April 30, 2020

I won't take the Mick

(In response to Sir Mick Davis’ opinion piece in the London Jewish News)

Tevye the milkman sang it best: “When you’re rich they think you really know!

So, what do you really know Mick? Are you some political scientist or professor of economics that qualifies you to trash the political and economic system of Israel?  No, you are just a guy with a boatload of money and 3 establishment letters in front of your name.

The trouble with the rich and famous is that they crave attention and acceptance by the establishment. That’s not so easy for Jewish A-listers as no amount of money and philanthropy can fully endear them to the chattering classes. The only thing that seems to work is bad-mouthing Israel. There’s nothing anti-Semites like more than the rantings of a self-hating Jew. You only have to look at the leadership of Labour’s toxic Momentum group.

But among Jews you are, sadly, in plenty of company. In claiming that Israel’s leaders are ‘violating our values’ you imply that they are emulating the ‘dysfunction, corruption and intransigence’ of the Palestinians. That’s a line that could have been written by Noam Chomsky. You say that annexation (of the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements under the Trump peace plan) is an existential threat to Israel. That could have been written by George Soros.

As so you go on, trashing Israel’s governance, its political system, its OECD ranking and even questioning the state of ‘Jewish peoplehood’ - it really ends up as dumb as a piece of Trudeau. 

In fact the whole piece smacks of the same social-climbing and career-advancement used by all too many Jews in media and academia, always at the expense of their homeland. Say something bad about your people and get yourself noticed, awarded or acclaimed. Every upward move for you people is a piton hammered into the heart of Israel.

You talk about ‘the country of Ben Gurion’ and then mock the ‘hyper proportional’ political system he crafted. But I guess any system that elects Netanyahu is, for you, broken. Instead you totally ignore the achievements of Israel’s most popular and longest-serving prime minister who has energised and enriched Israel by almost every metric since opening it up to free market principles. Despite being surrounded by mortal enemies, Israel is consistently at the top of global rankings in everything from the happiness index to the handling of Covid-19. Yes, there is a larger gap between rich and poor, but did you ever consider that might have something to do with the meteoric rise of tech billionaires which is unmatched by any other country? Don’t blame Israelis for their own ingenuity.

And finally you talk of ‘Diaspora Zionism’ when you are simply an armchair Zionist with a bigger mouth and wallet than most. While you are yachting off Barbados, Jewish children cower in the bunkers of Sderot. But they will grow up to be better Jews than you. And they won’t need your money or your advice.

April 28, 2020

We Never Got To 72 By Saying Dayenu

It started over a century ago with the ‘Uganda Plan’ brought by Herzl to the Sixth Zionist Congress which in 1903 voted overwhelmingly to consider a British plan to create a Jewish homeland in East Africa.

The plan failed and with it the health of Herzl who died in the following year. But this didn’t stop the noted Jewish author Israel Zangwill and other leftists from rallying this ‘Zionism without Zion’ cause for another twenty years. 

It was dubbed ‘Territorial Zionism’ and one of its leading lights happened to be a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. I mention this because I suspect that, like so many of today’s deputies, he was simply looking for honours from the British government which had dreamed up this scheme, clearly to please the rulers of Arabia.
For these progressive Jews a homeland without Zion would have been Dayenu; good enough.

And so it continued with their ‘enlightened’ heirs and successors. Good enough to accept the British gifting half of our mandated homeland to Abdullah of Jordan. Good enough to maintain the status quo without that ’terrorist’ Menachem Begin upsetting the British and forcing them to leave.

For these people the Old City of Jerusalem wasn’t that important, and the State could do just fine without any parts of the ‘West Bank’ and it was perfectly safe to evacuate South Lebanon and the Golan. Give us peace within the 1967 ‘borders’ and Dayenu, it was good enough.

Which brings us to the present day, when the most benevolent presidency of the United States wants to give us the sovereignty we want and the eastern border security that is so vital to our survival. True to form, the Zangwills of today are lobbying against the Trump Plan.

I have often remarked that hindsight has shown us that the Almighty has consistently been protecting Israel from the folly of its own leaders. Just think of how much we came so close to losing by the stroke of a pen.

Israel cannot keep relying on miracles. It must seize every opportunity with both hands as there are rarely second chances. Almost certainly there will be no second Trumps.

Happy birthday Israel. 
And never blow out the candles.

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