Israel Palestine Infos
October 27, 2012
“Then it doesn’t matter,” Eshkol assured them. “We can always get all the wheat we need from the Americans.”
That was some 50 years ago. Since than, nothing much has changed. The elections
I HAD to stay awake till 3 am again to watch the final presidential debate live. I was afraid that I would doze off, but I did not. On the contrary.
When two chess players are engaged in a game, there is often a person – we call him a “kibitzer” – standing behind one of them, trying to give him unsolicited advice. During the debates, I do the same. In my imagination, I stand behind Barack Obama and think about the right answer to Romney, before Obama himself opens his mouth.
I must admit that on some occasions during this debate, his answers were much better than mine. For example, I did not think up a stinging reply to Romney’s contention that the US now has less warships then it had a hundred years ago. Obama’s dry reply - that the US army now has fewer horses, too - was sheer genius. The more so since he could not have prepared it. Who could have foreseen such a dumb remark?
Also, when Romney slammed Obama for skipping
Obama hit the right note. Remarking that Romney had visited with an entourage of donors and fund-raisers (without naming Sheldon Adelson and the other Jewish donors), he reminded us that as a candidate he went instead to Yad Vashem, to see for himself the evil done to the Jews. Touche.
On a few occasions, I thought I had a better answer. For example, when Romney
tried to explain away his comment that
(“Geo-politics” is not just a juxtaposition of geography and politics. It is a
world-view propagated by the German professor Hans Haushofer and others and
adopted by Adolf Hitler as a rationale for his plan to create Lebensraum
for Germans by annihilating or driving out the population of
I would have talked much more about the wars, Nixon’s
ONE DID not have to be an expert to notice that Romney did not present original ideas of his own. He parroted Obama’s positions, changing a few words here and there.
Earlier in the campaign, during the primaries, it did not look like that. Clamoring for the votes of the right-wing base, he was about to bomb Iran, provoke China, battle Islamists of all shades, perhaps resurrect Osama Bin Laden in order to kill him again. Nothing of the sort this time. Only a meek “I agree with the President”.
Why? Because he was told that the American people had had enough of the Bush
Wars. They don’t want any more. Not in
Perhaps Romney decided in advance that it was enough for him to avoid looking like an ignoramus on foreign affairs, since the main battleground was in the economic sphere, where he can hope to look more convincing than Obama. So he played it safe. “I agree with the President…”
THE WHOLE concept of a presidential debate on foreign affairs is, of course, nonsensical. World affairs are far too complicated, the nuances far too subtle, to be dealt with in this rough way. It would be like performing a kidney operation with an ax.
One could easily get the impression that the world is an American golf course,
in which the
I am not sure that most of the American viewers could find
For Romney, obviously, all Muslims are the same. Islamophobia is the order of the day, and Romney openly pandered to it. As I have pointed out before, Islamophobia is nothing but the fashionable modern cousin of good old anti-Semitism, seeping from the same sewers of the collective unconscious, exploiting the same old prejudices, transferring to the Muslims all the hatred once directed towards the Jews.
Many Jews, of course, especially the elderly in the nursing homes in warm
Trying hard to look tougher than Obama, Romney did, after all, come up with an original idea: provide the Syrian insurgents with “heavy arms”. What does that mean? Artillery? Drones? Missiles? And if so, to whom? To the Good Guys, of course. And take care that they do not fall into the hands of the Bad Guys.
What a brilliant idea. But please, who are the Good Guys and who the Baddies? Nobody else seems to know. Least of all the CIA or the Mossad. Dozens of Syrian factions are at work – regional, confessional, ideological. All want to kill Assad. So who will get the cannons?
All this made any serious discussion about the
ANY SERIOUS Arab or Israeli should have been insulted by the way our region was treated in this debate by the two men, one of whom will soon be our lord and master.
Israel was mentioned in the debate 34 times – 33 times more than Europe, 30
times more than Latin America, five times more than Afghanistan, four times more
than China. Only
Wonderful. Just wonderful. But which
Or a different, liberal and democratic
But not only what was parroted was interesting, but also what was left unsaid.
No automatic backing of an Israeli attack on
And, most importantly: no effort at all to use the immense potential power of the US and its European allies to bring about Israel-Palestine peace, by imposing the Two-State solution that everybody agrees is the only viable settlement. No mention of the Arab peace initiative still offered by 23 Arab countries, Islamists and all.
China, the new emerging world power, was treated with something close to
disdain. They must be told how to behave. They must do this or that, stop
manipulating their currency, send the jobs back to
But why should the Chinese take any notice when
UNSERIOUS AS the debate was, it showed up a very serious problem.
The French used to say that war is too serious to leave to the generals. World politics are certainly too serious to leave to the politicians. Politicians are elected by the people – and the people have no idea.
It was obvious that both contenders avoided any specifics that would have
demanded even the slightest knowledge from the listeners. 1.5 billion plus
Muslims were considered to fall into just two categories – “moderates” and
“Islamists”. Israel is one bloc, no differentiation. What do viewers know about
3000 years of Persian civilization? True, Romney knew – rather surprisingly –
what or where
Yet these very same viewers must now finally decide who will be the leader of the world's greatest military power, with a huge impact on everyone else.
Winston Churchill memorably described democracy as “the worst form of government, except for all the other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
This debate could serve as evidence.