Another Tack: A place of supposed safety

The gory butchering in Itamar of three sweet-faced youngsters (one of them three months old) and their gentle parents is unfortunately far from unique in the history of our land.The names of Udi, Ruth, Yoav, Elad and Hadas Fogel are tragically added to too long a list of names of Jewish families slaughtered in their homes by Arab marauders.

There obviously were other victims in some 150 years of Arab terror – on school buses, in classrooms, in kindergartens and nurseries, in markets, near shopping malls, in hotels, at airports, in public conveyances, on city streets, in pizzerias and ice-cream parlors, in playgrounds, at the movies and wherever else folks routinely gather.

But somehow the home is seen as sacred, a place of supposed safety, one’s castle, one’s nest. Continue reading

Another Tack: Roger Waters' jarring music

Was Binyamin Netanyahu a Pink Floyd freak in his salad days? Possibly not, but that’s no reason not to lend an ear to the band’s erstwhile lead singer Roger Waters.

It’s not that the aging rocker’s opinions should remotely constitute any yardstick for what’s decent and honorable. If anything, they most definitely shouldn’t. Waters has consistently, almost robotically, espoused every wrongheaded doctrinaire leftist cause since his star first twinkled in the frenzied firmament of psychedelic and “progressive” music.

No modicum of evenhandedness should be expected from this self-important and predictable propagandist for radical politics which a priori demonize Israel. But it may be useful for us, by way of a reality check, to hear what he says to justify his antagonism toward us.

Expounding to Al Jazeera the other day on why he supports the anti-Israel boycott, Waters claimed that Israelis only “pay lip service to the idea that they want to make peace with the Palestinians, and they sort of talk around the possibility of a two-state solution.”

In other words, Israeli peace overtures, proposals and plans are insincere.
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Another Tack: Prejudice with a halo

Egypt’s Anwar Sadat was outspoken enough to state the obvious after the Camp David Accord was sealed: “I got the whole Sinai, but all poor Menachem [Begin] got was a piece of paper.”

Sadat’s uncommonly candid quip encapsulates the inbuilt imbalance of the Mideastern equation. In every set of negotiations, it’s Israel which is required to sacrifice real assets – strategic as well as the core of its historical heartland. Moreover these assets – small, apart from the ceded Sinai, and hardly the immense empire that prevalent propaganda portrays – were all acquired as the result of a defensive war forced upon it by genocidal enemies in 1967.

These enemies’ heirs, seeking explicitly to weaken Israel as it persists in its self-preservation struggle, are at the very most expected to supply a piece of paper – and even that doesn’t come easily. They are blunt enough not to as much as promise to accept our legitimacy in their vicinity. That, despite the fact that no real risks are demanded of them, nothing tangible, nothing which cannot be undone by a capricious and erratic regime.

If recent upheavals in the Arab world show us anything, it’s that all the regimes which surround our lone democracy are volatile and essentially untrustworthy. Why should we literally risk our lives and the future survival here of our children for pieces of paper issued by despots who might not be around tomorrow and whose veracity cannot be taken for granted? No population anywhere would inflict such perils upon itself, were it encircled by neighbors like ours with their proven records of mass murder and mendacity. Yet this is precisely what other democracies, facing nothing like what we face, exhort us to do – regardless of the mayhem in Arab streets and the demonstrated unreliability of Arab potentates.

No bother. No skin off their safe noses. Only ours.
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Another Tack: The Pliny perspective

Nothing in our regional setting is what it was. No premise which underpinned assorted assumptions, under which we labored for decades, was left unscathed by the tempest raging around us. This is time for the most extreme caution and the most exhaustive reevaluation of everything we believed and took for granted.

But the box of conventional thinking has become a comfort object, in the best case a psychological security blanket for those disinclined to face unfamiliar situations and uncertain prospects. It may be the easiest fallback option for those incapable of original reassessments. Charlatans are in an unconscionable category all of their own because they evidently don’t misread reality but knowingly hawk the worn and useless, thereby putting the country at risk for their own fleeting advantage.

Things are bad enough without attributing malicious motives to the host of retired generals, cocky military types and prolific know-it-alls who obsessively dictate this country’s agenda and persistently belittle all that should profoundly alarm us. That still doesn’t make them any less dangerous.

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