Before you read this Blog, you must read the Telegraph’s news item “Frozen star Kristen Bell speaks out over ‘weird’ prince’s inappropriate kiss in Snow White” (Nick Allen, 18 October 2018). Otherwise you will be sure that I am making this up.
The latest in the wave of lunacy sweeping the world is actress Kristen Bell’s warning for her daughters about the way the prince kisses Snow White while she is asleep. I am reminded of Harry Warner, one of the famed Warner Brothers, who said when the talkies came in, “Who the hell wants to hear an actor talk?” I assume that Harry was using ‘actors’ to include actresses and others who have not yet decided if they are a ‘tor or a ‘tress.
A more professional view came from Kazue Muta, a Japanese sociology professor. This expert on workplace sexual harassment, accused both the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale, and Walt Disney’s animated film, of perpetuating “quasi-compulsive obscene sexual acts on an unconscious partner“. I can’t imagine what sort of a life he leads if he thinks a kiss is an ‘obscene sexual act’. Even worse, the sleeping princess, once woken, is forced to marry her abuser who uses his ‘dominant socioeconomic position to emotionally coerce her into living happily ever after’. Well, we certainly don’t want today’s fully liberated woman to live ‘happily ever after’. Everybody has the right to be miserable if they want to be.
We in Israel have our own fairy stories. A few wretched survivors of Germany’s attempt to destroy the Jewish people build a wondrous land out of empty desert. (It was the Germans, in spite of modern-day efforts to shift the blame to anonymous “Nazis” who came from nowhere and caused trouble for everybody, even the poor Germans.) Those who believe that we walked into a land of milk and honey, a paradise inhabited by mythical Palestinians, can easily dispel this fairy story by reading Mark Twain’s description of the Holy Land in 1869 (The Innocents Abroad).
As in all good fairy tales, we have had our fair share of troubles on the way to a happy end. Our fairy godmother, Great Britain, turned out to be the Wicked Witch when she reneged on the Balfour Declaration and tried to give our homeland to another.
Trying to live happily ever after, we have had to deal with the Forty Thieves. Even Ali Baba would have given up faced with attacks by Egyptians, trans-Jordanians and Lebanese all trying to steal our land. These fairy tale countries were dreamt up by the Wicked Witch, with help from her apprentice, France, and have caused trouble for the world ever since.
We Israelis have learnt the virtues of hard work and the perils of improvidence. While we worked tirelessly to build our country and store up food for winter, working as hard as an army of ants, the Palestinian grasshoppers spent their time whining tunelessly and enjoying free handouts from the world community.
But who, today, seeing our beautiful green countryside, our farms supplying food for many countries with more land and more rainfall than we could dream of, and our technological know-how, the envy of the world, and a contented multi-racial population, would believe that this all started from nothing. Fairy tales should stretch the imagination and are obviously not to be taken too seriously, but Israel’s fairy tale is nothing short of miraculous.