One of the delights of sitting in a cafe or riding a bus in Israel is listening to the conversations around you. A less polite but more honest name for it is eavesdropping, but, as anyone forced to listen to details of Aunt Muriel’s colonoscopy knows, it is hard not to hear what people around you are saying. In Israel, philosophy and politics are the topics you are most likely to overhear.
The conversations I’ve been hearing since we arrived in Israel a few days ago mostly revolve around whether Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was a necessary gambit or whether Obama’s personal dislike for and resentment of Netanyahu helped lead to the president’s insistence on his disastrous Iran deal.
I don’t know if there were more effective ways to spur opposition to the Iran deal. However, more than anything, the people who are blaming Netanyahu remind me of a section of a book I read as a child. My recollection is fuzzy, to the point that I don’t remember if the protagonist of the following story was a Chinese immigrant, a Black child, or some other minority group, but I do remember the story.
There is an opportunity for a poor child of illiterate parents to attend a good school. First, he (could it have been a she?) must pass an examination. Scrubbed till his skin is raw and dressed in meticulously cleaned and mended clothing, the child appears before the principal. The principal takes a piece of paper and tears it in half, asking the child, “What did I do to the paper?” When the child answers, “You broke it,” the principal refuses entry. On the way home, the child’s father cries bitterly, castigating the child for using the wrong word.
What we the readers know, that the father did not, is that the principal’s aim was to deny that child entry to the school. If the child had answered that question correctly, the questions would have continued. The only way that exam was ending was in failure.
There are ample reasons for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s constituents to approve or disapprove of him. Failing to stop the Iran deal, in my opinion, isn’t one of them. America’s current president has an antipathy to Israel as he does for the United States of America. He despises the Prime Minister as he despises Republicans and conservatives; to the best of his ability he will make sure that they fail and he will do whatever it takes to ensure that outcome.
Two specials as we head towards the second holy day of the month
Can everyone benefit from Start afresh with two books that
the lessons of the Day for Atonement? will intrigue, inspire and impact you.