And here as well

Via Instapundit.

MAY THE SAME THING HAPPEN HERE: There Is No Left Left In Israel. “The most far-reaching consequence of the 2019 Israeli election may well be that it verified, beyond any reasonable doubt, that there is functionally no left left in Israel. It has become a country with a center, a right, and a far right, but no electorally viable left to speak of.”

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It’s not as if there is no welfare state. There is. Everyone seeks to find ways to make life easier for everyone, while the left are a bunch of socialist freaks, who also are even lax beyond sense about border protection. The left is filled with screwballs with a constituency who have no obvious understanding of the damage they inflict. And in this, I am not just referring to Israel.

I hit him when he hit me back

palestinian mourners

The headline’s in quotation marks because the activist-journalist at the SMH thinks this is a preposterous over-reaction: ‘The terrorist was shot and killed; that is the right response.’ The picture also comes with the story, with this text beneath it:

Palestinian mourners cry at the family house upon the arrival of the body of Amjad Jundi, 19, who was killed after stabbing a soldier on a bus in southern Israel. Photo: Nasser Nasser

The story is worth a read, however, since it is a more than usually one-eyed, one-sided approach of the kinds we find everywhere. A 15-year old was shot down in the street in Sydney just last week because he had just murdered an employee of the NSW police. No one in Australia is asking for our police rules of engagement in dealing with murderers while in the midst of a murderous rampage. Ruth Pollard, the activist-with-byline at the SMH, ought to try a similar kind of argument as a think-piece on her editorial page. I suspect even regular readers of Fairfax might find her just a tad idiotic even for their own fellow-leftist tastes.

UPDATE: From Brett Stevens via the Wall Street Journal discussing these murders on Israeli streets under the heading, Palestine: The Psychotic Stage. No answers in how to deal with the problem but some moral rebalancing about who are the murderers and who are being attacked in the street:

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.

Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

Apologists and accomplices they may be, but they feel as moral and pleased with themselves as if they had just put fifty cents into a beggar’s hat.

Ann Coulter is as good a friend as Israel has ever had

I know she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but there is no one commenting on politics I like better than her. The ill will that she attracts from the left is directly proportional to her ability to get under their skin, which she is so well able to do because the left is so lacking in irony and sense. If you can’t see what she’s saying here, it’s only because you don’t want to:

“The GOP wastes half these debates on issues on which there is already 100 percent agreement,” she told THR. “The GOP is pro-Israel. I’m pro-Israel. … How, exactly, do these Republicans propose to defend Israel, when no Republican can get elected president anymore because of immigration? How is an endless series of President Obamas going to protect Israel?”

Coulter told THR that the charge that she is anti-Semitic is “laughable.”

“Anyone with a pulse knows I am pro-Israel and against the enemies of the Jewish people. I have a whole chapter in my current book praising Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s the people attacking me who couldn’t care less about Israel or Jews,” she said.

“The hypocrites who are mad at me are the ones who support anti-Israel college professors, who refuse to condemn Islamic barbarism, who supported the overthrow of Mubarak for the Muslim Brotherhood, who spread the deadly libel that Jews in America are only successful because of ‘white privilege.'”

You can disagree with her point if you like, but to even begin to think she is anti-Semitic only shows how dense some people are.

UPDATE: Wow! Someone else agrees with me about Ann Coulter. This is Susan L.M. Goldberg discussing The Lessons Lost in the Aftermath of Ann Coulter’s F-Bomb. Here’s her crucial point:

The problem isn’t Ann, it’s us. Instead of using jabs to make an argument, we’ve traded in arguments for jabs. Ann is not made for those who’ve pandered down the Twitter hole. Nor is she designed for those seeking to worship idols instead of cultivate their own opinions. Conservatives who aren’t afraid to think critically can still pull the meat from the fat of Ann’s arguments. Did Republican candidates pander to the same old tropes in that debate? Yes. Are they ignoring the realities of immigration policies, in particular the impact they have had and will have on American political attitudes towards Israel? Yes. So, what’s your f-ing problem, again?

Despite what my PJ colleague Rick Moran thinks, Ann is far from over. She not only took advantage of the Right’s seedy underbelly of anti-Semitism, she called attention to their faux anti-Israelism to boot, and all while addressing the issue of illegal immigration. And in the world of social media, we would have missed all of that if she hadn’t Tweeted about the “f-ing Jews.” That’s sad commentary, indeed. For the rest of us that is, not for Ann.

What forces has Obama let loose?

Found at Instapundit: Ruth Wisse in the Wall Street Journal on “Obama’s Racial Blind Spot”. She’s only, of course, being polite in calling it a blind spot.

Barack Obama’s election to the presidency represented to many Americans this country’s final triumph over racism. Reversing the record of slavery and institutionalized discrimination, his victory was hailed as a redemptive moment for America and potentially for humankind. How grotesque that the president should now douse that hope by fueling racism on a global scale.

Iranian regime is currently the world’s leading exponent of anti-Jewish racism. . . . Whereas Adolf Hitler and Reinhard Heydrich had to plot the “Final Solution” in secrecy, using euphemisms for their intended annihilation of the Jews of Europe, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweets that Israel “has no cure but to be annihilated.” Iran’s leaders, relishing how small Israel is, call it a “one bomb state,” and until the time arrives to deliver that bomb, they sponsor anti-Israel terrorism through Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militias. . . .

Perhaps Mr. Obama is oblivious to what the scholar Robert Wistrich (who died in May) called “the longest hatred” because it has been so much a part of his world as he moved through life. Muslim Indonesia, where he lived from age 6 to 10, trails only Pakistan and Iran in its hostility to Jews. An animus against Jews and Israel was a hallmark of the Rev.Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago that Mr. Obama attended for two decades. And before he ran for office, Mr. Obama carried the standard of the international left that invented the stigma of Zionism-as-imperialism. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama felt obliged to repudiate his pastor (who had famously cursed America from the pulpit), and muted his far-left credentials. Mr. Obama was voted into office by an electorate enamored of the idea that he would oppose all forms of racism. He has not met that expectation.

Some Jewish critics of Mr. Obama may be tempted to put his derelictions in a line of neglect by other presidents, but there is a difference. Thus one may argue that President Roosevelt should have bombed the approach routes to Auschwitz or allowed the Jewish-refugee ship St. Louis to dock in the U.S. during World War II, but those were at worst sins of omission. In sharpest contrast, President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran is an act of commission. This is the first time the U.S. will have deliberately entered into a pact with a country committed to annihilating another people—a pact that doesn’t even require formal repudiation of the country’s genocidal aims.

To which Elizabeth Price Foley has added:

Exactly. Why most American Jews are standing silently by, like sheeple, in the face of these facts is a utter mystery to me. Why did American Jews not demand, at a minimum, Iran’s repudiation of its genocidal aims against Israel? Admittedly, such a repudiation would not have changed the hearts and minds of the Iranians, but it would have at least forced the Administration to publicly recognize and discuss Iran’s genocidal intentions.

As it stands, however, the genocidal aims of Iran toward Israel have been swept under the rug, not even worthy of discussion, which is exactly what the Obama Administration wanted. The Administration’s failure to even discuss the inhumanity of Iran’s racist/ethnic hatred is both shameful and telling, particularly given that Obama is our first black president whose entire presidency has focused incessantly on issues of race and ethnicity. The Obama Administration’s indifference to Iran’s hatred of Jews will further fan the flames such hatred across the globe.

The only explanation I can fathom for American Jews’ acquiescence to the Iran deal is that most are liberals/progressives first, Jews second. How tragic that this attitude has emerged only one generation removed from the Holocaust.

And if you are looking for a bit more along these same lines, there is Sultan Knish discussing The Useless Jewish Organization. This is from somewhere near the end, but you should read it from the beginning.

If Obama’s nuclear deal is to be defeated, it won’t be done by the establishment insiders. The establishment is invested in its own credibility and its politics. It will make a show of fighting the Iran deal before fundraising off its miserable failure. And the money will go to fund its progressive causes.

The establishment will not stand up to Obama, just like it didn’t stand up to FDR. The real action will come from ad-hoc coalitions, like the one behind the Stop Iran Rally, that throw things together. And it will come from a handful of kids somewhat that do what the adults aren’t doing.

It’s not an answer for me that Israel could damage Iran if it started up. The aim of policy ought to have been never to give Iran even the opportunity, but perhaps that was too hard. It is certainly too hard now that they have stopped trying, for no discernible reason. We are all living on the edge of a volcano. When it will erupt, it seems to me, is now only a matter of time, not whether. On the other hand, in spite of its rhetoric, why should the Iranians risk having their country turned into a nuclear wasteland. Tragically, that kind of calculation is all that stands between Israel and a nuclear war.

“Saudi Arabia’s number one priority is peace between Israelis and Arabs”

The more I look at it, the more I am beginning to like this Obama fellow. Everything he tries to do he screws up, such as his attempt to bring on a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt or to wreck Israel on behalf of its enemies. So where are we now, incompetent fool that he is: The Saudis Team Up With Israel. It’s an amazing story, and entirely plausible, with this the best part. But in reading the small bit below, you have to know that “Eshki” is retired Saudi general Anwar Majed Eshki who is conducting talks with Israel on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Now proceed.

But take a look at the other points Eshki made.

He says Saudi Arabia’s number one priority is peace between Israelis and Arabs. Read that sentence again and let it sink in. Saudi Arabia’s number one priority is peace between Israelis and Arabs. Not between Israelis and Palestinians, but between Israel and the entire Arab world.

It’s awful, however, the damage that Obama has done to his own country, where they will soon start to build fences, not along the Mexican border but inside their own cities. But for the rest of us, he may end up being the un-Wilson. American isolationism may have its good points as well. But if America is to withdraw from the world, we need to bring back the British Empire while there’s still time.

Bruce Hoffman, ‘Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947’

From a review of Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947.

Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers is a deftly written account of the Jewish revolt against the British in 1940s Palestine. Despite its scholarship—it draws heavily on recently declassified British documents—and its significant bulk, it is a page-turner that leaves the reader feeling sorry once the book is finished.

Unlike most accounts of the Jewish underground, this one tells the story from the British point of view, though without taking Britain’s side. It leaves the reader with no doubt that it was the Irgun, and to a lesser extent the much smaller Lehi, that drove the British from Palestine, and not, as the longtime mythology of Israel’s Laborites would have it, David Ben-Gurion’s skillful politicking.

Life is short and time is getting shorter. I will probably never again be able to read a book like this but am grateful for access to such a helpful review.

An idiot or pretending to be an idiot

Let me get this right. Obama is in secret negotiations to arrange a deal with Iran to allow it to build nuclear weapons. Iran has said that it seeks to have nuclear weapons so that it can wipe the Jewish State off the map. Israel has been using whatever ports it can to find out what Obama and Iran are up to. Obama is infuriated with Israel because it has been spying.

OK, let’s face it. Obama is either an idiot, or he is pretending to be an idiot. No one in the position that Israel is in would do anything other than stay on top of every manoeuvre now being made by every party in the Middle East.

That the media in the US asks not a question about what is going on is not news. Everything goes on quietly with hardly a murmur while Iran moves closer to nuclear capabilities. It is inexplicable to me. But there it is and it’s not changing soon enough for me.

The anti-Israeli Israeli left

One more take on the Israeli election, this time by Sultan Knish who I always agree with. In this case, since I have no knowledge myself, I have paid close attention since he sees as I see. Worrying, but not an unfamiliar picture of the left. Nevertheless, it is one that makes them crazier than anyone else I can think of. They are like so many people I personally know, but they, at least, don’t live in the Middle East. How can people with the same insanity and hopeless ignorance live in the Israeli cauldron and have these same views. Here he is to help you understand although it is hard to understand. Israel’s Leftist Losers:

Its allegiance was not to Jewish history or democracy, but to its crackpot leftist fantasies. Now its fantasies are dead and it wants to kill Israel.

The left spitefully alienated every immigrant group from Holocaust survivors to Middle Eastern Jews to Russian Jews. It also had slurs for each of them. The Holocaust survivors were ‘Sabon’ (soap) and the Middle Eastern Jewish refugees were ‘Chakhchakhim’. That particular slur at an election rally cost Peres and Labor the 1981 election. Another slur at an election rally now hurt the left and boosted Netanyahu. But if you ask the left why it lost, it will blame Israeli racism.

So far so bad, but this is the hard part to understand.

Since the left lost control of Israel, it has been hell-bent on destroying it. The PLO deal was one step in a process meant to destroy Israel and return to the bi-national state that Ahdut HaAvodah, the ancestor of the Labor Party, and Ben Gurion had been flirting with in the twenties and thirties. The Two-State Solution was always meant to end in a One-State Solution.

The Israeli left has despaired of turning the country into the utopia that it wanted. There are still plenty of bureaucrats and union monopolies, but children are raised by their parents and most of them are born to the types of Jews that they hate.

The more philosophical members of the left see the “peace process” that they illegally initiated and passed as a cleanup operation that removes the failed experiment of Israel to make way for the Muslim “decolonization/ethnic cleansing” of Israel.

Bad but he goes on with even worse.

It would be nice to think that the Israeli left was transformed into this twisted thing by the loss of its utopian dreams, but it was always like this. It was never patriotic. It was forced to become patriotic by the Muslim rejection of all its efforts at co-existence. It was never Zionist. Zionism was forced on it by the anti-Semitism of its Russian Socialist colleagues. It never wanted to be Jewish. It was forced to be. Muslim hate turned the Israeli left into the unwilling caretaker of a Jewish State. G-d kept Israel alive despite the left’s incompetence, its treasons and its slavish instinct for appeasement.

I have sometimes let the thought pass my mind that the thousands of years as a persecuted minority has left its mark. Everything towards accommodation; nothing towards fighting to keep what you have. Pre-emptive surrender the aim; not the prolonged fight in which you never give up. I hear people I know who never say a word about Obama even though he is in every way the enemy of Israel, differing only from others of his type by the power he possesses. Weirdly, this is the crew it seems I am part of: “the Middle Eastern Jewish Schorim (blacks) and the Ultra-Orthodox Schorim (also blacks, for their hats) and the Russians”. How have things come to this, if this is really how things have become?

MORE ALONG THE SAME LINES: This time from Dennis Praeger: America’s Left-Wing Jews Ashamed of Israel’s Jews. It’s depressing so why read it all, but then again, why not? Here’s a sample:

As American Jews on the left see it, their moral credibility in the eyes of fellow leftists in the news media, Hollywood, and academia is threatened by Israel. They must therefore make it abundantly clear that a) they not only do not support the right-wing government of Israel; they do not even support Israel at this time; b) they regard Benjamin Netanyahu as a vile human being; and c) they are ashamed – simply ashamed – of Israel’s Jews for having voted for a right-winger.

If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?

IT ONLY GETS WORSE AND WORSE: This is about the Israeli media:

By far the most important aspect of the recent Likud victory was that once and for all everyone in the world could see how biased and unrepresentative the Israeli media are. With the exception of the freebie Israel Hayom, almost the entire print media in Israel are leftist, and with no exception at all the television and radio stations are also. The media in Israel operated a naked jihad against Netanyahu in the months before the election, candidly promoting a victory for the Labor Party’s Herzog team and his day camp staff.

Do you get it? I don’t get it.

The Israeli election

There were two sets of comments I found most clarifying. That Obama is an enemy of everything that is good I now take it as given. John Hinderaker at Powerline has written a post on Will Obama punish Israel for re-electing Netanyahu? in which we find the following:

The administration’s critique goes on and on, as you will see if you follow the link. The bottom line is that we now have, in the United States, an administration that is friendly to the Islamic extremists in Iran who consider us to be the “Great Satan,” who hang homosexuals from cranes, who torture and kill those who want democracy, who have ICBMs and eagerly seek nuclear weapons with which to attack us and our allies. All of that is fine with the Obama administration, apparently. But the administration is bitterly hostile to the only actual democracy in the Middle East–the one place in the region where women in burkas can vote.

There are no values on the left, only tactics. Not even hypocritical, they just want the pleasures and personal wealth that come from running things. To the extent they care about anything, they care about other people succeeding by the application of bourgeois values in their own lives. There is such hatred infused in everything they do that it must be the most miserable experience to be who they are. They never achieve a single positive thing they say they are trying to do. But their promises are taken up time and again by others many of whom prefer to vote to ratify their inner misery. They have no genuine expectation that things will get better. We must protect ourselves from these people, but pay no attention to their high-minded words. They are filled with hatreds and envy. Nothing will satisfy their nihilism because there is nothing they seek other than the harm of others.

The other comment I found very insightful was written by someone who seems to have wished the socialists to have won. It is more a strategic overview from the left side of the Israeli political spectrum, but seems to make clear what someone such as myself, living on the other side of the world, cannot so easily see. The article is After electoral trouncing, what future for the Israeli left?. Read it through, but this added quite a bit to my understanding of how Israelis look at the world and why Netanyahu won.

Why did turnout rise so dramatically? Simple: the majority of the Israeli electorate continues to distrust the left’s judgment. It is a trust deficit rooted in a more general distrust of Palestinian intentions, of the Obama White House and other touchstones of left-wing policy. In hindsight, it may be one of the bitter ironies of this campaign that Labor’s own slogan, “It’s us or him,” may have done as much to guarantee Netanyahu victory as anything Netanyahu may have done. . . .

It is true that Netanyahu explicitly “fear-mongered,” and that this won him his steep lead on Tuesday. But Netanyahu’s international critics fundamentally misunderstand his audience, his electorate, and so deeply misconstrue what exactly he was “fear-mongering” about.

Netanyahu’s critics insist that he fear-mongered about Iran and the Palestinians. He did not – because he doesn’t have to. The Israeli electorate has long ago written off Palestinian politicians as untrustworthy and unable to deliver peace. And it is Iran, not Netanyahu, that has convinced nearly all Israelis from all parts of the political spectrum that Iran is a very real danger to Israel.

All Netanyahu had to do was to warn, at times in blatantly racist terms, that the left and Arab voters were “turning out in droves.” His fear-mongering was not on the substance of the disagreement with the left – the electorate already mistrusts the left’s judgment on these issues – but simply to warn that the left might win. That alone spiked the Likud vote, even in the cold late-evening hours of Election Day.

The assumption behind the “fear-mongering” accusation is that Netanyahu is the reason Israelis are distrustful of peace initiatives or Iran deals. It is a convenient conceit, suggesting that if one could get rid of Netanyahu the problem would be solved, but it is entirely wrong. The White House’s or European Union’s policy feuds with Netanyahu are not actually with Netanyahu himself, but with the mainstream Israeli electorate that responded so forcefully on Tuesday when they were finally convinced that their country might soon be forced into dangerous new concessions or compromises in a precarious Middle East.

Obama hates Israel. Well so do others. The election was a judgement by Israelis on how to deal with the world they live in, that includes the vicious hostility of the American President. Who knows what the future will bring, but this was, in my view anyway, the least worst answer where there are no really good ones.

AND ANOTHER TAKE ON THE ELECTION: Here is a different view by Meyrav Wurmser who seems more closely tied to the Likud and even the religious side of the Israeli constituency. First this, which I had not known:

The majority of the religious Zionist camp, however, spoke of continuing the partnership with the state but under different terms. They believed that it was time for the religious Zionists, who until then had treated the authorities of the secular Zionist state with great reverence and admiration, to begin demanding leadership positions in government. As one of the leaders of the religious Zionist camp described it to me during an interview shortly after the disengagement, they no longer wanted to be the guy who checks if the kosher rules are kept in the restaurant cabin of the Zionist train. They now wanted to be the driver of the train. They would no longer play a humble second fiddle in the secular state’s orchestra but would choose the music and conduct. That was the only sure way for them to prevent further disengagements.

The decade that has passed since the disengagement has seen the settler movement working relentlessly toward this goal. Within a few years, they have become the primary foundation of the IDF’s officer corps. Their children volunteered in disproportionate numbers in all the elite units and became top pilots, paratroopers, and commandos serving on the front line. As a result, they also suffered a disproportionate number of casualties in the military. Gradually, the religious Zionist community and its skullcap-wearing youth replaced the secular youth of the kibbutzim as the core of Israel’s defense forces. The religious Zionist camp won much admiration and sympathy among large segments of the Israeli public, which now regarded it as the unwavering embodiment of Zionist principles.

But this really worries me. The left seems to be the same everywhere, but in most places it is not quite as suicidal as it would be in Israel. Here is how the article ends:

Ironically, as the settler movement engaged in soul-searching and spent the last decade reinventing itself in ways that Israel’s mainstream center would tolerate and perhaps even admire, the Left is moving in the opposite direction. Instead of asking what went wrong and looking to find a strategy for winning back the Israeli people, most of the commentators on the left in the past 24 hours have retreated into bitterness and elitist condescension toward the Israeli people. The most popular Facebook page today in Israel is a leftist attempt to punish Israel’s south, which voted heavily for Likud. Referring to Israelis, Alona Kimhi, a popular author on the left, wrote: “Every people has the leadership it deserves. Long live stupidity, evil and false consciousness. Drink some cyanide, . . . Neanderthals.” And Gideon Levi of Haaretz wrote that Israel should hold another election, to elect not a new leader but a different people. Instead of asking why they lost touch with the Israeli people, the Left is washing its hands of them, which is hardly an effective strategy for winning future elections.

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Do they think they live in New York? What can they possibly be thinking that I can’t see myself? I just don’t get it at all.

“Security to stand up for ourselves and secure ourselves under our own sovereignty”

An Israeli election ad. The translation:

“Many people around the world ask me, ‘how does such a young country, such a small country, who is attacked by enemies at every turn – how does such a country reach such great achievements?” Netanyahu begins.

Netanyahu then related to a personal story, about his grandfather, Natan Netanyahu Mileikowsky.

“He stood at a train station in the heart of Europe at the end of the 19th century, along with his younger brother Yehuda – two yeshiva [Torah academy – ed.] students,” he recounted. “Suddenly, they saw many anti-Semitic thugs waving batons, screaming, ‘Death to Jews.”

“My grandfather turned to his brother and told him, ‘Run, Yehuda, run!’” he continued. “He tried to chase after the thugs to save his brother. They beat him until he lost consciousness.”

“They left him to die.”

“Before he lost consciousness, lying in his own blood, he thought to himself: ‘What a shame. The descendants of the Maccabees are lying here in mud, unable to defend themselves,” he continued. “He promised himself that if he would survive the night, he would bring his family to the Land of Israel and help build a new future for the Jewish people in Israel.”

Netanyahu then brought the scene back to the present-day.

“I am sitting here now as the Prime Minister of Israel because my grandfather kept his promise,” he said. “Here in the Land of Israel we have returned to what the Jewish nation did not have for thousands of years: security.”

“Security to stand up for ourselves and secure ourselves under our own sovereignty, to protect ourselves with our own power – security not just to survive, but to alloy one of the most advanced countries in the world,” he continued.

“We are a nation that aspires to peace – our hands are extended in peace to all who choose to grasp them,” he added.

“But to our enemies, I say: there is no baton, there is no rocket, there is nothing that can defeat us – because we are united in our faith and in our right to our land – the Land of Israel.”