Sunday, June 04, 2006

Israel Day Parade

I had a wonderful time at the Israel Day Parade today. Ran into many friends I hadn't seen in a while, met lots of new people, enjoyed the concert, and some frisbee and football catches on the lawn.

The Neturei Karta weren't as bad this year, in number or presence. The sight of them with their signs didn't sicken me as much this year, but it did arouse pity. Despite that, if there was a minyan of 10 people, and one was NK, I'd walk out. Not sure I'd be able to daven with them (whether correct or not).

But one complaint - before the concert there were some speeches. Not just any speeches either. While sitting on a large rock outside the concert with a couple of friends, we were "entertained" by this man. Forget that Gush Katif was a year ago (some at the parade must have saved their signs from last year) and that reasonable people can differ. Forget that Sharon was PM and not Olmert. This man was insane. The rhetoric flowing from his mouth was horrendous. He wasn't a great orator either, forgetting to take breaths and mumbling over words. The guy after him wasn't much better.

Why do the organizers let people like that speak? What, there was no one else willing to give a 10-15 minute talk? No army vets willing to discuss what it meant to go through Israel's wars? Heck, I'll do it, and I'd give a better message too.

He reminded me of a line from a Phil Ochs song, Here's to the State of Missisipi:
"And the speeches of the governor are the ravings of a clown." Couldn't have said it better. And it works for the NK too.