Archive for Politicians

Connecting the Dots on Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu has often been called a clever but unprincipled, indeed, unscrupulous, politician. But his skill as an orator as well as his pleasant demeanor obscures the nature of this political animal—and his oratory sometimes trips him.

Let’s go back to the aftermath of the May 1996 election, when he nosed out Shimon Peres for the premiership by a mere half a percentage point. To both Jewish and Arab audiences he boasted that no one expected him to (1) accept the Oslo Accords as a basis for the “peace process”; (2) meet with Yasser Arafat; and (3) withdraw from Hebron. Ponder the significance of this unwittingly self-incriminating statement or confession. If no one, in his own words, expected him to take the three steps just mentioned, it follows that Mt. Netanyahu betrayed those who elected him Israel’s Prime Minister!

That he can boast before the nation about his utterly unexpected adherence to the Oslo Accords reveals his contempt for public opinion. It also reveals, in addition to his moral obtuseness, Israel’s undemocratic political culture. But this is not all.

Mr. Netanyahu employed the same kind political deception in the February 2009 election. » Continue reading “Connecting the Dots on Netanyahu”

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Uncomfortable Issues

Israel’s ruling elites—politicians and judges, academics and journalists—say that Israel is a democracy, and most people believe them. Let’s examine this issue.

A basic principle of democracy is government by the consent of the governed. The meaning of the term “consent” becomes evident when we speak of individuals reaching the “age of consent.” At that time, individuals are deemed responsible for their behavior. They can sign contracts and participate in voting.

The term “consent” thus involves volition qualified by reason. Government by the consent of governed thus requires well-informed citizens. Being will informed necessitates knowledge of the true nature of Israeli government. Unfortunately, most Israelis, including many of the educated, are sadly lacking in such knowledge.

For example, Benjamin Netanyahu was asked by a representative of the media whether he favors a presidential system of government. He replied that such a system would give the president unlimited power! » Continue reading “Uncomfortable Issues”

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The Grave-Diggers of Israel

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, August 10, 2009.

In her August 7 Jerusalem Post column, Caroline Glick rightly says: “for the past 16 years [since the Oslo Agreement], the greatest champion of the view that Israel is a strategic liability rather that a strategic asset for the US, and that the US gains more from a weak Israel than a strong Israel, has been Israel itself. Successive governments in Jerusalem, from the Rabin-Peres government to the Barak, Sharon and Olmert governments, all embraced the Arabist view that regional stability and hence Israeli security is enhanced by a weakened Israel.”

For reasons of her own, Glick does not mention Benjamin Netanyahu in this list of flawed prime ministers. She knows, however, that Netanyahu has adhered to Oslo and has therefore made Israel appear more as a strategic liability than a strategic asset. What could make this more obvious than his supporting a Palestinian state in Israel’s heartland?

But there is a deeper flaw—nay, a western, cultural pathology that emasculates the governments Glick denounces. This pathology underlies the defeatist policy of “territorial for peace” which all Israeli governments have pursued even before Oslo. The pathology I am alluding to is cultural or historical relativism. Spawned in Europe, this doctrine permeates higher education in Israel and in all levels of education in America.

Relativism infected the mentality of Jewish leaders even before the founding of the state. » Continue reading “The Grave-Diggers of Israel”

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The Two-State Solution: A Sacrifice of the Intellect

Whatever else one may say of the “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is fascinating example of how intelligent men can sacrifice their intellects to a mantra.

Rather than discuss the mentality of men like Benjamin Netanyahu, let’s go back almost twenty years to Mr. Yossi Sarid, then a leader of the Meretz Party with experience on the important Knesset Committee on Defense and Foreign Affairs.

Anticipating Netanyahu’s current position, Sarid had long advocated negotiations with the PLO and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Hence he was taken aback when Yasser Arafat, along with Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, supported Saddam Hussein's rape of Kuwait. He was all the more discomfited when Israel's own Arab citizens applauded the Iraqi dictator.

In view of these politically embarrassing developments, Sarid felt compelled to “reassess” his position. » Continue reading “The Two-State Solution: A Sacrifice of the Intellect”

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Iranian, American, and Israeli Grievances: A Question of Revolution

Iran’s fraudulent presidential election of June 12, which kept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power, was enough to trigger a revolution—not civil disobedience Israeli style. Many Iranians lost their lives in violent protests against the fraud. The revolution is not over. Report has it that even Iranian soldiers are helping opponents of the regime.

“No taxation without representation” was the clarion call of the American revolution of 1776. The Americans were fed up with protests and civil disobedience. Ponder these words of the American Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; » Continue reading “Iranian, American, and Israeli Grievances: A Question of Revolution”

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The Likud: A Dead Man Walking

The Likud is a dead man walking, and no one can enliven that intellectually sterile party. This means that political Zionism is dead. It died in May 1996 when Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister and said his government would abide by the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement which the Labor Party had foisted on the nation in September 1993.

Unknown to the general public, Oslo presaged the establishment of an Arab-Islamic state in the Land of Israel, a state Netanyahu unlawfully sanctified on June 14, 2009 at Bar-Ilan University. Let us probe the little known perfidious nature of the Likud via political Zionism.

It never entered the minds of political Zionists that the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel was to culminate in the construction of the Third Temple and the restoration of Jewish law. The founders of political Zionism, such as Herzl and Pinsker, started from the failure of liberalism to solve the Jewish problem, but continued to see the solution in liberal terms, as a merely human problem. As Leo Strauss has written:

The terrible fate of the Jews was in no sense to be understood any longer as connected with divine punishment for the sins of our fathers or with the providential mission of the chosen people and hence to be borne with the meek fortitude of martyrs. » Continue reading “The Likud: A Dead Man Walking”

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A Thought Experiment for Right-Thinking People

Suppose Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu had campaigned for the premiership by advocating the “two-state solution,” hence a Palestinian state. The Likud would surely have won far less than the 27 seats it garnered in the February election—perhaps little more than one-third of that number. Certainly the party would have been in a shambles.

In fact, it was reported in The Jerusalem Post (July 7) that 11 Likud MKs—Tzipi Hotovely, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, deputy ministers Ayoub Kara and Gile Gamliel, and Danny Danon, Miro Regev, Tzion Pinyan, Carmel Shama, Yariv Levin and Ze’ev Elkin—have signed a letter to Netanyahu stating: “As Likud members, we cannot support a two-state solution on principle.” “[Such a solution] is neither possible, nor proper, due to the moral right of the Jewish people to the land, and for reasons of security. Saying otherwise delegitimizes the Israeli struggle for the land.”

Surely this expressed the views of some other Likud MKs, for example, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. Hence, it would be reasonable to assume that the Likud would have been devastated in the February election had Netanyahu been forthright with the people of Israel by saying he was for a Palestinian state. This means that Mr. Netanyahu’s premiership is based on a dastardly lie.

Would the Kadima party have benefited from the truth? » Continue reading “A Thought Experiment for Right-Thinking People”

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The Russian Card: Israel Must Distance Itself from Washington

Eidelberg Report, March 23, 2009.

There can be no doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is playing the Muslim card to the detriment of Israel. His appeasement of Iran, the epicenter of global terrorism, is especially troubling, to Americans as well as Israelis. Obama’s Middle East advisers have consorted not only with Hamas, an Iranian proxy, but also with Syria, a terrorist state. The Obama government is helping the Palestinian (terrorist) Authority to establish a military training base in Jericho. All this substantiates a March 19 report in Israel Today. I quote:

A former top US intelligence official warns that the Obama Administration is about to break America's long ties of friendship with Israel, and maybe even take steps toward the dissolution of the Jewish state. Speaking on condition of anonymity to Douglas Hagmann of the Northeast Intelligence Network, the source said: “The Obama Administration … is preparing to provide more support to Arab countries [with] financial and military aid, undercutting Israel’s defense efforts while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation.”

In Sleeping with the Devil, ex-CIA agent Robert Baer reveals that former high officials in Washington luxuriate on the Saudi payroll. » Continue reading “The Russian Card: Israel Must Distance Itself from Washington”

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Preliminary Notes on the Forthcoming Election

It is widely agreed that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government decided to inflict a crushing blow on Hamas to restore Fatah-leader Mahmoud Abbas’ control over Gaza—a precondition for fulfilling the triumvirate’s commitment to a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. This will obviously be the paramount issue in the February 10 election.

Although right-minded people will want Likud to win more seats than Kadima in that election, it is extremely important that the Likud not win too large a Knesset plurality. Such an outcome would enable the Likud’s questionable leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, to appoint too many Likud MKs to his cabinet, just as Ariel Sharon did after the 2003 elections. This was too many for Israel’s own good.

Right-minded people will therefore want to vote for National Union, which, unlike the Likud, is opposed to any further territorial withdrawal and is unequivocally opposed to a Palestinian state. This non-compromising attitude cannot be ascribed to Netanyahu, whose slogan “reciprocity” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority means yielding more Jewish land to the disciples of Muhammad. Netanyahu’s track record at the Wye Summit and on disengagement from Gaza does not inspire confidence.

To state the matter more simply, Israel will need in its next government a significant number of cabinet ministers who are to the right of Netanyahu and who can block any attempt on his part to betray the nationalist camp, as he has done in the past. » Continue reading “Preliminary Notes on the Forthcoming Election”

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Yaalon's Plan

A Brief Lesson in Political Logic

A question has arisen regarding my December 29 critique of the Yaalon Plan on Israel National Radio. That plan, recall, is based on General Yaalon’s policy paper “Israel and the Palestinians: A New Strategy.”

Yaalon opposes the Oslo Agreement because its architects favor withdrawal from Judea and Samaria before the Palestinians develop the economic, political, and judicial infrastructure required to make the Palestinian Authority a reliable negotiating peace partner with Israel. But this implies that Yaalon is not opposed in principle to a Palestinian state—to put it in negative terms.

It may therefore be logically assumed that anyone who understands and endorses the Yaalon plan is not opposed in principle to a Palestinian state.

In contrast, Moshe is opposed in principle to the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria for religious reasons. » Continue reading “Yaalon's Plan”

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