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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu and Instability

With all the disruption and uncertainty surrounding uprisings in the Arab world Israel has had to be aware of two things:

First:      Political Islam will always be a religiously murderous theology. It will experience no ethical conflict if it chooses to renege on any agreements it has made with Israel or any other country. It can find enough theological precedent to justify this if it wishes.

Second:     Revolutionary change creates triumphalism, triumphalism is jingoistic in temperament and jingoism destabilizes nations even as it unifies societies.

A new paradigm is open to testing and just as we learn from our relationships through experience, change creates opportunities for new interactions that are not necessarily mutually beneficial.  Multiple uprisings in the Arab world present both opportunities and dangers to all players in the region and it may be a number of years before the overall picture can be fully viewed.

What has particularly frightened me is not the speculation around multiple ‘what-if’ scenarios but the electrical impulses surging through Benjamin Netanyahu’s brain.  Correct me please (if I was misled) but in disbelief I read that he thought the cost of coping with this new ‘threat’ would be an extra $20 billion.  We can all guess from whom he intended to ask for this cash.

The world has gone through tremendous economic trauma since 2008. It will take a long time before any of us (perhaps excepting the wealthy) are able to recover from this onslaught on our national pockets. Most of us will not recover from this latest economic downturn as future pensions are squeezed and as prospects for increasing real, inflation adjusted net income are marginal at best over the medium to long term.

For Benjamin Netanyahu to suggest that he may need the kind of help that will never trickle down let alone make most of his or anyone else’s citizens safer showed gross political insensitivity.  As an exemplar of grotesque silliness I find it difficult to begin to speculate from where his thoughts emanated. It is as if Benjamin occupies a space of serenity and insensible calm completely oblivious to the pain everyone else is experiencing.

It is very damaging to Israel and one must question the motive of the man who seems intent on alienating his nation’s principal benefactor by his bizarre and irreverent behavior.

If the States citizens can no longer see the fundamental error in their Prime Ministers thinking then the original heroic vision upon which Zionism built the State of Israel has been truly lost.

We know from global history that collapse is orchestrated from the margins. The extremes of left and right restrain the center and by exercising de facto veto over policy, paralyze or severely restrict a nation’s efforts to deal with either an external or an internal threat. When an extreme minority dictates debate over what constitutes the national vision atrophy ensures. Those who are best at manipulation, profit from dysfunction to the detriment of everyone else. Consensus and that means the nation, is the only loser.  In democracy it is consensus that binds us together as a nation because it provides a vision that is overwhelmingly shared by the people.  A vision that is shared by the alienated and peripheral figures at the margins of society by its nature precludes the majority and therefore is damaging to the society that it infects.

Egypt’s total aid package from the USA was tied to Israel’s aid by the terms of its 1979 Peace Treaty with Israel. It was conditioned and it remains contingent on Egypt’s good behavior. As a guarantor of good conduct its effectiveness  has been hampered by Israel’s reluctance to use this particular weapon.  Perhaps it is time to remind the Egyptian people that their aid may not be as visible as Israel’s is but it is no less significant for the Egyptian military establishment and therefore the Egyptian people.  Of course China, Iran, Turkey and even Saudi Arabia may be eager to jump in with the next 60,000 million dollars of loose change (as the US has given Egypt since 1979 - $2.5b in 2010) but I suspect not.

If I was Prime Minister Netanyahu I would have stood before the people of America and offered to share their pain.  I would have massively reduced or better still, ceased Israel’s government aid from the USA immediately. 

But the Prime Minister simply does not appear to inhabit the same world the rest of us do. If Bibi is incapable of seeing the enormity of his present failure he must go before the damage to Israel is irreparable.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Itamar Infanticide and the British Press

Sometimes events impel a response that rudely pushes its way to the front of the queue.  I wrote the conclusion to this blog before I thought out anything else. As often happens I awoke into consciousness with an idea. It refused to leave and grew with intensity. My first thoughts of the morning should be of light and calm; peace and a new day. Instead I considered the response of the British Press to the decapitated body of a three month old baby, the blood soaked remains of humanity discarded like the lies of the press and the self-righteous boycotters cheering hypocrisy, on a fathers lifeless body.

A society that celebrates infanticide has no humanity.  A society that justifies this slaughter has no soul.  The Politically correct British press, the BBC (funded by $7.3 billion of British taxpayer’s money) and the Guardian Newspaper failed to mention this atrocity and when they did it was in order to justify their own pornographic agenda of equivalence, cause and effect, justice and punishment. The Jews, it seems, make Muslims do bad things.  Gee whiz – where have we heard that before, o yeah, Der Sturmer, 1923-1945, Nazi Germany, or if that is too offensive, The Peoples Observer, its ‘quality’ sister newspaper. Welcome to 21st Century Britain.

The Settlements, it is implied, supply the reason behind the celebration of child killers. Murder is not murder when the victims are Zionist babies. Allah’s followers have the Koran to keep them calm as they go about their important work, putting civilians to the sword, in the midst of their blood soaked killing fields.

The British press, in creating this false dichotomy, this obscene linkage once again affirms its outright ethical failure. Butchery is only thus, in the wrong hands.

I understand frustration and despair.  I appreciate outrage and anger.  The Britain that collaborated in the Shoah has never forgiven its survivors and now actively encourages the re-writing of Israeli history.

It explains an end, the Fogel family atrocity can only hint at.

Britain ignored Hitler because the job he did was agreeable to its largely ‘aristocratic’ leadership. In 1948 it was Britain that orchestrated the ethnic cleansing of Jewish Jerusalem and the almost complete destruction of its physical architecture.

I awoke this morning and from the Press I understood that nothing has changed.  Israel and ‘The Jews’ have never had ‘a chance’ to influence British opinion.  The morally indigent revanchist British press has always needed a hate figure to motivate it but has nearly always displayed scrupulous care to not damage UK plc’s profitability in its pursuit of ‘the truth’. Cant, has always been a staple of British journalism’s diet.  One theory has it that Robert Maxwell was murdered and his funds stolen by Her Majesties government in order to silence dissenting opinion.  Were they afraid that a Jew might finally have an opportunity to present another side to the story?  Rupert Murdoch (who is generally regarded as portraying Israel in a positive light) as owner of News International has had to give up Sky News in order to gain permission to acquire a greater share of British broadcasting – is there a British conspiracy afoot here too? A pattern soon emerges of a society that refuses to acknowledge a legitimate Jewish narrative, a society that will do everything in its power to suppress legitimate debate, a society that is capable only of acknowledging Jewish subservience and eternal victim-hood.

Now that is interesting. Is there a British conspiracy targeting Jews as a race and as a people? Should we speculate about a secret book, or a secret society, just as the Russian secret police wrote the Protocols in the middle of the 19th Century? Does a book or a program exist that is the product of her Majesties loyal secret servants here, too?  Now that would make for an interesting movie!

As a Jew I am unable to agree with a lot of what passes for Israeli government policy. But living in Britain I am beginning to fear living in Britain just as the Jews of Berlin must have feared living in Germany before the World War.  A British judiciary that makes public theater out of criminal trials (as long as they concern Israel, that is), cant, legalized incitement, and justifiable homicide: this is Britain today and its quality press rules.

I awoke this morning to a vision of hell. The Jewish village of Itamar is a metaphor for Israel itself.  The press reaction, a reminder that the past, for some of us at least, is also our present.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prejudice and Fear

We live in urban England.  My daughter has friends from many communities within British Society.  Her high school is majority Muslim and I do not pretend that being a minority (White and Anglo-Saxon) automatically encourages disadvantage.

After her first week in high school I waded in with indignant fury at the head teachers’ platitudes about zero tolerance for racism and a level playing field for all when one of her little friends was called a nigger by older Muslim boys. On other occasions I tried to explain that the need to be ‘protected’ by ‘good Muslims’ was intrinsically wrong.  Equality is not the absence of prejudice. To make a virtue of fear is to accept discrimination as a fact of life. To teach that nothing can be done teaches children an obscene lesson that authority is meaningless.  We can celebrate the fortitude of the children that subsequently grow up without prejudice but just as likely, is the outcome that there will be an equal number for whom hate will be their constant companion.

In order to now explain my fears I must take you on a diversion.

Why is the conflict between Israel and the Arab world so intractable? The answer can be found in the following analysis.

History, psychology and the dynamics of power are central to all abusive relationships. 

Missionary faith by the nature of its theological construction is abusive.  There are two missionary faiths in this world, Christianity and Islam.

As a missionary faith Islam has three bedrock narratives.
  1. Everything that came before Islam is redundant. This is called Supersessionism or Replacement Theology.
  2. Within every missionary community a minority will only ever be tolerated but never, will they be equal.
  3. Degradation and humiliation demonstrably reinforces the ‘superior’ communities self worth, irrespective of the class they belong to.  This last point is particularly appreciated by tyrannies and fascist democracies.  In Islam it is central to the theology of global conquest and that status theologically ascribed to the infidel (called ‘Dhimma’).  For a more detailed explanation I recommend the following by Bat Ye’or:

As a faith, Islam has had 1,400 years of almost wholly unimpeded Global colonial expansion.  Successful conquest is the only determinant of what constitutes appropriate behavior in a setting where asymmetrical power is not balanced in favour of the missionary faith.  Islam is a faith of global conquest.

There are three reasons that the conflict is currently intractable:
  1. After 1,400 years of successful conquest the conqueror can never understand that a persecuted minority has the right to reverse that trend of harassment and ethnic cleansing that by its previous success self-justifies and therefore, is self-perpetuating of discrimination.
  2. Even if the Arab and greater Muslim world can accept physical defeat by a Dhimmi nation it can never theologically accept spiritual and cultural defeat. And this will always inform its relationship with the Non-Muslim world. The cultural construct that demands acquiescence to inferior status with all its concomitant legal and material consequences cannot psychically digest a contrary position. This imbalance constantly feeds the destructive tensions that exist within the relationship.  For Israel it means that there can rarely, if ever, be a relationship with the Muslim world that is based on trust.
  3. The theological need to strike out at an inferior human being is not only a religious but also a cultural paradigm of Islamic faith. And the significance of this last statement is that the difference between the bigotry of a secular and a religious Muslim is far too often only in the narrative.  In the Arab world it is key to understanding the prejudice and discrimination that infects Arab thought and that infests Arab society.

An aside.  I am a Jew, I am an Israeli, and I am a Zionist. I am immensely proud to be known as and called all three of these things in no particular order.  I am British also.  To the person who questions my loyalty to Britain I ask why I have never read an article questioning the loyalty of my British Muslim compatriots, or of any other faith group?  Is this bizarre omission something we need to contextualize in terms of a conspiracy against Jews only?

I am sensitive to the feelings of others but it appears to me that in this world of abusive power there are two missionary faiths that have controlled my destiny for far too long and they have not ever truly accepted my right either to self determination or the right to have a homeland that is free of threat.  Having practiced a military strategy of ‘Divide and Rule’ as a vehicle for domination and conquest a third party interferes with this spurious 'conflict-free' philosophy of appeasement.

Here lies the essence of the conflict between Israel and the Rest.

It is why the fascist left has found it so easy to slip into bed with Islam and it is why the fascist left accepts without questioning the Arab/Islamic narrative. It is why the fascist left embraces every lie.

I accuse the fascist left of including the British Guardian Newspaper Group and the BBC (recently named as one of the three most powerful media groups in the world and, the most influential).  I include in this fascist conspiracy the British Liberal Democratic Party which relishes their enfants terribles for their forthright manner and their political and personal bigotry while allowing the party to distance itself from what they privately cheer.

British Television recently completed the showing of a four part anti-Jewish diatribe called ‘The Promise’ (see my posting dated 8th February 2011). This vile propaganda was the contribution of the BBC’s co-conspirator ITV4.  I only managed to sit through a single episode but that was enough to convince me that once more British Television was celebrating its sycophantically Antisemitic tradition by adding yet another showpiece Arabist anti-Zionist narrative to the colourful British literary canvas.  A friend once told me that the British cultural landscape was replete with Jewish luvvies and cultural icons. Therefore, he continued, the Islamist and left wing fascist narrative (and thus its agenda) was unsustainable. I disagreed with his optimistic prognosis then and am more than convinced today that his foresight was mistaken.

And so I return to my little girl. She has completed her education relatively unscathed by the prejudice that has damaged so many others.  When my daughter questions my identity I understand that she has the right to construct her own. It is not all her choice because she did grow up in my home and I hope she has absorbed some of my positive values. 

When she brings a boy into my home and his name is Mohammed I am overwhelmed however by philosophical angst.

I do not want to hurt her. I am not a racist. I am overwhelmed by history and I live in current times where history is repeating itself. The scapegoat is never a happy sacrifice.  Today I live in racist, left wing McCarthyist Anti Jewish Britain. This country, complicit in the Shoah, denigrates me for my ingratitude when I fail to listen to my moral and intellectual ‘betters’, when I refuse to turn the other cheek. When I don’t do as I am told.

Britain is today at the forefront of the campaign to denigrate my history and annihilate my future.

And now I despair. My daughter is too young to internalize my fears and too naive to appreciate the threat her relationships pose to me and to her.

There is nothing I can do if I do not want to drive her away.  I have never been nervous with any of the people my children have brought into my house and my home has been their home. I have always, without exception, given them free rein, irrespective of their race, their religion or their color.

Do tell me then why I should not be nervous about secular Mohammed?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stability, Muammar Qaddafi and Oil

We are told that there are two kinds of international political relationship.  The first is enunciated by the neocons.  It expresses the desire to create a democratic state structure that will encourage freedom and equality. In theory, democratically elected nations are unlikely to sanction military adventurism as a means to resolving their conflicts.  The second view is provided by the foreign policy realists. We should all ‘live and let live’. Culture, we are informed, is king.  The clich├ęs roll off the tongue like an insipid broth of chicken soup that slides down the gullet without ever touching the sides.  So countries that stone to death its female child victims of rape, execute homosexuals, eat the liver of albinos and hang mothers who speak out against crimes committed in the name of the national deity (or the blasphemy laws) should be allowed their institutionalised slavery, child rape, torture and state legalised slaughter.

We are told that stability is paramount to the retention of international security and that without it we will always be fighting other nation’s wars for them.  In the morally relativistic cesspool we now intellectually inhabit, flexibility has become our closest ally.

Of course the bombing in Bali (200 murdered), Madrid (also 200 murdered), on 911 (3,000 murdered) and in London (52 murdered) are simply aberrant and isolated chinks in the global armor of fortress hypocrite.

Europe has lectured Israel on the finer points of diplomacy.  The State of Israel has been less than competent in framing a credible response to global threats of deligitimization.  A people famed for their literacy have been barely literate in fighting off the narrative disinformation of their enemies.  And Israel has scarcely addressed the supercessionist bigotry of the Kairos Document and the Methodist Church.  Meanwhile the Arab world, convulsed by social and political upheaval kills its own people by the thousand and we intimate that we may consider proposing a possible strategy that could potentially include the threat of selective sanctions and maybe, perhaps even a wrap on the knuckles at the United Nations (for Libya’s president, Mr Qaddafi).

If we do not have a vision for the world in which we sojourn, we will be overwhelmed by the barbarians.

The West dealt with Libya as if Qaddafi’s forty year rule was not a dictatorship cemented in blood. Left and Right, liberal and conservative, the leadership of the West and not just the West, has sold its soul for the oil soaked sands of Arabia.