After the previous post stirred such a fuzz, the last thing I wanted to write about was religion.
But have a look at this:
The article is published on page A3 of the national newspaper Haaretz, with this title: “Government may ratify plan for Western Wall sponsorship”.
I almost choke on my breakfast. Excuse me?
“If the law is passed by the Knesset, any company will be able to project the image, logo or slogan of its choice on the ancient stones, for a price“.
And further down:
“After thousands of years of just being there, the Western Wall will finally be able to fulfill its commercial potential […] The religious and spiritual center of the Jewish people should reflect Jewish heritage – and thus be dedicated to bringing in a healthy profit.”
In a panic, I called my Israeli friend, told him about the article, while declaring I was not going to continue living in a country which endorsed such debunking. That’s it, I have had it with Israel. I am leaving.
He came over to have a look at the article, and to read it through with me. We kept stealing the paper from each others’ hands, struggling with each other and with a crescendo of incredulity.
Me: The Western Wall Heritage Center plans to open an ad sales division, and sell wall space on a per-stone basis!
Him: hmm… How much?
Me: 1000 NIS per stone per day!
Me: Bank Discount is going to project a laser slogan saying “Feel like you’re talking to a brick wall? Talk to us instead”!
Him: No way! Bad taste.
Me: They already did a trial test with the Coca Cola logo! Look at the photo!
Him: Let me see. … How they could do it in brand daylight?
Me: It is a new technology! Here: (quoting) “An innovative laser projector capable of beaming high-quality images onto walls, domes, minarets”!
Him: Minarets? Oh God. Who got the idea?
Me: A guy called Joe King. American.
Him: American! I knew it.
Me: And listen to this. When they won’t have advertising, they will be screening a 24hrs message: “What are you waiting for? The Third Temple? Advertise now!”
Me and him (looking at each other in despair): IT CANNOT BE!
That’s right: it cannot. That’s why it isn’t.
Haaretz, you really got me this time!
After the initial shock, we smelled the rat. What is the name of the member of the Knesset who drew up the proposal? Mordechai Hidud. What does “Hidud” means in Hebrew? Joke! Argh!
And what they intended to do with the money raised? Replace the paper skullcaps which get stolen every year by the thousands? Set up a searchable online database of the notes that people place between the stones? Increase the men/women partition with a 14-foot high wall? Hadn’t I be blinded by indignation, I would have got the irony earlier.
Especially if I had remembered what day is today: Purim.
Geroge H. Welles must be laughing in his coffin.
* Read the original article (no picture though – that was only in the printed paper) and readers’ reactions at: *