Lonely Man of Cake

May 6, 2007

Selfish to the Extreme

Filed under: Israel,Reality — lonelymanofcake @ 9:02 pm

I make no secret of the fact that I hate strongly dislike Israelis, with their tactlessness, cutting in line, and general misanthropy.  Nowhere is the ugly side of the Israeli more exposed than on the road, where drivers intentionally speed up so as not to let you pass, never signal, think that looking in their mirrors before passing is optional, ride on your tail with brights on even if there is nowhere to go, etc.  I’ve hypothesized in the past about why this is the case, but that’s not the point here.

Drivers here are so self-absorbed when they drive, so militant, so unable to grasp that there are others on the road, that it comes as no surprise that a motorcyclist was in a serious accident and laying prone on a busy road for over 1.5 minutes as other drivers maneuvered their way around his motionless body without stopping and helping.  I was shocked when I saw the headline, but unfortunately, it’s par for the course here.  You can watch a video of this travesty here.  Just sickening.   If you read Hebrew, read the two schools of comments in this Ynet article: those who are sickened and those who rationalize the disgusting apathetic behavior.

During the height of the Intifada (probably sometime in 2001) I was walking down the deserted King George Street (near Maoz Falafel) when I heard what sounded like an explosion nearby.   A plume of dust came out of one of the neighboring storefronts, which was under renovation, and I quickly realized that the “explosion” was actually the sound of the collapsing second floor and that there were groans emanating from the store.  As I fumbled to dial for an ambulance with my trembling fingers, I noticed that no one was stopping to offer help.  Only a short while later, an off duty army medic tended to the hurt worker, who we stayed with until MDA arrived.

Back then, I was too much of an optimist (and Zionist) to think anything of the fact that I was the only one who initially stopped to help.  But the picture is now becoming all too clear now that I’m not intoxicated with idealism and seeing things here as they actually are.

I was wondering to myself over Shabbat how it is that Olmert successfully prevented his party from dissolving and his ministers from resigning, despite the very clear conclusions of the Winograd Report.  Now I know.  Olmert didn’t have to convince anyone.  The Israeli public is like the cyclist dying in the middle of the road.  Olmert and his government are the selfish, self-absorbed drivers of the cars who take a look at body and go on their merry way.


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