March 8, 2014
God Bless Putin
BINYAMIN NETANYAHU is very good at making speeches, especially to Jews, neocons and such, who jump up and applaud wildly at everything he says, including that tomorrow the sun will rise in the west.
The question is: is he good at anything else?
HIS FATHER, an ultra-ultra-Rightist, once said about him that he is quite unfit to be prime minister, but that he could be a good foreign minister. What he meant was that Binyamin does not have the depth of understanding needed to guide the nation, but that he is good at selling any policy decided upon by a real leader.
(Reminding us of the characterization of Abba Eban by David Ben-Gurion: “He is very good at explaining, but you must tell him what to explain.”)
This week Netanyahu was summoned to
On the eve of the event, President Barack Obama gave an interview to a Jewish journalist, blaming Netanyahu for the stalling of the “peace process” – as if there had ever been a peace process.
Netanyahu arrived with an empty bag - meaning a bag full of empty slogans. The
Israeli leadership had striven mightily for peace, but could not progress at all
because of the Palestinians. It is Mahmoud Abbas who is to blame, because he
refuses to recognize
What…hmm…about the settlements, which have been expanding during the last year
at a hectic pace? Why should the Palestinians negotiate endlessly, while at the
same time the Israeli government takes more and more of the land which is the
substance of the negotiations? (As the classic Palestinian argument goes: “We
negotiate about dividing a pizza, and in the meantime
Obama steeled himself to confront Netanyahu, AIPAC and their congressional stooges. He was about to twist the arms of Netanyahu until he cried “uncle” – the uncle being Kerry’s “framework”, which by now has been watered down to look almost like a Zionist manifesto. Kerry is frantic for an achievement, whatever its contents and discontents.
Netanyahu, looking for an instrument to rebuff the onslaught, was ready to cry
as usual “
NAPOLEON FAMOUSLY exclaimed: ”Give me generals who are lucky!” He would have loved General Bibi.
Because, on the way to confront a newly invigorated Obama, there was an explosion that shook the world:
It was like the shots that rang out in
The international tranquility was suddenly shattered. The possibility of a major war was in the air.
Netanyahu’s visit disappeared from the news. Obama, occupied with a historic crisis, just wanted to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Instead of the severe admonition of the Israeli leader, he got away with some hollow compliments. All the wonderful speeches Netanyahu had prepared were left unspeeched. Even his usual triumphant speech at AIPAC evoked no interest.
All because of the upheaval in
BY NOW, innumerable articles have been written about the crisis. Historical associations abound.
In the Crimean War of the 1850s,
In my lifetime, Stalin murdered millions of Ukrainians by deliberate starvation.
As a result, most Ukrainians welcomed the German Wehrmacht in 1941 as
liberators. It could have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship, but
unfortunately Hitler was determined to eradicate the Ukrainian “Untermenschen”,
in order to integrate the
THE RELATIONSHIP between
Some Jewish writers, like Arthur Koestler and Shlomo Sand, believe that the
Khazar empire that ruled the
As we learned in school, at every turn of Ukrainian history, the Jews were slaughtered. The names of most Ukrainian folk-heroes, leaders and rebels who are revered in their homeland are, in Jewish consciousness, connected with awful pogroms.
Cossack Hetman (leader) Bohdan Khmelnytsky, who liberated
Some elderly Jewish immigrants in
PEOPLE AROUND the world find it also hard to choose sides.
The usual Cold-War zealots have it easy – they either hate the Americans or the Russians, out of habit.
As for me, the more I try to study the situation, the more unsure I become. This is not a black-or-white situation.
The first sympathy goes to the Maidan rebels. (Maidan is an Arab word meaning
town square. Curious how it travelled to
They want to join the West, enjoy independence and democracy. What’s wrong with that?
Nothing, except that they have dubious bedfellows. Neo-Nazis in their copycat Nazi uniforms, giving the Hitler salute and mouthing anti-Semitic slogans, are not very attractive. The encouragement they receive from Western allies, including the odious neocons, is off-putting.
On the other side, Vladimir Putin is also not very prepossessing. It’s the old Russian imperialism all over again.
The slogan used by the Russians - the need to protect Russian-speaking people in
a neighboring country - sounds eerily familiar. It is an exact copy of Adolf
Hitler’s claim in 1938 to protect the
But Putin has some logic on his side. Sevastopol – the scene of heroic sieges
both in the Crimean War and in World War II, is essential for his naval forces.
The association with
A cold-blooded, calculating operator, of a kind now rare in the world, Putin
uses the strong cards he has, but is very careful not to take too many risks. He
is managing the crisis astutely, using
I assume that in the end there will be a compromise.
(By the way, for those here who believe in the “One-State Solution”: Another multicultural state seems to be breaking apart.)
WHERE WILL this leave Netanyahu?
He has gained some months or years without any movement toward peace, and in the meantime can continue with the occupation and build settlements at a frantic pace.
That is the traditional Zionist strategy. Time is everything. Every postponement provides opportunities to create more facts on the ground.
Netanyahu’s prayers have been answered. God bless Putin.