Busha Busha Busha

On December 7, 1941 the forces of Imperial Japan made a surprise attack on the sleepy American military community stationed on Pearl Harbor.

In declaring war on the Japanese, the American president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, called it:

“a day that will live in infamy.”

On the 29th day in May 2019, the Israeli Parliament and government surrendered to the inflexibility and disability of its political vipers in forming a new coalition government. I call this defeat of democracy:

“a day that will live in shame.”

“Busha! Busha! Busha!” was the cry of shame that could be heard from Metulla to Eilat, from north and south as the failure of democracy became transparent. The nation has been captured by ultra-religious zealous pirates and the little dogs who follow, wagging tails, and hoping for a bone with some meat on it.

Shame! Shame! Shame! On our national disgrace. The very first time in our 71 years of history that a sitting prime minister failed to form a coalition with partners of parties in our Knesset.

History books will record this shame. Democracy has surrendered to theocracy. Long bearded politicians in black garb and wide-brimmed black hats have tied the clean-shaven secularists in chains.

With Netanyahu’s abysmal failure to secure the votes he needed, it has become necessary to waste almost one million dollars to feed the machines of new elections on September 17, only a two weeks before Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year which demands introspection of our hearts, minds and souls in search of penitence and forgiveness from one another before we can hope to receive the same from the One great Judge above us.

With a sitting prime minister about to face indictment on three criminal charges, he would be advised to begin his soul-searching today. He has much, more than most of us, to repent. And if he is allowed to continue in the world of politics, he would be beholden to another and greater Source than to a wife and son who are little better than he.

Two of my most treasured possessions, small enough to fit into a pocket of my jacket or trousers, are my Teudat Zehut (my Israeli national ID card) and my blue Israeli passport. It took me 2,000 years to receive them and they are sacred to me.

But on the National Day of Shame, the 29th day of May 2019, feeling ashamed of my country for the first time in my life, I gave thought to throwing them into a post-Lag B’Omer bonfire. I do have a valid passport from another far-away land but when and where I travel it is only my Israeli passport that I show.

Leaving Israel in shame of recent events may destroy me emotionally if not also physically, but I cannot think of another way to vent my burning anger and deep shame upon the “alleged” leadership of our cherished land.

Exiting and re-entering from Ben Gurion International Airport is not a significant problem with no need to worry. My other passport is welcomed everywhere.

But in a brief rational moment, I ask myself what it would achieve. And what will a new election on September 17 achieve? Same faces. Same voices. Same discourteous and vulgar shouting. Same Liberman fighting with same Litzman. Same Likud name-calling for any individual or political party that disagrees.

Koheleth (Ecclesiastes) was absolutely correct when in his pain he declared: “ma she haya, hu she yihiyeh” what has been before is that which shall be again. And in his prophetic wisdom he saw into the future 2,000 years ago. “That which is crooked cannot be made straight”. I wonder which politician he had in mind !!

“Ain davar chadash tachat ha shemesh”. There is nothing new under the sun. What has been before will be again. The same politics dressed in new garb. But Netanyahu, Smotrich, Otsma, Zohar, Litzman and their followers need to take to heart Koheleth’s final words.

“For God shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.”

No nation can long endure its freedom when that freedom applies only to some but not to all the others.

I hope that I will not have to cast my Teudat Zehut or my passport into the flames of disillusionment.

But Netanyahu or whoever is chosen to come after him, will, by positive and respectable example, prevent me from doing so.

And let the shameful cries of Busha! Busha! Busha! no longer be heard in our land.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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