Another Tack: The Wrong End of a Municipal Drain-Pipe

Imprisoned and flogged blogger Raif Badawi: his cyber-activity was deemed apostasy

Imprisoned and flogged blogger Raif Badawi: his cyber-activity was deemed apostasy

The Charlie Hebdo massacre (as distinct from the subsequent slaughter at the Jewish supermarket) turned the spotlight on Muslim proclivities for righteous rage. Instantly the West’s elected headliners fell over themselves to declare that Islam is a peace-loving religion whose meek adherents only aspire to win a modicum of respect.

As part of our urgent re-education and re-immersion in the cult of multiculturalism, the mantra that the bloodshed “has nothing to do with Islam” was drilled into us nonstop. This, it was repeatedly chanted, is the correct way for us to think. Deviations from the prescribed diktat would be sternly denounced in the name of freedom.

Perhaps that’s why the dismal fate of Saudi citizen Raif Badawi didn’t much move the agenda-setters who so warily safeguard our inalienable right not to veer from their infallible guidelines.

Badawi, 31, fell victim to precisely the same Muslim muzzling as did the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, but he is geographically distant and, therefore perhaps, his pain is less in the enlightened faces of opinion-molders.

But the fact still remains that he suffers appallingly only because he dared take an independent stand. That’s his one and only crime. Continue reading

Another Tack: Zionism and Etrogism

The Succot citron is protectively wrapped in silky flax padding and safeguarded in a covered ornamental box

The Succot citron is protectively wrapped in silky flax padding and safeguarded in a covered ornamental box

The name switches of what until recently marketed itself as the Israel Labor Party offer fascinating insight into how Zionism has steadily lost its allure on the Israeli Left.

What began life as Poalei Zion – the Workers of Zion – in time it morphed into MAPAI, Hebrew acronym for the Party of the Workers of Eretz Yisrael. The next stage was adopting the generic name of Labor – doubtless borrowed from the British context. So far the trend is clear and straightforward.

But now comes the spin – under its latest leading light, Isaac (not Yitzhak) “Buji” Herzog, Labor  (aligned with Tzipi Livni’s disintegrating list) has chosen to call its ticket the Zionist Camp. At first hearing this certainly appears to be the sort of affirmation that would gladden Zionist hearts. Here at last is the cause of Zionism ostensibly espoused proudly and unapologetically.

A true balm for the soul – or is it? Continue reading

Another Tack: “Charlie” Makes Them Laugh

“Love is stronger than hate”: Charlie’ Hebdo’s satirical cover after the magazine was firebombed in 2011

“Love is stronger than hate”: Charlie’ Hebdo’s satirical cover after the magazine was firebombed in 2011

It’s decidedly the untrendy thing to say, but all the same it must be said: the “je suis Charlie” extravaganza is part and parcel of the political correctness that is steadily killing the West.

It’s the ineffectual affectation of those who seek to buck up their spirits while doing nothing real to actually improve their survival prospects. The sad fact of the matter is that the pen is not mightier than the sword and it never was.

When civilizations clash, it’s might that buttresses right. Without might, right perishes. In recent history, Nazism was defeated by armies and communism collapsed because facing it were military forces it couldn’t overcome.

Kitschy slogans never melted the hearts of villains and pen nibs never deflected the thrusts of cold hard steel blades.

Worse yet, the affectation serves to cover-up – often even to justify – cowardice. Self-appointed pen-warriors and their chic cheerleaders may posture and pretend, but the outright majority of them are the last on whom democracy can rely. Continue reading

Another Tack: Transcending All Other Considerations

Sir Alexander Cadogan: “the killing of Jews now transcends all other considerations.”

Sir Alexander Cadogan: “the killing of Jews now transcends all other considerations.”

The 67th anniversary tomorrow of the UN General Assembly’s Partition Resolution is intrinsically relevant to the recent decisions by several European parliaments and Sweden’s new leftwing government to recognize a State of Palestine. The UN Resolution of November 29, 1947 underscores the bias and hubris of the international community’s preachers-cum-omniscients.

Stockholm’s world-affairs neophytes – newly-elected Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and his foreign minister Margot Wallström – have ostensibly taken it upon themselves to educate us Israelis about our existential predicaments. It’s a safe bet they don’t care to know about pivotal UN Resolution 181.

We could regard their move as a self-serving attempt to curry favor with Sweden’s growing Muslim electorate. But we’ll be charitable and assume that it all springs from their misguided acceptance of the bogus axiom that a Palestinian state had existed from time immemorial and that it was cruelly overrun in an act of unprovoked aggression by Israel on June 5, 1967.

Ever since, it’s alleged, the state of Palestine had been under occupation. In other words, Israel had violently extinguished Palestine’s flourishing sovereignty. This is today’s self-evident, universally worshiped gospel. No substantiation thereof is necessary and any deviation therefrom is sacrilege.  Continue reading

Another Tack: The Perils of Peace

Twin inspirations: Abbas inflames his volatile masses in eerily the same idiom as Arafat

Twin inspirations: Abbas inflames his volatile masses in eerily the same idiom as Arafat

It’s a perplexing fact of our life: anything that remotely and vaguely resembles peace in Israel’s neighborhood is serially shattered once peace negotiations are kick-started. This is how it has invariably been – all the more emphatically so since the advent of Oslo.

According to this unique pattern, unequalled anywhere else, peace overtures are tantamount to harbingers of death and destruction.

Then, once the violence of peace somehow subsides, we briefly luxuriate in the lull of an impasse – the closest we ever get to calm.

But these rare respites inevitably rub do-gooder meddlers the wrong way both in the US and in the EU. With obsessive peevishness they begrudge us our breather. They summon summits, draw road maps, determine deadlines, weave tapestries, formulate fantasies and in short terminate the temporary time-outs.

It’s an inexorable rhythm.  After each round of jibber-jabbering about peace comes the carnage.

Sometimes the weapons of choice are rockets from Gaza. Sometimes they comprise rocks, axes, knives, Molotov cocktails, vehicles, guns and suicide bombs from Mahmoud Abbas’s Ramallah realm.

On occasion, if the mayhem lasts long enough, we call it an intifada. There are those among us who already opine that we are now in the preliminary throes of the third intifada. Others shudder to use such terminology.  Continue reading

Another Tack: Not Telling It Like It Is

 Hebron 1929: exhorting the mobs to save al-Aksa from the Jews

Hebron 1929: exhorting the mobs to save al-Aksa from the Jews

For hours after last week’s vehicular terror in Jerusalem (capped by an attack on passersby with a metal rod), Sky News persisted in not telling it like it is.

Its running news ticker at the bottom of the screen single-mindedly informed viewers that “Israeli police say a driver has rammed his car into pedestrians in East Jerusalem in an ‘intentional’ attack causing several injuries.”

The very inclusion of the verb say sufficed to cast doubt on Israeli communiqués. Then, to chip further away at residual Israeli credibility the word intentionally was tendentiously placed in quotation marks. This surely was overkill, considering that the reliability of the Israeli report was already challenged by the caveat of the opening phrase.

If during the first few minutes of the incident Sky could somehow make excuses for what looked like thinly-veiled antagonism, it certainly couldn’t long after the event. Nevertheless, that hardly objective news bar was still featured when any duty editor of even grudging goodwill or nominal neutrality should have known better.

In contrast, another report was cited with unadulterated acceptance. Sky’s above mentioned “breaking news” flash was accompanied throughout – for as many hours – by a bulletin that stated matter-of-factly (without any caveats this time) that “Israeli police have clashed with Palestinians inside Jerusalem’s al-Aksa Mosque compound after Jewish nationalists announced plans to visit the site.” Continue reading

Another Tack: Before the Chickenshit Hit the Fan

Obama and Sarkozy in Cannes: No hint of an apology ever came from either Washington or Paris

Obama and Sarkozy in Cannes: No hint of an apology ever came from either Washington or Paris

Gosh darn! Smack dab on the eve of a midterm election, US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to almost sort-of say sorry for reported name-calling in high Administration places – ‘chickenshit’ comes to mind.

A morsel of humble pie, after all, is prescribed when one’s party suspects its headliners may have offended voters at the close of a crucial campaign.

So, is everything now peachy keen in our world all over again?

Maybe, if this were the only memorable outburst and if Obama’s administration were as forgiving as it imperiously decrees Israel must be. Trouble is, though, that there was loads of loathing even before the chickenshit hit the fan.  Continue reading

Another Tack: Zissel means Sweetie

Last photo of little Zissel at the Western Wall, a short time before her murder

Last photo of little Zissel at the Western Wall, a short time before her murder

Oftentimes what is barely mentioned – if at all – by the world’s media is (or ought to be) as thought-provoking as what the talking heads focus on with undisguised relish.

The fetching face of three-months-old Chaya Zissel Braun, for example, was missing from front pages around the globe and it was never featured on any foreign TV news outlets. She was murdered (as was 22-year-old student Karen Yemima Mosquera) last week by an Arab terrorist who homicidally rammed his vehicle into a crowd of passengers waiting at a light rail stop. But to observers abroad this amounted to dog bites man.

Uninteresting. Been there. Heard that before. Jewish whines. Who cares?

Newsroom groupthink doesn’t only trickle down to conformist reporters on the scene who quickly figure out what the chiefs want to hear and what they shouldn’t be bothered with. The signals from atop the journalistic hierarchy also determine for news-consumers what constitutes news and what does not.

Media linchpins put together the current-events agenda and they shape mass awareness. Perforce they dictate public opinion. What doesn’t pass through their selective filter will forever remain esoteric knowledge – even in these days of social networking on the World Wide Web. Continue reading

Another Tack: The 14th Century in Washington

Medieval manuscript showing Jews burned at the stake in Flanders according to the popular antidote to the Black Death

Medieval manuscript showing Jews burned at the stake in Flanders according to the popular antidote to the Black Death

In all fairness, it’s not just the Obama Administration which is fond of insinuating that somehow Israel is to blame for all that ails the Mideast. This has been the underlying theme of the US State Department since Israel’s birth in 1948.

The variations in the stance vis-à-vis Israel derive from the intensity of antipathy – the subtlety and sophistication of the tone in which it’s expressed. Given its strident hectoring, the Obama Administration is doubtless America’s least-subtle and least-sophisticated ever.

While past presidents and their secretaries of state took greater pains to pretend not to side with glaring Arab anti-Israel falsehoods, such niceties are all but absent from Barack Obama’s and John Kerry’s rhetoric.  Anti-Israel idioms and calumnies are repeated by them as an obvious and infallible politically-correct gospel.

And thus Kerry had the colossal gall last week – significantly at a White House ceremony for the Muslim fest of Eid al-Adha – to claim no less that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (i.e. the Jewish state’s struggle for survival) bolsters the mass appeal of Islamic State radicalism.

Hardly knocking Israelis for a loop, the State Department’s spokeswoman later accused us of getting it all wrong.  In deadpan delivery she insisted that Kerry “did not make a linkage between Israel and the growth of ISIL [Islamic State]. Period.”

But her boss’s words speak for themselves and belie her assertion. Continue reading

Another Tack: Hey Diddle, Fatah and the Fiddle

if we only pay up, the cat will ably strum jolly tunes on its fiddle [Arthur Rackham’s illustration, 1913]

if we only pay up, the cat will ably strum jolly tunes on its fiddle [Arthur Rackham’s illustration, 1913]

In her authoritative clipped cadences, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni admonishes those of us who refuse to sweeten Ramallah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah cohorts with “daring initiatives.” She sternly disapproves of Israelis who “are not willing to pay the price of a diplomatic arrangement.”

We might of course nitpick and wonder whether a diplomatic arrangement is in fact attainable. And if so, we might further press and inquire why such arrangement hadn’t already been attained.

We might point out that the moderation Livni ascribes to Abbas connotes goodwill and that a minimal supply thereof should have facilitated some arrangement long ago – long before the advent on our scene of Hamas’s religious bad-guys. Secular enemies, as per Livni’s idiosyncratic political lexicon, aren’t quite enemies – certainly not extremists or terrorists.

So why then the absence of peace? Are we to understand that she pins the blame on Israel’s supposed small-minded stinginess?

We could ask in what gospel it’s written that diplomatic arrangements (which are hardly irrevocable) must be purchased with hard territorial and strategic currency (which cannot thereafter be recovered). But since in her world Livni writes the rules, this question is unlikely to be answered. Continue reading