Another Tack: So the world is against us

Nicky LarkinAround our troubled planet, constructing an apartment for a Jewish family in a vibrant veteran Jewish neighborhood – an indivisible part and parcel of the Jewish state’s capital – is decried as an unpardonable a sin against all the kind-heartedness and fair-mindedness that the international community purports to effuse.

This isn’t just the clichéd consensus of conformist correspondents and stale statesmen overseas. Sunshine friends too can’t resist the warm ambiance of group-think.

Irish filmmaker Nicky Larkin, for example, was feted here for his seemingly maverick pro-Israel stance. But now he finds that “increasingly difficult” because he “can’t accept the expansion of settlements on land the international community considers illegal, under the Fourth Geneva Convention.” In an op-ed for The Irish Independent, he just about equates settlement with suicide-bombing. Continue reading

Whipping boy no more

Homes hit by an Iraqi Scud missile on Ramat Gan’s Yona Street – February 12, 1991

“If Damascus is attacked, Tel Aviv will burn,” a Syrian higher-up bristled this week. Israel, therefore, cannot watch the escalating cliffhanger with detached equanimity from the sidelines.

There can be no passivity when potent threats are hurled at Israel from a coterie of evil powers in the context of a struggle in which Israel is uninvolved.  In a fairer existence, this very fact alone ought to have acutely unsettled the international community. But it’s almost futile to expect a modicum of fair-mindedness where Israel is concerned.

So far the anti-Israel bluster from Damascus, Tehran and Hizbullah strongholds in Lebanon appear to have disturbed none of the foreign statesmen or opinion-molders, whose alacrity to condemn Israel for any perceived transgression is nothing short of remarkable. Moreover, the veiled hints from Moscow about dire repercussions for the entire region in the event of an American attack, might also imply warnings about impending punishment for Israel. Continue reading

Another Tack: Egypt’s Polish syndrome

Thousands of deported Jews from Germany at the Polish border near ZbaszynJewish culpability always was – and apparently still remains – a key element in lending moral authority to any contentious cause.  Jews have known this for millennia but the dispiriting fact of our existence is that it still goes on, unabated, in the 21st century and that it motivates not only declared and implacable enemies but also forces of supposed enlightenment and liberality in the West.

As it was from time immemorial – it’s just not a marketable story without that eminently salient Jewish connection.

The blood-soaked internecine turmoil convulsing the Arab realm – from the Maghreb to Mesopotamia – has nothing to do with Jews, with Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement or with Israel, the Jewish state. The carnage is spawned by internal Arab ethnic, religious, clannish and political conflicts. Each side reinforces its case by recruiting throngs of volatile and violent demonstrators. This rent-a-mob fest is palmed off to clueless foreigners as democracy-in-action. Continue reading

Running the gauntlet

destroyed Coptic church – Giza’s Church of the Archangel MichaelJust a few days ago, mobs of Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked a Franciscan school in suburban Cairo. They demonstratively pulled down the cross, smashed it to bits and replaced it with a black al-Qaida flag. That was just the beginning.

They looted the school, gutted it meticulously for hours and later burned down what remained of the classrooms. Then came the climax as three nuns were grabbed and paraded through the streets like humiliated prisoners of war. Continue reading

Delegitimization on steroids

the_wailing_wall_is_palestinian_-_PG_-_300713With a new Israeli-Palestinian round of negotiations off to another wobbly start, there are few, if any, optimistic prognoses from anyone involved. Simultaneously, there appears to be an overabundance of warnings about what might likely scuttle the process. This in itself is telling, especially when the nature of the profuse admonitions is examined.

Palestinian Authority higher-up Yasser Abed Rabbo charged that Israeli “settlement expansion is unprecedented” and “threatens to make talks fail even before they’ve started.”

While purportedly assuming the role of an honest-broker, the US unhesitatingly rushed to side with the PA position. Behaving more like an adjudicating overseer rather than a non-interventionist mediator, American Secretary of State John Kerry pronounced all so-called settlements as inherently illegitimate (this includes entire extensive veteran neighborhoods of Jerusalem). Continue reading

Another Tack: Hobson’s choice – the Obama variation

Thomas Hobson by John PayneWas it really meaningless coincidence that just as an alarmed American administration closed down some 20 embassies throughout the Mideast – including the one in hardly unfriendly Tel Aviv – Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan delivered his opening court-martial statement?

Although superficially unconnected, these events are inextricably linked. Both expose the shoddy sham that US President Barack Obama struts out as enlightened policy. This should send cold shivers down the spines of those hoodwinked Israelis who still think Obama deserves even a modicum of our trust, to say nothing of actual sacrifice.

Hasan’s coldblooded murder in 2009 of 13 and the wounding of a further 32 underscores Obama’s obsessive obfuscation.

As Hasan callously mowed down fellow servicemen, he yelled Allahu Akhbar (God is great). It later transpired that long before Hasan launched his attack, the Joint Terrorism Task Force was aware that he maintained steady contact with terror mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, inquiring, among others, about religious martyrdom. But forewarned isn’t necessarily forearmed. Following whatever logic, the authorities preferred to do nothing. Continue reading

Tragically rerun melodrama

Convicted arch-murderers jubilant on their releaseEach time Israel prepares to let loose convicted arch-terrorists with blood on their hands, families of the victims and Almagor, the association that represents them, appeal against the impending releases to the High Court of Justice. It’s a hackneyed ritual whose results are already well-known in advance. There is never any variation and therefore never really any likelihood of a different outcome.

None of the participants in this tragically rerun melodrama has any delusions about how it will end. Continue reading

Another Tack: Judenfrei is fine and dandy

SS men celebrating Judenfrei statusIn practically two post-Oslo decades, Ramallah’s negotiators haven’t budged a fraction of a millimeter from their initial positions. In that span of unfortunate time, Israel had continually slipped back and now accedes to what would have been unthinkable for our mainstream in 1993.

The current two-state sine qua non – an ostensibly indispensable and unquestionable ingredient of any just Mideast deal – would have been a clear non-starter in Israeli public discourse pre-Oslo. But recurrent concerted assaults – both from overseas and from our domestic left-wing – on the very cornerstones of what were Israel’s self-evident truths, left us shaken and demoralized.

As a result, the traumatized citizenry began rationalizing the deviations from our fundamental postulates as feasible moves towards a doable peace. Israel’s Left pulled our entire political arena fitfully ever farther leftward. The more its predictions crashed against the hard wall of reality, the more the fantasy-merchants insisted that their premise wasn’t wrong but that we just didn’t give in enough. Continue reading

Another Tack: Who’s the sucker?

If you’re playing poker and look around the table to see who the sucker is, it¹s doubtless you (by Spanish artist Ulpiano Checa y Sanz, 1891)Almost five years ago the foreign ministry, then under the aegis of Tzipi Livni, published the following official press release:

On 25 August 2008, Israel released 198 convicted Palestinian terrorists. Israel undertook this risky measure in the hope of promoting dialogue with the pragmatic Palestinians who reject terrorism and are engaged in diplomacy with Israel.

It is never easy for Israel to decide on the early release of convicted Palestinian terrorists. The issue is one fraught with emotional overtones, for Israelis in general and the families of terrorism victims in particular.

In these instances, Israel’s decision-makers have been faced with both political and moral dilemmas. All the while, they remain fully cognizant of the security risks posed to the Israeli public by such measures. Continue reading