The Dorner Commission / Please try to concentrate, sir

By Adi Schwartz

At 8:45 A.M. last Tuesday retired Justice Dalia Dorner quickly crossed Warsaw Ghetto Square in the heart of the Yad Vashem Museum and made her way to the VIP hall in its corner. She entered the hall with an energetic step, but there the final preparations had not yet been completed. The treatment of Holocaust survivors by the State of Israel, the issue to be investigated by the commission that Dorner heads, has been widely discussed in recent years. But at 8:58 A.M., the sound technicians were still trying to fix a hitch in the microphones.

The stage setting was minimalist. The VIP hall is no more than a large living room with about 40 gray plastic garden chairs. At one end stood a heavy wooden table and behind it three leather armchairs, for the members of the commission. On the table: a plastic bottle of San Benedetto mineral water and three throw-away plastic cups. Most of the garden chairs remained empty. Only a few journalists were discussing among themselves whether this commission would rescue the honor of the State of Israel.