No News is Good News… Anymore

The witnesses have spoken. The lawyers have spoken. The prosecution has spoken. The President has spoken. The Attorney-General has spoken. The criminally-indicted prime minister has spoken. The people of Israel have not stopped speaking. And now we wait. And wait. And wait until the judges in our courts render their verdict. It could take months. Even years. And so we wait.

I have stopped watching channel 12 television news. I now watch only CNN, BBC and other foreign channels.

I have stopped picking up my free daily Hebrew newspaper YISRAEL HAYOM and have become a reader of the foreign press: New York Times, Washington Post, The Times of London, (in English), Le Figaro or Le Monde (in French) and the German-language daily FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). Perhaps the foreign news will give a more honest account of our political misery.

A Cuban friend, now living in the USA, and a reader of our TIMES OF ISRAEL, sent me the following e-mail message: “Pobrecita Israel. Turmoil on her borders. Turmoil in her heart. Campaign— campaign — just vote them out !! One good thing (the only one good thing) about communism is that candidates are selected and elected FOR us — no need to bicker. “

I have explained to her that ours is a sick system. We vote for a political party, not for an individual candidate. Perhaps our political system is in urgent need of over-hauling. If the system is sick, we need to put it out of its misery. Aspirin or acamol is no longer effective. No medication helps.

I am sick and tired of hearing prime minister Netanyahu denying all charges against him and accusing everyone else of lying in an effort to create a coup that would oust him from his too many years of leadership…. Most of them outstanding years. Recent ones disgraceful.

The outstanding years we remember. The recent years we would like to forget.

In the possibility that the judges will eventually concur with the indictment verdict and will hold Netanyahu guilty as charged, he will obviously be sentenced to a prison term. He will not be the first prime minister to sit in an Israeli jail cell. Ehud Olmert had that “honor” some years earlier.

Like Netanyahu, Olmert was indicted for fraud, breach of trust and bribery. (How many remember the Holyland scandal?) His trial lasted for three years and he was convicted to six years in prison, a sentence later reduced by the Supreme Court.

Hopefully, Netanyahu’s trial will not last for three years. Hopefully it will end much sooner. At my age of 87 I want to be assured that I can still be here to learn the ultimate verdict. Perhaps even to write about it !

Former good friends are becoming bitter enemies differing harshly in their opinions of the Netanyahu case. Such a situation is painful and unnecessary. Each one of us has the right to hold on to what we believe to be the truth.

Bibi Netanyahu is not my enemy. I had voted for him in two elections. I had held him, like the majority of my fellow citizens, in high esteem for his great achievements both here at home and in nations abroad.

I do not like his domineering wife Sara and I absolutely detest his foul-mouthed son Yair. I suppose that I can blame Bibi for both of them.

However, I do feel great pain for the younger son, Avner, who has kept himself out of the political circus and who is very much respected in our country. These cannot be easy times for him. And I wish him well in the words often spoken by our greatest prime minister, Menachem Begin… “chazak v’ematz”…Be strong and courageous !
(I am courageous but I have no strength left).

No more local radio, HOT television, or Hebrew news media for me for the time being.

No news is good news…. Not anymore. (or at the least, not for this week) !!

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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