Jonathan Zausmer

Thank Goodness for Iran

Thank goodness for Iran, the Islamic fundamentalist theocracy that aspires to regional hegemony in the Middle East and plans to build the bomb. Without it, where would Netanyahu be? He can go to America before elections, lecture congress and the American people in their own language; damage relations with an existing Administration; impair the flow of crucial intelligence information to Israel about the looming threat; all in exchange for a great photo-op to be replayed on Israel TV as election propaganda. Who really cares about land theft or the little neo-apartheid settler colony he cultivates fifteen minutes away from Tel Aviv when we have a bomb on our heads?

Thank Goodness for Recycling Bottles

If we didn’t have the story of the Prime Minister’s wife fanatically ordering her staff to go to the nearest store and trade empty bottles for pocket money rather than return the deposit to the state, what would we do for news? In a country where the gap between rich and poor is an ugly gaping hole and where oligarchs and government hang out together at the right places, we may have needed to discuss what is wrong. Or why it is that an average income family cannot afford a home and that rent is outrageous in the start-up nation. The lady has highlighted the tragedy, the thievery and the ugliness around us, but as in the case of the muppet Miss Piggy, the discussion is all about “moi” rather than the issues. We ponder whether it is theft, or whether not. Does she make schnitzel at home or does she order out? Is she drinking too much or does she just love the environment and forgot to give the money back? The start-up nation of pioneers and builders is in social crisis, but the public discourse is about ice cream and garden furniture.

Thank Goodness for Olmert

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s previous prime minister, has been convicted of bribery and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment, unless reversed by an unlikely Supreme Court ruling. This matter forms the unmentioned backdrop for the current elections. Think about it: what is the favoring of some electrician or the consumption of too much ice cream compared to pure unequivocal criminality. But more importantly, Olmert was the symbol, if not the pioneer, of traditional revisionist thinking that changed gear and began to look for peace. He laid out a program of true compromise and creative solutions on a range of levels including the matter of Jerusalem where he was once mayor. Yippee! We can now throw it all out the window. It is not Olmert who is guilty by association with Abbas and peace. It is peace itself that is the scapegoat, now guilty by association with Olmert, the convicted criminal. And you ask why Abbas walked away from negotiations when the scandal broke?

Thank Goodness for Hamas

As long as Hamas remains the dark horse of Palestinian nationalism, with its racist charter, its murderous ethos and its inability to understand compromise we can continue to say that Palestinian nationalism is the movement for the destruction of Israel. We can say “we don’t have a partner” because Abbas sees himself as president of all the Palestinians, including those under Hamas rule in Gaza. For us, any attempt at bridging and working out a moderate ideological platform initiated by Abbas with Hamas, means he himself is a terrorist – no partner for peace. We can say that if a true meaningful peace is reached on the West Bank, it will become a Hamas enclave with rockets launched on Ben Gurion airport from day one. We can continue to arrogate land and illegally settle Israelis on it because let’s face it – there will never be peace anyway.

Thank Goodness for Syria and the Butcher from Damascus

What a warm fuzzy feeling we have when we save some desperate souls in our hospitals who are victims of the violent insanity that is now Syria. We are so moral. In fact when you have a leap in immorality and human outrage so far and extreme as in Syria, with Assad murderously targeting parts of his own population and with rebels who roam the countryside pulling out human organs or decapitating westerners, a small infraction here and there within Israel, the West Bank or Gaza, is really just insignificant. Call it basic security needs. Or a mishap here and there. Or disproportionate, but necessary.

Thank Goodness for Europe

They are our greatest trade partners. They represent the West. They are powerful and influential. But hey, those guys have a past. Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. And now Islamic fundamentalism is reinventing European anti-Semitism. So there. They aren’t going to tell us what to do. End of discussion.

So let’s summarize the election issues: We were going to chat about peace, but since Olmert was a peace monger and we don’t have a partner let’s talk about social welfare. But since we have a corrupt bottle-recycling scandal and obsessive compulsive issues at the Prime Minister’s home, let’s just straighten that out. We should also maybe talk about Israel’s increasing diplomatic isolation, but that mainly comes from Europe where anti-Semitism is rife. Just a minute though..we have the occupation, illegal settlement and a state with undefined borders where we are losing the Jewish majority. That isn’t an issue?

Now be serious: Iran is just about to bomb us and Europe is about to be overrun by hordes of Jihadis planning the next holocaust. Those are issues. Who needs useless discussions or political change with that going on?

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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