. (I am a high school English Teacher.)
I don’t know what’s going to happen at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, and I don’t know if the dissenting ministers were served their walking papers, but I do want this out before Shabbat.
That’s my plan, less than an hour from Shabbat, I want to clear my brain and call for some sort of help and prayers.
This must be part of G-d’s plan, and I hope that we do our part, whatever it is.
Shabbat Shalom, Thank G-d we have Shabbat.
Batya Medad, Shiloh