Tova Herzl

They Have No Shame

They have no shame.

If our ministers had a bit of shame or dignity, if they were aware of their responsibility, they would invite traumatized families from the south, or concerned residents of the north, into their homes. Have you seen reports of cabinet members opening their doors to those who lost everything? Addressing personal shortages, hearing complaints? I am yet to see any one of 64 members of the coalition waiting in line for hours to donate blood, along with countless Israelis who drop everything to bare an arm.

Or perhaps I am doing them all an injustice, when I assume they would publicize such actions, and in fact they are functioning as we would expect of elected leaders, but are doing it all humbly, in private?

One might expect that those who designated air force pilots as ‘pus’, ‘traitors’ and other terms recently directed at reservists would, if not issue an all-out apology, at least find a way to publicly acknowledge that they all did what had to be done, immeidiately, when the need arose.

If I were one of the politicians who publicly scorned America’s contribution to Israel’s security, who said that we can manage just fine without the United States, who instructed her to stay out of our affairs and even accused her of causing us damage, I would hope that I would now express loud and clear gratitude that it has come out so strongly, in both word and deed, in our favor. I might shed a tear at the warm embrace provided by the empathy of President Biden, and which I feel is so lacking here.

If I were the Prime Minister, I would make sure both my sons return to Israel as soon as possible. One friend dropped a fortnight of business meetings in America, a second made a huge effort to return from Africa, and a third, who was here for the reigious holidays, decided that for now, she will not to return to her home and her activities. But as far as is known, our Prime Minister’s sons – one in America, one in Britain – continue with their routine, guarded at our expense by our best and brightest.

You know better than anyone how many have been called up, and that no one knows who will return home, and how. We all hear of shortages of equipment, which may be temporary but until they are answered – danger increases. I will not ask how you sleep at night, knowing that these shortages endanger your voters, their parents and grandparents, while at the same time there are enough resources to enable your sons to live abroad, securely. But, PR expert that you supposedly are, don’t you see how this looks?

This is written four days after the beginning of the disaster which struck us. Perhaps by the time it is published, we will see some humility and constructive action from those 64 who, for months and months, shouted from every platform that they are entitled to do as they wish, and used every derogatory phrase in their arsenal to disparage whoever has a different opinion, but fell silent and became invisible on Saturday morning, October 7, 2023, Simchat Torah 5784.

It will take time to restore our deterrence. Perhaps shame and humility will emerge sooner.

About the Author
Tova Herzl served twice as congressional liaison in Washington DC, was Israel's first ambassador to the newly independent Baltic states, and took early retirement after a tumultuous ambassadorship in South Africa. She is the author of the book, Madame Ambassador; Behind The Scenes With A Candid Israeli Diplomat.