18 thoughts on “Bibi: “This is the End, My Friend” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. As Joseph Conrad said in his classic novel Heart of Darkness (which is true of the Israeli zeitgeist), ““It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice” and we are truly living that out going further down the Congo to no end, only “the horror, the horror”.

    It is true that there are no viable alternatives at the moment, the only reason the Israeli PM has clung to power is that people are desperately afraid of the Arab track record of being (or not being) good-neighbours.

    No one, not Jew nor Arab seems to be willing to make concession, we seem to be (to cite a lyric from the song you quoted from the movie which alludes to the above book) lost in a Roman wilderness of pain and all the children are insane, all the children are insane”.

    1. @ gefilte:

      the only reason the Israeli PM has clung to power is that people are desperately afraid of the Arab track record of being (or not being) good-neighbours.

      That’s an oversimplification of the actual reality. Bibi has clung to power for a myriad of reasons, only a few of which are fear of Arabs. That’s really background music compared to more domestic considerations which are the major reasons he’s still in the PMO.

      No one, not Jew nor Arab seems to be willing to make concession,

      That’s certainly not true. The “Arabs” [sic] have made clear they’re willing to make almost every concession. In a number of cases (cf. the Palestine Papers) Abbas proved willing to just about give away the store to the Israelis to get an agreement. It has always been the Israelis who refuse concessions & compromise. If you don’t believe me ask the pro-Israel American negotiators who were so frustrated with Bibi they either quit or publicly expressed their frustration with him after negotiations failed (i.e. Indyk, Makovsky, Ross, etc.).

      all the children are insane

      I don’t think the Palestinian are insane at all. They’re quite sane & rational. They alone remain committed to a 2 state solution while Israelis run from the idea in droves as a recent poll shows. If you want to talk about insanity or pathology, that’s almost all on the Israeli side.

    2. ‘No one, not Jew nor Arab seems to be willing to make concession…’

      Given Oslo and the Jordanian and Egyptian peace treaties, Arabs have obviously made concessions.

      On the other hand, each territorial gain simply excites ‘the Jews’ to seek more. In 1922, they supposedly didn’t want an independent state at all — ‘a Jewish homeland means an independent state? Not at all!’ In 1947, they accepted the partition — and promptly advanced to seize half of what had been allocated to the Palestinians. Then, in 1967, they took the other half.

      At other times, the Jews have had a go at seizing Sinai and southern Lebanon. They snapped up the Golan Heights. Periodically, they openly contemplate helping themselves to some more of Jordan.

      So how many more concessions do you think the Arabs should make? What do you think would be the final, final, final Jewish demand?

      …and even if Israel did offer such assurances, given her record, what reason would we have to believe that there really wouldn’t be further demands? Bear in mind that Israel is unique among modern states. It has attacked every single one of its neighbors. Even Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia couldn’t claim that.

      1. @ Colin WRight: Though you did use quotes around “the Jews,” I’m uncomfortable conflating Israelis with Jews. Israelis aren’t all Jews and Jews aren’t all Israelis. THough many Israelis would like us to believe that they are stand-ins for Jews and represent all the rest of us, I think we should push back against this notion.

        But the general thrust of your comment is correct sans ‘the Jews’ references.

      2. @Colin

        “In 1922, they supposedly didn’t want an independent state at all ”

        Not quite, my son.

        There had been a public exchange between United States Sect. Lansing and Dr Weizmann at the Paris Peace Conference on the matter of Jewish Statehood.

        Dr.Weizmann’s reply was that the Zionists were not immediately requiring of the Great Powers, an autonomous Jewish State.
        But, when the Jewish population of Palestine eventually reached a majority. that majority would create within Palestine, a government that would met the needs of the people. i.e. a State.


        1. @ Anya: You didn’t read carefully the quotation you chose from Colin. He said clearly “in 1922, they…didn’t want an independent state at all.” The key phrase right there at the beginning of his sentence is “In 1922.” There was nothing wrong with what he said. He didn’t say they never changed their mind or never developed a different stance. Clearly, historically they did.

          And even if you argue that Weizmann had in mind all along, even in 1922, that Zionists would never be satisfied till they had a State of their own, then he was lying. Which further proves Colin’s point. In future, pls don’t paraphrase material from or about historical sources. I can’t judge the veracity of the statements you make without reading the actual original quote from the historical figure.

          1. [Comment rejected: rehashing ancient Zionist history is unbelievably boring. And this isn’t the place for it. I could care less whether Weizmann or Balfour or whoever envisioned a Jewish state, homeland, colony or empire in 1922.]

  2. ‘ And none of them will do a damn thing different from Bibi. ‘

    I don’t think that’s completely true. There’s a perceptible downward spiral in Israeli politics — at least in terms of the ability to deceive. The first generation — Gurion, Eban, Meir — were past masters in presenting themselves to the West as ‘one of us.’ Even as they ordered their killings and their expulsions, they were able to project an image of being Western, enlightened, tolerant.

    Their successors — the Begins, Shamirs, Sharons, Netanyahus — have been noticeably worse at this sort of dissimulation. However, they could at least perceive the need to occasionally use the right fork. See Begin’s reluctant acquiescence in a pretense of peace, Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza, Netanyahu’s mendacious speeches to the US Congress.

    The folks about to push their way to the front really can’t be presented to the parents. With the Bennetts, Liebermans, and Yishais, we are getting frank thugs who can’t even be bothered to cloak their homicidal bigotry and notions of racial superiority. The ‘Israel that is for the white man’ and that openly approves murder is upon us, and the emperor — at last — really won’t have any clothes.

    The pretense is about to end, and nobody will be able to invite Israel to dinner.

    1. @ Colin Wright: I do think you’re correct. There is a downward spiral in Israeli leadership. And depending on your approach this can be seen as either good or bad.

      I didn’t mean to say that the pretenders to the throne would be the same, only that they wouldn’t be better than Bibi. If what I said came across that way then I apologize for my imprecision.

  3. I would normally agree with your analysis regarding Bibi’s impending end, and the fact that we shouldn’t rejoice it.

    And yet — this man has been perhaps the most loathsome Israeli specimen to ever assume the highest office in that cursed land. A man who, like his father, is a pure & ideological racist who views Arabs as subhuman and not even worthy of his handshake. A man who has no qualms whatsoever about sacrificing as many people as necessary to remain in his post (and make no mistake about it – that includes Jews as well). A man who is unable to tell the truth, and whose lies are as despicable and outrageous as his other loathsome personality traits (Mufti, anyone?)

    No, when this piece of dreck finally exits the scene I will rejoice simply for the fact that we will no longer have to see or hear him ever again.

    Of course, whoever replaces him will be no prize – we know that a-priori. But whoever it is, they will not approach the lowness of Bibi Netanyahu, and will not be able to do even 10% of the damage he has done to the region in his despicable 20-year reign of power.

    1. @ Danny: Agree with everything you wrote except your final paragraph. Bibi’s replacement could indeed be far worse than he. In fact, I would lay better than 50-50 odds that this is the case. Israel & its politics seem on a generally downward trajectory. I doubt Bibi leaving will halt this.

      1. Also consider his uncanny ability to manipulate American Jews – an ability that no successor will possess. He speaks to these American Jews like a friend, a confidant almost. He is able to – with his perfect “American” English – get them to eat out of his hand, and do almost anything he tells them. He is a professional used-car salesman (actually a furniture salesman, but it’s basically the same thing) with all the skills necessary to bamboozle his “customers”. No other Israeli politician that I know of has these skill sets.

        Israel with no Bibi selling it to the world will be a less confident apartheid state that will be much more vulnerable to the consequences of its actions.

    1. @ Juno: You have violated the comment rules. Please read them as you’ve been directed before publishing your first comment.

      This comment is off topic. Meaning comments must be directly related to the subject of the post. Defining Zionism was not the subject of the post & I have no interest in engaging with you on the subject.

      There are many good books on the subject in my Amazon store. I recommend you read them if you want to know what the definition of Zionism is.

      I feel a troll coming on. Don’t abuse the comment threads.

  4. Hi Richard,
    1. Ari Harow, not Avi
    2. your explanation about the israeli elections i find to be not entirely accurate. prima facie it seems like one has ”
    only” to get to the top of a party’s list, and then, if the voters (after much thought and research) like the entire list, they’ll vote for it, and he’ll be propelled to the prime minister position.
    From my experience, that’s not the case, almost no one knows who are no. 5 and downwards on any party’s list, unless they take special interest in it, and people actually vote likud because of Bibi’s demagoguery and *sigh…* charisma. they pay for it with MKs like Hazan, Regev and Bitton, but when they vote, many think “Bibi”, and not “likud”.
    besides, getting to the top of the list in the 2 major parties involves a whole lot of scheming and debts owned to powerful unions, and that’s the better case, when a party actually has primaries, and the list is not dictated by it’s leader (as is the case in Lapid’s party).

    1. @ raviv: You misconstrued my views on Israeli elections. I never said voters like “the entire list.” As you rightly said, very few will pay attention to who’s lower on the list unless they are family members or joined in some particular political affinity grouping. But a Party list does give voters a sense of who the Parties are & whom to vote for. They vote for the guy at the top of the list for sure. But if they like the particular guy who’s number 3 or 7 or whatever, this will help motivate them to choose that Party over another.

      Polls have consistently shown that voters don’t like Bibi & don’t like the job he’s doing. They don’t vote for Likud because of Bibi. They vote because of the package I mentioned. They hold their nose because of Bibi and vote Likud because they like everything else about it. They also vote Likud because they like the other Parties even less.

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