Israel’s much-touted economic miracle, given official sanction when the country joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2010, has brought with it a slew of first world injuries. Similar to the unfortunate phenomenon of henna-covered millennials sustaining concussions after walking into dumpsters while tweeting on their Samsung Galaxy S8s, the Jewish state is currently being wracked by a variety of strange ailments that are only experienced by privileged individuals in wealthy countries.
First, there’s the curious case of that iconic American rock ‘n’ roll band, Aerosmith. One telltale sign that a country has graduated from ‘developing’ to ‘developed’ status is its citizens’ standard of living. Since 2011, per capita growth has increased in Israel by a cumulative 14.2% and private consumption has risen by a total of 25.2%, meaning Israelis’ standard of living has improved by an astonishing 17.8% over the last six years.
As a result, Israelis are ready, willing and able to shell out hundreds, even thousands, of shekels to see the world’s greatest artists appearing live and frequently in Tel Aviv’s Park HaYarkon.
However, the downside is that those sclerotic ‘Bad Boys from Boston,’ who performed on Wednesday night to a sold-out crowd, brought a highly contagious strain of rampant consumerism to the Land of Milk and Honey.
The band landed at Ben Gurion Airport with a bizarre list of demands that included, but wasn’t limited to: organic cashews, washed blueberries, four pink lady apples, non-alcoholic German beer, 12 pillows, gluten-free pretzels and three small packets of peanut M&M’s.
What effect will this mega dose of affluenza have on the Israeli public? Only time will tell. For now, we bid a fond Aero-Vederci Baby! to Steven, Joe, Joey, Tom and Brad, who honored Israel by kicking off the first of their many farewell tours here.
No, dear reader. Barghouti, serving five life terms for multiple murders and an additional 40 years for attempted murder, isn’t claiming that Israel is violating international standards for how prisoners are to be treated. Rather, he is attempting to extort the Israeli government into providing the over 6,000 Palestinian terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons with more television channels, books, magazines, air conditioning, a greater selection of items available for purchase in the canteen, family visits, the restarting of open university studies and public telephone use. No country in the world, expect Israel, would ever be expected to enter into negotiations with such prisoners over such over-the-top demands.
Moreover, if you’re a convicted murderer, there are few more hospitable places to spend the rest of your natural born life than in an Israeli prison. If life is so unbearable for Marwan Barghouti, perhaps he should submit a request to be transferred to Russia’s Vladimir Central Prison, where inmates are forced to beat each other, or Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, where epidemics of malnutrition, cholera and ulcers are normal occurrences.
Convicted terrorists bellyaching about not having Showtime, with the aim of smearing Israel in front of the international community, bring to mind a classic Aerosmith song, from 1974’s Get your Wings album: Same Old Song and Dance.
Rock on Aerosmith!
Barghouti, dream on.
View other stories by Gidon Ben-Zvi that have been published by World Israel News.