Zahava Englard

Rhetoric and Rickety Limbs

Let’s try something new.

What if the prime minister of Israel told the US president, told the European Union, told the UN to take all their empty rhetoric, their vacant assurances, their virulent condemnations and outright lies and to once and for all shove it?

Naïve? Really? Here we are facing nuclear annihilation and the world is actively implementing a laissez-faire policy. Clearly the diplomatic tango that the Israeli government has been engaged in over the years has not been fruitful. Enough with the scholarly political think-tanks. The nuclear countdown has begun, folks. Time for another tactic…seriously.

We are so worried about being isolated, but we already stand alone. We are so concerned about an embargo of strategic military equipment on the part of the US, but, hey…been there done that − more than once. Evidently, our survival is not in their hands.

So, why is it that we harp on losing the coveted status of being the recipients of US benevolence? What about all that the US and the world at large would lose from us should we be wiped off the map− from hi-tech to medical breakthroughs, agricultural expertise to intelligence?

Why is it that we hang on to every word that Susan Rice spits out at the UN, at Aipac, or to some group of American rabbis who in the scheme of things, carry no weight whatsoever?
Why do we incessantly and scrupulously rummage through their professionally scripted speeches in the quest of a charitable word?
Why are we forever on the hunt for a rickety limb to hang onto?

Come on, Jews − we already know what they think. It’s not that complicated.

And yet, our newspapers devote full page, if not front page articles to foreign diplomatic rhetoric as if it was manna from heaven. If I hear one more time about Obama’s unshakable relationship with Israel I’m going to start having the shakes myself. One would think that their hired speech writers can invest in a thesaurus or merely click onto the app in Microsoft word and come up with different words such as “steadfast”, “resolute” “unwavering”, “immovable” “unflinching” “firm” and “unswerving”. Seriously, what does it take? A little creativity is warranted, I think. Life is too short. Man needs variety.

While perusing the Jerusalem Post and reading about Susan Rice’s message to Aipac, my favorite line was [when Susan Rice said] “…the UN, in itself, was not to blame for marginalizing or maligning Israel. Rather, the member states should be held accountable for their policies.” Well, I’m sure glad that was spelled out for us. But just in case there was any misunderstanding, she continued with, “Blaming the UN when things go wrong is like blaming Madison Square Garden when the Knicks are losing.” Now that’s pure genius. I would love to meet the mastermind behind that one.

And another catch phrase that Obama recently uttered was that the US “has Israel’s back.”


Speaking of rickety limbs to hang onto, even more promising is the International Atomic Energy Agency’s assertion that they “will continue to address the Iran nuclear issue through dialogue and in a constructive spirit.” I, for my part, loved that one.

In answer to President Obama’s pressure on Israel not to take military action at this point, Prime Minister Netanyahu, in his customary eloquence, reiterated when meeting with Obama, that he, as prime minister, would “ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate.”

Personally, I prefer “shove it.”

About the Author
Author of THE GILBOA IRIS (Gefen Publishing House) and SETTLING FOR MORE: FROM JERSEY TO JUDEA (Urim Publications).