In one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie, Godfather III, Michael Corleone (played by Al Pachino) returns home after an attempt on his life. He realizes at that point that, even with all of the good he’s done and all the things he’s done to go legit, most people see him as a threat and an evil person. He utters the quote, acknowledging he cannot change since the people around him will not let him leave the mafia world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UneS2Uwc6xw
The words came to mind a few days.
So it is clear, I am no Mafia Don, I don’t believe I am a threat to anyone, although some in my past may see me as an evil person.
My hankering after this phrase comes about because try as I might to switch-off from the ridiculous situation Israel is once again in – election number four, in just two years – I can’t. I find myself being pulled in.
Unlike Michael Corleone, I have no one to blame but myself. I’m not strong enough to fight the pull. Just when I think that I can move and get back to one of my short stories, an article appears that yanks me back to a rant. Why?
The following is a perfect example of what I mean.
Instead of ignoring the excellent analysis written by The Times of Israel's Haviv Rettig Gur, I read the article and naturally became enraged.
“Israel’s coming election may be decided on the religious right” “Netanyahu has no coalition without Naftali Bennett. Neither does Gideon Sa’ar. The fight is on” https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-coming-election-may-be-decided-on-the-religious-right/
One of my problems is that I enjoy reading Gur’s articles. His writing is concise, his analysis, in my opinion, spot-on. But then, I find I need to rage, not at his writing but the subject matter.
My rage, my wrath is of course directed at our dictator, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu, on the one hand, is chasing Betzalel Smotrich, who is ready to have Israel governed by biblical law. Even further to the right, Netanyahu is chasing after Itamar Ben Gvir of Otzma Yehudit, a party that openly, and proudly embraces the extremist teaching of Meir Kahane. (I am unable to call Kahane a rabbi.)
And in recent days we have Netanyahu reaching out to the Israeli Arab public for support with promises to fight crime in their community, “the same way he fought terrorism”.
The question begs to be asked, “where was our benevolent benefactor” until now?
The answer is of course simple – there is an election stupid – and Bibi, the great manipulator, is fighting for every vote, regardless of where it comes from, and regardless of the price. As long as he remains in power, all and every trick in the book is justified.
It’s against this backdrop that I want to bury my head in the sand and emerge only months after the election. Of course, that is not possible. I need to show strength, to show character, and blank-out all that is going on around me. All that takes me away from what I want to do; write the four short stories I have previously drafted.
Will I succeed?