My Beer is Corona

Damn the persons who hastened to attach my best beer to the worst pandemic since the 15th century.

I don’t know which catastrophe is the worst…the March 2 elections or the recent corona virus. To soothe my aggravated feelings I have kept several bottlers of my favorite Mexican beer, Corona, in the refrigerator. It’s cold sensations work wonders on my over-heated reactions to both.

The recent elections were nothing more than a filthy demonstration of our corrupt government and the circus-like performance of clowns at the polling booths.

At my turn to cast my ballot the woman next to me whispered “I hope you’ll remember to vote for Bibi”.

I turned and “gently” replied “I don’t know which one of us needs a psychiatrist. I know it cannot be me so therefore it must be you”. How could sane Israelis re-elect an indicted criminal who has served 14 years in office and still drools at the insane hope of four more years. God forbid.

Maybe God has sent the corona virus as a warning to us to stay safe and peaceful under a brand new leadership. Taking my lead from God, I cast my ballot for Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party. The rest is up to God.

The March 2nd elections were the product of vile racism against Israeli Arab candidates whom Netanyahu describes as terrorists. His hatred of the 20 percent of our Arab minority population is a disgrace to our country, to democracy and to decency.

When prior to World War II some Polish Jews were elected to serve in the Sejm, the Polish parliament, several Polish politicians resented being seated next to Jews and declared that the 10-15% of Poland’s Jewish population should emigrate out of Poland where they were not wanted.

The cry was led by Augustus Cardinal Hlond, the Catholic primate of Poland who created the cry, “Zydzie do Palestina” (Jews should go to Palestine). Maybe he was right. If Polish Jews had chosen to go to pre-state Palestine perhaps many of Poland’s three million murdered Jews could have been saved.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s bitter hatred and distrust of our Arab minority is similar to the pre-war Polish anti-Semitism.

One of my anti-Netanyahu neighbors was heard muttering “Tibi but not Bibi”, referring to Dr. Ahmed Tibi, a major politician in the Arab Joint List party in the Knesset. She, of course, was in a minority.

The corona virus which has struck hundreds of thousands of people world-wide caught all nations unaware. One hundred countries on all continents have been attacked by the pandemic and whose medical experts remain confused as to the source of the virus and possible treatments for prevention and cure. It will, as prime minister Netanyahu has pointed out, “cause eventual death to tens of millions of victims”. A dreadful and disastrous prediction but yet, one with some grains of truth.

The 1918 Spanish flu killed 50, 000, 000 people all over the world. The corona virus appears to be worse.

We are advised to stay at home in self-imposed quarantine. Not to greet or meet anyone within six feet to prevent air-borne contamination. Not to travel distances on buses or trains to avoid contact with others. All schools and universities are closed. All theatres, cinemas, museums and historical sites are closed to the public. Tourism is dead. Many shops are closed. Many items have been sold-out by people loading them up for necessity. Toilet paper is so hard to find on the shelves, some older people are returning to the early years of statehood with rationing and lack of products… they are tearing strips of newspapers as a substitute for the white fluffy sanitary paper. It is beyond belief. Not even the imagination could have foreseen such an international tragedy.

Our rabbis, joined by rabbis in other countries, have closed synagogues and have urged Jews to pray at home. A catastrophe for religious Jews.

And to add political fuel to our health concerns, Bibi and Benny are unable to come to agreements for a unity government. Bibi’s tremendous ego will not permit him to be a second fiddle. He has long placed himself first before the needs of our population.

Our Arab citizens and Knesset members constantly point out his lack of interest in Arab needs. For Bibi, the “Jewish State” means for “Jews only”.

That was not the vision of Theodor Herzl, the Balfour Declaration, nor the founding fathers of our newborn independent nation in 1948.

Not most of us but rather all of us, every single Israeli citizen, is extremely concerned about the dreaded corona virus coupled with the lack of a formal functioning government. Politicians are know-nothings of the dangers. Our medical teams can be relied upon to point out prospects of possible growth or hopefully good news of diminished numbers of infected people. I put my trust in them.

And with that being said, it’s time for me to reach into my fridge for another bottle of cold beer. Corona, of course.

Viva Mexico !

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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