When we lived in Texas in the early 1990s, we found a house in a small town in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We liked it there because the schools were excellent and the price of houses was still affordable.
Still, in spite of the many churches in the area and the good district, people used to say that small towns in Texas in general, and our area in particular, were run like old boys' clubs.
I never believed it, especially since the people we met, our friends, were just like us: professional, hard working, and devoted to their children. Many of them were active in the school and in different activities of the PTA.
But about a year after we settled there, I was involved in a car accident. In a four-stop intersection, a car failing to stop, hit my car. Luckily I was alone in the car and no one got hurt. The other car was a mini van, and it was barely scratched. We exchanged details, and as my car was damaged, I decided to sue the driver of the other car for the deductible on my insurance.
On the appointed day we met in court. I came on my own, it was, after all, a very straightforward matter. The other driver came with her husband, who was very chummy with the judge. Apparently they knew each other and seemed like good friends.
In the short time that passed from the accident till the trial day, the couple managed to sell the mini van and got a new car. Since it was in the days pre smart-phone cameras, it was no longer possible to see any evidence of the collusion and to explain to the judge what had happened exactly.
It took only minutes for that judge to rule in favor of the other party. Needless to say, none of my friends was surprised, I was stunned.
After several occurrences like that, I was relieved when we moved away and no longer lived in a place where the old boys system could affect the outcome of the simplest case of traffic violation.
However, this anecdote is not that different from the embarrassing opinion article and television appearance of the doctor friend of the Shalom family who denounced the unfair treatment of the couple, and lamented their plight as an orphan (Silvan) and a widow (Judy).
Even if it is conceivable to imagine such gestures on local Television in small towns in Texas, we shouldn’t tolerate them here in Israel.
It is bad enough to think that for years people knew about Shalom’s secret hobby, and no one was brave enough to come forward and speak on behalf of the women he, allegedly, abused.
We are used to seeing and hearing upscale lawyers arguing of behalf of famous and infamous clients in an attempt to sway public opinion in their favor. However, inviting personal friends to speak on national television, and appeal to viewers to feel sorry for fallen celebs, is not only manipulative and parochial, but it makes the media almost a partner in crime
The essay appeared in the Times Of Israel