"For three crimes of Israel," laments the prophet Amos, "and for four I will not answer. For their sale of righteous money and wretchedness for shoes."
First the prophet complains about what happened here.
The very injustice and folly.
Then he turns to the question of price.
What was it important for?
The day after reading this chapter in the Haftarah, President Yitzhak Herzog went to light a Hanukkah candle in the Cave of the Patriarchs, and the discussion that has developed here in the last two days around this event is so outrageous and so unnecessary that he shouts the exact same question.
The first crime is the point. The fact that someone has to stand up and explain why the president should light a Hanukkah candle where it all began - in the piece of land that is otherwise, it is doubtful if there was any validity to the whole Zionist idea and to our basic claim to our land - is insane and incredibly ridiculous. Let us take a moment to consider the fact that a huge majority of Israeli citizens and lovers, even those who do not approve of Jewish settlement in the heart of a Palestinian population, believe that the Cave of the Patriarchs is the bedrock of our existence. Let's leave it at that. The inability of the left-wing fringe to make the distinction between the dispute over a disputed village in the heart of Samaria, and the expression of a symbolic act of sovereignty over national historical assets whose historical role is undisputed - is silly and childish, proving that political position is above all.
The second crime lies in the reaction he responded to the incident of MK Ayman Odeh on Twitter. "Herzog," Odeh wrote, "did not go to light a Hanukkah candle.
He went to burn Hebron. "Yes. Avraham Avinu did not go to buy the Cave of the Patriarchs from the Hittite pencil with full money either.
Enough of that menacing tone, which has already come out of every hole.
The dubious claim that "if you do something we do not like - we will run amok, there will be a mess, bloodshed, and you will be guilty of it because you annoyed us" - should be excluded from the discourse not only because it is false and manipulative, but because it is childish and funny.
The Jewish and democratic state decides where the president will light Hanukkah candles, and whoever does not like him - will gather in front of a quiet demonstration and wave protest signs.
But the third crime is the most serious of all.
"And wretchedness for shoes."
These extremist positions, which manage to see the charming act of an Israeli president in the sovereign state of Israel, lighting the 2,000-year-old menorah in the 4,000-year-old sacred burial cave, a problematic and controversial matter, have become, over the past decade, laborious, explanatory and demographic. The ordinary and the accepted.
It's not that they are illegitimate.
Any legitimate opinion in the space of democratic discourse.
But they have become what they should be - extremes that need to be listened to in the matter, rejected immediately and made sure that they will not be able to pave their way to the core of the discourse again.
And lo and behold, they are here.
At the heart of the discourse.
Talk about them and discuss them.
And even I write about them and argue with them.
The political-national discourse retreated 20 years ago.
And for what?
The flowers and spinning tops to the right and new hope.
Were we wrong?
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