Yesterday’s Rightful Scandal – “Bibi, Go Home”

As of yesterday there were 18,296 reported cases of the coronavirus in Israeli cities and villages. New cases were registered at between 1,500 – 1,600 a day in the past two days.

More than 20 percent of our workers (approximately one million people) are unemployed. Promises allegedly made by the government to provide aid have not been satisfactorily fulfilled. False promises. Too many of them broken.

Our people have taken to the streets in the tens of thousands in protest demonstrations against the weak government. Thousands marched holding signs reading “Bibi, Go Home,” accompanied by thousands of voices shouting out the same words.

Most of our people are bitterly angry against prime minister Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu who has failed to control the dreadful deathly pandemic and fails to solve the broken economic situation in our country.

Since yesterday there were 354 deaths due to coronavirus with no end in sight and the people of Israel have lost confidence in a weak do-nothing government. Do nothing but quarrel and deceive.

In a television interview on channel 13, our Finance Minister, Israel Katz, made a fool of himself when he bluntly stated “the demonstrators do not have a reason to protest” !!

What? No reason? Tell it to the 10,000 demonstrators who marched in protest of the Netanyahu led government in Tel-Aviv’s Rabin Square park. Tell it to the close to one million unemployed workers. Tell it to the thousands without an income, without ability to put food on the tables to feed their hungry families.

Tell Bibi to get out of his Balfour street residence and take a ride to south Tel-Aviv where destitute people are standing on streets begging for charity.

Condemn the fool in our government who disputed the claim that thousands cannot afford to put food on their tables. “No one is going hungry in Israel”, he said. Tell that stupidity to the hungry of our people.

No intelligent and rational person can deny that there is a scandal in our government. One only needs to walk to the parks to view for themselves the thousands of demonstrators. Try driving a car on several of the main streets and boulevards in Jerusalem and in Tel-Aviv, in particular. Streets that are blocked by hundreds of cars whose drivers vent their protest while we, the civilian citizens, are unable to find alternate roads on which to reach our destinations.

Our over-worked police are doing a superior job in protecting us. They make arrests of those protestors who become violent. They do as much as they possibly can to disperse unruly individuals in their efforts to keep the peace. We owe our police a warm thanks.

We did not invite the coronavirus to visit in our country. It is a very unwelcome visitor. It entered here without passports or ID cards, totally anonymous, striking at will wherever it visited. It is foreign to us.

We do not even know from which country it arrived at our borders. And without knowing Why or Where, we also cannot know How to rid ourselves of the most tragic natural calamity in the history of mankind since the bubonic Black Plague in the 15th century and the more recent Spanish flu of 1918 which took 51 million lives world-wide.

We cannot— we dare not— be in denial of the facts . While there is talk in several countries of creating a vaccine to fight the plague, we must not hold our breath. It is reasonable to believe that the coronavirus, in one form or another, will be with us on this planet for a very long time. Optimists say about one or two more years. Pessimists say it will be with us longer than that.

We need to live with the facts in order that we do not die by dismissing the facts.

To begin the needed correction of unemployment and lack of economic security in Israel we must continue to protest and make our government’s lack of positive action be seen and be heard in the words of the sign-carriers— “Bibi, Lech Ha-Bayta”…. Bibi, Go Home.

And by home they do not refer to the official residence on Balfour street. What the many thousands of fed-up voters mean is that Bibi should go home to his palatial estate in Caesarea, taking Sara and Yair along with him.

Keep protesting. Keep shouting. Maybe our disgraced prime minister will get the people’s message.

And if not, it is our time to escort him out of his residence and remind him “Bibi—Go Home.

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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