No excuse for racism. Not even for Bibi.

Last week, the Elder of Ziyon posted an article: How to explain “racist” Netanyahu’s unprecedented support of Arabs?

The story claims (probably correctly) that Netanyahu governments have given substantial preferential treatment by way of aid to Israel’s Arab minority. And done without claiming credit or publicity.

Why? The Elder dismisses other explanations and offers the following:

Which brings us to the real answer.

Netanyahu has a vision for Israel’s strength and security for the next century. That is, and has been, his paramount goal. He cannot accomplish that goal without winning elections – the opposition parties simply do not share his strategic vision, if they have one at all.

To win elections, Bibi has to sometimes appeal to the less liberal elements of his party and of Israeli society. If he doesn’t win, in his mind, Israel loses.

Bibi’s supposed “racism” is public – he doesn’t give a damn if people think he is racist because if he doesn’t win, nothing can be done to help Israel in his mind. His true attitudes towards Arabs are revealed by what he does behind the scenes, and the anecdote that the article begins with shows that he has done far more to help Arab society in Israel than any previous prime minister from any party.

Do you buy that? I don’t.

Read the whole thing to make sure I am not misrepresenting the position.

The Elder’s position appears to be that it’s OK for Netanyahu to be racist – which he undoubtedly was – because, in the long term, the end (Bibi’s rule) justifies the means. That is irresponsible and dangerous. Die hard Bibi fans like the Elder can try and excuse his dreadful behavior, but ultimately they must fail because there is never an excuse for it. Never. It’s plain wrong. Would we excuse antisemitic behavior from anyone?

As a separate issue, Bibi’s achievements are not all they are cracked up to be, and his failings are many. I do not fall into the camp that demonizes Bibi, but this almost deification is way off base.

On this point, the Elder and I see things very differently.

Elections and Peace

This post was triggered by a comment I saw on Facebook:

“There will never be peace while Netanyahu has a thread of power or influence.”

While I am unsure if I would go as far as the commenter, I understand the source for that view and can sympathize with it. However, I felt that it was also a comment that reflected how the media, in the main, see the situation. It’s a variation on the theme, “It’s all Israel’s fault.” Wrong.

I therefore posted the following:

“There will never be peace while Abbas has a thread of power or influence.”


“There will never be peace while Hamas has a thread of power or influence.”

These are the parts the world forgets. (Sometimes, because it suits them.)

To conclude with the final perspective, I also posted this:

“Hopefully, today’s election results will remove Bibi from the picture. If so, we’re still stuck.”

Which is the real point. Israel has a vibrant democracy. We may not all want Bibi, but he was elected the leader. If he wins again, we have to respect the decision and hope he steers the country in the right (sic) direction. But even if Bibi loses, and Ganz becomes Prime Minister, the prospects of peace are no better.

For example, with Ganz as PM:

  • What do you think the prospects are for the Palestinian Authority or Hamas being more likely to be able to deliver peace?
  • What do you think the prospects are for the media blaming the PA or Hamas for the lack of peace?
  • How long do you think it will be before the media start parroting a line like this:

“There will never be peace while Ganz has a thread of power or influence.”

In short, while I would welcome a change from Bibi, I see no Palestinian partner for peace. I’d like to see peace or progress towards it, but on the basis of the available evidence, I am pessimistic. However, I’m reasonably certain Israel will be blamed, no matter what! Blaming Bibi is lazy thinking, for it fails to consider the whole picture.

Bibi, Bennett, Liberman, and Gaza

The West’s warmonger is not waging war. What fools they are. Source: WikiMedia

Be warned: I have no answers. I do have questions, and I do have thoughts. Consider this a stream of consciousness post, with a dash of analysis.

First off, the mission in Gaza that went wrong. Was it a mission of the highest priority that absolutely had to be carried out, regardless of the risk to the potential truce? Or was it less than that, but the army went for it, anyway? My gut tells me it’s the latter, but Bibi and co say it’s the former. I am skeptical. However, there might be a third possibility. It has been suggested to me that Israel regularly penetrates into Gaza, entirely unknown to Hamas. So successful have these penetrations been that they are not seen as risky, but routine. Then Murphy’s Law (or Moshe’s Law?) struck this one time, and all hell broke loose. For sure, I don’t think anyone in the IDF wanted to put a potential truce at risk, but they did. Continue reading

Bibi is right, Obama is flat out wrong

I have only looked at some of the detail of the so-called agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. I am not an expert. There may be things I have missed. But, so far, I have not seen a single item that undermines Bibi’s contention that this deal is a bad deal. That’s the starting point.

The situation becomes somewhat bizarre, now. Obama does an interview admitting that in 12-13 years Iran will have a breakout time (time to generate a nuclear weapon) of zero. But then the White House tries to ‘walk that back’ and pretend that is not the way it is.

However, David Horovitz‘s latest Times of Israel piece on the matter is the definitive last nail in the coffin for Obama’s deal.

Mr H is no lover of Bibi. Mr H is honest, diligent, and a wonderful writer. I may not always agree with him, but I sense the man is one of principle. So, when he absolutely rips the deal apart, it’s over.

For example, about the walk back, David Horovitz says:

In an NPR interview gone horribly wrong on Monday, the president did honestly admit a huge, dire, failing of the accord — the fact that, even if Iran keeps to the deal (and what a colossal, improbable “if” that is), it will be able to break out to the bomb in next-to-no-time when key provisions expire after a decade. (The president had gone part-way down the road to that admission in his New York Times interview on Saturday, saying: “I’ve been very clear that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch.” — D.H. emphasis)

But there can be no candid acknowledgement of so momentous a flaw, for that would be to confirm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s endlessly reiterated indictment of the deal as paving Iran’s way to the bomb. And so a State Department spokeswoman was pushed out in front of the cameras on Tuesday to stammer her way through an absurd reinterpretation of Obama’s remarks, an attempt at revisionism that insults our intelligence.

Or this:

It was immediately plain that the US-led negotiators had mislaid their moral compass, and indeed any clear sight of their own self-interest, when they agreed to conduct the negotiations as scheduled even as Iran’s ruthless, arrogant leader Ali Khamenei was intoning his “Death to America” mantra, and one of his military chiefs was declaring that Israel’s destruction is “nonnegotiable.”

What is becoming increasingly plain is the extent to which the Obama team and their colleagues were played for fools by the Iranians in the talks themselves.

It’s like Obama trying to barter in the shouk. He gets shafted.

Read it all, here.

And when you are done, remember this part:

But there can be no candid acknowledgement of so momentous a flaw, for that would be to confirm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s endlessly reiterated indictment of the deal as paving Iran’s way to the bomb.

To put it another way: Bibi is right, and Obama is wrong. Flat. Out. Wrong.

Finally, recall that there has been much opprobrium directed towards Bibi in the USA, much of it Obama inspired. However, honest analysis by independent thinkers like David Horovitz such as this – showing Obama up as having goofed big time – might suggest that the attacks on Bibi were, at least in part, wrong. Certainly, much of it was suspiciously partisan and thoughtless. Could it be that Obama is the politician behaving like the spoiled child, throwing his toys out of the cot? No wonder some people believe Bibi would be a successful candidate for the president of the USA!

Train wreck of a transatlantic journey

David Horovitz at the Times of Israel, about Bibi’s American Adventure:

“Along with the concern and the cynicism, however, there is one other fairly important aspect of the prime minister’s trip to DC that should be borne in mind: The US-led international community has failed Israel, and failed itself, in its handling of Iran’s drive to nuclear weapons. It is on the point of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And Netanyahu has been trying desperately to warn against this misguided course of action.”

I don’t agree with all of Mr H’s fine analysis. For one thing, I strongly suspect that Obama’s allies have been feverishly overstating the damage to Israel-US ties so as to undermine BIbi. Why? Because they fear the man, and they especially fear his message. But, regardless, I only have one more thing to say: read it all.

Bibi’s surgery

This take on Bibi’s hernia operation from Israel Matzav made me laugh:

I just read on Facebook that the doctors who operated on Prime Minister Netanyahu are refusing to release him from Hadassah Hospital.

It seems that they can’t find his backbone.


It’s funny, but I wonder how true it is. Bibi seems to bend over, round, and backwards so as to stay in power. But, on the whole, he has been a zealous defender of Israel and Israel’s interests on the world stage. It cannot be easy for him dealing with the world superpower when it seems to be so wayward in its so called support. I suspect, when push comes to shove, Bibi will show just how strong he can be.

That EU thingy

I fell obliged to blog about that EU directive, but am torn between a certain amount of rage at Catherine Ashton and the Eurocrats, and an equally certain amount of disappointment at being proved right that Netanyahu’s strategy about peace talks missed the point. Oh dear.

First, the damned EU. One of my friends says the main underlying cause is Holocaust guilt. The nations of Europe can assuage their guilt by scoring points off the Jewish State. True? Perhaps. What seems evident is that they have NEVER been 100% on Israel’s side. For example, the European states cut Israel’s supply lines in the 1973 war. Without the USA, that treachery could have been fatal.  More recently, their apathetic attitude to Israeli citizens under rocket fire, continues the trend. I’d like to see Ashton & Co in Sderot for a week or two during hostilities.

I like Melanie Phillipspost about this. And the wonderful Elder of Ziyon has a good analysis. I especially liked his poster:

eu jeru

Second, Bibi and the Israeli diplomatic corps. Here’s what the Elder says:

Israel is partially at fault for not having a clear, consistent, legal-based message to world diplomats on issues like Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

Beyond the legalities, though, is the reality that the poster above means to show: the world is targeting Jews, and only Jews. See this great post by Yaacov Lozowick on Beit Safafa for examples of Arab Israelis who moved to the other side of the Green Line and are never considered “settlers”.

Israel is doing a poor job at explaining its side of the story, and EU documents like this – even if only an incremental step – are the result. Nothing Israel is doing points to moving the discourse in any other direction. So things like the verbiage “borders,” instead of causing a firestorm, are roundly believed to be accurate.

I agree that Israel’s message has not been clear, consistent, or legally based, and has not been successful. I also agree that Israel has not been explaining its side of the argument well enough. But whatever criticism might be levelled at the lower ranks, pales into insignificance alongside that which the leader deserves. He should take responsibility for those failures, because if he had his eyes and ears open, he would know about them. For example, he should know that in the world, perception is all. And he should know that, regardless of the true position, Israel is seen by too many (fairly or unfairly) as being the obstacle to peace. He should have sorted that perception. I believe he could have. (I believe even I could!)

Even worse, in my opinion, is his failure with Obama. Bibi should have gone to Obama before any building freeze and made sure Obama was onside. Every last detail; should have been worked out. He did not do that. So the building freeze was for nothing, people’s perceptions and flawed perspectives remain. And as sure as Ashton is no friend of Israel, Israel will have to make concessions to get some peace talks on the go. It’s enough to turn a man to drink.

Funnily enough, I have this new whisky…