Op-ed: Paying Clinton huge sum to speak at Peres’ birthday is like hiring a stripper for a wedding anniversary
Whichever way I look at this story – the payment of $500,000 (including 18% VAT) for an hour of Bill Clinton – I can’t help but fee disgust and anger. This sort of event would have gone fairly unnoticed, like the million-dollar wedding in the Tshuva family, before the social protest; before we found out about the plundering and discovered that in the end everything comes out of our pockets.
I am willing to pay half a million dollars to have a team of doctors operate on a child for 12 hours and save his or her life. That would be morally justifiable. But $500,000 for a 45-minute lecture by a greedy former American president? Let’s agree on $4,500. Otherwise he can cancel his visit altogether.
And now to President ShimonPeres‘ birthday itself. I am very impressed by the fact that a president who is as old as my mother lives almost 100 times better than she does due to abundant funding, genetics and popular support. I would be glad to be present during his 100th birthday celebrations – if we are still here. But he should celebrate modestly – now and in the future – at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. I believe this is the time for a small celebration. You’ve celebrated enough.
Yes, we are talking about a medical miracle; a 90-year-old man who has the energy of men half his age. So they should celebrate this at the Sheba Medical and use the money to try and find out how is it that one old man lives like a king while the rest rot.
As for the Jewish National Fund – which is paying most of Clinton’s fee – isn’t it the little blue box containing small change that is supposed to be used to plant trees and build parks? It turns out that the JNF is a huge real estate business that sits on eight billion shekels that belong to us. But it has money to spend on Peres’ birthday because Clinton will be discussing environmental issues.
So plant a tree in Peres’ name; or an entire forest along the border with Gaza called “Peres’ Peace Forest.” But inviting Clinton to speak for $500,000 on the president’s birthday is like hiring a stripper for your wedding anniversary. It’s the last event you’ll be celebrating as a married couple.