Fraternizing with minorities in Israel
“Absent Kafka, my wife wants her case to be heard in the court of judge Jon Stewart”(photo: Salon)
I am divorcing my wife. I have to. Read this article and you too will understand: Don’t let the link fool you. It doesn’t bear any resemblance to the actual title of the article in today’s Haaretz newspaper, which declares: “Soldiers probed for non-offense of ‘fraternizing with minorities.’” As you read the article you come to realize that “the nonexistent offense” is pretty serious in nature. First of all, minorities “is a euphemism for Arabs.” And in the minds of the quoted members of the Military Police and the Military Advocate General Corps such transgressions seem to be associated with the crimes of “trafficking in illegal drugs” and “contact with a foreign agent.” That definitely puts an end to our life as a married couple. We both know that the IDF sets the tone for civilian life in Israel.
To be fair to my wife (I am tempted to say ‘my ex-wife’ but her lawyers may use my ‘jumping to conclusions’ against me in the coming court case) I must admit that she was the one to notice the article first and to call my attention to it, possibly out of fear of its logical implications for our marital life. She has been fraternizing with minorities for over half a century now. Psychologists are quick to point out the known phenomenon of criminals betraying their guilt through inadvertent symbolic gestures, Freudian slips and the display of inner tension. It is the basis for the Hebrew truism known to the laity as “the hat burning on the head of the thief”. Whether out of inner remorse for hiding her terrible offense from me, her legally wedded husband, all those long years or out of a sense of betrayal towards the state that has granted her permanent residency for most of our married life, my wife decided to face up to her terrible ‘non-offense’ and to admit it through reading the said article to me.
By now “that woman” knows I am not a violent man and that I have no guns in any of the drawers in my study. Still I found her behavior in reading the article to me rather audacious. I had to consult with our son who happened to be visiting us on vacation. As I read him the article and proceeded to explain my dilemma he seemed to question my sanity. He wanted to know if I hadn’t realized that his mother had a distinct tendency to hanging around minorities in her younger years. I suddenly realized what a dope I have been, what a fool she had made of me for fifty-one years. Everyone in Hawaii, her homeland, is a member of a minority. No wonder she liked living in Arrabeh, my home village in Galilee. She had seen the number of minority members in it double and quadruple over the years, a dream world for one addicted to “fraternizing with minorities.”
Next in line for me was my dear childhood village friend, Toufiq. His first reaction was that I should seek the help of an expert in dream interpretation. It wasn’t anything to do with me. But the article required explaining by such a specialist, he thought. The one nugget that he found to be the key to everything in this conundrum was the fact that “the officer who handled one case was himself a member of the minority Druze community.” Toufiq expressed his deep sorrow that Kafka is currently unreachable. But who wants to open such a Pandora’s box? The Israeli commander who led the Israeli troops in massacring residents of the Shujayah Neighborhood in Gaza was also a Druze. After treating his injuries he begged the doctors in the hospital to let him go back to finish the job he had started. I suspect that what upset him so much was when his commanders told him that in Gaza “the minorities” were in the majority.
Absent Kafka, my wife wants her case to be heard in the court of judge Jon Stewart.