Sunday, July 31, 2011

I am sooooo proud !

I am amazed….. and soooooo…..soooooo proud. Something happened that has never happened before. I don't know if it will last. I don't know if it will flourish. But it will have shown that it can happen. It will be the model every politician will need to take into account.

Last week I was returning from a five day stay at a Bedouin village down south. I dropped someone off in the sleepy town of Kfar Yona. I turned a corner at the municipal building and there they were: a bunch of tents sprawled on the green with young protesters and their even younger children. Arriving home I heard of a similar tent camp in our nearby Nahariya. Opening the radio I heard of tent camps protesting from way up north in the Upper Galilee down to Eilat in the south. The biggest encampment, daddy of them all, was up and down Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv.

The first tents decried the high cost of rental apartments for students, young families, and the normal middle-class. It came right in the wake of a Facebook protest of gasoline prices (I was not that interested), and then a Facebook boycott of cottage cheese (my defense mechanism chided the protest with "how can you complain about cheese when so many greater injustices were apparent all around us".), followed by a general slap at all milk products, and then came the tents and the rental protests. My cynical skepticism was wrong. The gas and the cottage cheese and the rentals were the harbingers introducing a general protest by a new generation crying singing and chanting "We Want Social Justice". Hear that?? Social Justice….a slogan which hadn't been heard in our country for many years (except by some of us outdated crybaby lefties).

Yesterday 150,000 protesters crowded the streets of our country. With no central leadership, with no central agenda, with no specific political color or flag, they were all telling ourselves and our government that the gap between rich and poor and, even more to the point, between rich and middle class has widened beyond bearable proportions……that the privatization of many social services…..that selling off our country's resources to private tycoons……that lax taxation of the rich at the expense of the rest of us……that slicing social welfare payments of the old and the confined……have made us a country owned by the 20 or so richest families that decide the economic fate of the rest of us……all under a government economic policy compounded by Bibi Netanyahu since his first round as economic leader and Prime Minister. "Bibi Go Home" were placards next to "We Want Social Justice".

150,000 marchers yesterday with hardly a need for police regulation. No stone throwing, no burning smelly tires. Playing guitars, pushing tots in strollers, singing, reading poetry, and speaking their minds loud and clear. Probably the most peaceful mass protest captured by any media in the Western world of today. But a protest with powerful reverberations in the halls of governmental power.

Its summer, its hot….but its not raining…..its vacation season from work……Universities are dormant till October. The tent camps continue to expand and to protest…….not about cottage cheese……but about life in our country. I don't know where this will take us. Perhaps nowhere… But for tomorrow??..... perhaps these tents are the first real sign of a peaceful evolutionary revolution. After yesterday I reclaimed my pride at being an Israeli, in a country with people who are perhaps able to rekindle that "Light Onto The Nations". Make room for Social Justice. Here we come. Maybe.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our Government Is On A Roll…….

OK… took a few months, but glory-be…….we finally got the new law passed by a comfortable majority in our Knesset. Our country is now better protected from the possible ravages of our enemies.

We began with small steps to further hamper the movements and speech of our local Israeli Arabs. The existing burden of inequality was insufficient. We needed to further display our indignation at their continued existence in a country meant by God to be ours and ours alone. So we passed a law further forbidding them to live in a variety of our communities. We passed a law to essentially forbid them to mourn their disaster of 1948. We allowed rabbis who are paid Civil Servants of the Government to declare religious edicts forbidding the rental or sale of apartments and homes to our Arab citizens. We allowed rabbis who are paid Civil Servants of the Government to publicly condone a book allowing for the slaying of Arab babies because they would probably grow up to be our enemies.

We were also successful in leaving the door wide open to the promise of an expanded Greater Israel, by just about scuttling the two-state peace initiative with the Palestinian Authority. If previous governments demanded of the Palestinians to recognize and accept the legitimacy and sovereignty of our State of Israel, we added the demand that they recognize the State as purely Jewish. We were aware that this would be a dead-end street for the peace process. They couldn't openly define us as such while 20% of our population is Arab. They told us to define ourselves without their involvement, but we were stubborn and refused to accept that. What an excellent ploy on our part. (By the way, we did not insist they recognize us as "democratic".)

But we still had a problem. In the past we were able to ward off serious negotiations with the Palestinians while acts of violent terrorism continued. But for a number of years all that has changed. (set Gaza aside, as we have so successfully[?] done by our siege) The PA has succeeded in almost eradicating terrorist acts of Palestinians while adopting and encouraging peaceful means of dissent towards Statehood and independence. As a matter of fact, at last they somewhat learned the meaning and possible effectiveness of nonviolent resistance. Actually the greatest amount of violence came from our own dedicated Jewish pioneers who have sworn to aid us in the promise of a Greater Israel. How could we now continue to cry "Terrorism" as a means to delay negotiations? We found the answer. If the PA calls for a worker boycott of factories in the West Bank we will label that as "Terror" and punish it accordingly. After all, anything which disrupts our true purpose of creating an expanded Greater Israel is in fact "Terror" against our State.

And yet we had another problem….a bit more complicated. Arabs, whether Israeli citizens or Palestinians in the West Bank, can somehow be controlled and contained without causing a public furor. Jewish pests are somewhat different…..they're Jewish. Human Rights and Legal-Aid Associations in Israel are manned by Jewish citizens, and they are giving us a bad name by criticizing us in public and before judicial bodies. They are often aided by individual Jewish citizens who are obviously out to harm us by condemning many of our actions, especially those acts meant to restrict the rights of Arabs. These are dangerous Jews who are giving us a bad name. A prime example is their attempt to hamper our drive towards a Greater Israel in the West Bank by calling for a civilian boycott of goods and services offered by our dedicated pioneers in the West Bank. They call it a passive tool of political dissent. We call it civilian "terrorism" by Jews who are traitors to their country.

We also found our own legal ways of dealing with these treacherous Jewish Human Rights groups and individuals. The answer: Legally enact laws which will prohibit and punish the actions of these Human Rights groups and individuals. And so we did…….our majority in the Knesset carried the day. Those Jewish back-stabbers will now be liable to heavy court action for the slightest encouragement of West Bank boycotting. Anyone in the West Bank can sue them for heavy financial penalties without even the need to show damage. Boycott suggestioons by any non-profit group would lead to the loss of its taxation status for donations. Artists, actors and musicians who will refuse out of conscience to appear before audiences in the West Bank will be sued by our erstwhile pioneers and will also stop receiving any aid from public sources such as the Ministry of Culture.

We now have them all on the run. But we aren't stopping there. We have a few more laws waiting in the wings for prompt action and enactment by our majority in the Knesset. Jewish citizens are mostly either for us or simply apathetic. But if Jewish citizens are actually against us, and can't keep quiet about it, they are most likely traitors to their people and we will continue to find and enact legal ways of silencing their "terrorism". That's what democracy is all about, isn't it?.....We are on a roll…..and nothing can stop us now…….also, God is on our side.
(Remember: tongue in cheek is not the same as foot in mouth.)

P.S. in a previous addition to my blog from Monday, February 14, 2011, I gave you the Israeli internet links to lists of West Bank products and companies which we cannot legally boycott. I wanted to refer you to my article in order to know which companies and products you should "NOT BOYCOTT". Unfortunately I found the following announcement in my Gush Shalom link to the list:

"the Knesset adopted a law making the settlement products boycott campaign illegal, punishable with huge compensation claims from each and every company. We have lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court against this infringement of our democratic rights, but meanwhile we simply can't afford to continue publishing the list of products."
I therefore send you to another link, supported by the "Coalition of Women for Peace" based in Tel-Aviv:

This link tells us which companies are based in the West Bank and cannot be boycotted. Clicking on each name will give you the info regarding where what and how of the company. Personally I am trying to study the list under "Settlements' Products" so as to know which items coming from the West Bank cannot be boycotted for fear of eternal and governmental damnation. I then intend to do the right thing.

I suggest and invite you to study the list as well, and well.
Shalom means peace,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


(I think this is mainly another footnote to our fellow Jews in the Diaspora. Here in Israel….who knows…..)

Prophesy is left to Fools, but future reality needs to be faced by all of us fools. Anyways, in today's reality we may all be fools………so here goes…..
I yearn for an Israeli-Palestinian 2-State modus-vivendi. I also mourn tearfully for that possible reality which seems to be breathing its final breaths and quickly becoming a fantasy of the past.

I yearn for a two state scenario even if many in the neighboring state remain forever hostile and we are forced to continue living by the sword, building an even higher wall, and constantly retaliating against terrorist attempts.

The alternative is a devastating scenario begging the demise of the Third Jewish Democratic Republic.

The demographic statistics coupled with the globalized politics of the 21st Century, alongside the conservative no-need-to-compromise politics of my country, are ushering in both the demise of the two-state scenario and its devastating alternative.

The demography speaks for itself. In the "Greater Israel-Palestine" between the Jordan and the Mediterranean there are today approximately 5.7 million Arabs and almost 6 million Jews. In ten years at most the numbers will equal. After that…..we Jews will become more and more of a minority. Because we passed–up on the 2-State scenario, global (Western) politics will no longer be able to see us as a country fighting at the forefront of Islamic terrorism. We will simply become a minority dominating over a growing majority…..A majority seeking its rightful place in the civil rights of Greater Israel-Palestine.

Why is the 2-state scenario on its deathbed??......because the physician firmly believes that amulets and prayers are more powerful than the gangrene demanding an amputation.

Why is the 2-state scenario on its deathbed??......

1. Our government is against it. The great majority of parties forming the government, the great majority of Jewish Knesset members, the majority of Jewish voters, …..all are somewhere between fervently believing-in or fervently-wanting to remain in Greater Israel. Our government is secure in the polls.

2. "Religious Zionism" has made war on anything less than Greater Israel. Religious Zionism's activism and influence is pervasive within the halls of government and within the Israeli public. Their most honored rabbis state over and over that "the promised land is only Jewish" and "we can't give up land given to us by God." And, perhaps even more telling, they teach us that a rabbi's interpretation of God's will is way and above the law of the land, and certainly above the interpretations of liberal humanism. They do not really debate the demographic issue. They are certain that we are on the threshold of the promises for messianic days, and when we reach the pinnacle of those days all the nations of the world will know and understand that we are justified and flawless. (you probably think I'm exaggerating. If so, you have not read what they write or heard what they lecture to their public.)

3. Our Government's idea of compromise is based on publicly accepting the notion of a 2-state scenario, while placing conditions known beforehand as impossible to accept, and while continuing to make physical and demographic changes in the West Bank which we know will make any Palestinian State completely not viable.

4. The Palestinian Authority cannot be a voice proclaiming Israel as a "Jewish" state. They can recognize Israel's legitimacy and sovreignity, something we had always demanded of them…..until the present government added the Jewish issue as a condition for talks. With 20% of Israel being Arab, the PA can only guarantee its acceptance of Israel as a legitimate and sovereign neighbor. How Israel defines itself, is Israel's issue, not that of the PA. As a matter of fact, Israel can ask of the UN to accept a decision for a two state solution based on Israel as a "Jewish Democratic State" and Palestine as an "Arab Democratic State". This would free the PA of having to be part of Israeli identity issues, while once again giving international legitimacy to Israel's Jewish nature. But Israel will not ask for such a decision of the UN., because it is most likely to pass and thereby commit Israel even more to the 2-state scenario.

5. The settlements……again the settlements….and once more the settlements. These are the soldiers in the front line. While the government maneuvers constantly between global pressure for "Two States" and the need to stave off such a scenario, these are the soldiers continuing to build and expand land taken over from the Palestinian future non-state. East Jerusalem and its corridor leading towards the Jordan River are a good example of our attempt (and evidently, success) in cutting the Southern half of the West bank from the northern half as much as possible. We are doing our best to split the West Bank into two parts in order to make the Palestinian State more and more non-viable. We are succeeding.

6. The present government in the PA is probably the last government with which a territorial compromise for a 2-State scenario is possible. We are doing our best not to negotiate, while hammering in the mantra of "its them, not us." We are counting on it that the next PA government will decide to be more militant and allow us once again to say "how can we negotiate with such a militant PA?"

Enough!.........though there are many more reasons……but most of them revolve around our attempts to stave off any possibility of a 2-State scenario. And we are way ahead…. and succeeding. Therefore…….the alternative: A Greater Israel in one form or another…..a defensive need for an apartheid policy…..a religious/cultural desire for an apartheid policy……a minority ruling (not so humanly) over a growing majority…….a global and Western (including American) demand for equal rights…….some type of coercive capitulation to those demands……and an end to the "Third Jewish Republic" which could no longer call itself "Democratic".

This is not a 22nd Century scenario. With the deliberate strangulation and probable demise of the 2-State agenda, this will be part of our current Century…..feasibly within only ten years……but perhaps within 20. Time has moved quicker lately than in the past.

And yes, World Jewry…..
As a Jewish State, we in Israel see ourselves as representing the interests of all Jews around the world. Evidently World Jewry accepts our leadership and defends whatever road we take. All right…..keep supporting whatever we do…..don't criticize us……don't speak out against our policies……don't attempt to divert us from a probable self-destructive course… our addictions….stay mum and defend our government's backs…….

But please…..please…..please…….keep the gates of your Diaspora countries open. When the time comes, when it is evident that the Zionist Dream has drowned, many Jewish Israelis will be streaming to your shores. I know you will take them in kindly. You will at last, with open arms, be part and parcel of the unfolding drama which will have morphed the dream into our next wandering nightmare. A little late, don't you think, but what more could we expect of you.

Some years ago I was more hopeful. The last two years, with a popular government driving down a one-way street, I've become less so. Evidently, the older I get…..the future is not what it used to be.

Recently I turned seventy. My father died at 92. One grandfather died at 96. I may live long enough to be a witness to the above scenario. No, I will not depart from my Jewish homeland for the Diaspora. My roots are glued……….but…but…., oh hell…….what do I tell my grandchildren ??

(please note: I left the 2-State scenario on its deathbed, but not quite and utterly dead. Is there a chance? Electric shock or something? Is there an alternative physician in the house ?? See you in 20 years, or so.....or before.)