WISE ONES BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR WORDS
Contrary to what many of us have been led to believe, health may not necessarily be the most important thing. Perhaps guarding one’s tongue and taking care of what comes forth from the mouth is the most important thing. Strange but true, saying stupid things has made more people “sick” than dangerously harmful bacteria and harmfully dangerous viruses.
I find it hard to believe that I was the only one to feel my temperature rising upon learning that a national organization of Jewish leaders issued the following condemnation during the latter part of last week, in the aftermath of the elections in Israel: Because we proudly and unreservedly continue our unflagging support for the State of Israel, its citizens and its values, we must condemn the prime minister’s statement, singling out Arab citizens for exercising their legitimate right to vote.
Excuse me? Since when is singling out any segment of the electorate, one that does not share the same good and decent values as the rest of the citizenry a crime? One would think that the Israeli Prime Minister issued a statement calling for a modern day Bull Connor and sending him along with an assortment of Doberman attack dogs to polling places in Arab precincts. In singling out the Arabs, I’m not aware of Prime Minister Netanyahu using any slurs or epithets against any Arab casting a vote. What the Prime Minister did say was: The right wing government is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves.
Wake up and smell the coffee! This is what politics is all about. If it’s kosher for Ezeeden al Quassam, an organization bent on Israel’s destruction to issue the following directive: The Palestinian people must vote in the next two hours. This is your last chance to let Ayman Odeh, Haneen Zoabi and Ahmed Tibi liberate you (all three look to turn Israel into Palestine), then its GLATT KOSHER for the Israeli Prime Minister to say that the Arabs are coming out in droves. The Arabs did come out in droves! That’s why HaRishimah HaMishuteffet, aka. The Joint List, an alliance of Arabs campaigning for government leadership now has more seats in the Knesset than do the religious parties!
Israel is a democracy. Because it is a democracy, I believe the right is given to us to do everything legally and ethically permissible to prevent those we don’t wish to gain office from doing so. I can’t help but wonder if those who proudly and reservedly continue their unflagging support for the State of Israel, have taken the time to extend a mazel tov to any of the winners of the recent election or did they expend all their energies on excoriating the “Prime Minister’s statement”?
Those who are regular readers of this column know only too well that I’m not exactly enamored with a certain group of co-religionists living in Meah She’arim, B’nei Brak and….elsewhere. Can you imagine the uproar on the part of that very same national organization of Jewish leaders, had the Prime Minister of Israel, any Prime Minister of Israel come out with the following remark while the electorate was casting its vote: The x wing government is in danger. Haredi (black hat) voters are coming out in droves. Proveme wrong, but I can’t but feel that nary a word would be heard from those who simply cannot abide by having any group singled out by a Prime Minister of Israel. From time to time, a group in the Canadian province of Quebec threatens to secede from the rest of the country. They are known as Mouvement Souverainiste du Quebec or the Quebec Sovereignty Movement. Suppose there was a Provincial election in Quebec. The Premier of Quebec, a pro Canada leader was seeking reelection. Polls show him neck in neck with a secession candidate. Would the Premier of Quebec have incurred the same wrath as did Mr. Netanyahu, had he said: The pro Canada party is in danger! Separatist voters are coming out in droves!
Rather than go public and condemn legitimate and true statements by the Prime Minister of Israel, perhaps those unflagging supporters of the State of Israel would be putting their time to better use, by committing themselves to an in depth study of Pirkei Avot I: 1 “Wise ones, be careful with your words…”