No other name for it

Let’s put Bibi’s narcissism, hunger for power, and hypocrisy to one side. I mean, this is the man who told Olmert he couldn’t be Prime Minister when charged with a crime. But, let’s put that to one side.

Let’s put Gantz’s treachery to one side. After all, this is the man who said:

“I am not able to sit [in government] with Netanyahu…[snip]…I am telling you, we are speaking about a corrupt man who is destroying the country, and I cannot sit with him.”

But let’s put that to one side too.

Let’s instead look at what Bibi and Gantz have delivered: a cabinet of 34 ministers. 34? That’s more than Britain, or the USA, or Germany, or France, or probably more than any other country. (If you know differently, tell me!) 34!

Don’t forget the 15 or 16 deputies.

Time to listen in on the conversation Israelis would be having, social distancing guidelines permitting:

Q: Why do we need 34?

A: We don’t.

Q: So, why do we have 34?

A: It’s the price of doing a deal.

Q: Excuse me?

A: All the parties in the coalition needed to be rewarded.All that support needs to be, er, paid for.

Q: You mean they need to be bribed?

A: You said it, not me.

Q: Whatever happened to being a politician to serve the public?

A: Oh, they serve all right. But they also serve themselves.

Q: And what’s this about two Prime Ministerial homes?

A: One for Bibi, and one for Gantz.

Q: And who pays for all of this?

A: Look in the mirror. The Israeli public.

Q: So, at a crisis period in world history, with economies buckling under pressure from the effects of the pandemic, mass unemployment, many businesses on the edge of collapse, the ruling parties have decided to lead by example by stealing from the public purse.

A: Oh, I wouldn’t go that far.

Q: What else would you call it?

A: Let me get back to you on that.

The case of the missing editor

The following headline is from an article published online by the Jerusalem Post on 27 April, 2020.

Click the headline to view the article

The charge against the Jerusalem Post is that it doesn’t edit articles properly before publication. You be the judge.

  • Excerpt one for the prosecution:

  • Excerpt two for the prosecution:

  • Excerpt three for the prosecution:

  • Excerpt four for the prosecution:

It’s a slam dunk, methinks. Absolutely shocking output from a supposedly professional news organization.

Matzah Time!

Source: WikiMedia

This has to rank as the strangest Pesach ever. We are locked down and under curfew. Coronavirus is out and about, but we are not. We’ll still have our Seder night, albeit smaller, quieter, and probably shorter. Plenty of time for reflection and recharging the spiritual batteries in these challenging times.

Several online commentators have pointed out the connection between this festival – marking ten plagues and the liberation from Egypt – and our current plague ridden confinement. It strikes me that it would be good timing if the end of Pesach were to be the time when the people were let go and the lockdown removed. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen. So, I’ll just hope and pray that everyone stays healthy and safe from the virus.

Yes, folks; be safe, be well.

(And enjoy your matzah!)

Truth in Advertising

This is the Twitter motif of activist group IfNotNow:

And this is how it would look were there to be a truth in advertising law:

If anyone’s looking for source material to back up the above, I suggest taking a look here. (The Elder of Ziyon shows how every point made by the group in a Twitter feed about Gaza, the Palestinians, and coronavirus is a lie. Quite some achievement.)

I’m inclined to agree with the description of IfNotNow as a hate group. It’s the only rational explanation.

 

Headline Failure

Guess who the Guardian blames for Gaza’s Covid-19 challenges?

The correct headline for this article would be:

“Can Gaza cope with Covid-19 after years of wasting money on rockets instead of investing in its civilian infrastructure?”

But there’s no chance of the Guardian printing the truth. Not when it comes to Israel.

If only the Gazans loved their own people more than they hated the Jews.

Purim Sameach!

Well, this will be a memorable Purim. Corona virus and the imposition of quarantine and isolation has had a widespread effect. The main shul minyan on Shabbat was much smaller than usual and tonight’s megillah reading similarly reduced – primarily because there are a ton of alternative smaller minyanim offering gatherings of less than 100 to comply with the Ministry of Health guidelines. Here’s hoping that very soon Corona virus will be a distant memory and never repeated.

If Bibi were a statesman

Statesman

noun, plural states·men.

  1. a person who is experienced in the art of government or versed in the administration of government affairs.
  2. a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues.
  • If Bibi were a statesman, he would resign.
  • If Bibi were a man of honor, he would resign.
  • If Bibi cared about his county more than himself, he would resign.
  • If Bibi cared about his party more than himself, he would resign.
  • If Bibi were a mensch, he would resign.

Right now, Bibi is none of these. Or, at least is not behaving like one of these.

For another perspective, read the material that argues otherwise: that Bibi should not resign. It seems to me that almost all of these articles are hero worship pieces along the lines of Bibi is the only man who can run the country, defend Israel, and keep it safe. Or, Bibi is the only one responsible for all the good things we have now in Israel, and he is the only one who can keep doing more of the same.

This is simply untrue.

Putting to one side the fact that cemeteries are full of irreplaceable people (and no, I don’t mean Bibi belongs in a cemetery), is Bibi’s record so good?

Do the residents of Sderot and the south have peace?

Do the parents of the two soldiers whose bodies Hamas hold hostage think Bibi is so good?

And while some want to give Bibi the credit for the strength of the economy, that wholly overlooks the weaknesses: we have people in work who cannot make ends meet. We have a housing crisis because homes are too expensive. We have horrific levels of property. The economic hero part also overlooks the contribution others have made to some of the stronger parts of the economy.

And let’s not forget Bibi’s horrendous anti-Arab racist statements and incitement.

Bibi is no legendary figure. Yes, he has achieved some good things. But he neither deserves the credit for them all, nor deserves to use them as a cover for not resigning.

How can he be at his best when he has to focus on defending himself in court?

Finally, what about the allegation that the charges are a left wing conspiracy? Let’s remind ourselves that the Attorney General – no shrinking violet or left wing sympathizer – was a Bibi appointment. That’s why Bibi’s supporters say Manderbilt is a dupe. Of course, he’s nothing of the kind. He’s an honest man, trying to do the best he can. That’s not something you can say about Bibi.

If Bibi were a statesman, he would resign.

Rocket Man

This morning’s targeted killing of Islamic Jihad‘s loose cannon, Baha Abu al-Ata, generated not only the inevitable rocket barrage response, but a flurry of social media funnies.

One wit shared a mock announcement from Tel Aviv Council that the public bomb shelters would be open, with a 20 shekel charge for the first hour, then 7 shekels for every further 15 minutes…

Another asked that since schools and businesses were already closed, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have the next election today?

And then the Times of Israel delivered this journalistic jape:

Sometimes, you just have to laugh!