A Spanking from London

A distinguished British Jewish professor, David Harel, has written an explosive criticism of Israel’s proposed annexation of the Jordan Valley. It has become a verbal spanking from London.

He had watched a program whereon Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev attempted to convince the British Board of Deputies of the political correctness of Israel’s intentions.

Regev’s remarks did not go over well in the United Kingdom. On the contrary, he was almost unanimously subjected to intense criticism. His proposed annexation speech only angered Britain’s Jews whose sense of democracy, like America’s, is far away from Israel’s concept of democracy.

In truly democratic countries citizens vote directly for the candidates of their choice (as we do in Israel) but in Britain and the USA citizens have direct access to their elected representatives in Congress and in the Parliament. Citizens can turn directly to those for whom they voted and to ask for personal help or intervention in matters of their respective concerns. In Israel no such thing exists. People with problems can shout into the wind. Voices are seldom heard.

For that reason, our courts exist to handle cases brought by citizens against the government. That is where our democracy begins and ends.

Annexation of West Bank settlements and the entire property of the Jordan Valley have been the Netanyahu dream for all the many years he has been in office.

It is not because he views the land as home for more Jews to settle in. That is only a side-line to his ambition. Binyamin Netanyahu has a great hunger to create his legacy (which is not very positive now).

And the only way in which he can win the Israel Prize and cement his legacy in Israel’s history books is by completing the annexation of much of the land that was promised to the Palestinians for a future State.

A one-state solution to the problem is absolutely not a reality. A two-state solution is favored by the Palestinians and the countries of the United Nations.

But the two opposing sides have been unable to sit together and to discuss options, if any.

Ambassador Regev’s address to the British Board of Deputies which supported the Netanyahu plan for annexation beginning in July was totally rejected by the Members of the Board. Annexation of the disputed land was alien to British democratic life.

We do not know what Regev reported back to Netanyahu but it was quite clear that the Jews of the diaspora would not accept the annexation.

Netanyahu’s dream is becoming a nightmare. With loss of Jewish support from countries around the world, Israel would suffer a great loss.

Bibi may have the support of America’s Donald Trump but November is only six months away and Trump is not leading against the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.

Minus Republican support, Israel can expect many changes from a Democratic president. Blame it on Bibi!

Israel’s government began in 1948 as a socialist state. Many citizens approved of it. Socialized medicine was guaranteed to all, Jews and non-Jews alike. There was a system of egality. Until Mapai (Labour party) ceased to be the majority party and had yielded to the Likud party, the egality was slightly diminished. Now citizens were recognized as either rich or poor.

The government today is headed by a prime minister who has been indicted on four criminal charges. In spite of it, our High Court of Justice has ruled that the indictment does not prevent him from keeping his post. At least, not until a conviction.

Whether the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will break its peace treaty with us if annexation takes place we cannot know. His Majesty, King Abdullah II needs Israel for the security of his borders. He 100% does not want an influx of new Palestinians which would create a majority in his kingdom and probably lead to his removal from the throne.

That being a fact, it is likely that while the king may verbally condemn annexation he will not take any military action against Israel.

Netanyahu can send all the ambassadors he wants to speak to leaders and to the Jewish communities, but their words are only going to fall on very deaf ears.

Real Jews in real democratic nations will give a thumbs down to Netanyahu’s nightmare.

Ambassador Regev’s meeting achieved nothing. Nothing that is, but a good spanking from London.


About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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