By Columnist B. Michael, Yediot Aharonot, June 28, 2002 (translation and comments by Assaf Oron)
At first, it was hard to concentrate on the content. Attention drifted to the terrified eyes hopping between the multi-syllabled words, and to the mouth mechanically chewing the measured sentences planted there by the President’s relentless operators. But gradually the fun wore off, and the ears started hearing the speech itself.
Lo and behold – a surprise. Not a heap of meaningless words uttered for the record, but a well-designed plan, a complex and advanced platform, a precise and convincing blueprint for the erection of a civilized State. Sentence by sentence, condition after condition, demand after demand – the heart widened to hear the specifications and the general scheme. Each word engraved in stone.
For example, “Constitution”. The President expressly demands a constitution. The foundation of any civilized society. Who could argue?
“A New and Peace-Seeking Leadership”. A necessary condition. The current leadership is up to its neck in violence, it is old, bitter, unwilling to wake up and seek a new road, it will never be able to lead its people towards Peace. It must go.
“A Transparent Budget”. A must. We’ve had enough of the dark channels pushing money intended for the nation’s welfare, to fill the pockets and desires of cronies, groupies, bribed ones, spoiled ones, connected ones. [Michael alludes to the well-known sectorial character of Israel’s budget preferences, and to the frequent budget corruption scandals]
“Uprooting of Corruption”. Elementary. A corrupt society is a proven recipe for deterioration and catastrophe (to validate this demand, the President could ask that someone read him some USA business newspapers from the past week).
“The Rule of Law”. Of course. No coherent State is possible without the rule of law. A State preferring one ethnic group over another, a State who has different laws for different nationalities, a State who judges under one law here and under a different law there, such a State – its right to exist is doubtful. [Michael alludes to the increasingly overt discrimination of non-Jews in Israeli law, and to the existence of harsh Martial Law for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories since 1967]
“Deep Reforms”. Can’t do without them. Conservatism, frozen habits, retention of all bad measures and a tenacious clinging to the follies and sins of the past, are the mother of all evil.
“Sticking to the Principles of Liberty, Equality and Tolerance”. Is there another foundation for a worthy State? Clearly, any State who does not consecrate Liberty and Equality, will never really become peace-seeking.
And, of course, “A Condemnation of Terror and a War Against Terror”. An initial and vital condition. A State who encourages mobs of hooligans and land-robbers, who funds militias of ruffians, who evades with increasingly ridiculous excuses from uprooting their venomous, destructive teeth, who sometimes pardons murderers or sentences them to ridiculous penalties, who operates a “revolving door” policy in its prisons with regards to criminals whom it favors, such a State will surely not step wholeheartedly towards peace. [Michael alludes to the extremely lenient attitude of the Israeli judicial system towards Jewish Anti-Arab terrorists, most of them Settlers, and to the frequent use of pardons in these cases – propelled by immense political pressure from right-wing parties]
Indeed, a just, necessary and wise set of Presidential Demands.
Strangely enough, for some reason the President directed these Demands towards only one side of the equation. Perhaps something went wrong with the captions from which he was reading, or perhaps someone forgot to remind the President, that in the State of this Well-Rounded Man, who not long ago sat next to him and could not hide the victory ticks of his nose, there is NO CONSTITUTION YET, and there’s no chance of having one.
Someone forgot to remind the President, that the leadership of this State would rather lose its right arm and have its tongue glued, as long as it does not have to let go of some real-estate plots and some pagan totems (and that “A New Leadership” in that State, if it ever comes, will be even worse).
Someone forgot to update the President, that on the other side of the equation, the mere idea of “A Transparent Budget” makes leaders pale as a wall, and is regarded as an Anti-Semitic plot to exterminate the Jewish People, and what’s even worse – to crush the Party Central Committee’s power.
That “Uprooting of Corruption” at Palestine’s Neighbor State, is a ridiculous fantasy, laughed at by farm owners in charge of issuing licenses to import slaves. [Michel alludes to the following recent story: PM Sharon fired the Minister of Labor and several others as a response to a ‘budget mutiny’. The Labor Minister has always declined to increase the quota of foreign laborers. In his absence, PM Sharon received his authorities, and immediately issued a generous increase to the foreign laborer quota. PM Sharon also owns a large farm, employing quite a few foreign farmhands. This is but one small story from the universe of corruption in which we live here]
That “The Rule of Law” for this State’s regime, is an expression of the annoying need to bother attorneys, so that they’ll search and find a justification for any vile act, and an exception clause for any malicious trick.
That “Deep Reforms” are a remote dream in a State where any word from the root “Reform” (such as “Reform Jew” or “Reform Jews”) is an obscenity and a sacrilege. [Michael alludes to State persecution and non-recognition of the non-Orthodox Jewish movements in Israel]
That “Sticking to the Principles of Liberty, Equality and Tolerance” in this State are considered a heresy, a dangerous perversion, an act of treason, Communism and Support of Terror.
That “Condemnation of Terror and a War Against Terror” are allowed and desirable, as long as on the other side of the sniper’s sights, the bulldozer, the missile and the helicopter gunship, stands someone who is not the son of a Jewish mother, or who was not converted according to Orthodox law.
In short, The President’s Plan is a perfect blueprint for a perfect State. I wish we could have it.
But even if a Palestinian Ata-Turk sprouts from nowhere, performs the miracle and erects the Civilized Palestinian State from Mr. Bush’s dreams, there’s nothing to worry about. Weeds will grow upon the cheeks of Ramsfeld and Cheney, Bush and Reese, and the State of Israel will not conform to even half of the President’s Conditions. And according to his Vision, only States conforming to all these Conditions are allowed to sign a peace treaty between them.
Mr. Bush can be certain, therefore, that no unexpected Provocations of Peace will cloud the coming Election Campaign. The “Hebs” and the “Arabs” will continue slaughtering each other without hindrance, and if Mr. Bush takes care to continue making wars here and there throughout his term (after all, without these wars, he would have been official laughingstock long ago), he is guaranteed a second term, as fertile and wise as the first one.