June 03, 2010

Another Kind of War

I know I shouldn't tar everyone with the same brush, but I have to say the Israelis seem to shoot themselves in the foot so many times that I'm surprised they still have any feet left. It really worries me. I know there's nothing we Jews can get right but still do we really have to hand it to them?

OK, so I can understand a not very sophisticated or educated ultra-Orthodox minister of the interior, who only got a senior appointment because of haggling and coalition bargaining, puts his foot in it and embarrasses his prime minister by announcing more building on the very day the American special negotiator, Senator George Mitchell, comes to town. After all, he is not just a politician (and we know that almost all politicians are either crooked or stupid), he is a rabbi too. So what do you expect?

OK. I can understand the Israeli police force mishandling the Sheikh Jarrah protestors. Everyone knows the Israeli police are both infiltrated by criminal contacts and dumb. That is why they always go around in twos--one to write and the other to read.

OK, I can understand that you bring a walking disaster like Avigdor Lieberman into office. He has been your protégée and knows all your dirty secrets. You owe him. But why then put Lieberman, a man with fewer diplomatic skills than Mike Tyson (and not much more attractive), in the most sensitive public relations area, the Foreign Ministry? Even if you do give him by far the best and most articulate spokesman you could wish for, Mark Regev (you then make sure he only gets limited exposure and you let incompetents make matters worse, because you owe other friends other favors).

OK, I can understand you give Barak the Defense Ministry. He is an ex-general, a highly cultured, and by now a very wealthy, politician who nominally stands for the old left-wing aristocracy. He is supposed to be in charge of the army that cannot even dislodge one illegal settlement. He cannot rein in settlers running amok and shooting up villages. He was the one responsible for that stupid botched handling of the flotilla. For goodness sakes you either have lousy intelligence or you deserve to be fired for sending unprepared soldiers abseiling down into a cesspit of 'peaceful' of course, murderous jihadis. It obviously didn’t occur to him to disable the propellers or the engine and let it drift for some other humanitarian boat to come to its rescue.

Yes, we know this was a cleverly planned trap laid by experienced agitators to maximize PR and further isolate Israel. We know legitimate aid gets into Gaza from Israel, and cars and trucks come in via tunnels from Egypt. Gaza gets more aid than most decaying rustbelt towns in the US, and the United Nations has just opened an Olympic-sized swimming pool for them. We know the world won't cry over the 94 Ahmadiyya massacred in Pakistan last week or call for a boycott. And yes, we know Turkey needs to cover up its own massacres of Armenians and Kurds. Anyone notice how many Kurds were killed last week? And Erdogan, himself? Why is everyone saying Israel is losing a friend? He was never a friend. Remember how he insulted Peres at Davos? No, it was the secular generals who got on with Israel, and now Erdogan the Muslim anti-secularist is putting them all in jail.

And is a blockade against Gaza getting you anywhere? What is the point? Look at the US. It has equally stupidly been blockading Cuba for a generation and got nowhere. For goodness sakes, stop it. Shut down the Israel side of the border altogether. After all Hamas wants the end of Israel why help it altogether? Let it direct its hatred south. Yes I know arms will come in the way they are flowing into Lebanon. And they will be fired at Israel and Hamas doesn’t give a damn how many expendable women and children are killed in return. We know if Israel retaliates it will be blamed. But better be blamed and get rid of your enemy than getting blamed and NOT getting rid of them. It is clear that getting rid of Israel is the agenda and of a lot of Jews too of all smells.
OK, so it is Netanyahu's fault for being so desperate for power he preferred to get into bed with the religious, the right-wing, and the Russians instead of a presentable, reasonable, intelligent moderate like Tzipi Livni. So yes, we know Netanyahu flatters to deceive--and if he sounds articulate, the fact is he is not very bright. He was not a success last time and he is not now. If only the silver lining was that he'd really give peace a chance but it is clear that’s beyond him.

Why even Olmert at least had the common sense to allow an earlier dumb flotilla through to Gaza. For goodness sake, let 'rent mobs' have their demonstrations. They know they can't get near China or Russia, who bomb the hell out of their troublesome minorities or Iran who torture them to death. They know if they try going through Egypt they'll end up in jail. Israel is a soft target precisely because it is not as bad as everyone says it is. You never saw any placards amongst the demonstrators saying 'Muslims kill Muslims,' more than anyone else.

OK, I know I am going to be embarrassed week after week by incompetent Israeli politicians. But I had hoped the much vaunted Israeli military top brass were at least up to scratch. So even if Israel continues to bury itself further into the PR pit that its enemies are digging daily for it, at least we could count on them to save ourselves from ourselves.

But they did not cover themselves in glory in Lebanon against the braggadocio Hezbollah guerillas. They did not do a much better job in Gaza. Now they bloody well can't even handle a civilian ferry on the high seas. And these are the people we expect to defend a Jewish state from the hoards of primitive fanatics, an Iranian nuclear bomb, and the political failures.

How on earth anti-Semites can think we control and manipulate the world, when we can't even run one of the smallest states on the planet, Lord only knows. But then hatred knows no logic. And how they can think we control Washington when we can't even take control of a Turkish ferry without a massive cock-up. It just beggars belief. The Great American Government can't even handle a hole in the Gulf of Mexico. I only hope and pray God is still watching.

9 Comments:

At 2:08 AM , Blogger Linda's Lookout said...

They thought it was Entebbe...

 
At 4:34 AM , Anonymous Leila said...

I agree with you, Jeremy, about the ineptitude of the Israeli government but please read Daniel Henninger's article on the Wall Street Journal of 3rd June. It is a masterly exposition of the automatic violent response of the rest of the world to Israel (most of whom are guilty of really heinous crimes). Also, if you can get to see last evening's Question Time (BBC1) and listen to Calvin Mackenzie's forthright support for the State of Israel you will not be disappointed. For us, so beleaguered in the UK, it was wonderful to have someone stand up for us.

Shabbat shalom.

 
At 4:36 AM , Anonymous Leila said...

Apologies to Kelvin Mackenzie for spelling his name incorrectly!

 
At 5:42 AM , Blogger Ruth and Chaim said...

Very appropriate for Parhat Shelah

 
At 9:19 AM , Blogger Rabbi Jeremy Rosen said...

Ruth and Chaim:
Hadn't thought of that, but you're dead right, and in the end what overcomes poor leadership is when you manage to build up popular morale.
J

 
At 9:20 AM , Blogger Rabbi Jeremy Rosen said...

Leila:
The wonderful thing about living in the US is that although you get all the anti-Israel stuff you also get much more pro-Israel opinion too. Even CNN had someone say, 'If the Arabs lay down their arms there will be peace. If Israel lays down its arms it will be destroyed.' Still I am very pleasantly surprised the BBC allows a pro-Israel opinion. No doubt it will be bombed.
J

 
At 7:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeremy,

I think the PR war is long since over. What PR is possible when Israeli medics are accused of organ harvesting and the response from Baroness Tonge is that an enquiry should be launched to refute the allegation? What is there to say to Helen Thomas (all over the Internet this w/e) who thinks Jews should return to Germany and Poland? It's not a matter of whether these are two batty individuals and so possibly not representative but that their outrageous opinions don't immediately elicit the same kind of response as they would were they to be made about any other group of people. Could we just call this what it is? Jew hating. There's never been any PR to counter that and there isn't now.

If there's any doubt that PR is impossible, just consider the media frenzy over nine lives lost on the Marmara in exactly the same period as BP continues to royally f*ck up an entire ocean (16% of UK pensions depend on BP so nobody wants to make too much of a fuss), an earthquake in China kills or displaces thousands and the fully nuclear armed and barking mad Kim Jong-il sinks a South Korean warship and blames the South Koreans. But what's front page/twitter/youtube news? Why, the Jews again. And we think we're obsessive?!!

Btw, in your catalogue of embarrassment you missed out the (probably Israeli) Dubai assassination and those dodgy wigs and forged passports. I prefer it when the Israelis use poisoned chocolates or lethal cell phones but actually, so long as they come out ahead, I really don't care what method they use, however inelegant.

 
At 10:18 AM , Blogger Rabbi Jeremy Rosen said...

Anonymous:

We must not give up.

To Helen Thomas we say 'Yes we'll get the hell out...if All Americans get the Hell out and return to their country of origin and leave America to its indigenous population'

To Baroness Tongue(Lip) we say
'Remember Alder Hay, clear your own house first.'

 
At 11:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite right, about not giving up, not when Israelis put out such a nice little ditty as the "Flotilla Choir presents: We Con the World"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOGG_osOoVg&feature=player_embedded. According to Haaretz it's been accidentally circulated by the Israeli government. It's also got a million hits on YouTube.

 

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