Jonathan Zausmer

Oy, Jerusalem

Part 3 of the series of how to win an election coincides with the greatest intercontinental fart in recent history, let loose by Donald Trump. And the thing is, like a fart in a high school classroom, the stink just throws everyone into disarray and you cannot stay put. The juvenile miscreant now in charge of running the world is out to impress his friends and co-delinquents and they are laughing all the way back to their home constituencies, whether it be the rustbelt blue-collar victims of social and economic decay in the U.S., the evangelical believers in the second coming, or Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalists who are delighted and ready to vote for him tomorrow. Oy, Jerusalem if I forget thee, let my writing hand forget it’s cunning.

The outbreak of corrupt norms and practices is reaching epidemic proportions

We have established the following to date: 1. Netanyahu is in deep trouble and faces indictment over bribery and corruption. 2. Suspicions far worse, involving gazillions, pervade the former and current advisors that frequent the prime minister’s office. 3. The prime minister’s closest Knesset ally, the coalition whip is, allegedly, connected to crime-families and has been caught red handed. 4. Elements of corruption are now showing signs of spreading afield into the navy, the army and into society at large. 5. We have also established that Israelis need a killer at the helm because the Cossacks are just around the corner. And if not Cossacks, then the Mufti, and if not the Mufti, well you know what? Arabs and leftists. There, I’ve said it.

The road to winning an election runs through East Jerusalem and occupied territory

Jerusalem stands at the epicenter of Jewish belief and Jewish identity. No matter how one would try to avert Jerusalem in an election, it will be thrown in your face whether you talk about it or not. More than once we heard in the past that “Peres will divide Jerusalem”, and it worked. So, we need to address this. Anyone who believes they have a serious chance of winning an election needs to find a way around this dilemma. You simply cannot argue the facts here. And to remind ourselves, the facts are as follows: Jerusalem is divided today. You have the western side which was and still is the capital city of Israel where the center of government stands and most of its Jewish citizens live. You have the Old City which is mixed population, yet still divided ethnically, and you have Eastern Jerusalem which is Arab-Palestinian for the most part. The Palestinian population living there largely live in squalor and receive inferior sub-standard services in education and civil management. You have a wall dividing neighbors and relatives in the middle of it. The Jerusalem Palestinians are in a no-man’s land in terms of citizenship, as they have the option of getting Israeli citizenship but until now most have refused on nationalistic grounds. This means that if they were, en-masse, to cash in their rights, 300,000 Palestinians would be eligible to vote, roughly a third of Jerusalem’s population. It would be interesting to see what the city council or for that matter the Knesset would look like if that happened.

Then of course you have thousands of apartments built in an aggressive social-engineering project for Jews in East Jerusalem, to establish irreversible facts on the grounds. No one is moving from there, I can assure you.

No more forcing people out of their homes

The days of transferring populations, whether settlers just over a decade ago, or whether Palestinians many decades ago are over. Finito la tragedia. This presents a challenge, because as the settlement endeavor proceeds, now with a Trump tail-wind, the eggs become, as de Klerk said of South Africa, an omelet. A political omelet where some have full civil rights and other don’t, is the way to the dreaded A-word state. Who would want such a thing? Well it turns out, many good respectable folk, decent upright, brave, salt of-the-earth citizens just like many of my boer and Afrikaans friends back in South Africa in the seventies.

So what do we have and where do we go?

Fact: Israel’s leaders and the institutions of government ranging from government branches to the military and within society itself, show an increasing third-world trend towards corruption that needs to be stopped before it’s too late. This is the call of the hour.

Fact: Jerusalem is an “untouchable”, and is simply not up for discussion these days.

Fact: Any solution vis-à-vis the Palestinians cannot involve any human transfer, Jewish, Arab or other. It’s too late for that.

Fact: Israeli voters want a killer at the helm, to keep the Cossacks/Arabs/Leftists/ self-hating Jews, at bay.

Fact: The reality on the ground, whether by intention or by momentum is pulling the country towards a one-state solution with discrimination and inequality at its foundation, in complete contravention to Israel’s founding declaration of independence.

So now that we know the constraints what are the options? Turns out, there are some.

To follow…

About the Author
Originally from South Africa, Jonathan made aliya in the seventies, and lived and worked on a kibbutz for several years. He has a graduate degree in business from Boston University and is a managing partner of an Israeli based business. He was a co-founder of the Forum Tzora peace action group and participates in the Geneva Initiative workshops. He is the author of the book “Valley of Heaven and Earth”.
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