Friday, August 16, 2019

Israel rejects a key value of both Jewish and American life

"Freedom of Speech" by Norman Rockwell
     Nothing shows strength like the ability to listen. To not merely tolerate, but consider those who disagree with you. That’s a mark of confidence. 
     To hear contrasting opinions, weigh what merit those arguments might have, and even be open to the possibility that it is you, yourself, who could be wrong.
     Despots never get this. They’re too fraudulent, too terrified of losing their slippery grip on unmerited authority. So of course Donald Trump, that most hollow of puffed-up would-be strongmen, would fail to understand this, completely.
     “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Reps. Omar and Tlaib to visit,” Trump tweeted on Thursday, of the pending visit to Israel of two American members of Congress. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”
     Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim women elected to Congress, are not a disgrace. Nor anti-Semitic. They articulate concerns that many — maybe even most — American Jews feel over the path Israel is taking — its growing nationalism, its catering to ultra-Orthodox fanaticism, its general neglect of the fate of four million Palestinians under its semi-control.
     Yes, the two also encourage the BDS movement — the belief that Israeli businesses should be boycotted, investments in Israel should be divested, and sanctions placed until Israel ... well, does whatever it is the Palestinians want it to do: the Jews vanish, march into the Mediterranean Sea and let Palestinians have their country, I suppose.

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  1. Earlier this year Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted something about she hopes one day to be free to visit the Dome of the Rock, and take a picture. Geez lady just go to Jerusalem and take your selfie, thinks I. One of the things I really hate is being proved wrong, and P.M. Netanyahu managed to accomplish that. Nice job Bibi, thanks a lot.

  2. I don't understand. To me, the obvious purpose of the visit would be to stage a Passion Play. To find a piteous young amputee, arrange a press conference, with two US Congressmen, and ask him or her "What happened, poor child?" Use your imagination - maybe "I ran to my Mommy and a Jewish soldier shot me" or "I got an infection but the doctor had no medicine" or "they blew up my playground at school and a piece of metal hit my leg".... Cue the noble mother, tears in her eyes but clearly proud of her brave child, and Omar with overflowing eyes as well. None of this is true; it is beyond absurd. Nothing like this has happened since 1948. But truth is just an impediment to an opportunity for great propaganda, and there are plenty of people that want to believe it.

  3. I have always harbored an antipathy for boycotts, disinvestments and sanctions, believing them to be ineffectual and cruel, especially cruel to those ostensibly the beneficiaries of the actions. Certainly, the original boycott punished Captain Boycott and embarrassed Great Britain, but it's not clear whether the tenant farmers whom Boycott had tried to evict kept their land and whether rents were decreased sufficient to balance the poor harvest that triggered the protests. Often it seems to me that sanctions by powerful nations against weaker ones appear to be a species of bullying, which may indeed force the weaker to yield, but just as often gain adherents to a heretofore despised regime from the ranks of the suffering. I have no idea whether Israel and/or Israelis are suffering from BDS, but though I'm no friend of Bibi's Israel, I would not myself support the efforts to ostracize the country, even were I sure that it would spell Netanyahu's political demise.


  4. I have a greater chance of losing my life to a 16-year-old carjacker with a gun than I do to a hardened adult criminal. The big dogs on the porch (Russia, China, and the U.S.) are not going to be the first ones to roll out the hardware. The world will be destroyed when some nuclear pissants --India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran...or Israel...pull their weapons during some dust-up in some far away place. One of thosre shithole countries. Then the big boys will flex their muscles, and this planet will belong to the cockroaches.


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