Another Tack: Diabolical Jewish Bikes

But the Jew on the train objects: “It’s all the fault of bicycles.”

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

Another Tack: Hypocrisy Most Foul

Jubilant murderers sprung in the Schalit swap - it was a foregone conclusion that they’d murder again

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

Another Tack: Eerily Déjà Vu

Israeli Arabs are rioting not because they value human lives so highly but because they hate so intensely

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.
Continue reading

Another Tack: The Kay and Tim Show.

 Sky’s Kay Burley and Tim Marshall: there was nothing remotely kind or caring about their banter

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

Another Tack: The chicken or the egg?

The flag of the German-American Bund, where the swastika is featured unabashedly.

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

Another Tack: The Godfather’s Goodfellas

bbas’s affiliates: goodfellas who claim divine rights to annihilate an entire nationDon Mahmoud Abbas’s feelings have been deeply hurt. Three Israeli boys fell prey to Hamas abductors who set out from his turf and retreated back to it. But how dare insensitive Israelis insinuate that the Godfather is tainted by his pact with the most infamous ringleaders of Hamastan’s Murder Incorporated and its offshoots?

Cut to the quick, Abbas swears he’s merely in league with “professional experts.” Sure he does. No mafia godfather is likely to spill the beans on his “understandings” with affiliate mob families. Hence Abbas’s pseudo-condemnation of the boys’ abduction, his make-believe ignorance about who did the troublesome deed and his real opposition to whatever might damage his PR.

Gangland’s guise must be spruced up. Anything else nullifies the affectation’s raison d’être.

The whole idea is to camouflage the nefarious with a veneer of respectability, to pull the wool over genuinely gullible eyes or to facilitate further feigned faith in the fraud for the hardly-gullible. This is Don Abbas’s serial modus operandi. It’s essential that his renewed collaboration with Gaza’s goon bosses strike the right chord and lend the impression that their reenergized syndicate runs legitimate, reputable enterprises. Continue reading

Another Tack: Back to 1981

The July 1, 1981 Jerusalem Post 3 a.m. edition – it still told readers that it was still as “see-saw,” that it’s still fluctuating, that it can still swing either way.

The July 1, 1981 Jerusalem Post 3 a.m. edition – it still told readers that it was still as “see-saw,” that it’s still fluctuating, that it can still swing either way.

Now that we’ve all had a chance to take a deep breath and ignore the presidency, it’s time for retrospective reflection – for ditching conventional wisdom and group-think analyses.

No, this campaign wasn’t ugly and no it wasn’t worse than its idealized predecessors. There’s no denying that it wasn’t heartening but not for reasons which our self-acclaimed talking heads decree as the preeminent premise from which all other evaluations must depart.

The latest presidential contest differs by virtue of the very fact that it was more democratic than any previous one. No favorite sons were imposed by powerful political bosses. Anyone felt free to throw his/her hat in the ring, resulting in a wide array of candidates and a free-for-all. This is to our credit and not to our shame.

What was shameful, however, was that too many candidates were rotten candidates. Some were truly tainted by an inglorious past – to put it delicately. No “contracts” were taken out against them. If anything, it’s a badge of sociopolitical maturity that we no longer sweep suspicions about a candidate’s character under the rug. Continue reading

Another Tack: Temper Tantrum Tactics

In most individuals, shock and awe antics abate over the years. But not always. (Norman Rockwell illustration, 1921)

In most individuals, shock and awe antics abate over the years. But not always. (Norman Rockwell illustration, 1921)

When preschoolers don’t get their way, they sometimes attempt to intimidate us into giving in. They throw terrifying temper tantrums, some more frequently and frighteningly than others. The rule of thumb is that the more spoiled a kid is, the worse the whining, crying, screaming, kicking, hitting, rolling on the floor and breath-holding.

According to the preeminent Jewish psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut, the tantrum-thrower’s “core is likely to contain a self-centered, grandiose-exhibitionist part,” and the outbursts represent “narcissistic rages at the blow to the inflated self-image.” Therefore, various refusals, “regardless of their justifications, will automatically provoke fury since they offend the child’s sense of omnipotence.”

In most individuals such shock and awe antics abate over the years. But not always. When immaturity – irrespective of chronological age – coincides with privilege and a sense of entitlement, it’s liable to produce adult petulance and a proclivity for spiteful rants. Continue reading

Another Tack: Proportional to the threat

freeze-frame from the surveillance footage: the “victim” clearly breaks his fall.

freeze-frame from the surveillance footage: the “victim” clearly breaks his fall.

Trying to get inside Jennifer Rene Psaki’s head is one heck of an intellectual challenge. The pearls of wisdom that habitually escape the lips of this US State Department spokeswoman are often no less than stupefying, so it must be edifying to get a handle on what inspires them.

Each time the comely redhead mounts the rostrum to deliver another of her deadpan briefings, Israeli hearts skip a few beats. Will she merely be chillingly aloof? Will she school-marmishly disapprove of our perceived misconduct? Will she actually go the whole hog and scold us for being the reprobates she serially suggests that we are?

She is the gauge of just how disliked we are. Our tendentious, left-dominated, agenda-driven media has turned Psaki into the adjudicator of our international standing. If she isn’t pleased, we are in obvious trouble. Her pronouncements open our news broadcasts and star on our front pages.

Thus we quaked the other day, awaiting her judgmental input following the deaths of two Arabs in Bitunia (near Ramallah) on May 15. They took part in irredentist disturbances to decry Israel’s Independence anniversary as a catastrophe – Nakba – their loaded characterization of our existence. Continue reading

Another Tack: Where fools have been before

Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg: “politics should stop at the water’s edge.”

Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg: “politics should stop at the water’s edge.”

The Israeli penchant for dismissing official authority and embarking on freelance diplomatic endeavors could presumably be dismissed as an almost endearing eccentricity. The problem is that it’s anything but endearing. It triggers real disasters.

The hubris to flout the authority of any government – no matter who heads it – exclusively emboldens leftwing players. They range from relatively unknown individuals (though they’re always well-connected to the real clout-bearers) all the way to top-ranking ministers who, fired up by their own chutzpah, set out to hijack history-making prerogatives.

Soon-to-retire President Shimon Peres still does it in his ostensibly ceremonial role of president. But he already behaved badly as foreign minister to both prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin.

The latest to dabble in unauthorized diplomacy is Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. She recently conferred with Ramallah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas in London, despite the government’s decision (which she supported) to freeze contact with him for his kiss-and-make-up with Jihadist Hamas.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reported to be displeased with this rendezvous (by way of significant understatement). Continue reading