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Three piece sectional
began on whether to continue the
"All due respect to tragedy,"
cried one disappointed teen, "but
why do the rest of us have to have
our summer ruined?" As the be-
reaved parents got ready to bury
their children, the mayor of Arad
accused the angry public of "pun -
ishing his city" by closing down
Shocked mothers flooded the
lines of radio talk shows to voice
their concern about what has be-
come an annual Woodstock-like
rite-of-passage for the nation's
youth. President Ezer Weizman
criticized the rampant "Ameri-
canization" of Israeli culture and
wanted to know what thousands
of unsupervised 15-year-olds
were doing at a three-day rock
concert in the first place.
It's no big secret that Israel's
Zionist lifestyle has long gone out
of fashion. Singing around the
campfire, hiking in the desert and
roughing it are out. MTV, ear-
rings on teen-age boys and going
to the Cineplex are in. OK, big
It's 1995 and you can't expect
people to live in 'a time capsule
frozen somewhere between the
good old days of the Palmach and
the filming of "Exodus." But the
question is, what kind of values
are coming to replace the na-
tionalism and self-sacrifice that
once guided the country's youth?
In the weekend edition of the
Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot, a
story caught my eye. Invoking a
non-existent municipal law
against entering nightclubs with
crutches, the doorman of a Tel
Aviv disco told a devastated 20-
year-old ex-soldier that he "didn't
care what kind of cripple he was"
and that "he and his friends
should go somewhere else."
Perhaps it was the tragic
events of the previous week that
made this item jump out at me
and gave it such an edge. Grant-
ed, the bouncer was a jerk, the
owners of the club were properly
embarrassed and the story was
unusual enough to get in the pa-
But it was one small step into
previously unheard of behavior:
to ostracize and humiliate a
wounded IDF veteran in order to
protect the sanctity of a night-
club. And it reminded me of oth-
er new trends around: to send in
more police to break up a tiny
demonstration, for example, than
to control thousands of unsuper-
vised teens at a rock concert. Or
to accept that two boys hiking in
the Judean desert is unsafe be-
havior, and that the norm is to
join the others in Arad.
Jane Siegel Medved is a free-
lance writer living in Israel.
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