The tears of Yuval Carmi

If citizens of our country did not watch the television broadcasts showing the more than two thousand anti-Netanyahu protesters in Rabin Square they could not feel the immense pain and suffering of small shop-keepers in particular.

On the other hand, if those who did watch the channel 12 broadcast and had seen the interview with a Mister Yuval Carmi from Ashdod and did not respond emotionally and angrily at his severe plight should be ashamed.

Carmi owns a small falafel shop in Ashdod. It is the source of his livelihood. But under the new regulations food shops and restaurants cannot serve meals. However, meals can be ordered and delivered.

Without his business, Yuval Carmi cannot pay his bills. He cannot pay the 3,500 shekel monthly rent for his shop. He has no money to buy food for his wife and children. His daughter just gave birth to a baby and the grandfather has no money to buy a gift for his first grandchild.

He is a proud man and has refused to accept donations from sympathetic people. He does not know what to do, where to turn for help. Pleas for government aid have fallen on deaf ears.

Mister Carmi is not alone in this terrible plight. Many hundreds of Israeli small business owners are greatly suffering due to closures of their shops. And few, if any, of our politicians do anything to help.

In the interview which Yuval Carmi gave to the television reporter he broke down in bitter tears. It was a pathetic sight to see a 56 year old man sobbing, unable to stop. And the entire TV crew cried with him.

He excused himself to the reporter. He felt ashamed by his tears. But the tears of Yuval Carmi of Ashdod are the tears of a devastated nation. His bitter tears are our bitter tears!

In another instance, two young people were invited to the garden of the president’s residence and both explained to President Rivlin the details which cost the end of their businesses and wages.

The president was very interested in the details which he heard and was angry and ashamed at the government’s lack of action to correct a very horrid national situation. He promised to repeat their words exactly as they had shared them with him at his forthcoming meeting with the Finance Minister and the prime minister. President Rivlin is a distinguished citizen and is loved by the people of Israel. If anyone can help, it is surely he.

When reporters asked Mister Carmi why he could not make deliveries to people who wanted to order falafel from his well-known shop, he replied that first of all he did not have a possibility to deliver and second, falafel is only good when it is kept warm.

And then he began to cry once again. “How will I feed my family? How will I be able to buy food for them?” He stated that he could not live with the shame of being a husband and a father who could not provide food for his family.
It then brought him to confess that perhaps it was best if he committed suicide so that he need not see the suffering of his beloved family. A heart ache and a heart break!

There cannot be hearts so hard among our people that Carmi’s tears did not bring tears flowing from their eyes. I am not ashamed to say that many tears flowed from my old eyes.

Shame on a government which lacks feelings and compassion. The leader of our sick government is more concerned with his own personal problems and his desires to be assured that at his trial the judges, though they certainly will find him guilty of the indicted charges, will be compassionate and not send him to a prison cell for some period of time. He is, therefore, much less concerned with the needs of the Israeli people.

In America there is a law and rule for impeachment of a president who violates the rules of the Constitution. It is a pity that we do not have such a provision in our Basic Laws.

If we had it, Netanyahu could be ousted legally and our country could be restored to a democracy and to normalcy.

The sobbing tears of Yuval Carmi from Ashdod are the sobs and tears of all decent Israelis.

When can we cease crying and begin smiling again?

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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