Column: Call Your Congressmen
The Israeli media has convinced many of those that still take it seriously that it is President Bush that is forcing PM Sharon into the “disengagement.” I heard it again from a fellow demonstrator on the way back from Monday’s orange demonstration here in Safed. Even though he is against the expulsion he swallows the disinformation of the media when it comes to blaming America – a tactic the leftist media uses to take the pressure off of Sharon. Nebach, I thought to myself, too weary to remind him of the facts of recent history that contradict his delusion. I suppose that some people need a certain measure of political correctness and media alignment to feel “anchored” in reality and secure in their citizenry.
On the trip I made with Americans for a Safe Israel last month I heard the same thing from Rabbi Eliezer Waldman in his new home in Sanur in the northern Shomron. Rabbi Waldman, a follower of Rabbi Kook, simply finds it hard to blame a Jewish PM of Israel for anything (believing in the holiness of any Israeli government) and so as not to face the hard reality of the lowliness of this government and the challenge it would mean to his theology, prefers to blame the American president.
As I wrote last week, the book “Boomerang” should put all the other theories to rest (other than the one that Sharon is ducking an indictment for the Greek Island matter) when contemplating Sharon’s transformation into Peres but the unraveling of the mystery of Sharon has become somewhat of a national obsession that has taken on a life of its own.
If I were to really indulge myself here I would run through my own personal favorites, both of which I have developed myself -- the temptation is great because I could be proven right at some point and then … and then what?
It was at a wedding two weeks ago that I understood it – that I understood this need to be the one that understands really what Sharon is up to.
I was sitting with a friend at the table and eating and chatting in English. At the same table were a few Israelis engaged in a heated argument in Hebrew. I was listening with one ear to what they were saying when my friend asked me what all the commotion was about. It suddenly occurred to me that what each of them had at stake in their argument was more than the correctness of their take on what Sharon was really up to. What was at stake was the last of what little dignity could be found in being overrun by Sharon’s transformative regime – the dignity of being smart enough to figure out why he was doing it – the grand consolation prize for the trodden upon and tyrannized.
What a pathetic situation, I thought to myself, what a sad situation we are in that all we can be consoled with is in that we might be the one to guess what our “leader” is really up to.
Still, it is a compelling activity that holds out the hope that somehow, with the right understanding; something can actually be done to stop the catastrophe. It is compelling because so much is at stake and so many attempts have failed.
Tomorrow there will be a huge show of civil disobedience in Israel with road blocking going on throughout the country. Much faith has been put in this approach. I have my reservations. The main one is that I think that the effectiveness of civil disobedience is dependent to a great extent on having support for your cause outside of the government – especially internationally – in order to bring pressure on the government. That support does not exist in the world press as evidenced most recently by the dearth of coverage on the “Boomerang” story. Without some real support what can the civil disobedience accomplish? That’s why it is so important for those of you in America who oppose the expulsion plan to get involved and make your voices heard. You can make a difference by contacting your Congressmen and telling them to see what no one wants them to see – that Israel from north to south is painted orange.