Another Tack: Losing proportions

How reassuring: Jerusalem Police commissioner Nisso Shaham has sanctimoniously added his two cents’ worth to the synthetic hullabaloo that gripped specified Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh neighborhoods – the sort to which I and my sort never go. Yet my non-Jerusalemite sort is the loudest in kicking up a righteous fuss about oddities that barely impact our daily lives.

Those of us who remember this country a little further back than the day before yesterday know that given anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox elements habitually sought to stoke the fires of contention. Their counterparts on the leftist fringes of our political patchwork were equally eager to fan the flames. For the latter, it’s politically expedient to ignite culture wars and lump the entire complex gamut of Israel’s observant Jews under the single, all-inclusive epithet of haredim (God-fearing).

The religious zealot who called a female soldier “pritzeh” (Yiddish for a woman of loose morals) was turned into a sectarian martyr when the prosecution – generally renowned for its languor and lenient plea bargains – charged him with no less than sexual harassment. The outsized photo of the secularist heroine in khaki, posing with self-important indignation, became the obligatory front-page feature for all tabloids.

And this brings us back to Shaham. Continue reading