Another Tack: The Gospel According to Lapid

Edvard Benes: “his known addiction to compromise became serious weakness”

Edvard Benes: “his known addiction to compromise became serious weakness”

Is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally culpable for the atrocious deal which US President Barack Obama and his multinational cohort contracted with Iran? Exuding extraordinary opportunism, MK Ya’ir Lapid screams just that into every available microphone.

Opportunism according to the dictionary definition is “the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances – with little regard for principles or consequences. Opportunist actions are expedient actions guided primarily by self-interested motives.”

Lapid’s fortunes had flopped spectacularly in the March elections. His political bankruptcy would have been all the more crushing had Labor posed a more credible alternative. As was, Lapid avoided utter ruin only because his list afforded a midway shelter for those who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for either large party.

This leaves Lapid with the pressing need to keep his name in the headlines and make political hay of whatever transpires – like the signing of the Vienna deal on the ayatollahs’ nukes. Continue reading

Shamelessly Raring to Go

German early bird Sigmar Gabriel catching worms in Tehran.

German early bird Sigmar Gabriel catching worms in Tehran.

In business, the early bird really does catch the worm and, mindful of that, European firms are rushing with headlong alacrity to do deals with Iran – even though pro-forma the sanctions against the ayatollah regime hadn’t yet been lifted.

Speediest and most impatient of all are the Germans, who cannot contain their zeal to profit. They dispatched a high-level 60-member delegation topped by Angela Merkel’s second-in-command along with representatives from such industrial giants as Linde, Siemens, Mercedes-Daimler, Volkswagen, et al.

To be sure, while the Germans are keenest to rake in the benefits of dealing with the genocidal enemies of the Jewish state, they have special incentives to appear righteous. Continue reading

Another Tack: Like a Hunk of Clay

THE SHIRELLES in 1962 when they sang “you say hop and I’ll hop.”

THE SHIRELLES in 1962 when they sang “you say hop and I’ll hop.”

In all fairness, even politicians sometimes deserve a break. To whit it behooves us to admit that:

  1. Barack Obama didn’t always lie about his Iranian fixation.
  2. Binyamin Netanyahu couldn’t have ever stopped Obama.
  3. Hillary Clinton is the only one who can stop Obama (despite her knee-jerk endorsement for his grand betrayal).

Let’s start at the top. Obama may have willfully led all and sundry astray as he pursued his courtship of the Iranian ayatollahs. He did fib prodigiously while allowing himself to be outmaneuvered by them at every turn. He couldn’t have been more disingenuous than when he denied his capitulation on every point and when extolled a deal that is far more laughable than the travesty which Bill Clinton concluded in 1994.

Like a dilettante neophyte at a Tehran bazaar, Obama haggled with the Iranians without ever threatening them, while openly evincing a rush to meet artificial deadlines of his own making and oozing eagerness to strike the bargain at any price. He blundered spectacularly. Continue reading

“Tiny gnome, Jewish caricature”

Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko

Even before it was officially announced that Russian-born Kirill Petrenko was appointed to take over in 2018 from Sir Simon Rattle as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Petrenko’s Jewishness became a hot issue in Germany.

His very candidacy sufficed to bring to the fore supposedly extinct Judeophobic maliciousness. It most likely lurked all along behind the veneered semblance of impeccable decorum.

In her commentary for Northern German Radio [NDR], Sabine Lange described Petrenko in the Wagnerian idiom as “the tiny gnome, the Jewish caricature.” Continue reading

Another Tack: That Red-Diaper Mess

A self-satisfied Dror Feiler on board the Marianne: he is a classic red-diaper baby.

A self-satisfied Dror Feiler on board the Marianne: he is a classic red-diaper baby.

Israeli expat Dror Feiler, domiciled in comfortable and smug Sweden, has helped organize many of the “humanitarian flotillas” to Gaza, including the 2010 Mavi Marmara provocation, the 2012 Estelle follow-up and the latest foiled Mariannemisadventure. He is a classic red-diaper baby.

In his pro-Hamas fervor, Feiler never mentions that Israel regularly (and quite dementedly) supplies Gaza with goods, electricity, fuel and water, whereas Gaza uses its resources to subjugate its masses and stockpile weapons of indiscriminate destruction.

Feiler either justifies or omits from discourse Gaza’s many and flagrant sins. He grotesquely exaggerates Israeli responses and willfully twists them out of all context. Feiler delights in painting Israel as intrinsically and irredeemably evil. Don’t look for Jewish empathy or a soft spot for the old homeland in Dror. That would contradict his red-diaper upbringing. That’s not where he comes from.

He’s a trusty unquestioning chip off the old block – his mother, Pnina, who spent a lifetime crusading for Palestinian causes and defaming Israel with relish. She hails from Yad Hanna, Israel’s sole Communist kibbutz. It was named in 1950 after heroic WWII paratrooper Hanna Szenes, whose memory and legacy have of late been targeted by artsy leftwing iconoclasts. Self-sacrifice for a Jewish cause and Zionist dedication have become unbearable in their enlightened milieu. Continue reading

Another Tack: Zilch, Zippo, Nada, Gurnisht, Bubkes

Expelled Jews are shoved out of Zion Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem after it was conquered by the Arab Legion in contravention of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution

Expelled Jews are shoved out of Zion Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem after it was conquered by the Arab Legion in contravention of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution

The bottom-line truth is that the decision of the US Supreme Court to uphold official Washington’s pig-headed disconnect between Jerusalem and Israel doesn’t mean diddly-squat. It signifies zilch, zippo, nada, gurnisht, bubkes.

This is quite apart from of the fact that the court technically only dealt with American constitutional hairsplitting on who’s empowered to recognize what abroad. Such pedantry may perturb American jurists but for us Israelis it absolutely doesn’t change a thing.

We simply shouldn’t care if they say we aren’t who we know we are.

What any American higher-up in whatever bureaucracy in whichever branch of government finds it expedient to opine cannot factually alter our identity. It’s as straightforward as that and is in essence what 12-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky understood.

His battle against federal obduracy reached all the way to the highest US court but Menachem lost his appeal to have his American passport register his birth as having occurred in Israel rather than in an undefined Jerusalem.

The fussy legalistic quibbling that led to his defeat cannot obviate the fact that, irrespective of what shenanigans the justices subscribe to, Menachem did come into the world in sovereign Israel. The boy isn’t confused: “I am an Israeli and I want people to know that I am glad that I am an Israeli.” Continue reading

Predatory Wolves on the Prowl

Cops at Damascus Gate soon after the recent stabbing

Cops at Damascus Gate soon after the recent stabbing

Presumably all Israelis are expected to take heart from officialdom’s line that the recent spate of terror attacks comprises nothing but unforeseeable products of “personal initiative.” Presumably the accumulation of deadly and near-deadly terror outrages is nothing but an apparently incidental buildup without a guiding hand pulling strings behind the scenes.

Presumably such learned opinions – both from the top brass and self-appointed experts – are supposed to calm our anxieties.

But those with longer memories will quickly note that such was also the soothing conventional wisdom when the first intifada was at its height and when the second erupted. Indeed, it is always individuals who carry out attacks, except in the case of bombings – suicide or otherwise – where clearly group collusion is required. Continue reading

Another Tack: Mahmoud Abbas’s Careless Candor

Mahmoud Abbas (right) to King Abdullah- We are one nation in two states

Mahmoud Abbas (right) to King Abdullah- We are one nation in two states

Abraham Lincoln once famously said that “no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

Honest Abe of course never encountered Palestinian Authority figurehead Mahmoud Abbas, who’s certainly a hugely successful liar. Nonetheless, Abbas, like most liars, does find it exceedingly hard to keep track of all the whoppers that incessantly escape his lips.

The more he fibs, the harder it becomes to bear in mind at each and every moment what version of which pretense he had used on each occasion and with whom. Eventually, even a consummate liar like Abbas is sure to slip up.

That’s what happened to him during his recent stopover in Amman, on the way back from Doha where he married off his grandson in sumptuous style. But Abbas, alas, found himself in a bit of hot water as soon as his visit began.

The Hashemite Kingdom’s loyalists didn’t take kindly to reports that Jibril Rajoub – Abbas’s fellow Fatah honcho and chairman of the Palestinian Football Association – had failed to vote for Prince Ali Ibn al-Hussein to head FIFA.  Ali is King Abdullah’s own brother who, owing to the monarchy’s non-too-regulated nepotistic inclinations, is also president of the Jordan Football Association. Rajoub’s attempts to kick Israel out of soccer’s international federation didn’t mitigate the royal umbrage.

Seeking to sooth the offended Hashemites, Abbas assured them that “the relationship between Jordan and Palestine is the relationship of one nation living in two states.” Continue reading

Another Tack: Obama, Goldberg and Golda

Golda Meir: Beware the allure of “lies wrapped up in sweet words.” [Jerusalem Post Archives]

Golda Meir: Beware the allure of “lies wrapped up in sweet words.” [Jerusalem Post Archives]

Golda Meir rarely passed up an opportunity to warn about the allure of “lies wrapped up in sweet words.” She knew that shallowness offers smug refuge from the intractable and that syrupy slogans are a convenient copout for the intellectually indolent.

US President Barack Obama probably knows the same which is perhaps why he laid the blarney on so thick in his recent interview with The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, who himself couldn’t have been more cloying.

It’s undeniably in Obama’s interest to sweet-talk American Jews – whom he must perceive mostly as sycophant dilettantes – into trusting that some of his best friends are Jews.

Nevertheless, here in Israel, Obama’s latest heaping ration of sweet words was weighed up with utmost gravity. Left-leaning opinion-molders were quick to extract the bitter pill – Obama’s caution that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s misbehavior “will have consequences.”

Obviously we may all expect unkind comeuppance for having insubordinately reelected the PM Obama hates. Let’s not forget: Obama did his darndest to defeat Netanyahu, thereby impudently and imperiously interfering in the domestic politics of a fellow democracy. Continue reading

Better off without UNRWA

DryBonesStaging another of its surreal spectacles, the UN last week marked the 65th birthday of one of its most deformed misbegotten offspring – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

UNRWA was established in 1949 to cater exclusively to those deemed to be Palestinian refugees. All other refugees, regardless of degree of plight and objective hardship, are looked after by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), while the privileged Palestinian category is singularly aided by UNRWA.

The defect was already implanted in UNRWA’s genome. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted that UNRWA was never meant to live this long but he contended that “it exists because of political failure.” Doubtless, as per the UN’s dishonorable tradition, Israel is blamed for this failure. The Jewish State is habitually painted as the villain of any piece and its bogus villainy is exasperatingly accepted as an axiomatic premise.  Continue reading