Wednesday, November 23, 2016

10 things President Trump needs to know about Israel

Despite my inability to prophesize (see November 30, 2015 post "10 reasons why I know Maschiah is coming in 2016"), there was no way Israel was going to really win with either US presidential candidate, so here we are looking down the barrel of one (of two) possible guns. Rather than wait for all of the misinformed or partially informed American Israel experts to guide Trump through the murky waters of Israel, here's a heads up to get the ball rolling.

1. American Israel experts, major US media and American Jews of any and all stripes, do not know what's what here. Do not call Kissinger (a. he's a Democrat and b. he is a self-hating Jew.) Do not call your son-in-law. You have no emotional attachment to Israel. That's okay. You once said you were neutral on the Middle East and do us all of favour and stay that way.

2. Even if you continue to give us money (a sore point for us), we are not going to just go along with whatever you want. We would much prefer if you would just go along with everything we want, but we aren't holding our collective breath. We know that all that money comes with strings attached but we choose to ignore that uncomfortable reality as much as possible.

3. American Jews are not Israeli Jews, even if many of us look and sound like we might be.  American Jews are the ones who think that they are still living the best possible life there in the US and that despite the rise of the alt-right and the crazed left (think BDS campus vigilantes), they know what is best for Israeli Jews. If that wasn't so sad it would be laughable. American Jews are no longer generally with us or watching our backs -- and frankly they should be busy reading the writing on their own walls right now. Plus, we have already alienated lots of liberal American Jews and well, we don't care.

4. The settlements are not a barrier to anything but angry local Arabs. Don't even start with that line of thinking. It originated in the very anti-Semitic  State Department well before Dulles showed up and took it up a notch in the 1940s. If we could find a good place to build a border most Israelis would probably vote for the border. But please keep in mind that a country nine-miles wide, surrounded by people who want to wipe if off the map, is no solution.

5. You know that you don't care that we are the only democracy in the Middle East. Tyrants and sheiks are your thing. We know it too. The whole America loves Israel thing isn't real. Ask Kissinger-- we really appreciated you holding back weapon support until the second week of the Yom Kippur War. And in case our collective memory was fading, Obama brought us back to reality. We are hedging our bets.

6. We are not interested in occupying anyone. Particularly a hateful population like the Pals.

7. You cannot suck and blow at the same time. You cannot say you are with us, then , befriend the KKK, neo-Nazis and the alt-right in general. You probably have not been keeping track but the Second World War only ended in 1945, a mere 71 years ago. We aren't over it yet.

8. You do not know us better than we know ourselves.  Three thousand years  in one location gives a people a lot of time to hone their regional survival skills. Counter-intuitive is our neighbourhood  and Hyper-sensitive is our middle name. Don't try to out-think us.  We are not as Western as we may appear.  Call us when you have 300 years under your belt, if you are still around.

9. You may have a Jewish son-in-law and a load of Jewish grandchildren. Mazal tov. That has nothing to do with anything. No, being an Orthodox Jew does not make your son-in-law in any way, shape or form, an expert on negotiating peace in the Middle East. According to Harvard, he doesn't seem to be an expert on much of anything other than getting into Ivy League schools without the necessary credentials. You say "he knows the region." What region would that be? Rehavia? Mamila?

10. Bibi isn't going to be in charge forever. Love him or hate him, there is no way Israelis will continue to vote him into office. Yes, I know it doesn't seem that way right now but time is not on his side.