In nobody’s pocket

image001Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman left little doubt last week that there’s a cogent reason behind Israel’s silence on the Russian-Ukrainian dispute. Israel wasn’t inadvertently remiss. It consciously chose not to take sides in one of the more acerbic East-West confrontations since the Cold War.

This neutral stance, however, didn’t earn Israel instant accolades. The US State Department, for example, is far from pleased. Its spokeswoman Jen Psaki told the press that “we were surprised Israel did not join the vast majority of countries that voted to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the United Nations” on March 27. Israel pointedly stayed away from the vote which called on all states and international organizations not to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Continue reading

Another Tack: That “new Balfour declaration”

 Ben-Gurion’s original text as discovered with numerous blue-pencil erasures and stamped: “Passed and Corrected by Censor.”

Ben-Gurion’s original text as discovered with numerous blue-pencil erasures and stamped: “Passed and Corrected by Censor.”

Strangely, to gauge the depth of the family of nations’ predisposition against the family of Israel, we should embark on a detour to faraway Guyana, or as it was once known – British Guiana. The forgotten “New Balfour Declaration,” that earmarked that crown colony as an alternative to the Jewish National Home in this country, is particularly relevant on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It encapsulated all the “goodwill” that the family of nations could once muster toward the beleaguered Jewish people. Things are still no better.

Yesteryear’s Guiana unexpectedly contextualizes the ongoing unique bias towards the Jewish state today and its depiction as an outlaw occupier (even in tiny stretches of its own homeland, directly contiguous to its own miniature independent domain).

Indeed, the bias that preceded the very founding of the Jewish state pretty much foreshadowed the antagonism it would arouse decades later.

That antagonism doesn’t derive from aversion to Israel’s supposed strength (i.e. our so far insufferably successful self defense). It fulminated most shamefully when the Jewish people couldn’t conceivably have been more helpless – on the eve of the Holocaust. Worse yet – this antagonism wasn’t merely rife in the Third Reich. It also thrived among the democracies, even if in a sinisterly duplicitous guise. Continue reading

Another Tack: We are the accusers

Eliyahu Hakim(l) and Eliyahu Beit-Zuri(r): “We are the accusers at this trial.”

Eliyahu Hakim(l) and Eliyahu Beit-Zuri(r): “We are the accusers at this trial.”

What has become known as Kerry’s “poof” speech is precisely what Israel was afraid of – being blamed for the predictable flop of Kerry’s delusional project.

Kerry can postfactum posture self-righteously and smugly deny having blamed Israel but that’s precisely what he did when he enumerated Israel’s supposed sins one by one. He then dramatically paused for a studied special effect – replete with expressive hand gestures – before resorting to really sophisticated phrasing: “Poof, that was sort of the moment.” The suggested cause and effect was unquestionable. No belated pedantic quibbles can erase Kerry’s intentional, even vindictive, anti-Israel smear.

If anything, Kerry’s cynical performance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee underscores all the reasons for Israel not to make concessions just in order to make a good impression.

So-called honest brokers, like Kerry, and the so-called objective opinions of the international community, are in any case predisposed against the Jewish state. Therefore there’s no point in sacrificing vital interests to please those who won’t be pleased by any Israeli gesture short of signing articles of surrender. Continue reading

Another Tack: St. Edward’s and the empty peace

Sir Humphrey: ”why close a hospital just because it has no patients?”

Sir Humphrey: ”why close a hospital just because it has no patients?”

No devotee of Yes Minister, yesteryear’s BBC’s classic, can forget St. Edward’s Hospital – that spanking new cutting edge facility that had no patients or medical personnel. Nonetheless, St. Edward’s hustled and bustled, a veritable hive of activity and creative energy. For 15-months since its much-ballyhooed inauguration, an administrative staff of 500 bureaucrats filled the hospital’s offices, pushed papers and generated red tape.

Sounds exaggerated? A bit over-the-top for real life? Not really. John Kerry’s peace project, for example, replicates the parody’s blueprints with mind-blowing precision. It is for diplomacy what St. Edward’s was for health care – an incredible lot of much-ado about absolutely nothing.

The biggest snag in Kerry’s persistent peace offensive is that it lacks the commonsense basic essentials to even begin to achieve what it was promoted to do. It couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. St Edward’s couldn’t heal the sick because none had been admitted. No doctors or nurses were on hand either. It was a hospital in name only. Continue reading

Another Tack: The postulate of illegitimacy

Jabotinsky in Acre Prison, 1920: Perfidious Albion knew whom to blame

Jabotinsky in Acre Prison, 1920: Perfidious Albion knew whom to blame

Something strikingly dramatic happened in this country exactly on this date 94 years ago. Cries of Itbach el-Yahud(slaughter the Jews) filled the air. It was the first coordinated mass-murder offensive launched by infamous Jerusalem Mufti Haj-Amin el-Husseini (who would in time become an avid Nazi collaborator, Hitler’s personal guest in Berlin during WWII and a wanted war-criminal).

Ever since, this land shook fitfully as rounds of massacres and wars followed each other in breathless succession. The past mustn’t be consigned to irrelevance. Unbroken historical continuities contextualize current events. Nothing springs forth from a vacuum. What now transpires began back then.

The pivotal murder-drive of 1920 and its aftermath are vital for understanding why John Kerry’s peace pageant is a flop and why Israel so profoundly displeases him, his boss Barack Obama and their pet-Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas. It established the prototype whereby Jews are punished for Arab crimes against Jews. It highlights the pattern of appeasing Arab wrath and of Jews paying – as if Jewish existence is in and of itself a casus belli.

The bias maddeningly came into play already in 1920. It’s the bias that has today burgeoned into the escalating extortion and shameless expectation that Israel release convicted murderers as a matter of course  and injure its own interests to keep its enemies sweet. It’s as if Israel has no valid interests, no rights. This is the postulate of illegitimacy. Continue reading