The Jerusalem Post

So lacking in our nation


Jason Pearlman’s article on “The age of ‘mamlachti’” (August 16) hit the nail on the head and indeed goes to the very soul of Israeli society. It took Mr. Pearlman an entire column of your newspaper to describe what mamlachti is, as there really is no adequate shorter way of describing to your readers that very attribute which is so lacking in our nation.

His article was provoked by the name adopted by the new political party which Gadi Eisenkot is set to join: “The Mamlachti Camp,” to be known officially in English as National Unity Party. Ex-IDF chief of staff Eisenkot is justifiabl­y presented as “Mister Mamlachti” – a man of strong opinions which are enunciated with politeness, reason and cogency. When was the last time we saw that in our Knesset?

But the quality of being mamlachti must not be not limited to the political arena – it must pervade the whole spectrum of social behavior, such as the avoidance of harsh and hurtful speech and courtesy on the roads (giving way to a car attempting to overtake, or to exit a minor road into a major road).

“After you” should be on the tip of everyone’s tongue at all times, listening to the other’s opinion with respect and disagreein­g (if necessary) with politeness; respect for our school teachers and patience and considerat­ion for our hospital staffs.

Most of the above are traits which many of your readers will have experience­d in “the old country” from where they came. If we all try to adopt these values and attitudes of mutual respect, it may catch on and, who knows, you may even get a wave of acknowledg­ment from the driver of the car who you have let into the lane. And hopefully he will do the same to others in due course.



The recent addition of Gadi Eisenkot to the slate of election hopefuls has, if the recent polls are to be believed, done absolutely nothing to make a difference to the current political polarizati­on of the Israeli public. Surprising­ly, however, there are some segments of the population which are being studiously ignored by all of the parties and their hopefuls, and these are the segments of the population who are unilingual Anglophone and Francophon­e, i.e., those who have not yet acquired sufficient Hebrew language skills to be able to understand Hebrew language TV and newspapers.

I will explain: The difference in voting numbers is minuscule. And yet the politician­s make no effort to reach out to segments of the population who could potentiall­y help them. Why is it that at a time when small numbers of votes could make the difference between a majority government and a frozen, stalemated one, our politician­s see no need to reach out to those who could be convinced to vote for them?

Is it arrogance? Do these politician­s not really think that these voters’ votes are important? Even Benjamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid, for example, who possess more than abundant oratorical skills in English, do not seem to have bestirred themselves in this way. I, for one, would love to attend a meeting at which Benny Gantz or Gadi Eisenkot could explain in English what they stand for.

The fact that they may not have developed the necessary language skills should not be an excuse. Let them learn the languages of all the people in order to earn the right to their votes. Are all new olim to be left in the dark without being able to hear from their representa­tives, or those hoping to be, until the necessary time to develop sufficient Hebrew language skills?

It seems to me that in order to get their message across, they should be reaching out by scheduling meetings with these segments of the public. If the politician­s have already done this, I certainly have not heard about it. And if they have done it, they should do more of it. The next election will be decided by the tiniest number of voters. If there is no majority as a result, this is not the fault of the voters. The responsibi­lity lies clearly with the politician­s. PAUL NADLER


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