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Netanyahu’s Parisian follies

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Paris has become a source of controversy back in Israel, where he is campaigning for March elections. The Times of Israel reports that Netanyahu lectured French Jews that their complacency about living in Paris recalls the Jewish position in Spain before the inquisition.

During a closed meeting with the heads of France’s Jewish organizations Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened the complacency of French Jewry to the state of Jews in Spain prior to the Spanish Inquisition of 1492, which led to their expulsion from the Catholic kingdom, The Times of Israel has learned…

This meeting with the Jewish leaders was described by participants as “harsh” and “deeply insulting.”..

“Imagine if following a terror attack in Netanya the French president would arrive in Israel and call on Jews to leave for France,” he said. “As it is, Jews are perceived by some [in France] as a fifth column.”

Netanyahu then went back to Israel and gave a speech to young Diaspora Jews visiting on “birthright” trips, telling them to move to Israel, because it is “their land” and they are unsafe elsewhere.

I listened to what the French citizens said, and they rightfully proclaimed, Je suis Charlie… But the relevant question for us tonight is this: Can Jews everywhere march in the streets and proclaim proudly, I am a Jew? Because you see this is the real test, and as the prime minister of Israel I can tell you that every Jew in Israel can say, “Ani Yehudi… Je suis Juif… I am a Jew.” [applause]
And we proclaim this without any fear, without any hesitation, with great pride… And this is what makes Israel unique. Because all Jews can feel that they belong in Israel, and Israel belongs to them.
I call on all of you and call on young Jews from the world over. Come to Israel, make aliyah, this is your land, this is your birthright…

Come visit Israel! Come stay in Israel! Come make aliyah to Israel. This is your land!

Moving from the pathos to the bathos, Haaretz says that Netanyahu’s Paris performance was a pr “disaster,” beginning with the march, “which supplied Netanyahu’s political rivals with a enough images, videos, gifs and memes for four election campaigns, not one.” Reporter Ascher Schechter notes that Netanyahu is being mocked for pushing past Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali to get to the front of the march and for his “gauche waving” during the march, when others were solemn.

Netanyahu’s biggest humiliation was a video that has since gone viral, in which he is seen waiting for a bus to take him to the rally, after missing the bus that ferried other world leaders to the march.

The footage, captured by a French TV station, is remarkable: The prime minister of Israel looks nervous, dejected, beaten down, surrounded by his security detail yet still standing in the middle of the street, looking exposed to danger in a way world leaders should never be. Netanyahu appears furious, annoyed, confused, trying to busy himself with talking on his phone or fixing his hair, constantly looking over his shoulder to check whether his bodyguards are still there. Even the French news anchors had to sympathize with his distress.

Here is that video. Notice at 1:40 or so how agitated and nervous the Prime Minister is.

Ynet says Netanyahu’s rivals are making hay over his trip to Paris:

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid joined the criticism that was flooding towards the Netanyahu camp after his visit in Paris and said on Monday that while it was good that Israel had representation in Paris, Netanyahu represented the “impolite” and “pushy” Israeli.

“The prime minister’s behavior in Paris shows the world the impolite Israeli, the pushy Israeli, and it is unfortunate,” said Lapid at a conference in Tel Aviv on Monday.

Here is the Loonytunes video that is getting wide play.

נתניהו עוקף החדשות אופליין from חרדים 10 on Vimeo.

The music is even better here– a mock video game put out by the Labour Party called “Push the Bibi,” in which the goal is to get a cartoon figure of Benjamin Netanyahu to the front of the march.

Ynet says that Yair Lapid sees this loutish behavior in all of Netanyahu’s dealings.

“A prime minister who pushes his way in line is a type of behavior that is not polite,” said Lapid. “This is how Netanyahu acted with the Americans when he slowly started to destroy our relations with the US, and I do not want this to happen to us with Europe,” said Lapid in an interview with journalist Niv Riskin

Finally, here is a wonderful piece in the Daily Star by Michael Young, rebuking Netanyahu on the place of Jews in the world, and showing that the Paris show will only undermine the premises of Zionism. Remember that Netanyahu’s view of Jews in the Diaspora is heavily influenced by his father’s studies of the Spanish inquisition.

If Netanyahu is counting on Jewish solidarity, he should wake up and realize that most people in the West, Jews or otherwise, remain reluctant to live in unmixed societies. The emancipation of Europe’s Jews under Napoleon was a historic moment in which they exited the ghetto and became full-fledged citizens of their countries. It opened the door for their gradual absorption into the societies where they lived, despite the differences….

Is this Israel the culmination of Jewish aspirations? Do the world’s Jews really want to be part of a state associated with conquest, hiding behind an iron wall of remorseless self-protection, as the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Netanyahu’s spiritual father, dreamed? But Jabotinsky’s vision was static. It assumed Arabs would remain forever reconciled with Jewish military superiority and domination, and would not seek to reverse their own weaknesses.

Most people, including many Jews, can increasingly see this is an illusion. For Jews of the diaspora, their salvation and that of their children, is not to relocate to a country embodying such an illusion.

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51 Responses

  1. Marnie
    Marnie
    January 15, 2015, 11:57 am

    “The prime minister’s behavior in Paris shows the world the impolite Israeli, the pushy Israeli, and it is unfortunate,” said Lapid at a conference in Tel Aviv on Monday.

    I couldn’t disagree more. I love to see the way things really are. And I think the rest of the world does too.

    The video game was hysterical!

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      January 16, 2015, 3:19 am

      It says a lot that the worst thing you could be called in Israel is a freier, Hebrew for “sucker” rather than being called a liar or untrustworthy, which is typically much more problematic in most Western democracies.

      That’s the Israeli mentality and their PM reflects that. No wonder Israel is ranking just above North Korea and Iran in global polls of countries. Is this what Herzl had in mind when he talked – delusionally – about being a “light onto the nations”?

      The reality is that Israel has become a fiasco on the world stage and nobody knows how to end it without blowing things up, which is why it’s allowed to go on, for now.

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        January 17, 2015, 9:08 am

        Krauss,

        Is there nothing worse than “sucker” that one could be called in Israel because society has “agreed” that it’s impolite? disrespectful? other? to go further or is it because there are actually no words in Hebrew for “liar “and “untrustworthy”?

  2. amigo
    amigo
    January 15, 2015, 12:17 pm

    “Can Jews everywhere march in the streets and proclaim proudly, I am a Jew? Because you see this is the real test,”nietanyahu

    Probably far more likely than a Palestinian Israeli marching anywhere in Israel.

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Think-about-it-Stopping-inflamed-crowds-yelling-Death-to-the-Arabs-352639

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      January 15, 2015, 2:30 pm

      What an ass! Who is going to march down any street and proclaim “I’m a ________!” Who cares?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 15, 2015, 8:19 pm

        “Who is going to march down any street and proclaim “I’m a ________!”

        You know, I can see myself doing that, but from a float in a Mardi Gras parade. I’d be dressed as, oh, Joshua or somebody Biblical and have unlimited amounts of candy and baubles to throw to the crowd. “Ho! Ho! Ho! ” (booming sound system) “I’m a Jew, Joshua son of Nun!” And toss handfuls of ….wait, a minute, “Son of Nun”? Say what? Did that convent finally “take a Jewish girl”?
        It’s going to take more explanation than this.

    • njberman
      njberman
      January 16, 2015, 10:56 am

      Yitzhak Rabin apparently could not march anywhere in Israel either.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    January 15, 2015, 12:19 pm

    Bibi etc. love to annoy Jews outside Israel and make them feel [1] unsafe [2] guilty for not coming to Israel [3] more unwilling (is that possible?) to criticize ior stop supporting Israel.

    I like the pushy Israeli image. NB: NOT, heaven forfend, pushy Jew. Impolite, a twirp? sure. But as with C-Hebdo and some Sunnis, people have their own ideas and some of those people have an idea of pushy Jews. And Bibi certainly reinforced that image (that is, if they forgot that he was an Israeli and not necessarily a Jew, whatever he may say).

    I just finished reading a short book, Shlomo sand’s “How I stopped being a Jew”. Very good. He’s uncomfortable being an Israeli in much the way that war-weary, torture-weary, NSA-weary, oligarch-government-weary Americans may be uncomfortable here: but he is an Israeli, he’s stuck with it (as I am stuck with being an American). But he finds for many reasons that he is not a Jew. A good read.

    I commend it to Bibi and to all Jews thinking of moving to Israel.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 16, 2015, 6:23 pm

      “I just finished reading a short book, Shlomo sand’s “How I stopped being a Jew”. Very good. He’s uncomfortable being an Israeli”

      As I read it, an “Israeli” is what Shlomo Sands would like to be, an Israeli citizen, and everybody else being an Israeli citizen just like him. (If they don’t get together and decide to call it something else, rather than Israel, of course, once everybody is a citizen, a lot of things could change) There, he feels, is Israel’s best chance. But the government of Israel has no such category. No, if I am not mistaken, everybody is identified as either Jewish or some other category. Sand, as I read it, would like being Jewish in Israel to matter as much (in terms of political and administrative and legal identity) as much as it does in America, where a person could switch religions twice a year for years, and not effect his citizen ship or legal rights.

  4. Whizdom
    Whizdom
    January 15, 2015, 12:20 pm

    Ynet reporting:

    Report: Netanyahu guard shoved French PM
    French newspaper claims member of security detail ‘blocked’ Manuel Valls; Shin Bet denies report.

    The incident, which they dubbed “Valls and the Gorilla”, occurred during Sunday’s memorial service in the Great Synagogue of Paris for the victims of last week’s terror attacks in the city. According to the report, a member of Netanyahu’s security detail shoved France’s prime minister, grabbed his arm, and blocked his way.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4615444,00.html

  5. eljay
    eljay
    January 15, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Netanyahu then went back to Israel and gave a speech to young Diaspora Jews visiting on “birthright” trips, telling them to move to Israel, because it is “their land” …

    Except that it’s not their land – the land of any person who happens to be Jewish. That’s just King Bibi the Zio-supremacist preaching Zio-supremacism to his subjects.

    Nothing outside of Israel’s / Partition borders belongs to Israel, and nothing within those borders belongs to anyone other than the citizens of, immigrants to and ex-pats and refugees from Israel.

    … But the relevant question for us tonight is this: Can Jews everywhere march in the streets and proclaim proudly, I am a Jew? …

    Can minority groups in every country march down the streets of their respective countries and proclaim themselves? If they cannot, the resolution to their problems is acceptance and equality, not a host of supremacist states in Palestine and elsewhere.

  6. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    January 15, 2015, 12:39 pm

    Maybe he was afraid of a drone strike while waiting for that bus.

  7. JeffB
    JeffB
    January 15, 2015, 12:45 pm

    I don’t get where all these anti-Netanyahu articles about the election are going. The election is basically a done deal

    Likud: 23-26
    Russian: 6-7
    Jewish Home: 15-17
    Kaluna 9-10
    So Extended Likud is around 53-60. If they have a really good night they already got their majority. But probably not so he goes shopping and boy are the stores packed with options.

    Shas & UTJ (13-14) is a coalition he’s comfortable with and this puts over the top already. Downside for him is he’s near the left extreme of the government or war/peace and right extreme on economics. Which means he has a tough time legislatively. So arguably he doesn’t take them and instead goes with the less juicy
    Atid (9-12)

    Either way for sure and he is still Prime Minister. So where do you see him losing?

    Frankly, given that math he is in such a strong position he might really go in for the kill. What he would do then is invite other parties to create a super majority and a hopelessly divided opposition. And I see two paths.
    1) get Atid and UTJ to kiss and makeup an get both of them in the coalition
    2) unify with Labor / Hatnuah (23-24)

    Then either way he is sitting around 75+ seats even after he throws the most demanding parties out with an opposition completely divided.

    To use an American expression at this point he could be found in bed with a dead hooker and still win.

    • amigo
      amigo
      January 15, 2015, 12:56 pm

      Howdy, Jeff “B”.

      Table for two please.

    • Whizdom
      Whizdom
      January 15, 2015, 12:59 pm

      Netanyahu’s electoral chances depends on one or two things that could be fatal to his chances if they occur before elections.

      1. Any P5+1 deal with Iran that results in reducing the sanctions
      2. A failure of the US to veto any UNSC resolution favoring the Palestinians

      So you are probably right, neither will happen, congress will see to it. .

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        January 15, 2015, 6:55 pm

        @Whizdom

        I don’t see how (1) hurts him. Netanyahu made a central theme of his foreign policy pressuring the world into controlling Iran’s progress towards a nuclear weapon. If there is a deal reducing sanctions that implies that the nuclear issue has been contained and Netanyahu has achieved his #2 foreign policy goal through merely being a prickly jerk with no need for a war by Israel. Why wouldn’t the voters support that?

        As for #2 another SC resolution doesn’t mean much more than further discrediting the Security Council. America is not backing sanctions or an attack on Israel so where are the teeth? That’s just the SC saying its going to hold its breath until it turns blue unless Israel returns territory of the PA. Of course Israel doesn’t like negative SC resolutions. But the UN has hated Israel for a long time and often far worse than it does currently.

    • John O
      John O
      January 15, 2015, 1:21 pm

      @JeffB
      You may well be entirely correct. What happens then, though? He’s just lost the support of France, and probably Germany too (if he hadn’t done so already). Israel, under Bibi’s leadership will end up isolated. Can Israel survive in isolation? Or will it be a case of “Any more victories like that and we’re finished.”?

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        January 15, 2015, 7:12 pm

        @John O

        You may well be entirely correct. What happens then, though? He’s just lost the support of France, and probably Germany too (if he hadn’t done so already).

        I don’t know if you read my other comment regarding this parade. But Hollande wasn’t willing to have a fight with Netanyahu about a parade he isn’t going to be willing to have a war or severe tension. Hollande has got troops in places like Syria and Mali which if there was real hostility Israel could cause a great deal of mischief. ISIS is a threat to France because of returning terrorists. ISIS victory would be a medium to large net benefit to Israel. If Israel is not buddy buddy anymore then all bets are off about them coordinating with the Western foreign policy.

        Besides I don’t agree that they have lost support. French Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche has been considering upgrading trade a core part of his job. So for example the National Society of French Railroads (a state owned enterprise) is investing in Israel (they still have some disputes from WWII). That opened the door Alstom SA getting big contracts in Israel. Énergies Nouvelles is using Israel as their test lab (much more sunshine than France)…. That ain’t a hostile relationship.

        Hollande has a muslim minority he’s been appeasing with anti-Israeli rhetoric. Though the last few days seem to indicate that things are now getting out of hand. Don’t get me wrong there is real personal friction there. But France doesn’t want Israel as an enemy.

        And Germany I don’t know what you are talking about at all. They are friendly.

        Can Israel survive in isolation?

        I don’t think Israel would be isolated. I don’t see any evidence that Europe will shift. And more importantly I don’t see any evidence that the USA will shift.

        But even if it did. Israel has a long history (though not recently) of jumping into bed with whomever will sell it weapons. More powerful countries like a prostitute personality in midsized powers. They don’t care so much about how midsized powers treat domestic minorities. The lose the USA they pick up India, Russia, China, very fast.

        Israel is not stupid. Israel is not lazy. Israel is not cautious.

        BDSers tend to get high on their own supply when it comes to their anti-Israel propaganda and underestimate Israel.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 16, 2015, 3:55 pm

        “Hollande has got troops in places like Syria and Mali which if there was real hostility Israel could cause a great deal of mischief.”

        Yes, by insisting on the “purity of arms” among all combatants. When the “most moral Army in the world” does that, it creates a “great deal of mischief”.
        Hopefully, none of that “mischief” will come back on French Jews.

      • Whizdom
        Whizdom
        January 16, 2015, 4:37 pm

        Mali and Niger are blowing up. http://www.thelocal.fr/20150116/niger-anti-charlie-crowd-set-french-cultural-centre-ablaze

        I think perhaps Israel’s regional security concerns are being overshadowed by some global strategic realities.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      January 15, 2015, 1:28 pm

      Does that mean Haskia gets a seat?

      Oh my dear Lord

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        January 15, 2015, 5:17 pm

        @Blah —

        Nope. Haskia did better than expected (6500 points / votes) but not strong enough to win a slot in the primary. Jewish Home is a very hard primary to win slots in, very very contested. Dayan for example came in 21st.

        I BTW think she’s helpful she’s said herself she helps cure racism. Lots of “death to the Arab” type voters hear her speak and call her a sister. Obviously the best path for everyone would be if the Israeli Arabs all became enthusiastic about Israel and wanted a civil rights struggle.

        ( I do think your attitude towards her is amusing given our host).

        Here is the 20115 list for Jewish Home:

        1. Naftali Bennett
        2. Uri Ariel (reserved for Tekuma)
        3. Ayelet Shaked
        4. Eli Ben Dahan
        5. Nissan Slomiansky
        6. Uri Orbach
        7. Yinon Magal (reserved for Bennett appointee)
        8. Shuli Moalem (reserved for a woman)
        9. Bezalel Smotrich (reserved for Tekuma)
        10. Nir Orbach (reserved for central committee member)
        11. Moti Yogev
        12. Yehudit Shilat (reserved for a woman)
        13. Avi Wortzman
        14. Avichai Rontzki
        15. Orit Struck (reserved for Tekuma)
        16. Ronen Shoval
        17. Sarah Elias (reserved for a woman)
        18. Zvulun Kalfa

        Shaked BTW got the most points/votes. Which means she beat: Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Eli Ben Dahan, Knesset Finance Committee chief Nissan Slomiansky and Pensioners Affairs Minister Uri Orbach. Insane performance for a Sophomore. I’m calling it now, Prime Minister of 2035.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      January 15, 2015, 4:14 pm

      I don’t get where all these anti-Netanyahu articles about the election are going.

      You demonstrate time and time again Jeff, that there is a great deal you don’t get.

      Netanyahu was severely weakened in the last elections and the indicators are they he will be even more weakened this time. He had to get on his knees to form a coalition last time and this time it looks like he’s going to be as popular among the other parties who he needs to form government as he was in Paris. Bennet wants his job, so there is every likelihood that Jewish Home will turn him down. Even Lieberman’s party is looking shaky.

      The election is 2-3 months aways and judging by Bibbi’s falling poll numbers, there is no end in sight as to how bad things can get for him.

      Domestically, he is viewed as a failure. And now internationally, he is perceived not only as deeply unpopular but clumsy and out of his depth.

      Seriously Jeff, that video of him waiting for the bus is unbelievable and incredibly revealing. It shows how insecure, inept.ungracious, and child like this man in in the face of difficulty. He looked like an unemployed door to door salesman waiting in line for a job interview.

      Having successfully destroyed the Israeli relationship with the US , he’s now turned his sights to repeating the same train wreck in Europe. But worse than that, Israelis don’t tend to mind an unpopular prime minister so long as he’s perceived as strong and competent. Bibbi has become an object of ridicule and embarrassment for them.

      Given how tone deaf and clueless he looks at the moment, if he was found found in bed with a dead hooker, the assumption would probably be that he did it as a cheap publicity stunt to revive his sagging approval ratings.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        January 15, 2015, 5:36 pm

        @Shingo

        You are on. See you in March.

    • Blownaway
      Blownaway
      January 15, 2015, 6:31 pm

      I hope he does win with the right wing nut fringe. That will do far more to accelerate the global isolation, BDS movement than Tzipi Livni who’s just as bad but polite. Let the real face of Israel show, it’s not pretty

      • Bornajoo
        Bornajoo
        January 16, 2015, 6:47 am

        Fully agree Blownaway!

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        January 17, 2015, 9:28 am

        +1

        Although, my first choice would be Shmuley (I can just see him, now, in that big parade?!

        My 2nd choice would be my main man, Naftali B.

    • bryan
      bryan
      January 16, 2015, 2:47 pm

      And perhaps Jeff he would be in such a strong position that he could afford to make peace with the Palestinians – something that many other Israeli leaders were unable to do because of their need to placate the settlers?

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        January 16, 2015, 3:54 pm

        @Bryan

        Saying Obama would easily win the 2008 election and have a strong majority in Congress is not saying that he has the support / votes to give California back to Mexico.

        The coalition I outlined above does not vote for a Palestinian peace plan. I can imagine a possible coalition involving Labor-Hatnua. But it is hard to see how they pass a peace plan that the Palestinians accept.

        I’ve heard very reasonable offers from individual Palestinians and if they were in leadership I could easily see Israel accepting and peace but they aren’t. I think Bennett offers the best proposal. It is possible that Netanyahu adopts the Bennet plan in 2015 though I suspect 2019 or so if/when Bennett becomes Prime Minister is when this plan gets adopted.

        When you talk 2SS the situation hasn’t much changed since the mid-1990s. There exits support in the Israeli electorate for a self governing Palestinians colony with many of the trappings of statehood provided they don’t have to make too great of territorial concessions. Once you go beyond that support drops rapidly. There exists support among Palestinians for a Jewish homeland as long as they don’t have to make concessions legitimizing the creation of a permanent Jewish state. Once you get much beyond that support drops rapidly.

        The country is not big enough for a Korea type solution but when Jews think “two state solution” that’s what they want. That they give up land in exchange all the Palestinians go live in their state forever. The Palestinians can’t emotionally accept the idea of forever renouncing claim because they see that as legitimizing the Nabka. The two sides are too far apart to make a deal.

        What has changed in the last 2 decades is less favorable for the Palestinians. Israel has eliminated East Jerusalem as a separable entity. Jerusalem in 2015 is a Jewish city with Jewish suburbs with a substantial minority population Jerusalem is simply ungovernable by a Palestinian government, it is gone even if Meretz won 120 seats.

        Given the success Israel is achieving with a “facts on the ground” approach why make “painful concessions”. With a different Palestinians I could imagine a deal. For example most Jews I know would for example be willing to throw in Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount to Palestine but Jews see that as a huge concession. Palestinians (reasonably) approach that as something their are entitled to, because the Old City was in Jordanian hands. So they deadlock.

      • bryan
        bryan
        January 17, 2015, 3:14 am

        “Saying Obama would easily win the 2008 election and have a strong majority in Congress is not saying that he has the support / votes to give California back to Mexico.”

        Not an apposite parallel at all (a) There is no international consensus for the US to return California (b) Mexico was obtained by the US by war but a century before Israel’s creation. In the intervening years, with two devastating world wars, the civilized world came to the conclusion that the acquisition of territory by war was illegitimate (c) Despite American conquest the territory was official ceded to the US by Mexico in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for a purchase price of $15 million – the Palestinians have never ceded the territories to Israel but have constantly struggled for independence (d) Mexico itself had only ruled California for 27 years and the region was incredibly sparsely populated with an estimated 8000 Mexican citizens and a vastly larger number of very impoverished native indians – occupied Palestine is in contrast densely populated by indigenous peoples who have occupied and owned the land for centuries. (e) The US ruled California via a military governor for only 3 years (contrast almost 50 in occupied territories) before a liberal constitution was established within which Mexicans had full rights.

        You constantly refer to the “painful concessions” that Israel is not prepared to make, but most people would say that the painful concessions have been made by the Palestinians – e.g. recognizing Israel in 72% of Mandate Palestine (as opposed to the 55% proposed in a failed UN partition that could be effective only if both sides had agreed), renouncing violent resistance and cooperating vigorously to ensure Israel’s security, accepting that Jewish areas in occupied East Jerusalem would remain within Israel, accepting that major parts of the illegal settlement blocs would go to Israel in exchange for suitably agreed land swaps, accepting that a future Palestinian state would be demilitarized, compromising on the internationally agreed right of return of refugees.

        The only “painful concessions” that Israel needs to make is that a few vague and contradictory statements penned by religious ideologues centuries ago about God-given rights have no status in international law and that if Israelis have a right to a self-determined state then so too do Palestinians.

  8. mijj
    mijj
    January 15, 2015, 1:44 pm

    yet another opportunity for cowboy Netanyahu and Zionism to herd Jews into the Israel corral.

    Rawhide theme song:

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      January 15, 2015, 2:09 pm

      Guardian obituary of Mike Marqusee, another Jewish radical who was far too thoughtful to swallow the bullshit and thuggery of Zionism.

      http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/15/mike-marqusee

      “In If I Am Not For Myself (2008), he melded together, in characteristic fashion, his own family history, political theory and close reading of canonical religious texts, separating out Jewishness from its co-option by the state of Israel.

  9. seafoid
    seafoid
    January 15, 2015, 2:12 pm

    Who gives a sh#t about the Israeli election? It’s not as if Lapid or Lapdog are going to change anything. The good ship Israel is set in the direction of the cliff and no vote is going to change that.

  10. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    January 15, 2015, 2:38 pm

    How did Abbas get to the front of the line after Netanyahu did? Did someone notice that Netanyahu was in front and then invite him for the sake of parity?

  11. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    January 15, 2015, 7:26 pm

    JeffB said: “I BTW think she’s helpful she’s said herself she helps cure racism. Lots of “death to the Arab” type voters hear her speak and call her a sister. Obviously the best path for everyone would be if the Israeli Arabs all became enthusiastic about Israel and wanted a civil rights struggle.”

    Well, Haskia claims that her daughter, who is a IDF vet, couldn’t rent an apartment in a Jewish town because she’s an Arab, so mom’s “cure” didn’t work for her.

    But I’m glad Anett Haskia is out there, because she demonstrates that even an Arab Muslim woman who has embraced Zionism and sent her kids to the army is still looked upon with suspicion by Jews. She says all the right things that Jewish Israel wants to hear but that still does not entitle her to the “goodies” because she is not a Jew.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      January 16, 2015, 8:11 am

      @blah

      Well, Haskia claims that her daughter, who is a IDF vet, couldn’t rent an apartment in a Jewish town because she’s an Arab, so mom’s “cure” didn’t work for her.

      There is no official housing discrimination against people who serve in the army. There is still the ethnic kind of discrimination I caught the tail end of here in the USA when I was a kid (i.e. sure a black was legally allowed to buy a house in neighborhood X but it very well might burn down if they tried). It takes a concerted effort on the part of the USA government to stop it over the last few centuries when that sort of thing flashes up.

      I think a crucial component of making peace is breaking up the ethnic neighborhoods. I can understand the downsides of that though. My parents had an entirely different experience of “neighborhood” growing up than I did because their neighbors were coming from the same ethnic group and shared a politics. Thus even though they were in a city they effectively got to experience a sort of small town life. Everyone knew everyone else and as children they could count on everyone adult to be interested in their welfare.

      Israeli officials, and the vast majority of the population both Arab subgroups (Druze, Bedouin…) and Jewish subgroups have mostly encouraged ethnic neighborhoods. This express itself in all sort of things that have nothing to do with Arab vs. Jew. For example when I was at a a mixed Jewish holy site a a Sephardic rabbi didn’t feel comfortable leading me in a ritual because I’m ethnically Ashkenazi. The fact that I’m an atheists was far less of a problem then the fact that I was a “white Jew”.

      Yes, Israel has the kind of ethnic neighborhoods the USA had 2 generations ago. If the goal is to be productive then Israelis (both Jewish and Arab) can learn from Americans what the plusses and minuses of ethnic neighborhoods are and how they can be taken apart, because America has really done a terrific job here. Of course that system of ethnic neighborhoods can’t and won’t be destroyed in a world where the goal is to incite ethnic violence through delegitimization and demonization.

      So do you want to see it end by helping the Israelis become one people working for a common shared future, or do you want to see it further entrenched by encourage the win-lose kind of politics of BDS?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 16, 2015, 6:28 pm

        There won’t be an empty corner in the room at this rate. A mutterer in each one.

      • bryan
        bryan
        January 17, 2015, 1:47 am

        “Of course that system of ethnic neighborhoods can’t and won’t be destroyed in a world where the goal is to incite ethnic violence through delegitimization and demonization.”

        There are many worlds out there – including worlds of pluralism and tolerance, and many Palestinians and Israelis would like nothing more than to live at peace and with justice and equality with their neighbours. But often the institutions, like the Knesset, the army, the segregation of education and other matters do not help. The motive force in your world of violence and hatred was surely the mistaken Zionist ambition to build a villa in the desert by expulsion and ethnic-cleansing and unsurprisingly some reacted to this considering your project to be illegitimate and demonic.

        You’ve stated quite clearly, JeffB, that your problem is your world-view and your problems will not end until you can adjust your thinking.

  12. RoHa
    RoHa
    January 15, 2015, 8:31 pm

    I read that the woman his bodyguard pushed aside while waiting for the bus was actually a French Cabinet Minister. Is this so?

  13. Kay24
    Kay24
    January 16, 2015, 6:47 am

    Only someone with Bibi’s arrogance can try to convince French Jews that life is better in a country that militarily occupies its neighbors, steals it’s land, builds illegal settlements, and has to face the consequences of the occupied resisting that occupation. Despite whining that thousands of rockets are being sent into Israel, how unsafe it is for Israelis, it seems the Boobi still considers it safe, or else why should he try to convince them to leave France?
    Mixed messages.

  14. eljay
    eljay
    January 16, 2015, 9:14 am

    >> Kay24: Mixed messages.

    Yup. We are told that Israel – which is surrounded by genocidal Muslim/Arab hordes (and Iran) – constantly faces existential threats / the next Holocaust; and it is always on the verge of being wiped off the map and pushed into the sea. And then we’re told that it’s the safest place in the world for Jewish citizens of countries around the world.

    (It’s kind of like how, on the one hand, Israel is a “moral beacon” and “Western-style democracy” while, on the other, it’s just a little bit better than Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”.)

  15. K Renner
    K Renner
    January 16, 2015, 10:02 am

    You have to love how some of the more unreasonable in the pro-Israel camp go into absolute conniptions if you say something as simple as “but it isn’t YOUR land. You have no inherent right to it by virtue of being Jewish”.

    I must confess that I was almost at a troll-like level for a hilarious quarter-hour early new year’s day.

    Pretty good night all around but I can remember talking or pseudo-arguing with this little Israeli girl on the street, in the midst of talking about Syria and being accused of “looking like Al Nusra” and what’re the best combinations when it comes to matching furniture with the colours that you paint the walls of your house– but this girl was really something else entirely, although in the liberal Zionist sense.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      January 17, 2015, 9:33 am

      Little in size or age?

      • K Renner
        K Renner
        January 18, 2015, 6:16 pm

        In size. She was easily around the same age I am, as far as I could tell.

  16. Pixel
    Pixel
    January 17, 2015, 7:55 am

    “Come visit Israel! Come stay in Israel! Come make aliyah to Israel.
    This is your land!”


    ALL together, now, with Woody Guthrie… and be sure to sing the words you know the loudest!!

    “This Land is my WAS Your Land,
    This Land Is MY Land.
    From Egypt’s border, to Lebanon’s border,
    From Jordan’s border to the Med Sea waters,
    This Land was made for belongs to ME and MEEEEE!

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxiMrvDbq3s&autoplay=0&w=320&h=215%5D

  17. Pixel
    Pixel
    January 17, 2015, 8:03 am

    ps. love the title, Phil, and that screen shot is a riot.

  18. JeffB
    JeffB
    January 17, 2015, 8:19 am

    @bryan

    The motive force in your world of violence and hatred

    Who exactly is it that I hate? I don’t hate the Palestinians. I treat them like a nation and respect their choices. I’m all for making them full Israelis. You all are the ones who argue they are incapable of becoming Israelis and thus Israeli needs to be destroyed.

    The motive force in your world of violence and hatred was surely the mistaken Zionist ambition to build a villa in the desert by expulsion and ethnic-cleansing

    The ambition in a practical way towards mass ethnic cleansing started being formulated in 1942 as has been well documented including by BDSers. That is it came two generations after the decision to build the villa. It came as a direct result of the 1936-9 war. The Palestinians not the Israelis are the ones who choose to put ethnic warfare on the table.

    I’m not a racist I hold brown people responsible for what they choose to do collectively or individually the same as I do white people. The problem you have is you don’t. You buy into this leftist nonsense where we the west are the only ones with agency and everyone else’s reactions are more or less forced.

    and unsurprisingly some reacted to this considering your project to be illegitimate and demonic.

    Not reacted. It is 2015. React. The project for Israeli Arabs at leas has been complete since almost all of them were born. It is in a practical sense irreversible. Their choosing to see it the way they do is a choice. A choice which other people in other contexts decided differently.

  19. Pixel
    Pixel
    January 17, 2015, 8:56 am

    p p s.

    I just read the full article (linked to in this piece, above), “Netanyahu’s Paris appearance was a PR disaster.

    At one point, the author wrote, [Bibi was] “waiting for a bus to take him to the rally, after missing the bus that ferried other world leaders to the march.”

    A few paragraphs later, we read, “It wasn’t just Netanyahu who was excluded from the bus — it was Israel itself”.

    Hmmm…. from missing to excluded…

  20. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    January 23, 2015, 5:09 am

    If nothing else, he’s got plenty of chutzpah and gonads.

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