Popular or Unpopular

The TIMES OF ISRAEL posts, with every edition, the names of the popular bloggers. Almost always, the same names appear on the daily lists. I assume that to become popular is a result of the number of responses the blog has received from readers.

Happily for me, I am not on the popular list and I take pride in being unpopular. To me it allows the privilege of writing things as I see and hear them without a need to watch my words so as not to displease all readers.

I am not a believer in sugar-coating the truth as I see it with fancy terms of endearment. If I write frequent articles against our present government and in particular, against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his family, it is because I firmly believe every letter and syllable of my words. I have no shame in discrediting one whose ego is destroying the democratic spirit in our country.

I treasure deeply the memory of beloved Menachem Begin whose bones surely must rattle with disappointment in the man who serves the country in the political party which he long ago created.

To utter the holy name of Menachem Begin with the name of a hopefully convicted criminal like Binyamin Netanyahu would be a sin for which pardon must be prayed for on Yom Kippur.

On the day of our last elections I was standing in a long line of voters… standing because there was no place to sit and no benches available in the school-yard of our polling station.

A woman standing in front of me began friendly conversation to pass the waiting time before we were permitted to enter the voting room. At one time in the conversation she asked who I thought would win the election. I replied that I hoped it would be Benny Gantz for whose Blue and White party I was voting for.

I don’t remember who she said was her favorite candidate but it was neither Gantz nor Netanyahu. But the remark I do remember was rather disturbing to me. “Our President Rivlin should give a pardon to Yigal Amir so he could come and finish the job.”

She of course was referring to Yigal Amir, the young man who had assassinated our past prime minister Yitzchak Rabin for similar political reasons and who is in prison serving a life sentence.

Somehow, I did not freeze when I heard her sharp remark. I had heard it before from other sources.

What did pain me was the thought that my two very wise, educated and dedicated daughters could think that her thoughts were mine.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fleeting moments of anger I might have thought like some others but would never dare to speak them. And I try always to keep such un-Jewish thoughts far from my mind.

I firmly believe that Netanyahu should resign from his position. But Sara and Yair cannot permit him to deprive them of their vain-glorious status in an Israeli society which dislikes (if not detests) them both.

Knowing that Netanyahu cannot conceive of stepping down voluntarily our only choice is by a new election or legislation, or a pick by the president for a new candidate to replace the one we unfortunately have. Grounds for keeping an indicted criminal as prime minister could be (should be) established.

“Not by power and not by might, but by My word” sayeth the Lord God of Israel.

We cannot be and must never be a nation which responds to grievances by force nor by hostility.

Much of our democratic system has been eroded by the present regime but thankfully our courts of law are still independent. Long may they so be !

In the midst of continued mass protests of tens of thousands of Israeli citizens who demand change, we have fortunately not seen any violence. I stand peacefully with the non-violent protesters because it is the way I feel.

And if I were to do otherwise that which is foreign to my nature my two beloved daughters would backlist me from their love lists forever. I yield to their opinions because I know how wise they are and I trust them even if our political views differ.

I am not on a popular list because a majority of our readers do not consider my remarks to be popular.

Therefore I continue in my personal pride as being a member of the unpopular society.

I write only as I view things from my own opinions based upon many years of my life of seeing, hearing and feeling.

My education has fortified me to keep me far from false beliefs and desecrated history. I look to our glorious past and our beloved and trusted leaders and I hope that 5781 will see a return of their spirits.

On Yom Kippur, when I ask Hashem to forgive my sins and trespasses, asking forgiveness and pardon for cruel remarks against a cruel leader and his cruel wife and son will not be upon my lips.

For them my lips will remain sealed.

Popular or unpopular, who really cares?

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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