As I understand it calling someone a dog is a real insult in Arabic culture, and I think this is unfortunate in the same way that bullfighting is in Spain, or feasting on foie-gras is in France. Understandable, traditional, but not so kosher, especially when you think about it – I mean, who doesn’t like dogs? Cat people, I suppose. Cats are yucky unless they are tigers, in which case they are striped like shimmering feline zebras, and effortlessly cool. Still, I would rather be called a dog than a cat any day.

In any case, today I go Arabic, but softly – it’s why I call the minions of Sheldon Adelson who infest/grace the pages of Israel Hayom dogs in lovely perfumed French translation: les chiens. Les chiens d’été: the dogs of summer. Actually, I’m not so much calling them dogs, as calling on Sheldon Adelson to call off his dogs, if only just a bit…to tighten the leash, so to speak.

And just who are these serial barkers, and what are they howling about? The individual names are not as germane as the totality of the message and what it is that they want: War, of course. They want it badly. They want it more than Madonna wanted fame in the 1980s. More than Obama wants to stay in the White House. More than I want a chocolate chip cookie from Tel Aviv’s Bakery 29 at hourly intervals, which is to say, these dogs are seriously bigtime hungry. But for blood, not baked goods.

Actually, I have no objection to Sheldons’ dogs’ battle cries. I do not disagree that the Persian nemeses have pretty much thrown down the gauntlet in terms of bristling defiance and endless transparent deception. The challenge at hand could boggle the best and most brilliant minds.

But over at Israel Hayom, the canine chorus insists on obedience: listen to your Wise Government, the kind that looks to a 91-year-old rabbi who dresses like Michael Jackson for sanction, as it slides toward what could either be a comprehensibly prudent or incomprehensibly catastrophic march to…war. This is serious stuff.

Israel is supposed to be a democracy, right? On a clear day and with a good pair of binoculars you could probably spot the Parthenon from a hot-air balloon here. Democracy, however imperfect and far from its Athenian roots, demands that the public question authority, not blindly accept it. Sheldon Adelson’s/Israel Hayom’s attitude toward the individual would appear to be dangerously close to that of the FARS news agency – just parrot (straying from canine theme not intended) what the people in charge say and systematically trash anyone and anything that gets in the way. Trust. Have a cookie.

Well sorry Sheldon. Excusez-moi. That’s not how the cookie crumbles. The irony of it is that Israel Hayom chides everyone, scribe and bus driver alike, for chattering too much about Iran while at the same time shifting their own bellicose chatter into high gear. So not only should you, Citizen of Israel, shut up and cheer everything your government says and does, but you should also shut up and line up with everything they, the Pulitzer Prize-winning (?) journalists of Israel Hayom, have to say as well.

Well there’s a nice one-way ticket to hell for you.

Woof.

Pride of Malta

Man has much to learn from his best friend, the dog.

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