Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fighting with bows and arrows

Once upon a time there was a Prime Minister and Bibi Netanyahu was his name, but he wanted to be called Winston Churchill. A single thing preoccupied him, day and night, the nuclear bomb which a diabolical villain named Ahmadinejad was plotting to produce. All other problems and issues were minor and insignificant to Bibi, and he devoted most of his energy to preparing his people for the coming war. So determined was he that, for the sake of stealth bombers which could fly quickly in stealth and arrive to bomb Ahmadinejad 's country, Bibi was even willing to confront the settlers, his best friends.

And yet Bibi did not remember that war with the evil Ahmadinejad would necessarily involve the massive shooting of rockets and missiles, and that missiles cause fires where they fall, and it is the nature of fires to spread in all directions burn everything in their way, and in Bibi's country the fire fighting apparatus was outdated and clumsy and split between thirty competing authorities. And the firefighters were crying out fot proper equipment, and again and again making dire warnings of an approaching disaster. But they went unheard, like a voice crying out in the wilderness.

And it came to pass that while Ahmadinejad was sleeping peacefully in his bed and not a single missile was yet fired, stupid negligence caused a terrible great fire to burst out on the Carmel range, and it consumed woods and villages and kibbutzim, and the Prison Service cadets were caught in the flames and died a terrible death. And the firemen fought the flames heroically but hopelessly because they did not have the appropriate equipment, as if fighting with bows and arrows on a modern battlefield, and they urgently clamored for all the world to quickly and urgently send the vital equipment which nobody provided in their own country. And the TV commentators marveled at the sight of Prime Minister Bibi running quickly and efficiently the entire fire-fighting operation. In the absence of a singe country-wide head of the fire-fighting services Bibi had to take the role upon himself.

And the entire grateful nation determined that this man. Bibi, has at last found his fitting slot and mission in life, and confirmed him permanently in his appointment as the National Commander of the State of Israel's firefighting services.

Frustrated Racists

Forty-eight hours after the terrible fire broke out, racists can no longer stop their frustration at not getting what they wanted - a pretext for an all-out assault against the Arab population in Israel (including the Druze). "I don’t want negligence, I want vengeance on the arsonists!" so wrote an anonymous person in the talkback section of the Y-net news website and speedily others added racist comments, inciting to bloody violence, of the kind which the web editors were supposed (in theory) to immediately delete.

Of course, the racists draw encouragement from the police announcement of two minors from Ussefiya being detained on suspicion of negligent behaviour which led to the fire. Who cares if it was negligence or intentional arson, who cares that Ussefiya is surrounded by the Carmel woods and was the first to be endangered when they caught fire? Just cry out "Catch the Arab!"

Still, it seems that so far these characters are not able to add a raging fire of racism and hatred to the physical fire still raging on the Caramel. The vast majority understands, if blame is to be apportioned, we should look in the right (and obvious) place: up there at the corridors of power, to those who for years heard the firefighters making dire warnings of a lack of equipment and an impending disaster – heard them, and chose to ignore the warnings and to go investing the government budgets in all sorts of other places.