Haaretz, Apr 14, 2017


In other words, no Israeli has the right to eat as they please while hospitalized, or while in any other public institution. The fact that at least a fifth of the patients are Arabs, as are a significant part of the medical staff, and many more are non-Jews or just plain nonreligious, doesn’t interest anyone. Let them eat matza and choke. They don’t have to eat anything at all. Thousands of Palestinian prisoners eat matza for up to two months after Passover to finish off the production overruns, so Arab patients can abstain from bread for a week. You wanted a Jewish state, you got it. You didn’t want it, that’s your problem.

Israelis accept this situation as a decree from heaven. Almost no one protests. That’s the way it is in an anaesthetized society. The fact that all this is happening on a holiday that for some reason is called the festival of freedom only adds a grotesque dimension to a situation that is anything but funny. What’s happening on the ground is even less funny: People are smuggling in food to the hospital. A chicken leg in the pocket; gefilte fish in the jacket; hummus, French fries and salad inside the double bottom of the shower kit. This week I smuggled in a quarter-chicken wrapped in pajama bottoms. For some patients, home-cooked food is their consolation.