I haven't felt much like writing in the past couple of weeks.
Not so Israel's stellar short story teller, Etgar Keret who has unearthed and had translated into English from Hebrew a very early piece with an unrepeatable title that could explain, among much else, the Jew's place as the eternal outsider.
He told online readers "it was the first story that made me accept that some things I write in Hebrew simply don't work in other languages".
Well, yes - and no!
At the tale's conclusion, the anti-hero, a school class misfit asks a substitute teacher why the other kids hate him.
"'How should I know?' she said, shrugging her slumped shoulders, “I’m just the substitute teacher.'”
So, in only 187 words Keret suggests perhaps why universal Jew-hate is at a post- Holocaust-peak and still rising while his introduction about the vagaries of translation, elucidates some of the background to the continuing row between the BBC and the Anglo-Jewish community about what happened and was said on a bus in Oxford Street, London, on Monday evening 29 November.
We're now some time past a Chanucah period that produced much more stifling, stinking heat than light and still the ugly attacks on Jews continue, both in Israel and Diaspora-wide.
Just as the festival ended it was reported that a 14-year-old Arab girl stabbed a Jewish woman neighbour walking with her children in Sheikh Jarrah, east Jerusalem while in Camden, London, UK a public menorah (Chanucah candelabrum) was bent in half and tipped over with its lights ripped out and thrown to the ground.
No wonder strictly Orthodox Rabbi Yossi Baitz wept.
And small surprise the police are treating the incident as a hate crime and are seeking the culprits along with those responsible for the now infamous attack on the Chanucah party bus that had been transporting about 40 teenagers and their leaders
The incident left the passengers physically shaken and distraught but discussion of their experience has been obliterated by the continuing repercussions over the allegedly biased and deceitful BBC report of the affair.
Certainly, I am among many to suggest that another lame, insincere apology will not suffice.
Tim Davie, present BBC director general, has asserted that his organisation has no inalienable right to exist - which sentiment is openly expressed about Israel by too many of his junior staff.
The only way to rid the bloated broadcasting corporation of its grotesque mismanagement is neither by apology, rally nor defamation suit but to punch an almighty hole in its swollen public funding and to slash to smithereens its present overwhelming number of departments and staff.
No minority, whatever its constituents, should be forced to pay to view, hear and read about themselves being physically harmed and publicly vilified via those most likely to be at the root of their pain.
The entire affair, in essence has become a starting exercise in public humiliation and victim-blaming.
But this is the result of continuous, years-long persistent verbal attrition, greater and smaller; some due to changes in social mores; some caused by political policy but most of it an ancient, instinctive antipathy for Jews simply because we are 'other'.
Don't ask me why.
"'How should I know? ... I’m just the substitute teacher.'”
11 DECEMBER 2021
Thanks for reading Alwayswriteagain! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work. email@example.com