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August 13, 2016

It’s lime season. 5 weeks of real gin and tonics. Trouble is, the limes at the fruit vendors I frequent are grown in Tekoa, in the territories south of Bethlehem. A moral dilemma. Facilely solved by hiccupping over my values, yielding to my yearly longing for a taste of my youth. Embarrassed to discover in the fruit store in Rehavia that there are available limes from elsewhere. But the damage is done, my stock of limes, intended to last in the frig until well after the season, all bear the Tekoa stamp. My own Scarlet Letter, peeled off before squeezing another luscious lime into the tonic.

I like a woman who tells it like it is. The Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev, was angry last week that the cabinet would have no authority to intervene in the senior appointments in the imminent new broadcasting corporation. “It’s inconceivable that we’ll establish a corporation that we won’t control. What’s the point?” Regev said. (Ha’aretz, July 31) Refreshing candor.

The problem is not only this woman, who impacts darkly and horridly on the cultural milieu here in Israel, reflecting the values of the present government, betraying even Jabotinsky, an ideological father of Miri Regev’s own party. The more interesting problem is we who have enabled this state of affairs to come about. The deliberate, nakedly transparent obliteration of democracy, unravelling before our eyes.

We all have lime on our hands. We pass over nasty racist comments in the course of our days, too weary to bother responding. We read the Friday columns, seeking insight when our own inactivity is the problem. We pass up sending a check to a cause we used to believe in, but we don’t send a check to some other outfit. We recommend others who may do something effective, rather than asking “What might I do that would move things toward the future I want for my grandkids?”

We all have lime on our hands. Lechayim!

Yoav Peck



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