Friday, December 26, 2003

Duh. Don't blog when you're angry says Imshin. (actually, she was quoting Meryl). Well, you're right. I wasn't quite myself. And actually, you were much, much more decent then Ze'ev Shif.

So, my apologies for being a dickhead.

But anyway, since you asked. The reason I didn't post a translation of my Dublin talk to Hebrew is that I never had the time to translate it. The reason I gave a talk at Dublin, and not in Dimona is because I was asked to speak in Dublin, and not in Dimona. And since you're probably wondering, the reason I'm here in London is to do a PhD in education.

Let me tell you a story. One day I get a call from the BBC. They're shooting this current-affairs-light program for young people, and they thought they'd have an item on Israel and refusniks. So, they're going to call in this guy from Beitar, and would I care to come? Now, after a few experiences I've had, I hesitated. But in the end, I thought its better that I go than not. So, here we are in the studio lobby. I spot the guy in the 10-years-out-of date suit. "Shimon?" I say, "Yishay. " we shake. He explains to the host that he can't accept a drink, but maybe a glass of water, thank you. "Look" I say, "I know we have our differences, but here we're both representing Israel, each by his own belief. Let's not let them drag us into anything ugly." He says sure, and how's that guy, what's his name doing? fingers the bartender for a glass of white please.

Then we go on stage (after the item on the appalling sanitary conditions of pigs). It 20 sec he's all over me, with "since 9/11 the world knows" and "Israel is in the front line of the world war against terror" and "fighting terror isn't easy. Some people just aren't up to it." While I was busy trying to fight off the hosts, who were drooling for me to tell how I killed Palestinian babies with my teeth. In the end, I think I did manage to get my message across. Simple. Violence doesn't work. That's all, have a nice day.

Why am I telling you this? Well, frankly, I think I did my country better service than the guy who's paid to do the job. I am patriotic, I am a Zionist, and I have never hesitated to say so in places which would normally not let one in. The problem with Israel's image is not me. If anything, I (and other refusniks) show that the picture is not that simple. Not that I'm looking for any medals. By the way, I pretty much stopped giving public talks. Just that you brought it up..

Now, about that remark I made about mainstream and active service. Sorry. Badly phrased. The point was that in my view quietly avoiding "unpleasant" service is much worse then standing up for your beliefs and bearing the consequences. I didn't side-step the law. I faced it.

Oh well, enough of this. Happy Hanukkah.

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