Yisrael Rosenberg

Raped by the airwaves

Somebody – Help!

Quick – Call the Police.

I’ve been raped!


OK. There was no full body contact. The only areas affected are my ears and my brain.

True. No bodily fluids were involved. But the psychological and spiritual damage is incalculable. Especially when you consider that it happens – EVERY DAY.


4:58 AM. I rush to shut the alarm off, and turn the radio on. Good. It’s set to 96.6 FM – Galei Tsahal (Army Radio, “Galatz” for short). The single redeeming quality of Galatz is that they pump out the least number of intelligence-assaulting commercials of all Israeli radio stations.

“… Good morning. In the news: Investigation is continuing last week’s neighborhood knife murder in Beersheva. Chief suspect Chaim Yankel, 24,180 centimeterstall, who has been wearing a black Iron Maiden shirt for the past two weeks, re-enacted the crime for the police cameras ….”

[Click.] I smash down the on-off button.

She-yihiyu bri’im!” (‘They should be healthy!’ – a phrase that Israelis, usually of Sephardi descent, often say when they want someone to drop dead of a heart attack on the spot).

“This is how I have to start my day?”

I fill the kum-kum (kettle) with water, light the stove, and wait a couple more minutes for good measure before I turn the radio on again.

“… Tel Aviv mall authorities report a dramatic drop in the number of people visiting stores on Dizengoff Street in the wake of yesterday’s violent gang rape of a 14-year old Coptic nun in the underground parking garage of ….”

[Slammmmm! CLICK.] Lucky our kitchen radio is made of high-impact plastic.

OK. I’ll give in and try the competition. I turn the dial to 95.5 FM to catch the tail end of the Reshet Bet (Government Radio) morning news bulletin.

“ … in other news, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made a rare personal appearance at a large public rally on the outskirts of Beirut, offering his view of what Hezbollah will do in the upcoming war with Israel:

“Wah-hoo la-ka, Allllllllah kubar … Issss-rah-el … AK-47 … mustard gas … Yahud … Fahl-es-tin …

The towel-headed sound engineers were forced to tear off their headphones as a result of the ultra-high volume of screaming stemming from the wide-open, fanged mouth of the Hezbollah chairman. Droplets of spittle spilled out from the sides of his mouth and trickled down his beard, and a distinct tap-tap-tap was audible as they dripped all over the high-precision German microphones.

Nasrallah squinted in the light as he shouted his tirade to the cheering crowd. Flies buzzed around his head, reveling in his fragrance. He hadn’t seen the light of day, nor taken a shower, in six months – hiding out as he was, Qaddafi-like, deep in the sewer systems of Beirut in order to evade an Israeli attempt on his miserable life.

Reshet Bet insisted on translating every word of his foul diatribe in real-time so that we, the Israeli public – “amcha” – would make no mistake about what he thinks he can do to us.

I tore the power cord out of the wall and stormed out of the room.


Are you sick of being dished out this dreck, every hour on the hour? Is this non-stop stream of bad news getting you down? Well, I suspect you are in good company, along with every other normal thinking person in this great land.

I have a friend with a theory. He believes that the media operate this way because the public is addicted to bad news, which generates adrenaline, and makes your stomach secrete acids and enzymes. You get tense and nervous, and you can‘t relax. What we have here is a kind of adrenaline high, similar to that created by exposure to the horror flicks that people develop a craving for after repeated exposure.

I have often wondered whether the situation is actually more sinister. Don’t the political powers-that-be benefit from the zombie-like condition that such news leaves us in? After all, when people are afraid – they are statistically more likely to do exactly what they are told. ‘”Don’t you know the hypnotized – never lie?”

Well it’s time for a solution, damn it. Let’s start with a link:

There’s this cool British dude, Michael Ordman, who has decided to watch for, emphasize and promulgate good news about the little Jewish State. It is very healthy to check out what he has to say on a regular basis (despite the fact that his spelling is absolutely atrocious – some call it British standard usage, but I think it is just pure ignorance).

But I would go farther, with a new legislative initiative in the Knesset. Let the state-run radio do a little reorganizing, to get its act together once and for all. From now on, all news reporting about death, terrorists, murders, sexual crimes, graft, corporate or government bribery, drugs, organized crime, assimilation, environmental pollution, global warming and other things I haven’t thought of yet can be channeled through a single radio network (no images needed) called: The LIVE channel. All other news outlets would be required to report everything EXCEPT that kind of stuff.

Good solution, hunh? Makes everything neat and manageable – like taking the dog-doo out to the trash, carefully wrapped in old newspapers. So whenever a person needs a hit, he or she can get his bad news fix in one handy location, without being distracted by anything as mundane as a positive outlook and the hope for a good future.

But why ‘LIVE’? Well – read the word backwards, like you were reading it as a Hebrew word. That’s right – you got it – E-V-I-L. Put all the evil stuff in one place. It’s comparable to tossing a bone to the Satan, so to speak, so he will leave everyone alone. It’s like the Yom Kippur Seir-goat, brought out to the desert to be sacrificed to Azazel. That is how the Jewish People used to get an offering directly to the Dark Side, so he too would get his due.

What do you say? Shall we contact the lobbyists and our local Member of Knesset, and get them to work?

About the Author
Yisrael Rosenberg is a former New Englander who made aliyah 30 years ago. He lives with his wife and four children in Jerusalem.