I’m chagrined the past week. For a few reasons I think.
First of all I’ve been traveling to Jerusalem for work for the past few days. And each time I get there, right at the entrance are strategically placed massive election posters canvassing tall buildings. The posters bear images of the three campaigning front runners for the prime minister slot: Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni.
I’m incensed because some person/s have painstakingly climbed up scaffolding or used pretty impressive ladders or who knows what else and have painted over Livni’s face. On each and every poster. And there are a lot. And they’re not easy to get to. “A” for effort. Clap * cough * clap. Is it the candidate or her gender? I muse.
Second: I phoned up the spokesperson for one of the campaigning Orthodox Jewish parties after hearing a rumor that they had added a woman to their list to offset “the Livni effect”.
“Is it true? Do you think I can get an interview with her?” I ask. The man on the other end of the receiver chortles cynically. “A woman? Uh no. We didn’t add a woman,” he sniggers as if I had just suggested: “Have you, perchance, added a Tuberculosis infected illiterate third grade Hamas devotee to the party list?”
And lastly, probably fanning the flames of all this disenchantment is the fact that I’m reading Afghan author Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns” describing, among other things, the absolutely horrific treatment of women in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, civil war and Taliban rule. Some excerpts are chilling but the book is not put-down-able.
I read it and contemplate the part of the world I’m living in now and the potential future for this region.
And I have a tough time maintaining a positive outlook.