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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘zionism’

Knesset Considers Bill to Require Zionism Course in Universities

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Israel is considering a bill to require Israeli universities to include a prerequisite course on Zionist concepts in their curricula.

The bill was submitted to the Knesset by Yisrael Beytenu Knesset Member Oded Forer.

The measure is intended to counter the anti-Israel trend that has been seen among many of the academics.

It is also hoped the course will help students become citizens who are more aware of their heritage.

The course is expected to include texts from founding fathers such as David Ben Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzchak Rabin, and others.

Hana Levi Julian

The Walter Bingham File – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: We Must Stop Talking…And Start Acting [audio]

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

This programme demonstrates the futility of the world’s pressure to negotiate, with the Palestinian Arab leadership whoever they are, while at the same time ignoring that their stated aim is to destroy their supposed partner for peace, the State of Israel.

The Bad: Walter reluctantly came to the conclusion that all previous attempts to come to an accommodation with our neighbours were interpreted by them as weakness, encouraging ever more ugly and murderous violence – and that only firm and drastic action will ensure the security of the Jewish State and it’s people. Listen to his plan.

The Good: Because Aliyah to Israel is the foundation on which the Zionist enterprise stands, we rejoice when immigrants arrive and we celebrate as they step off the plane. Join in the welcome.

The Ugly: How the international media distorts the facts.

And: More.

The Walter Bingham File 24Jul – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Im Tirtzu Youth Remembering Slain Rabbi Miki Mark

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

The Youth Division of the Israeli Im Tirtzu Zionist movement last Thursday held its first annual conference to wrap up a year of Zionist activity and to commemorate Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark who was murdered several weeks ago in a terrorist attack.

Rabbi Mark’s daughter, Orit, an active member of Im Tirtzu’s Youth Division, participated in the conference.

The conference was held at the Uri Zvi Greenberg House in Jerusalem, and was dedicated to the contributions of Rabbi Mark to the Jewish people. The conference also recapped a year’s worth of the achievements of the Youth Division, which is comprised of dozens of pre-army youths. Among the speakers was Im Tirtzu founder Dr. Ronen Shoval.

Orit Mark said that holding the conference in memory of her father specifically at this time was very touching, and that she hopes his memory will continue to have a positive impact on all the Jewish people.

Roi Shtrasberg, head of the Youth Division, noted that the conference represents a peak for the Youth Division: “I am glad to see how much the Youth Division has grown, and how more and more youth are happy to take part in these amazing Zionist activities. They are proof that if we will it, it is no dream and we can do so much for the people of Israel and the State of Israel.”

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg spoke of the importance of the nation’s youth: “The future of the Jewish people depends on the quality of its youth. We often hear that today’s youth lack values, but every day we see dozens of teens who are putting everything else aside and are dedicating their time and effort to helping the Jewish people.”

“Im Tirtzu will continue to develop the future leaders of the Jewish people who are not afraid to stand up for their values and their belief in Zionism and the State of Israel,” Peleg continued. “We are seeing in front of our eyes the development of the future leaders of the Zionist enterprise and the continuation of the amazing history of the Jewish people. The new torch bearers of Herzl are already here.”

JNi.Media

Defining the Problem

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

I spent the last 3 weeks in the US and Canada on a speaking and fundraising tour for Standing Together 24/7 IDF and realized Israel, America, Canada and the entire world are in the same predicament when it comes to fighting terrorism. It seems all our governments are having a hard time defining right and wrong. It seems our countries and many of our people have given up on the idea that we are the good guys.

A month or so ago an Islamic terrorist pledged alliance to the Islamic State and murdered 50 people in a gay bar in Orlando.

It was like there was contest on who can better deflect the fact that this was a radical Islamic terrorist attack! Some immediately called the attack a homophobic attack while others were screaming about gun control. The President seemed to be flexing his executive muscles in order not to say three simple words; RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM

Some tried what I call the ’emotional escape’ and said, ‘what difference does it make! People died and I should be more sensitive.’ It is actually those who refuse to clearly define the Orlando attack as a radical Islamic terrorist attack who are being insensitive and cruel. Those who were murdered can no longer be helped, but to ignore the ideology that brought about the attack is cruelty to future victims.

Is there a gun control problem in America? Absolutely! How else do you explain how a guy who was investigated by the FBI TWICE for his radical Islamic views was still able to attain a gun legally.

Why was he able to attain a gun legally? Because, although the FBI saw red flags waving all over the place, they did not have anything incriminating and did not want to offend the terrorists “religious” beliefs by suspecting his radical views were actually dangerous. The wouldn’t want to offend him!

The liberal way is to defend the rights of all people except those that are actually being threatened by the people liberals are defending and if you dare point out the radical religious views and call them dangerous….you’re a racist!

Yes, there is a gun control problem in the U.S.A, but that is not what murdered the victims in Orlando. The radical Islamic terrorist did not murder people because he had a gun, he had a gun because he was looking to murder people! Read that again and internalize it!

What’s the difference?

Well, if Orlando is a result of a gun problem, is a 17 year old Muslim terrorist who broke into a Jewish home in Hebron and stabbed a sleeping 13 year old Jewish girl 35 times (!!!!) a knife control problem? Was the Boston bombing a pressure cooker problem? The terrorist in France a truck control problem?

Don’t people understand that by calling this a gun problem they are exonerating the perpetrators themselves! Would any of those gun-control people say in 1942 there was a gas problem in Germany? It’s ridiculous!

When it comes to Israel, we are seeing the same inability to define the actual base of the conflict. Many claim this conflict is about land. The fact of the matter is there was a time when all the “disputed” land was already in Arab control.

Between 1948-1967 the entire WB including Jerusalem, the entire Gaza strip and the Golan heights were in Arab control, was there peace? Anyone with any historic integrity should be able to admit that this conflict has nothing to do with the land. Radical Islamic terrorists were murdering Jews long before there were settlements or even a State of Israel. Just ask the Jews of Hebron in 1929 or those who attended the meeting between the Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler in 1942!

Those that advocate a Two-State solution are actually strengthening the radical Arab (Mostly radical Muslim) narrative that was created in order to disguise their blind hatred for Jews and the Jewish country with a fabricated historic and political claim. There was no conquering or occupation of Palestine from the Arabs! Can we please stop making believe it happened and can we please stop making believe the solution will come as a result of our adopting a false historical national claim called Palestine! Not only will masquerading the real issue not stop terrorism, it will strengthen it!

Before discussing a solution one has to ask themselves what is the real cause of the problem. Why have Arab countries attacked Israel time and time again? Why did Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and some of their friends attack Israel in 48?

Was it because they were missing land in their countries?

Have you see a map of the Middle East lately!

Why did Nasser call for Israel’s destruction in 1966? Was it because of settlements that did not exist yet?

Why did Arafat start a terrorist organization called the PLO in 1964 with the soul purpose of destroying Israel when there were no settlements or “occupation”? (1964 was 3 years before the Six Day war and before the settlement block existed! The Arabs were under Arab control)

Israel left Gaza completely in 2005 with no demands from the Arabs, did it bring peace? Why did the Arab population democratically vote for a terrorist organization with a clear call to murder Jews? Was it because they wanted Gaza to be free?

When you answer these 5 questions, you will understand what is the source of the conflict and what it is not.

Jerusalem an Arab capital? Really! When was Jerusalem ever an Arab capital or even an important city before the Jews came home? Do I know what the solution is?

The real question is, do you know what the problem is!

So why is the world and some Israelis so blind to this obvious reality? Why can’t Obama say the words radical Islamic terrorism? It’s not really about offending someone and whether you think Obama is a Muslim or not is totally irrelevant. The real issue is the belief in a fantasy word where everything can be solved with diplomacy. See, if Obama would call it radical Islamic terrorism, there would be no diplomatic solution. He knows as well as anyone else that the solution to a terrorist is a bullet.

Calling it a gun control problem basically throws the blame on all of us instead of on the terrorist and makes believe if we just work harder Orlando will not happen again.

Israeli leaders have been apologizing and bending over backwards in order to make offers to those who want us destroyed. Don’t you dare call it a radical Islamic terror problem because that would make the Two State solution as immoral as the Munich agreement that Chamberlain signed with Hitler.

Don’t you dare admit this is a religious war because that would make you a racist! It doesn’t matter that the only people blowing up buses, shooting fathers in front of their family, stabbing little Jewish girls in their sleep and firing rockets at Israel are 100% of the time radical ISLAMIC terrorists!

Forget all those facts. Take a big gulp of the Kool-aid and a puff of the peace drug and make believe all the terrorists want is a small sliver of Israel and they will stop murdering Jews Oh, and while you are apologizing for a crime Israel did not commit, make sure to uphold real apartheid by not allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount which is being occupied by radical Islamic terror supporters. We wouldn’t want to God forbid offend them and their beliefs and allow actual freedom of religion! That would have the UN condemning us and calling us racist…. Anyone else see the irony here?

What’s my solution? Let’s say I don’t have one. Does that mean we should adopt one that is historical, national and religious suicide? Doctors don’t know what to do, so they start cutting off limbs?

DEFINE THE PROBLEM!

Solution to radical Islamic terrorism?

A bullet!

Solution to a fabrication of history called Palestine used in order to justify starting wars with Israel and murdering Jews?

FIGHT!

Those who support the Palestine Arab narrative are either completely ignorant or intentionally aiding and abetting terrorism! No room for diplomacy there and it’s not because I want war, it’s because they do!

What’s the solution? Let’s start by reminding ourselves that we are the good guys. The fact that the Arabs lost the wars they started does not make them victims, it makes them losers and maybe they should get the hint. #AllahIsAZionist.

Those Arabs who want to live in peace in Israel as a Jewish State? Welcome! Those who want a new State called Palestine on land they think was an Arab country called Palestine?

1. Learn history!

2. Jordan sits on 70+% of British Palestine and has a majority of 73% Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Make Jordan Palestine!

I love when people hear that they call me unrealistic or say the Jordanians would not agree.

Let me get this straight. Hashemites who have absolutely no connection to this land and who came from Mecca and took over the area of Trans-Jordan don’t want to give the area to Arabs who call themselves Palestinians is an acceptable excuse but it is ok to demand of Jews who have a long history to give up land to those who advocate the destruction of Israel?

You think it is realistic that Israel, which is smaller than New Jersey, split up more of its land to hand it over to those who seek to destroy it but it is unrealistic to demand the Hashemites from Jordan, which is hundreds of times bugger than Israel, give up land to their own brothers? ENOUGH!

Realistic? The ‘peace’ camp gave guns to Yasser Arafat and the world awarded that terrorist the Nobel Peace Prize!

Don’t tell me about being realistic!

No more risk taking, no more concessions to those who start wars and justify terror! Israel is ours by right and it’s time we stop making believe we are the bad guys!

Three choices for our enemies:
1. Leave

2. Fight

3. Accept Israel as the Jewish homeland and live happily.

Ari Fuld

President Rivlin: Israel Is Democratic and Jewish and Tribal, and There Are Arabs, Too

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The 16th Annual Herzliya conference opened at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, with a discussion by Israeli senior ministers and political party leaders on the joint initiative “Shared Israeli Hope.” President Reuven Rivlin opened his keynote address saying Israeli society has transitioned from being made up of a clear majority and minorities into a society made up of four main sectors or tribes, which are becoming more and more equal in size: secular, Modern Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox and Arab.

“We must speak the truth; this is not something that we expected,” he said, noting that many had called him a post-Zionist following his previous Herzliya conference address and questioned, “Is anyone who discusses the issues of Israeli identity, post-Zionist?” He explained that Israel was “Four tribes, four competing, different stories, about who we are, and what we want to be.” He noted that “the headline of the conference should have been, ‘Israeli hope: to be or not to be.’” He said that “a year ago there were those that interpreted my words as yet another typical, joyful presidential call… but first and foremost, my words were intended to serve as a call to wake up to the gaps and inadequacies between the reality of Israeli society and the system of Israeli institutions.” Looking ahead he said, “We are obliged to strive for institutional and systematic changes which must be conducted as a national effort… we must recognize that there are material and structural barriers to forming shared rules of the game for the different sectors… The creation of a shared Israeli identity and a shared Israeli hope is a mighty and noble process which will take a generation.”

One of the main engines for change Rivlin discussed was that of academia and employment. “Academia and the Israeli labor market will become an engine of real change, only when academic institutions and employers view the establishment of the Israeli dream – for a young man from Ofakim, a young woman from Bnei Brak, a young man from Jatt and a young woman from Binyamin – as a national mission of paramount professional and economic interests… Academia and the labor market today cater mainly to two tribes, but there are two more.”

He noted that if Israeli society were willing to embrace the necessary changes, the State of Israel would serve as a model for others, “A Jewish and democratic state; democratic and Jewish is one in the same.”

Following the president’s keynote address, senior ministers and political party leaders were given the opportunity to respond.

MK Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs, and Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi party, began his address by taking the audience on a journey to 3,000 years in the past: “We are in a sovereign state. A Jewish State under the rule of King David with great economic and political power.” He traced Jewish history through the periods, explaining how Jews in the Diaspora lived in survival mode, “Zionism was based on survival and security.” He noted that now, back in the Jewish homeland, Jews no longer needed to be afraid and could “break into a new creativity without being afraid,” adding that the new generation of Zionism needed to be based on “destiny.” He stressed that Judaism was a religion focused on contending “with the reality of the world and bringing values into it.”

Directing his address to his role as minister of education, Bennett said, “I am the minister of education of all children in Israel… they are all my children and they are equal regardless of their color, religion, politics or anything else. We express this with an intensity unlike anything else in Israel.” He also noted how his office had adjusted budget allocations to ensure that adequate funds were appropriated to areas in need in Robin Hood fashion: “We take from the strong and give to the week… when I took on my position… per capita more funds were invested in wealthier areas.”

MK Aryeh Deri, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Chairman of the Shas Party, said, possibly ignoring the entire books of Numbers and Deuteronomy: “It was never the dream that one [nation] should get rid of the other.” He stressed that the Arab citizens “truly want to integrate within us and be a part and parcel with us… We need to show them that we respect their culture, heritage and history… We have no desire to mix cultures but rather to live together in one state” with full equality and egalitarian rights. Also paying an homage to the man from Sherwood Forest, Deri said, “There are steps, even as painful as they may be, where we will take from the big… and give to the smaller ones.” He added that any “discourse of hatred” needed to immediately be stopped. To a round of applause he stated, “In our state it is prohibited that we should accept any racism or discourse of racism.” He should have possibly share this with the minister of Religious Services from his own party, who announced a while back (I paraphrase) that non-Orthodox Jews are not really Jewish.

MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, opened his address noting all the ideals and values that he shared with the president: “Bringing the various populations closer to one another. Advancing the general welfare of all citizens. Building shared citizenship.” But he added that there are “important things that we cannot ignore… The basic thing that guides me in politics is my deep internal conviction that the guiding interests of both people are equal. Everyone wants the blessing of life.”

He emphasized the principles of nationalism: “What does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to be a national? We want complete equality on the national level and the civil social level.” He said that it was impossible to only talk about the economy and citizenship without nationalism. He also noted how he was always steered to discuss the future rather than the past: “We have a deep pain. In the heart of every Arab. The injustices of the past. And it hurts me so much when I hear narratives of 3,000, 4,000 years and I am told not to talk about the narratives of 60 years but to look into the future.”

By that narrative, MK Odeh referred to the fact that the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine had a chance to receive two thirds of the land if only they accepted that the Jews could have one third — and they refused. They wanted instead to murder all the Jews of the land with the help of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. They failed and have yet to recover from the shame and disappointment of that terrible failure.

Odeh focused specific attention on the subjects of unrecognized villages and said that it would not hurt anyone for the state to “state recognizes the terrible massacre of Kafir Qasim and the massive injustices and confiscation of land.” He stated that his party’s stance was two states for two people, side by side with complete equality for both but “crimes occurred and we have to talk about that… There are citizens of the State of Israel who are not allowed to return to their land… Will it harm one Jewish person…. If people of Mahalul are returned to Mahalul… To build 80 villages… Will it harm one Jewish person?… We need to talk about civil and national rights for Arabs in Israel and it doesn’t have to harm anyone. The opposite. That is what will heal these two people.”

Naturally, when MK Odeh speaks of two states, he really means four states: three purely Arab — Jordan, the PA and Gaza, and one 20% Arab — Israel.

MK Zahava Galon, Chairman of Meretz, said that the “elephant in the room” was that the Arabs do not have their own state and we are “50 years into the occupation of the territories.” She said that no discussion could take place regarding the demographic question without talking about occupying this nation and controlling their lives.

Taking on the judicial perspective of “Shared Israeli Hope,” Chief Justice Miriam Naor, president of the Supreme Court, noted that “Our image as a democratic society requires a balance between the individual and society.” She said that the legal system plays a role in advancing Israeli partnerships and creating boundaries. “Discrimination undermines social solidarity. The courts are responsible for eradicating discrimination.”

Which is why they are appointing their own judges, evading the control of the legislator on judicial selections — because as soon as you let the people make their own decisions they’re bound to start discriminating.

David Israel

I Stand By My critique of ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt

Monday, May 30th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Candidly Speaking from Jerusalem}

Jonathan Greenblatt’s response to my criticism of his embrace of J Street, alleging that I distorted his message, is disingenuous and reaffirms my assessment.

Invoking clichés “that there are steps Israel can take to ensure the viability of a two-state solution” are ill-becoming the head of a major Jewish organization whose contact with Israel has been minimal. It only serves to encourage U.S. President Barack Obama and the heads of other governments to intensify pressure against us. Greenblatt is surely aware that there is a consensus in Israel supporting immediate separation from the Palestinians, but also a recognition that further unilateral concessions in the absence of a genuine peace partner would endanger our security.

Greenblatt explicitly condemned Jews who deny the rights of “marginalized Palestinians” and fail to recognize the legitimacy of “the Palestinian narrative.” When he condemned “those who place blame on one side instead of putting forward solutions that acknowledge the role and responsibility of both sides”, he provided grist for the propaganda mills of those applying moral equivalence to Israelis and the Palestinians sanctifying terrorism and bent on our destruction. Greenblatt now reiterates (as I initially stated) that in his address to J Street, he also made remarks supporting Israel and condemning anti-Semitism. So what?

Jewish communists, the antecedents of J Street, also described themselves as “pro-peace” and defended Soviet anti-Semitism while portraying themselves as “pro-Jewish.” Likewise, J Street claims to be “pro-Israel” despite raising funds to support anti-Israeli congressional candidates, lobbying the Obama administration to exert further pressure on Israel, accepting generous funding from George Soros to support the government’s appeasement of Iran, and constantly condemning the security policies of the Israeli government.

Greenblatt cannot refute this. Does he really believe that Jews whose principal objective is to undermine and demonize Israel and encourage foreign intervention should still be considered members of the mainstream of the Jewish community and included in the big tent? Would the ADL seek to address and engage in dialogue with Jews promoting racism or homophobia?

The ADL national director goes further. He endorses the Black Lives Matter movement despite its open hostility to Israel. He also laments that the viciously anti-Israeli fringe group If Not Now is denied “safe space” for discourse and has informed them that the ADL “shares your commitment to change.”

Likewise, Greenblatt claims that the J Street group he addressed comprised “deeply thoughtful college students whose commitment to Israel is genuine and whose passion on the issue is impressive.” His objective is to maintain “a true sense of community and inclusion” with them.

Setting aside the legitimacy provided to J Street when endorsed by the head of a major Jewish body, one would have expected Greenblatt to spell out realities to these youngsters rather than praising them and engaging in kumbaya. He should surely have admonished them and explained why it is utterly immoral for Diaspora Jews to publicly campaign against security-related policies with life-and-death implications endorsed by the vast majority of Israelis.

Furthermore, as head of the organization whose principal mandate is to combat anti-Semitism, Greenblatt should have focused his address on emphasizing how despicable it was for students to demonize Israel while their Jewish student peers at many campuses were subjected to unprecedented waves of anti-Israeli incitement and anti-Semitism.

Instead, Greenblatt nonsensically justifies his position, stating that “disagreement and dissent are not Jewish ideas — they are Jewish ideals.” In other words, Jews who defame Israel and canvas foreign governments to intensify pressure on the Jewish state should be welcomed.

He goes one step further and says, “Whether Leibler likes it or not, these are the future leaders in our community and country.” Well, like any committed Jew, I certainly would not “like it.” And if Greenblatt endorses people sharing the views of J Street heading our community, the ADL Board would be well advised to have a serious chat with him.

With the current surge of violent global anti-Semitism which has already impacted on Jewish students at many American campuses, there is an urgent need for a powerful Jewish body dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism.

The ADL’s task is not to provide advice to Israel on security issues. Nor should it purport to speak on behalf of the Jewish community on broad social issues concerning which Jews share different opinions. It should concentrate more on Islamic terrorism rather than highlighting so-called Islamophobia, which poses far less of a problem than anti-Semitism. While it should broadly condemn all forms of discrimination, its principal role today must be to concentrate on its primary mandate, which is to combat anti-Semitism.

 

Isi Leibler

Netanyahu Tells Knesset He Wants ‘Broader Government,’ Herzog: Stop Zigzagging

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

During Monday’s special plenary session honoring the memory of Theodor Herzl, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) said, “I wonder what Herzl would have said had he seen the massive construction, the building of roads, the economic growth, the absorption of immigration, the scientific innovations and the fact that the state of the Jews discovered gas at sea and will extract it for the benefit of its citizens.”

“I met today with the French Prime Minister and stressed that [the Israeli] government wants peace,” Netanyahu also said, relating, “I told him that I seek to move forward in the diplomatic process on the basis of the outline of a demilitarized Palestinian state which recognizes the Jewish state. [But] the two principles of demilitarization and mutual recognition are not preconditions for the opening of negotiations. The process must be direct, bilateral and devoid of international dictates.”

“I am working with all my power to expand the coalition,” the PM told the Plenum, speaking as he did on the eve of signing a new deal with MK Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu to join his coalition government, expanding it from 61 to 67 members. “I said I would do so when we established the government, and I am continuing with these efforts to form a government that is as broad as possible. The door is open to anyone who wants to [join] for the good of the country. There is much to do and a lot to fix, but there is no justification for the complaining that is rampant in certain circles. Israel is a stable, advanced, innovative and democratic state, and this House is proof of that.”

Following the Prime Minister’s speech, opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp – Labor) addressed last week’s political storm in which many have depicted him as being used by Netanyahu for leverage to bring in Lieberman. “During the past couple of weeks I have stood upright against unprecedented attacks, against an incited crowd and against violent exclamations which I have never heard before,” Herzog complained, adding, realisticly, “It is possible that I have jeopardized my political seat, and have shaken it so much that it will be difficult to stabilize. But as opposed to other leaders – I did not join politics to pass the time. In an era where leaders change their minds according to the morning wind blowing on Facebook, I have chosen to stick to my words.”

Herzog’s poison arrow was shot unambiguously at MK Shelly Yachimovich, the former Labor chairwoman Herzog had unseated, whom he nicknamed “Princes of Facebook,” for her frequent—albeit effective and biting—posts.

“In the past couple of months, due to the terror wave and the futile feeling which characterizes the relationship with our neighbors, I have tried to evaluate the situation [based on the statements] of senior leaders from around the world and our region,” Herzog continued to make his case. “Some may seem familiar to you and some less, some are part of the senior leadership of the area and some are younger, whose names cannot be revealed yet. These leaders have a crucial influence over our fate, the fate of our families and children. I wanted with all my might to identify the glimpse of light in the darkness. I have reached the conclusion that we are facing a rare regional opportunity based on a group of Arab leaders who are moderate, young, powerful and lack the Israel complex that their predecessors have had, and who are willing to take action and lead a powerful and stirring process against our neighbors.”

“I have chosen to risk my internal political status and extend a hand to the rival political leader about whom I have said during the elections – ‘it’s either us or him’ – in order to recruit all possible national power and together change the present and the future of our children,” Herzog continued his gallant attempt to explain his abysmal failure in negotiating with his “rival political leader.”

“I know I have let down many of my supporters, my colleagues and friends and a broad public that did not believe Netanyahu in the first place, but I had decided anyhow to not let the opportunity slip away as it stands right in front of our eyes and depends upon Israel having a different, more moderate, government. That is the condition. I chose to give it a try,” Herzog stated.

“Sadly, at the end of the day, while choosing between being a leader that will be remembered in history as going against the flow, and a leader that goes with the flow into the ocean of forgetfulness, Netanyahu has made his choice,” Herzog lamented. “He has slammed the door on the European and American leaders and became a captive of the extremist political group which will lead him and us into a national disaster which we are already a part of, and some of us decide to live in the illusion that everything will be fine.”

In this context, Herzog did not explain how a 55% majority of the House can be considered “extremist” while the remaining 45% are the proverbial moderates. In effect, he described anyone on the right as extremist, while anyone on the left, including the Joint Arab List’s MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka, and Basel Ghattas, who stood at attention in honor of Arab terrorists killed by Israel, are part of the moderate center.

“I am sorry Mr. Netanyahu that you have chosen to zigzag again,” said Herzog, whose zigzagging during the 2015 campaign included landing MK Tzipi Livni and five colleagues in top spots on his party’s candidates list, and changing the party name from the traditional—and honest—Labor to Zionist Camp, which includes renowned Zionist MK Zouheir Bahloul, who declared earlier this year that Arab attacks on IDF soldiers manning check posts are not acts of terror. “I am sorry that you are the one who slammed the door,” said Herzog, who had fled the negotiations when he finally realized Netanyahu had been double-dealing with Lieberman. “I am sorry that you have chosen to abandon the benefit of the State in favor of your narrow political interest. Your Twitter may remember you favorably, but history won’t.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), who opened the House debate, said, “We have a serious problem with the culture of argument here; with the ability to listen, which has deteriorated [greatly]; with the lack of respect, the blatant contempt and the obscene language. Our ideological and cultural richness is a source of uniqueness and strength, but we all have a lot of work to do in order to narrow the artificial gaps between us which some make certain are nurtured, because, truthfully, we have more things in common than things that separate us.”

“A [government] is also judged by its ability to bridge the gaps between positions and converge in order to better serve the public,” Edelstein said, concluding, “Therefore, there was no other choice but to work towards expanding the coalition. The first step in this direction should be welcomed, and I hope additional Zionist parties will join. We must stand together, better and more united, in front of the great challenges facing us. This is an important message, internally, for the Israeli public, and also externally, for all those who are eagerly waiting to see our internal disintegration – God forbid.”

MK Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid faction, said “Herzl envisioned a state with equal rights for women at a time when such a notion was almost avant-garde. He wrote that every citizen will be obligated to give two years for military or civil service and that religious coercion would be forbidden. He spoke of the need for a clean country that would protect the environment. He wrote about a country where education is free for everyone, where there is a clear separation between the military and politics; a state that is technologically advanced. He believed that the Arabs of the land are entitled to equal rights.”

OK, that last part, about Herzl advocating for Palestinian rights is a bit of a stretch. As Ernst Pawel noted (The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life Of Theodor Herzl, Farrar, Straus, Giroux), “His attitude toward the indigenous population was one of benign indifference at best. He never questioned the popular view of colonialism as a mission of mercy that brought the blessings of civilization to stone-age savages… He fully believed that the Palestine Arabs would welcome the Jews with open arms; after all, they only stood to gain from the material and technological progress imported by the Jews.”

Some things never change.

JNi.Media

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