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

Another Tack: The Great Equalizer Of All Jews

Liege, Belgium- “Entry is permitted to dogs but not to Jews under any circumstances!”

Liege, Belgium- “Entry is permitted to dogs but not to Jews under any circumstances!”

Last summer a café in a suburb of the Belgian city of Liege exposed the current face of anti-Semitism in one compact store-front display.

The window was festooned with the Palestinian flag, decorated with Fatah keffiahs and featured an Israeli flag crossed-out with a big red “X.” But if just-landed Martians failed to get the message, there was written bilingual elucidation as well.  The French version, for the benefit of the natives, boldly announced:

“Entry is permitted to dogs but not to Zionists under any circumstances!”

Nonetheless, politically correct constraints in French clearly don’t cramp Turkish styles. Lest any perplexed Turk encounter difficulties in determining who’s a Zionist, the Turkish sign spelled things out explicitly – without synthetic attempts at European niceties. It let the proverbial cat out of the bag for dog-lovers and haters-of-Zion alike.

“Entry is permitted to dogs but not to Jews under any circumstances!” Continue reading

Pause to Fear

The teetering Bashar Assad- Not the dependable despot the West once assumed him to be.

The teetering Bashar Assad- Not the dependable despot the West once assumed him to be.

The imminent fall of Bashar Assad’s regime had been predicted many times over the past few years – since the advent of the misnamed “Arab Spring” in Syria. So far, however, all announcements of Assad’s demise have proven premature.

This, though, doesn’t mean that he’s holding on. We are merely witnessing a plodding process of disintegration whose direction, nonetheless, is unmistakable. Assad already doesn’t rule his county, except for a few undersized beleaguered enclaves whose survival prospects steadily diminish. Continue reading

Another Tack: The Holy See’s Unholy Sanctimony

Pope Paul VI at Meggido in 1964: He made sure the name Israel would never escape his lips. President Zalman Shazar stands to his right.

Pope Paul VI at Meggido in 1964: He made sure the name Israel would never escape his lips. President Zalman Shazar stands to his right.

The Vatican’s recognition of a Palestinian state (which despite its popularity abroad does not in fact exist) shows that the Holy See can be awfully speedy when it so suits it – even headlong and precipitate.

This is quite a departure from our Jewish experience with the Catholic hierarchy. With isolated exceptions, Jews have consistently encountered an entrenched severity, even hardheartedness – and that’s putting it very mildly.

With impetuous haste the Vatican rushed to recognize a state that so far consists of only radical Muslim bands distinguished only by their brands of zealotry. This is in stark contrast to the excruciating tardiness, indeed the unconcealed reluctance by the same church to recognize Israel.

The Vatican’s ill-will lasted decades after the Jewish state was born, after it survived genocidal attacks by seven Arab armies only three years post-Holocaust, after it successfully absorbed millions of Jewish refugees and after it created a functioning democracy second to none, along with all the institutions of civil society.

Despite Israel’s exemplary attributes of sovereignty, the Vatican remained sour, begrudging and glacially aloof – and that again is resorting to understatement.

So whereas a Palestinian state is recognized prematurely – before actual self-determination – it took the Vatican a whopping 45-and-a-half years after the fact to bring itself to officially recognize Jewish self-determination. Egypt – Israel’s bitter foe for decades – beat the Vatican by 14 years. Continue reading

The New Judeophobic Zeitgeist

Israeli doctors treating a Nepalese boy injured in the recent earthquake

Israeli doctors treating a Nepalese boy injured in the recent earthquake.

Little attention was paid in Israel to the latest UN anti-Israel extravaganza. Presumably we’ve grown inured to the hate spouted at us.

While the Arab Spring’s carnage boggles the civilized mind, the World Health Organization, the UN’s public health agency, has identified the true transgressor – Israel.

WHO’s annual assembly last week condemned Israel for “violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan.” This is a travesty in every conceivable aspect. Continue reading

Another Tack: The Bimbo or the Basher

Ayelet Shaked: Scathing scorn was heaped on her – whether in the Paritzky or Rozin idiom

Ayelet Shaked: Scathing scorn was heaped on her – whether in the Paritzky or Rozin idiom

Another Mideastern spring is in full swing (as distinct from the sadistically ongoing Arab Spring, not long ago confidently proclaimed by the never-erring enlightened ones as the hope of all democracies everywhere).

Springtime in our setting is notoriously unstable and in the lowly Coastal Plain some steamy nights already cause us to toss and turn when we ought to be chilling. In particularly wearisome instances our restlessness is aggravated by agitated replays of the day’s news when we ought to escape to cozy dreamland.

Thus on a recent nocturnal occasion, while my insomnia imperceptibly morphed into nightmare, new Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked rudely disturbed my peace by jumping off a pinup calendar in a dingy auto repair shop someplace in darkest Israel.

The garage featured the expected cast of unsavory characters – sweaty workaday letches who drooled, whooped and whistled as Ayelet nimbly and tauntingly rushed out of their macho milieu to join a chorus line of Third Reich beauties. With these fetching Fräuleins, Daughter of Israel Ayelet – a founding member of the Jewish Home faction – ecstatically raised her arm in the obligatory Nazi salute.

I bolted upright in dread. Who planted did these sleazy images in my subconscious? Continue reading

Another Tack: A Delegitimization Called Nakba

Nakba instigator Husseini giving the Heil Hitler salute to Bosnian Muslim volunteers to the notorious Waffen SS (the Hanzar SS Division) in November, 1943 [Jerusalem Post Archives]

Nakba instigator Husseini giving the Heil Hitler salute to Bosnian Muslim volunteers to the notorious Waffen SS (the Hanzar SS Division) in November, 1943 [Jerusalem Post Archives]

Delegitimization provides the sociopsychological rationale, the moral and discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways… Delegitimized groups are rhetorically constructed as worthy targets of violence.

     The Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict, 2012 

 

 

The above is what we Israelis, as this volatile region’s most relentlessly delegitimized group, must keep uppermost in mind every mid-May.

Whereas we celebrate our state’s Independence Day according to the Hebrew calendar, the Gregorian anniversary, May 15, is annually commemorated by Arabs as a day of lamentation for the Nakba. It’s the catastrophe according to their loaded terminology, which renascent Jewish sovereignty supposedly inflicted on the supposedly indigenous people of this land – the Palestinians.

The notion that Israel was born in sin is delegitimization in the most extreme sense. Continue reading

Another Tack: Salami slices some salami

Brigadier General Hossein Salami: “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams.”

Brigadier General Hossein Salami: “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams.”

Who says history has no sense of humor? Just as US President Barack Obama seeks to hide away the salami slices shaved off his deal with Iran, an Iranian named Salami exposes an extra-thick and very telling slice.

Without much ado, the Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, gave the lie to one of Obama’s most significant contentions about the deal that America’s Commander in Chief is cooking up with the nuke-craving ayatollah regime.

Significantly, Salami didn’t whisper off the record. He didn’t speculate about hearsay in a back room. He didn’t impart hints given to conflicting interpretations. Salami said his piece openly on state TV. He announced out loud that, contrary to American claims, there would be no foreign inspections of Iranian military sites. Period. End of. No quibbling.  Continue reading

Another Tack: Thanks, but ‘no,’ Joe!

US Vice President Joe Biden: "If you were attacked and overwhelmed, we would fight for you."

US Vice President Joe Biden: “If you were attacked and overwhelmed, we would fight for you.”

How can any Israeli just not be charmed by good ole’ Joe Biden? Time and again, especially when courting Jewish voters or when appearing on behalf of his boss Barack Obama before Jewish audiences, America’s Vice President has ebulliently let us know that some of his best friends are Zionists.

He has even famously stated: “I am a Zionist.” He instantly then added straight-faced: “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.” We might never have grasped this elusive truth, had he not enlightened us.

During the 2008 Vice-Presidential debate, Biden announced that “no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden. I would have never, ever joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion.”

Of course, it’s up to the listener to decide whether Obama is as friendly to Israel as Biden says or whether Biden has grown as unfriendly as Obama. One thing is indisputable – Biden has placed himself and Obama in the identical category. Continue reading