Blowin’ in the Washington Wind

So, the peace talks are under way. But don’t hold your breath . . .

No one in Israel – not even his inner cabinet, by all accounts – has a clue what Benjamin Netanyahu will offer the Palestinians. Nor about his red lines.

Mahmoud Abbas, on the other hand, has a mandate from his family and herd of goats (there is, it is alleged, some overlap). One thing is for sure, however: nothing he agrees with “Bibi” will be accepted by his delightful Islamofascist brethren in Gaza.

And under the ground rest four more innocents . . . though, such is the demonization of the settler, these days, that Israel’s supposed “cultural elite” probably don’t even regard them as such.

On Monday, the day before the drive-by shooting, 150 left-wing academics, artists and writers – including A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, and David Grossman – signed a petition in support of actors who are refusing to appear in a new cultural centre in the West Bank settlement of Ariel (Haaretz article).

Now, I am not a supporter of the settlements and believe that all but the largest (of which Ariel is one) of them should – and, eventually, will – be evacuated (following, unlike in Gaza, a formal agreement). And I understand the reluctance, on ideological grounds, of left-wing artists to appear in them.

What unites the signatories to this petition, however, is the familiar arrogance of Israel’s left-wing intelligentsia, who consider their opinions of supreme importance in and to the Israeli body politic. This “cultural elite” – the large majority of which populates the swankiest suburbs of north Tel Aviv and believes, no less than the most fanatic of settlers, that it defines what makes a good and moral Zionist/Israeli – thoroughly repulses me. Most of its members, it seems to me, would sell this country and even their own mothers in the name of their perverse, potentially suicidal notions of liberalism. Indeed, for an honest, intuitive and untainted sense of right and wrong, I would sooner turn to the stallholders in the Carmel Market.

Moreover, I cannot help but wonder whether this self-righteous collection of luvvies, professors and general ponces is not responsible for, or has not at least contributed to, making the settler – through said constant demonization – a legitimate target in the eyes of our enemies.

Driving to the settlement of Efrat (in the Etzion bloc, 15 minutes from the scene of Tuesday’s murders) last Friday – on winding, hilly, unlit roads, past Palestinian villages whose donkeys would emerge, without warning, from out of the night – was a most unnerving experience. Indeed, my heart seemed to be racing as fast as the occasional vehicle, with green-on-white (Palestinian) plates, that sped past.

“There have been no drive-by shootings here for years,” my friend’s son attempted to reassure me upon my arrival, as I tried to regain my cool.

A mere four days later, however, that period of quiet was over.

And, regrettably, I hold out little hope for Washington.


15 responses to “Blowin’ in the Washington Wind

  1. The weirdest I read about this theatre performance is that it is to be the Brecht’s Caucasian Circle which is “inspired” by a story about Salomon and the choice of which I, were I a “settler”, would regard as a very inappropriate tease.

    Teaching me that true love lets go so Mr. BigWig can accord me my right?

    If they propose that to me I’d learn to whistle viciously so I could have some fun out of the occasion.

  2. Good article, but very worrying what exactly Netanyahu plans to do….although behind all the “hagigot” of the summit, they have already traded insults and accusations, so it remains to be seen…

  3. Well written Mike, especially about the left wing so-called “intelligentsia”. I recall when we were in Hasmo in the mid 70’s that as part of the “Let my people go” campaign we would infiltrate performances of the Bolshoi, Red Army Choir, etc., and disrupt the performances. We were very ably led by the legendary Eli Joseph (are you out there, Eli?), and we all spent several happy hours in (I think it was) Saville Row Police Station nursing large mugs of steaming tea – Oh those were the days! I think an appropriate response to these bastards’ (for want of a better description) boycott would be to disrupt their plays and concerts in Habima, Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheba by standing up and blowing whistles while handcuffing ourselves to the seats to maximise the effect and the length of the protest. My only reservation is that we would have to first purchase tickets at outrageous prices to line their pockets. But I think this would be a true Zionist response. Any takers?

  4. I would be interested to know why you are against the settlements.
    You do realize that this area was originally mandated to Israel before the British illegally gave it to the Saudi king Abdullah for oil rights.
    I do however agree with your sentiments towards the leftist academics, artists and writers.
    I am not religious or live in the WB, but i do know the history of this land and the settlers have every legal right to build according to international law…..despite the fact that the interpretations of the international law have been twisted out of context to suit the Arabs/leftists agenda.

    Another interesting thing i noticed is how the leftist controlled media is claiming that yesterdays attempted murder near Hebron, was committed by the Hamas Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade………yet the truth of the matter is that the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is actually Fatahs military wing.
    Again, the media is trying to portray Fatah as moderates wanting peace by blaming Hamas…..but that is a load of bull.

  5. Note how mass media reports cannot bring themselves to write four Jews killed, despite only referring to Jewish settlers.

  6. I suggest you pray — for Washington, for Netanyahu, for Abbas & for Obama. This insanity must stop & this is the right time. OK, so don’t listen to fanatics. If you daven regularly, you do pray for peace — speedily — in our time. This is the time to make those prayers real. Now — before yontif. God can’t do it alone — it’s our job to be God’s partners in bringing peace. Sticking to the past is no longer acceptable. As my friend Debbie Friedman wrote, “Nasim shalom” … let God do it in the heavens, but let’s all of us do it here & now.

  7. There can be no peace, only “piece”, the dismantling of the Jewish State, piece by piece, after which there will be the kind of “peace” we find , at best, in South Africa, and, at worse in Iraq.

  8. i made aliyah a year ago with my family and we live happily in the north of Israel on the kinneret (or actually just by it to be precise) and thank g-d everyday that it has been a ‘relatively’ quiet year here…but now we sit each day and hope that the Israeli jets we hear flying over head are only training and it wont be for something that is going to happen soon.
    i cannot fathom why or how any true israeli or jew can align themselves so closely with those who call and pray for our destruction and hope with all my heart that we never lose our land for in the blink of an eye, all of us (including the lefties) will be rounded up and 1939 will not seem so long ago.

  9. Extremists will always try & derail a peace process.

    We all know the answers are elusive. May Eretz Yisroel, it’s people and the world’s Jews find harmony in a world filled with ‘terror’

    Shabbat shalom

  10. Jay, I am not a supporter of the settlements because I believe that “land for peace” is our only hope for a normal future. I am not overoptimistic that even that will do it . . . but don’t we have to at least try?

    We may have all kinds of rights in history and “international law” . . . but do you want to continue living in a permanent state of war?

  11. Mike……Look what happened in GAzza
    We have already tried giving land for peace and all it gave us was thousands of missiles and more terror.
    You have to realize that the arabs know they cant defeat us in one big attack,,,,,they tried that in 67 and got their asses whipped.
    They are now trying to take one piece at a time by pretending they want peace and getting concessions.
    Sure, i want peace just like you do, but ceding more land is not the answer.
    The only answer is to go back to the original mandate and make Jordan their state. The Saudi king, Abdullah, has no rights to be controlling this land that was originally given to the Arabs of Palestine.
    Unfortunately, because of oil rights, no one in the international community chooses to push or support this option, which is the only viable solution.

    Have you also ever considered that the Arabs dont actually want a state of their own, because if they ever got one, they would have no excuse to attack Israel?
    They were offered over 90% of their demands in Oslo…..and still walked out.

  12. Jay

    While I agree with your views in sentiment, they are far from practical and even you allude to the fact that they are a pipe dream. That being the case, we need to focus on somewhat viable solutions, as suggested by Mike. That means land for peace. We can talk about biblical god given rights, and interpretations of international law till we are blue-in-the-face, but it wont get us anywhere. The best thing to do (in my very humble opinion, especially given that I live far away in the safety of the US), it to give the Palestinians land in areas where they already hold a significant majority from a population point of view, and keep the large Jewish settlements where Jews have a decent majority. You can then create defendable borders with a solid Jewish majority. Do you really want to control swathes of land where you are outnumbered 10-1 by an unpredictable and dangerous population? There is a good reason why Jordan gave up its claim on the West Bank after the 6-day war. They no longer wanted to be responsible for millions of troublesome Palestinians, who were a headache to them for many years before. Similarly, Egypt made sure that the peace treaty they signed with Israel gave them control of the Sinai, but did NOT give them control over Gaza. Egypt wanted nothing to do with these people either. Unfortunately, at the time, Egypt and Jordan understood whom they were dealing with far better than Israel did.

    So in the end, Israel has four choices as I see it:
    1) Keep all the West Bank and run an apartheid-like state where a majority population has no voting rights.
    2) Keep all the West Bank and give the Palestinians Israeli citizenship, and, de facto, immediately self-destruct due to becoming a minority in their own country.
    3) As suggested above, give land for peace and create a solid, Jewish-majority with defendable borders.
    4) Status Quo – or as Mike put it, a permanent state of war.

  13. Celtic fans and Everton fans often sing a song, “And if you know your history…” Sometimes I read the comments on this site and wonder if the contributors actually know that Jewish history is complex, fascinating and heroic. It also has, amongst many other things, a very healthy socialist past.

    The founder of scientific socialism Karl Marx, as I am sure most of you know, was Jewish. One of the main organisers of the Russian revolution was Leon Trotsky, who later organised the Red Army in a fight against the ‘Whites.’ Even the founders of Israel came from the Kibbutz movement influenced by European socialism.

    One of the most inspiring books I have ever read, ‘The Ghetto Fights’ by Marek Edelman, is about the heroic Jewish socialists who fought back against the Nazis with a few handguns and molotov cocktails (at the same time the Rabbis where telling people not to fight back!)

    The Communist Party in east London was built by Jewish immigrants and Phil Piratin, one of only two Communist MPs after the 2nd World War, hailed from a Jewish background.

    I find it worrying that the author seems to sneer at Left Wing intellectuals as if in some way wrong, but they represent a strong strand of Jewish history.

  14. Hi Mike
    Yes, it didn’t take long, and look how offended and disgusted the theatre goers and thespians/management were when the Right “hits” back. What hypocrites! I’m sure there will be more in store…… Shana Tova!

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