Excuse me, who moved my status quo?
Oh, it’s again Ron Huldai, the man who dedicated his career as mayor to planting lawns and luxury towers, while doing the impossible: Looking at Tel Aviv’s growing transportation problem while at the same time closing his eyes and saying: Wake me up when it’s resolved.
Now, Huldai woke up. He stretched, yawned, and asked himself what else he can do that requires as little effort as possible to create good PR. The answer was discovered, as always, where it was most convenient: Pulverize the religious. And if possible, using your big buses.
So Huldai unilaterally declared that buses will travel on Shabbat – not exactly the great hope of most Tel Avivians, who are mostly preoccupied with paying huge rents, but whatever. It sounds good. Secular. Liberal. Tel Avivian. Progressive. Yet it’s not.
I hope all the robots out there who automatically endorse any anti-religious initiative (usually I’m one of them) will excuse me, but this time we must tell Huldai: We never forget a face, and we shall never forget your two faces. After all, your duplicity here is loud and clear.
Quiet Shabbat a privilege
After all, when the religious threaten to touch the status quo on religion – for example, when they demand to remove women from certain places in the IDF – we scream: “Get your claws off the holy status quo! The status of women (and we can’t believe we have to say this in 2012) is not up for negotiation.”
Yet when we start to mess with the status quo ourselves, isn’t it their right to say in response something like “Get your claws off! The status of the Shabbat (and we can’t believe we have to say this in the year 5772) is not up for negotiations”?
In their view, they’re right. In our view, we’re right. This is the reason why the status quo – cursed, forced, artificial – is required here. Both sides don’t like it, and this is apparently the clear sign that it’s the right thing. And if they are not allowed to touch it unilaterally, neither are we.
And as to buses on Shabbat: Just between us, the silent Tel Aviv of Saturday morning is one of the privileges that quite a few Tel Avivians take comfort in. Just ask around. So let’s put the status quo back in its place and leave it alone; so that they do the same.