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Trilby-svengali, Israel Style

Is Samuel Flatto-Sharon playing Trilby to someone’s Svengali? That question arose in the Knesset when it was reported this week that the French-born MK is learning Hebrew under hypnosis to save the time that would be consumed by more conventional instruction methods.

The matter was raised by Labor Alignment MK Moshe Shahal who wondered if Knesset members should be allowed to speak while under on hypnotic spell. Will he be speaking of his own free will or mouthing words implanted in his mind, Shahal wanted to know. The question was referred to a subcommittee of the House Committee to find an answer. Flatto’s first speech in Hebrew, delivered during the debate on the government’s new economic plan, failed to mesmerize the Knesset.