But the Jew on the train objects: “It’s all the fault of bicycles.”
With so much going on, it was no wonder that the reaction by Hebronites to a Gazan rocket that crashed in their midst went right under our radar. We had way bigger concerns and still do but the incident is nevertheless instructive – very much so. It can actually account for why no peace is possible. It firmly confirms that our logic and that of our neighbors operate on different wavelengths – an underlying and enduring fact of life that makes a meeting of the minds highly unlikely.
But to put the overlooked Hebron episode into context it might be best to start off with Alter Druyanov.
His name, alas, means absolutely nothing to the vast majority of Israelis today. Sic transit Gloria mundi. The output of this literary mover and shaker in newborn Tel Aviv is familiar only to nostalgia buffs and compulsive hoarders of esoterica. But in Druyanov’s anthology of Jewish jokes hides an unassuming little tale that is still sadly all-too-relevant to our scene.
Adhering to yesteryear’s time-tried format, a Jew rides the train and sharing the same compartment is a non-Jew – a Russian in some versions and a German in others. The non-Jewish traveler cogitates out loud that “all the wars, bloodshed, wretchedness and ill-will on earth are caused by Jews.” But the Jew across from him objects: “It’s all the fault of bicycles.”
“Bicycles?” thunders the bewildered Russian/German, “Why? How come bicycles?”
In calm, measured tones his interlocutor inquires: “How come Jews?” Continue reading
We cannot even begin to estimate how many lives Iron Dome saved. But we know it’s very many lives. The downside, though, is that its success encouraged all too many Israelis to expect all our troubles to be solved by state-of-the-art magic wands. This isn’t always possible.
No miraculous technological gimmicks can entirely eliminate Gaza’s tunnels.
The only way to diminish this diabolical threat is by sending infantry in, by going from house to house to discover trap-doors and concealed shafts. Suggestions that the tunnels could be flooded or filled with smoke are impractical if their entry and exit points are unknown.
This rules out a deluxe war. This unavoidably costs lives and we’d be exceedingly lucky to even limit the cost. Continue reading
Jubilant murderers sprung in the Schalit swap – it was a foregone conclusion that they’d murder again
The bamboozlers who gave us Oslo and its deformed derivative Disengagement have never expressed the slightest contrition and never begged the nation’s forgiveness – not even now when Gazan rockets threaten Israel’s heartland. The same goes for their craven accomplices, who ran with the pack and derided nonconformist compatriots who dared protest. But while the promoters of folly bask in self-proclaimed infallibility, they’re uncannily quick to blame others for their sins.
This is hypocrisy most foul and it’s not limited to territorial surrenders and the chimera of attaining peace and acceptance by rewarding belligerence.
Take, for example, the inflammatory issue of swap deals with terrorists and how it’s tied to the abduction and execution of three innocent boys on their way home from school. To hear our talking heads and swaggering former security chiefs, this heartrending saga started with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 2011 decision to trade 1,027 duly convicted Hamas murderers and mass-murder masterminds for hostage Gilad Schalit, a.k.a. “the child of us all.”
It’s as if precedents weren’t already set and as if the Schalit kidnapping wasn’t in itself the result of previous cowardly surrenders to extortion. Worse yet is the fact that the very ones who spearheaded the campaign to do the deal with Hamas now pin the blame for what they actively advocated on the man they had anyway always viscerally opposed. He was to blame when he didn’t want to do the deal and he’s to blame for having done the deal. Continue reading
The Paris demonstration on July 13, 2014
Hardly any anti-Semites nowadays admit they hate Jews. The accepted guise for Judeophobes is to claim that they harbor no ill-will toward Jews and that they are merely anti-Zionist or oppose given Israeli policies. Yet on occasion their words and actions offer a glimpse into the sinister darkness behind the cynical politically-correct façade.
So it was last Sunday in Paris during a demonstration against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. Some of the marchers broke off and made a beeline for two centrally located Paris synagogues.
The worst incident occurred at the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue on the Rue de la Roquette (in the heavily Jewish 11th arrondissement of Paris). A mob donning keffiahs, waving jihadist flags and wielding clubs (and chairs grabbed from nearby sidewalk cafes), converged on the synagogue, attempted to storm the building and attack the worshippers trapped inside. They were thwarted by police and Jewish security volunteers. Injuries were reported both among the Jewish defenders and the officers.
Many witnesses reported that the attackers chanted “death to the Jews” in French, along with the Arabic Itbach el-Yahud (slaughter the Jews). The siege on the synagogue lasted for well over an hour, during which time the congregants couldn’t extract themselves. Continue reading
The Ashkelon Power Plant
It was almost poetic justice – a rocket which Hamas fired at Israel Sunday night knocked out a high-voltage line that supplies electricity to some 70,000 Gazans. This was a blackout waiting to happen. Literally biting the hand that feeds it, Hamas persistently aims at the very Ashkelon power plant upon which Gaza depends for its electricity. Israel has refrained from switching the power off lest it incur censure from abroad.
Neither Gaza nor the Ramallah half of the Palestinian Authority pays for the power consumed. Gaza alone, it’s estimated, owes the Israel Electric Corporation NIS 220m (out of the staggering NIS1.5bil unpaid Palestinian debts).
The downed electricity line is one of a dozen high-tension lines with 120 megawatts per hour transmission capacity. Its loss means that the entire area between Khan Younis and Deir el-Balah has been plunged into darkness. Continue reading
Israeli Arabs are rioting not because they value human lives so highly but because they hate so intensely
Directly below is an op-ed I wrote in 1990, right after the murder in Rishon Lezion of seven Arab itinerant laborers by Ami Popper (who’s still doing life and who unlike homicidal Arabs hasn’t been released to ransom hostages or to win a presumed peace-partner’s goodwill).
Have a read:
Listening to the mournful tones and tunes on Israel Radio in the wake of the Rishon Lezion murder of Arab workers, I have a very heretical confession to make: I am not guilty! I feel no shame whatever! I’ve never taken the life of any creature larger than an insect.
I am not unlike millions of Americans who didn’t beat their personal breasts when a gunman recently mowed down diners at a hamburger joint or when another fired his weapon in a schoolyard. If my memory doesn’t fail me, those incidents made no waves in the U.N. Security Council. Neither did the Ras Burka massacre in Sinai and the slaughter only a few months back of Israeli tourists in Egypt.
They are all gone with the wind. Dead and forgotten – as are the bus passengers overturned into a ravine between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem; Ofra Moses, her unborn baby and her five-year-old son, Tal; Rachel Weiss and her three tots; or the two oldsters stabbed on a Jerusalem bus stop bench by a hero of the glorious intifada.
The stabbing of Ein Kerem restaurant owner Ya’acov Shalom, only a few hours after the Rishon bloodshed, failed to so much as flick our public eyelash. We were too busy mourning the Arab victims of a madman to devote much attention to the Jewish victim of a cold, calculated execution, an act of deliberate hate.
The hardly unexpected reactions to Operation Protective Edge, from those who rarely react when Israel is attacked, may be regarded as a preview of coming comments.
At first hearing, some Israelis took heart from the fact that players like the UN Secretary General and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton at all denounced the missile barrages from Gaza. But the devil is in the further details. It’s instructive to pay heed to the entirety of their messages.
Thus Ban Ki-moon, according to a statement released by his spokesman in NY, “condemns the recent multiple rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. These indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas must stop.” But then comes the clincher: “The Secretary-General is extremely concerned at the dangerous escalation of violence, which has already resulted in multiple Palestinian deaths and injuries as a result of Israeli operations against Gaza.” Continue reading
Sky’s Kay Burley and Tim Marshall: there was nothing remotely kind or caring about their banter
We Jews are famous for overthinking, for analysis-paralysis, for hair-splitting ourselves to distraction. We can complicate the simple, mind-bogglingly confound common-sense and convolute the straightforward like no one else. No other nation reacts like us. Period.
We’re the only ones who can come up with inanities like the notion that inaction signifies strength. We’re the only ones for whom combating implacable foes isn’t knee-jerk. Only we strain to guess how other nations will judge our responses to insufferable provocation. We are the only nation threatened with genocide but only we seek to win the world’s love and end up losing it by also trying to stay alive. We are the only ones whose survival prospects must be counterbalanced by our craving for international approval.
Human evolution has produced no one like us. And for all our pains to be liberal and likable we are despised and demonized.
Predictably, on the day Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel were laid to their eternal rest, our talking heads spent hours of air time dissecting the dilemma of whether we should do something now about the enemies who bay for the blood of all of us – not just for that of the three youngsters they stalked, snatched, and slaughtered. Continue reading
The site of mass Holocaust-era Jewish graves in Volodymyr-Volynsky
News that the mass grave of thousands of slain Jewish men, women and children was ransacked by Ukrainians in their lust after fabled riches, cannot but churn the stomachs of even those most inured to evidence of enduring Judeophobia. In one of his most memorable rebukes (2Kings 21, 19), the Prophet Elijah asked: “Have you murdered and also usurped?” Seven decades after the Holocaust this question is still painfully applicable to all too many in Europe, especially to the Nazis’ most avid collaborators.
These proliferated appallingly in areas with Ukrainian inhabitants. So it was in the vicinity of the then-Polish city of Lvov (which started out as the Austrian Lemberg and is now Lviv in Western Ukraine). Ukrainian accomplices there did much of the Nazis’ dirty work with undisguised relish.
Apparently, the evil spirits of those dark years haven’t yet abated. Continue reading
The flag of the German-American Bund, where the swastika is featured unabashedly.
Britain is gobsmacked. Its TV screens feature seemingly stricken Muslim parents, from urban hubs like Cardiff, denying any responsibility for or knowledge of their sons’ escapades in bleeding Syria.
Their moaning is indispensable to a novel storyline that’s fast gaining resonance in Europe’s insincere political-correctness and Orwellian Newspeak. It’s subtle but nevertheless significant. It’s about “Europeans who have been to Syria,” have emerged therefrom somehow tainted with extremism and might thereby become, a tad unexpectedly, dangerous.
Yes, a newfangled brand of terrorist seems to have suddenly surfaced in Europe’s pleasant lands but polished European manners prohibit us from characterizing him as Arab or Muslim.
That kind of serves to clear the numerous Islamic radicals who proliferate throughout the continent. The problem has thus been instantly dwarfed and quasi-sanitized. It involves only specific numbers of Syrian civil war combatants/veterans, now identified broadmindedly only by whichever European passport they carry. Continue reading