zaterdag 27 november 2010

Brotherly hate in Israel

Op-ed: Hatred among various sectors of Israeli society prevents us from engaging in dialogue
Yair Lapid
Conversation 1
"You hate haredim."
It was a statement, not a question.
"Who said so?"
"Everyone knows."
The young haredi man had a brown-reddish beard and he was quivering with anticipation for a confrontation. I've been familiar with this phenomenon for a while now. Haredim – and mostly the younger ones – feel an uncontrollable need to engage in such conversations with me. For them, it's like talking to a porn starlet or to Hanin Zoabi. Later they return to their yeshiva and say that they really let Lapid have it.
I was just filling up gas at the large station at the entrance to Bnei Brak, so I had a few minutes.
"I don't hate any Jew in the world."
That confused him.

"Everyone knows," he said again.
"I think you need to join the army," I said. "I think you need to get help in order to integrate into the job market, and I think your children should study math and English. I also think that if, instead of doing this, you wish to study at the yeshiva, there is no reason for me to pay your salary. What does that have to do with hatred?
"The Torah protects the people of Israel."
"You didn't answer me."
"Didn't answer what?"
"What does that have to do with hatred?"
"The great rabbis ruled that we need to study at the yeshiva."
"So the great rabbis are wrong."
"You see?"
"See what? I think that my wife is wrong all the time, yet nonetheless I love her."
He chuckled contemptuously. "So now you love me?"
"I don't think our relationship has progressed that much." My joke went over his head, by a mile. But by that time I finished filling up my car. "Have a good day," I said.
"Stop hating haredim, Lapid. If you don't stop hating haredim, it will come back to haunt you."
In other words, we made no progress whatsoever.

Conversation 2
"Why do you hate settlers?"
"I don't hate settlers, it's personal against you."
I have to stop with the jokes in such conversations. Nobody gets them.,7340,L-3990306,00.html