Damage from Sandy in New York
Photo: AP
If Sandy hit Israel
Op-ed: In times of crisis, it is far better to be a Jew in powerful, orderly America

America can be intolerable sometimes, but in times of crisis it displays power and order. If Superstorm Sandy would have hit Israel and a road would be damaged, the Transportation Ministry would be responsible for repairing it. Restoring electricity would require the authorization of the Israel Electric Corporation's worker's union, but its members would still be vacationing in Rhodes; and any damage caused to the beaches, well, that would fall under the Interior Ministry's jurisdiction.


The ports would have sustained damage as well, but they belong to the Transportation Ministry. If a hospital would have been hit –maybe a rabbi would check to see that the Shabbat elevators were working before allowing firefighters to reach the top floors.


If the storm would hit Israel on Shabbat, the Cabinet would convene only on Sunday so as not to desecrate the holy day. The prime minister would have said something about how Iran is to blame. The transportation minister would ask for more workers to clean up the streets, but the streets themselves belong to the municipalities, while the roads belong to the Transportation Ministry. The police would be able to operate only if Lieberman, who effectively heads the Internal Security Ministry, returns from Belarus, but the airports are closed.


There is no electricity. The stores have been emptied out.


The ministers will call to replenish the stores, but there are no municipal police officers to oversee the operation because they are all securing the settlements – so officers from the Galilee region would have to be called in. The Religious Affairs minister would object because no one made certain that the water and food were kosher. So until the kashrut supervisors arrive there won't be any food.


There will be a shortage of batteries and cell phones as well, because the Interior Ministry will not accept the minister without portfolio's suggestion that some of the goods arrive by sea – because the Interior Ministry has been in charge of the beaches since the last of the Ma'apilim arrived in 1947. Therefore, the ministry demands to know where the vessels carrying the food, batteries and mineral water bottles are coming from. But things appear to be moving forward – rabbis have been taken out to sea to determine whether the food, water and batteries are kosher.


Hospitals in Tel Aviv will be flooded, but since the deputy minister cannot be reached on Shabbat because he is at synagogue, the hospital's directors will ask the Internal Security Ministry to provide trucks and buses to bring the patients to the hospital. The hospital will also ask the Internal Security Ministry to clear the roads, but the transportation minister will not allow this because the roads are his.


Ambulances will have to stop at every red light so as not to violate a law that was enacted God knows how long ago, and Arab police officers will be brought in from the Galilee because they do not observe the Sabbath and can enforce the red light law. Meanwhile, Bibi will look in the mirror and will summon his barber to the Cabinet meeting. The room is full, so the barber will have to sit on the shoulders of two ministers without portfolio and fix Bibi's hair in such a way that his bald spot will not be visible.


So, even without dealing with the question of who is a Zionist and who isn't, it is better to be a Jew in America at a time of crisis, because in the US there is order and a president that is embraced by wise Jews such as the mayor of New York, who knows how to bring a city back to life.



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