Yossi Sarid
Haaretz (Opinion)
March 1, 2013 - 1:00am

What does Yesh Atid MK Yael German, formerly of Meretz and the Geneva Initiative, have to do with the Hebron cemetery where the Jewish murderer is buried alongside Zionism, may the Holy One avenge its blood?

Even her Knesset colleague Jacob Perry has gone quiet. If Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett are "brothers," then German and Habayit Hayehudi MK Orit Strock are sisters, and they all should whoop it up at Hebron's Purim carnival. Not every day is "Happy Purim," in settler leader Hanan Porat's unforgettable words on February 25, 1994, the day Baruch Goldstein massacred around 30 praying Palestinians at the Tomb of the Patriarchs and became a martyr for the right.

It's actually sort of pleasant to watch the two new guys torturing Shas and mocking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his swollen head. It's even amusing. But the world isn't funny right now, and Israelis, like Italians, will soon be wiping the smile off their faces.

"Equality of the burden" – that's the thread connecting everything, and it's hard to cut. But no end to the thread is in sight, and it isn't clear what the burden is in all its weight. And it isn't clear why all the country's travails are draining into this one channel – drafting yeshiva students. Is this the burden of burdens that has sapped our strength?

And Hebron itself – is that not a burden? As in the kindergarten Purim song, "Is there anything as mirthful and merry" as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, while the Arab city is closed down, sad and humiliated? The "Jewish settlement" in its heart is a burden on Israel's foreign relations, security and morality. It started with a lechaim and has come to be a millstone.

When Lapid asks where the money is, he already knows the answer, and German has certainly learned it. The cash isn't only under the ultra-Orthodox's mattresses. But Bennett wants to make the burden of the annexation even heavier.

And only because Brother Bennett quarreled with Sara Netanyahu, Yesh Atid is throwing some punches that aren't its own – punch, punch, ha ha ha, what a party, la la la. And hundreds of thousands of voters are finding themselves singing in someone else's choir.

The third intifada, which we are bringing down on ourselves – isn't that a burden? Even before a single yeshiva student has been drafted into the medical corps, the evil is nearly upon us; tens of thousands will be drafted to meet it. And it has chalked up a success even before it has erupted in full force: The tax money that was arbitrarily frozen is being thawed and rapidly transferred to the Palestinian Authority because Netanyahu is a hysterical type with whom only pressure works.

And the Ulpana neighborhood in the settlement of Beit El – is that not a burden? Go see the ruins lying there forlorn as a tomb – the walls and the windows and the railings – the transfer that cost us tens of millions of shekels just so there wouldn't be a picture of Netanyahu with a bulldozer as the destroyer of settlers' homes. And one of the evacuees has told Yedioth Ahronoth about a former neighbor "who climbed out of the ruins and carried a toilet on his back." That's a burden, definitely, even for those carrying all that fossilized rabbinical law on their back.

But no one is saying a word in the coalition talks about all this, just as they aren't talking about the cost of living, the economic measures just around the corner, the defense budget, the poverty, the gaps, the tycoons' haircuts and the costs rung up at the Prime Minister's Residence. For on the heads of brothers Bennett and Lapid there is only one burden, which to them is the be-all and end-all. And what they reaped at the ballot box was sown by the social protest.

An election conducted over a vacuum doesn't produce anything. "There is no left and no right, only old and new politics," they tell us from the vacant center. If this is new, it might be time to bring back the old.


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