Emanuel Shahaf

Israel’s March of Folly

Sorry for plagiarizing Barbara Tuchman’s epic title but March of Folly is what comes to mind when looking at the path our government is hell bent on taking. And we are writing a major new chapter for a new edition of that book, should there ever be one.

Following the recent headlines, the most stunning news would be that the government, apparently, is actually cutting the defense budget. Why would that be stunning? Because when looking at all the other news, one would get the impression that Israel is on the warpath against everyone: We are sending a sworn enemy of President Obama to serve as Ambassador to the US. We are lashing out at the European Union as if they are about to put Jews into camps and we are seriously considering confronting the Chinese by backing a US court case against one of their biggest banks which is accused of aiding terrorists. In addition to that we continue to play hardball with the Palestinian Authority (no partner, that is), bomb Syria every other day and last, not least, we are of course continuing to monitor Iran closely to decide if it should be bombed as well.

I have been around a while in periods of crisis and war but this accumulation of aggressive and provocatvie actions does raise some questions. What is it that makes a seasoned politican like PM Netanyahu to completely lose his cool? Ron Dermer to Washington ? Is he nuts ? Better not to have an ambassador at all than this guy who other than the usual qualities and excellent English happens to have the ideological pedigree of a Bar Kochba rebel, apparently the leading qualification for his appointment.

And Europe ? This continent of weaklings which is being infiltrated by Muslims dares to expect us to come to terms with some ridiculous legal opinion held by every single legal authority of consequence that stipulates that we are actually an occupying power in the West Bank and the Golan Heights? Us, the Lords of the Land of Israel? How dare they? We will cut them off from their lifeline of Israeli goodies. That’ll show them. We will bring their economy down. They won’t know what hit them.

And China ? Let’s burn down the Bank of China and and by doing that, placate the Republicans in the US congress so they can prevent Obama from doing what he probably would love to do most, blow PM Netanyahu to heaven come.

Isn’t this fun ? Statesmanship for real dummies. And we are real dummies. Not only did we vote for this sorry excuse of a government, we aren’t evenly seriously contemplating marching on Jerusalem. We are willing to take this total and utter disaster lying down. Probably much like most of the population of Judea did when the rebels were doing their stuff in the first century CE. And we all know how that ended.




About the Author
The author served in the Prime Minister’s Office as a member of the intelligence community, is Vice Chairman of the Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chairman of the Israeli-German Society (IDG), Co-Chair of the Federation Movement (, member of the council at and author of "Identity: The Quest for Israel's Future".