Another Tack: The only thing worse

We can only speculate about whether Meir Dagan, ex-chief of Mossad (counterpart to America’s CIA), and Yuval Diskin, ex-chief of Shin Bet (counterpart to America’s FBI), are at all conversant with Oscar Wilde’s wit. Unfortunately, we’ve no way to evaluate their erudition. But on the off chance that they’re better- read than the average honcho, we might ponder whether they subscribe to Wilde’s insight that “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

Wilde’s dictum might go a long way to accounting for Dagan’s and Diskin’s otherwise inscrutable gabbiness, which might be no more than the product of an apparently uncontrollable urge to generate headlines. This may be in keeping with a local penchant alluded to by the colloquial Hebrew catchphrase for volubility: larutz lesaper lakhevreh. It roughly translates to “run and tell your friends.”

But that may be no more than an intricate ruse they want us to fall for. Their hypothetical nothing-is-what-it-seems hoax could be in keeping with the Hebrew semi-slang idiom hafuch al hafuch – literally “opposite on opposite”– i.e. not what you expect, the opposite of what you assume, creating an impression that’s the opposite of what immediately looks likely.

Both the above pearls of our insular culture may contain some relevance to putting Dagan’s and Diskin’s spasms of loquaciousness into some semblance of context. Continue reading