Raanan Shaked, a Yediot Magazine columnist, usually sticks to bitter-sweet satires of middle class Israeli family life. The past few weeks seem to have pushed him over the edge:

When do you realize that fascism — an overused word, so let’s use it — has already finished knocking on the door and then breaking it down, and is now sitting in your country with its feet on the table and treating some of its residents as a light snack?  Perhaps when extreme right wing hooligans march down Ibn Gvirol Street in Tel Aviv, curse and attack people sitting in cafés who have not done anything to them except for sitting there, as happened on Saturday two weeks ago? 
Perhaps it is when MK Anastasia Michaeli takes time off between births to lunge like an irritable anaconda that has spotted a mouse in the grass at MK Hanin Zuabi in an attempt to throttle her microphone with her bare hands, and then says: “I have a right to say… she has no right to speak” — this, incidentally, being the precise definition of democracy in the Yisrael Beiteinu dictionary?

It’s a well done column and, although some readers may be baffled by all the colloquial references, worth reading in full for a sense of the current public atmosphere in Israel.
The cartoon captions (see the column for an explanation for many of them) read: (1) A Real Israeli doesn’t dodge IDF conscription! (2) I’m a deputy battalion commander in the paratroops; (3) A Real Israeli doesn’t sit in cafés on Ibn Gavirol [a Tel-Aviv boulevard]! (4) A Real Israeli doesn’t order Pixies tickets! (5) A Real Israeli is a fan of Beitar Jerusalem [football club], listens to Amir Benayun and venerates [MK] Anastasia Michaeli.

Who are you calling a fascist
Israel can’t turn into a fascist state — it lacks a dictator — but that won’t stop it from trying
Raanan Shaked, Yediot Friday Magazine, June 18 2010 [Hebrew original here and at bottom of post]

Limor Livnat is one of the women — all right, I take that back; Limor Livnat is one of the men currently leading the broad political movement, in which Israeli politicians get up in the morning, and before taking their current backbone out of a glass, wet their finger, hold it outside the window, see where the wind is blowing — and it is always blowing hard to the right — and then go outside to bark with everyone in the desired direction and piss on the other side’s head.
Limor Livnat is the person who initiated last week’s historical reunion performance by Rita, Sarit Hadad, Shlomo Artzi, Dana International and Eyal Golan, which is supposed to compensate me for the cancelled performances of the Pixies and Elvis Costello in Israel.  Thank you, Limor, really.  What do I need Elvis Costello and the Pixies — dangerous people who contend, apparently under the influence of drugs, that Israel is imposing a siege on Gaza — when I have the great art of Sarit Hadad, as it peaked in her song, “I’m standing in the street and my heart is wet and sweet”?
What has Costello done already that Eyal Golan did not do before him, and better, including Ilanit Levy?  What have these Pixies contributed to the world that Dana International did not contribute?  Come on, you are looking at a Eurovision winner here!  Have these Pixies ever won anything in their lives except for a bloated liver?
Moreover, as someone wrote last week, and I pray to his God that he was not serious [reference to column by Hanoch Daum]: “Who needs performances in the park when people from Or Akiva win a million shekels and Marina [a star of in the Israeli version Survivor] dances in a bikini in 3-D on prime time television?”  In other words: If the world turns its back on us, at least Marina will show us her behind.

When do you wake up and realize that your bed is located in a country that you don’t recognize?  When are you awake enough to start thinking seriously about leaving, because you really don’t want to remain the last sane Jew among millions of Haredim — in black or orange; patriots — the Israeli euphemism for hotheads; and online commenters — the updated name for surplus and second-rate goods? 

When do you understand that your children are more important than you, and you are incapable of placing them indifferently on the doorstep of the violent Israeli education system and waiting for them on the other side — the day of the discharge from the IDF — with the hope that there will be something left of them that you will recognize?


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