Immune from penalty

MK Haneen Zoabi

MK Haneen Zoabi

There’s no doubt that Israel is the world’s most liberal and tolerant society even by the yardstick of the truest democracies. It’s hard to envisage a comparable situation where a society in the throes of a cruel war puts up with voices in its own parliament that plainly give succor to the enemy. The question is whether this isn’t tolerance-gone-too-far, especially when cowardly atrocities against children are brazenly condoned and justified.

This is exactly what Balad MK Haneen Zoabi did Tuesday when she asserted on radio that the abductors of three boys on their way home from school aren’t terrorists. Later, after an aggressive showdown in the Knesset with MK Aliza Lavi (Yesh Atid), Zoabi – whose salary we all pay – tried to put things right by explaining on TV that “if I were asked whether to carry out this operation [abduction], I’d have said that it’s not worthwhile and not efficient and therefore I don’t support it. But to accuse them [the abductors] of being the chief culprits – absolutely not.” 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

The Meriam Ibrahim case

Meriam Ibrahim on the day she wed Daniel Wani

Meriam Ibrahim on the day she wed Daniel Wani

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas likes to pose as Christianity’s protector. According to his oft-repeated assertions, both Christianity and Islam are endangered by the Jews of Israel and both are united in the need to ward off said threat.

This is the mendacity he brazenly elaborated upon during Pope Francis’s visit to Bethlehem, beneath a huge rendition of the nativity scene which showed baby Jesus swaddled in a Fatah keffiya, bereft of any Jewish connections but connected bogusly to Islam.

The Pope saw fit not to comment on any of Abbas’s insolent distortions. But Abbas’s duplicity is underscored by his deafening silence on the Meriam Ibrahim case. 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

A Small Tragedy

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The only relatively clear remaining photograph of Abramek, showing him as a toddler with his parents.

MARZENIA (The Dream)

By Abramek Koplowicz

(Translated by Sarah Honig)

When I will be 20 years old,

In a motorized bird I’ll sit,

And to the reaches of space I’ll rise.

I will fly, I will float to the beautiful faraway world

And skywards I will soar.

The cloud my sister will be

The wind is brother to me.

I will fly, I will float over rivers and seas.

I will marvel at the Euphrates and Nile.

I will gaze at the Sphinx and Pyramids

In the goddess Isis’ ancient land.

I will glide over the mighty Niagara Falls,

And soak up the warmth of the Sahara’s sun.

Over the cloud-covered Tibetan peaks willI ascend,

Above the mysterious magic land of the Hindus.

And when extricated from the sun’s heat,

I will take wing to the Arctic north,

And I will whir above the giant Kangaroo Isle,

And then over the ruins of Pompeii.

From there I’ll set my sights to the Holy Land,

Where our Covenant was given.

I will even reach illustrious Homer’s country,

And will be so amazed by the beauty of this world.

To the heavens I will take off.

The cloud my sister will be;

The wind is brother to me.

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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

Another Tack: In the Land of Oz

Yigal Tumarkin’s portrait of his friend Amos Oz, entitled “Oz in a mask of Oz.”

Yigal Tumarkin’s portrait of his friend Amos Oz, entitled “Oz in a mask of Oz.”

Meretz’s grand guru Amos Oz has told us that, being “a man of words,” he carefully considers his every utterance and its possible nuances. This was his practice, the novelist attests, ahead of his recent 75th birthday gala where he berated “Hebrew neo-Nazis.”

No inadvertent slip of the tongue, it was Oz’s premeditated refinement of Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz’s infamous “Judeo-Nazis” denigration. That bilious barb against Israeli soldiers – also calculated and never retracted – cost Leibowitz his Israel Prize in 1993 (when then-premier Yitzhak Rabin threatened to boycott the ceremony).

But Oz doesn’t stand to lose by his provocation. Quite the contrary, the Neo-Nazi defamation can do him nothing but a whole lot of good.

If anything, it has given a major boost to his tireless campaign to at long last win the Nobel Prize for literature. Oz, already the darling of literati and glitterati in Germany – the Nazis’ original homeland – can only win hearts and minds in Israel-bashing Europe if he seems to join Europe’s crusade against his compatriots.

The more he dissociates himself from the Israeli majority and the greater the zest with which he whacks it, the more Oz appears to cleanse himself of our Jewish sins. The more assiduously he cleanses himself, the more Oz gets to bask in the ambiance of European approval. He’s generously showered with accolades from latter-day Judeophobes parading as righteous critics of villainous Israeli policies. Continue reading

Agent in the vent

image001The most intriguing question in the furor generated by Newsweek’s supposed exposés of “gone-too-far” Israeli espionage is where the stories originate.

The answer might put the online magazine’s ongoing focus on this issue into context. It would be enlightening to learn whether a genuine senior American intelligence source actually exists, and, if so, whether that source acted on a personal initiative.

If this is more than a private peeve, it would be pertinent from our perspective to discover whether the source was directed by Obama Administration or State Department higher-ups to sling mud at Israel and sully it. Continue reading

What’s up with WhatsApp?

image001Grudgingly we must admit that Iran is doing quite well. Tehran’s ayatollahs had effectively managed to hoodwink the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, whose representatives are now trying to reach a final deal in New York on Iran’s nuclear ambitions before the July 20 deadline.

But in actual fact, more than Iran has managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the international coterie, the nations of the world desperately wish to be fooled. Continue reading