Another Tack: Alas, poor Labor

Paraphrasing Hamlet as he contemplated the skull of the late-lamented court jester Yorick, we might muse aloud:

Alas, poor Labor, we knew you well…

Now and then you did positively excel,

But oftentimes you put us through hell.

In all, it was your own fault you fell.

The Labor Party’s demise has been only a matter of time for a long time. It was an eminently avertable atrophy, yet for decades the party mulishly rendered itself incurable. It not only refused to acknowledge the causes of its terminable condition but actually persisted in exacerbating them.

It was one thing if feverish delirium impeded objective self-assessment, but then Labor’s own coup de grace administrator, Ehud Barak, spelled the cause of the party’s fatal decrepitude so unmistakably. Labor, he said as he delivered the decisive deathblow, had veered too far leftward, dabbled in postmodernism, and dallied on the brink of post-Zionism. Continue reading

Another Tack: Beyond the water's edge

In his (pre-presidential) heyday, witty and irrepressible Ezer Weizman once famously quipped that whereas “the eternity of Israel shall not deceive” (I Samuel 15:29), “the Arabs won’t let us down.”

Reckless as it may be to excessively rely on rescue by enemy imprudence, Kadima MK Nachman Shai should certainly be grateful to PA President Mahmoud Abbas for facilitating his own face-saving climb-down.

Earlier this month, Shai was about to head a delegation of opposition politicos on a pilgrimage to Abbas in Ramallah. That PR stunt might have misfired undesirably considering that Abbas has only just reiterated his absolute unwavering insistence on the “right” to inundate Israel with untold millions of hostile Arabs and his equally uncompromising refusal to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state. Continue reading

Another Tack: Careful what you wish for


Some time back in the misty shadows of my Junior High days, I read W.W. Jacobs’ classic horror story “The Monkey’s Paw” – a pretty predictable spine-chiller of 1902 vintage. It opens when the White family’s cozy evening around the hearth is disrupted by a visitor who brings into the idyllic setting a mummified monkey’s paw from India, supernaturally empowered to grant its owner three wishes. The Whites are cautioned not to give in to temptation – but irresistibly they do, with ghastly consequences.

The narrative is preceded by an anonymous quotation: “Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it.”

Thus forewarned, I should have known better a number of years thereafter than to wish the area that at the time surrounded Tel-Aviv’s hectic Central Bus Station excised from the cityscape. Continue reading