The commander of Israel's navy, Major General/Vice Admiral Eli "Chiney" Marom, has gotten himself in trouble. He was spotted at a strip club last week by a journalist. He was reprimanded by the military's chief of staff, but many are calling for his resignation, saying that it is inappropriate for a high ranking member of the military to attend a club that demeans women. Also, Chiney, who got his nickname because of his East Asian looks (he is one quarter Chinese), apparently lied about being at the strip club only once. Yediot Ahronot reported this week that many in the military have slightly changed his nickname to Dick Cheney.
I have mixed feelings about this scandal. On the one hand, I think that attending strip clubs, especially when you pay for personal lap dances as the admiral did, is a form of sexual abuse. On the other hand, it isn't illegal, and it is somewhat accepted socially. Also, should this man, who is praised for his work in the military, be punished for what he does on his own free time?
I don't think this kind of scandal would have made headlines in Israel until recently. This sounds more like an American scandal, where the private life of a high ranking official - or at least one aspect of it - is seen as inseparable from his job. In a way, it simultaneously both a move in the right and wrong direction. Demanding that our military and civilian leaders will not attend businesses that objectify and demean women is a step in the right direction. However, mixing the private and the public lives of our officials is not good. Until now, their private lives have been the interest of gossip columnists, not of the serious news pages.
The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P.
3 weeks ago