The More Things Change…

Arlene from Israel

There I was, for several days (as may happen again), focused on family matters and attending to the news less vigorously than is my norm. Now that I’m back to concentrating on Israeli and world events, I’m not sure how much I really missed. Certain issues are simply recycled, and recycled, and recycled.


I have in mind, most significantly, the prospect of Secretary of State Kerry returning to this area to “advance” the “peace process.” He will arrive in Amman, Jordan late today and use this as his base for shuttle diplomacy. An exercise in futility that I had expected him to abandon before now. Silly me.

He says, “notwithstanding all of the conflict, notwithstanding all of the counter indications,” the Obama administration hopes to bring peace to the area.

There had been media reports of a readiness on the part of Abbas to return to the table without pre-conditions. But yesterday he made it clear that this was not the case.

Jordan’s King Abdullah, who sits very uneasy on his throne and is greatly eager to participate with the US in “peace efforts,” told Asharq al-Awsat — an Arabic daily in London — that, “Fading prospects of peace will explode relations between Palestinians and Israelis in a manner emulating the Arab Spring protests, either through a new intifada or a new cycle of violence and counter violence.”

Violence, there may well be. In fact, we are clearly seeing it already. But it is nothing but nonsensical rhetoric to compare this to “Arab Spring protests.”


The greatest concern we must have, as Kerry comes to do his “thing,” is what pressure will be brought to bear on the Israeli government to make concessions — and what Netanyahu might agree to, in order to demonstrate once again (“the more things change…”) that Israel is not the stumbling block. The possibility of a more formal partial building freeze or the release of some terrorists from prison stares us in the face.

What we are seeing, however, is growing discontent within the Likud party regarding Netanyahu’s willingness to play along with negotiation efforts.

Danny Danon, Deputy Minister of Defense, has been challenging Netanyahu for some weeks. Netanyahu’s efforts to muzzle him have been anything but successful.

Late last night, Danon won the election — handily, with 85% of the vote — for the presidency of the Likud Convention Committee. While this is a largely symbolic post, it is an indication of current sentiment in Likud.

And…just possibly it is an indication of how the very significant election for Chair of the Likud Central Committee may go on Sunday. That is a powerful position that confers control of the party’s internal apparatus. Danon staunchly maintains that the 3,500 member Central Committee is against a “two-state solution.”

At a rally with his activists in Tel Aviv, he said:

“The party has been in a coma lately. We will help lift up the Likud with energy like it had was when I was a child. We will restore the party’s soul…To maintain the Land of Israel, we need to do it with political work. We cannot afford to sit on our hands.”

Starting next week, he said (assuming, of course, that he wins the Central Committee election), diplomatic efforts will have to pass in the Central Committee.


Credit: Dudi Vaaknon/IsraelHayom


No change in the Syrian civil war either — except that the numbers of dead increases daily. It is now estimated that 100,000 have died.

In recent days the battle has shifted focus to the northern city of Aleppo, where rebels have had partial control. Assad is working, area by area, to regain territory under rebel control. The rebels are determined to hold fast after having lost the fight for Qusayr recently, and they are still showing strength and determination. But some 3,000 Hezbollah troops have been sent to Aleppo to duplicate that Qusayr victory. It’s anyone’s guess how this will play out. It does not help the rebel cause, that their troops are severely divided into factions.


While King Abdullah’s comments about Israeli-Palestinian Arab tensions were off the mark, I think he’s right on with regard to the situation in Syria:

“It has become clear to all that the Syrian crisis may extend from being a civil war to a regional and sectarian conflict…the extent of which is unknown.”

Jordan has already taken in 500,000 Syrian refugees — a cause of the instability in his country at present.


I end today with an article by Dr. Reuven Berko — “The caliphate on the horizon,” which takes a look at the Islamists in Syria. (Emphasis is added.)

“The Islamists in Syria are armed, primarily with patience…The Islamist leadership has a clear doctrine.

“The leader of the rebel group Soqour Al Sham Brigades, Hassan Aboud, recently gave an interview. Heavily armed and dressed in khaki fatigues, Aboud spoke with chilling tranquility, declaring that his first order of business was against Iran (until its ultimate expulsion from Syria) and the destruction of Hezbollah, ‘who will return from the battlefield to Lebanon, where they came from, dead.’ The bearded sheikh isn’t impressed by the regime’s recent gains. His demeanor exudes patience and a confidence that Islam (the Sunni version) will prevail.

“Aboud’s agenda is the foundation of an Islamic caliphate, with its center in Greater Syria. According to Aboud, the artificial states created by the West in the Middle East, within the framework of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, have disintegrated, ushering in the current return of the great Islamic state. Iraq, in Aboud’s view, will be part of the future Islamic Syria, after the Shiites there are defeated. Along with the Iranians, the Russians will also be driven out of Syria and its ports.

Aboud’s declarations point to the alienation between the other Islamist movements fighting in Syria, as well as between the secular elements in the Free Syrian Army. Indeed, Aboud rejects the participation of former Syrian military commanders, those who have defected, in the country’s future leadership and denies them any piece of the future government pie — because they are ‘outsiders.’

“He does not conceal his Islamist agenda, which stipulates that Syria is only the beginning. The destruction of Israel, the enemy of the Islamic nation, is the next objective. After this the Islamic mission will focus on the rest of the world.”



As Heads Is Tails Just Call Me Unconvinced

Blasted Fools

“Just as every cop is a criminal

And all the sinners saints

As heads is tails just call me Lucifer (cause) I’m in need of some restraint”

I’ve always found ‘Sympathy For the Devil’, by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, to be one of the most profound social statements of the classic rock music era. It was a natural for the Stones, what with their rebel, bad boy image and all the baggage to go with it. Who better to channel the artist formerly known as the Prince of Darkness? Granted, there was poetic license in setting to music, the distorted worldview of Satan and his antagonistic posture toward his ‘subjects’ – in the arrogant role of ‘god of this world’.

But it fits him like a glove, because after all – he spins when necessary – as in his counseling session with Eve in the garden – and can lie with the best of them, because he is the father of lies. But he’s a triple threat because he can twist the truth into a pretzel when the occasion calls for it. “If you are the Son of God,” he asks Jesus, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ – Matthew 4:6

There is something else though, in these lyrics of ‘Sympathy’ that resonates in our present era. The personage that is the song’s antagonist instructs his followers to, “use all your well earned politesse, or I’ll lay your soul to waste”. No ambiguity there – it is the mission statement of our political class. Look, our ‘public servants’ had to learn all this somewhere.

I’ve been writing about and challenging the narrative of the rogue’s gallery on Capitol Hill and the White House – and an immutable pattern begins to stand out in relief. We’re being told by the policy makers that common sense, facts and practical approaches to national defense, economics, immigration and just about any other category within the purview of government, are misbegotten and dangerously naive. Forget everything you know – it’s all wrong.

Take for example, the report I posted yesterday on the ‘LGBT Pride Month’ being promoted by the Pentagon. Somehow we got through a Revolution, a second war against Mother England, a Civil War, the Spanish – American War, two World Wars, a police action in Korea, the Vietnam conflict and more recently the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, without putting our stamp of approval on and authorizing homosexual behavior in the U.S. Military. How did we manage that? Now, the current leadership at the Pentagon is telling us that we would have been more successful if we had opened up service options for the ‘Lavender Camo’ bunch years ago. Why didn’t I think of that?

“Because we repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ our military … is stronger and our country is safer, more equal and more just,” said Valerie Jarrett, the keynote speaker at the Pentagon’s gay pride celebration.

This is amazing stuff. No explanation is provided to substantiate the notion that our military is stronger and “our country is safer”, now that a handful of limp wrists and butches are donning the uniform. But that’s typical of the Left and Washington elites. First of all, they have the conviction and certainty that their views and policies are correct and therefore it is not necessary to justify them with a factual rationale. You must accept their word on it with blind allegiance. Ours not to reason why, ours is but to do and die.

Not to be outdone, was Chuck Hagel, Obama’s newly appointed Secretary of Defense:

“We’re very proud of everything the gay and lesbian community have contributed and continue to contribute,” Mr. Hagel said. “With their service, we are moving closer to fulfilling the country’s founding vision that all of us are created equal.”

At the risk of being thought unsophisticated and even a bit Neanderthal, could somebody please dial me in on when the U.S. military’s purpose and charter shifted from killing people and breaking things to interior design and advising straight men on fashion intel?

“Oh My God, you’re going out on patrol wearing that shirt? I don’t think so! No, honey, those pants just don’t work for you. Black socks? Are you trying to just give me a heart attack?”

I guess we should have seen this headed our way when our soldiers in Iraq, where instead of the singular pursuit of the decimation of AlQueda and other insurgents – they were detailed to direct traffic and organize the collection and disposal of trash in Baghdad and Basra. If this is the best way to strengthen the military and make us more safe, perhaps we ought to consider limiting our recruitment efforts to San Francisco, Greenwich Village and the Hillcrest District in San Diego.

I kind of excuse Valerie Jarrett to some degree, as she has never served in the military, but instead, is a life long soldier in the ranks of Saul Alinsky’s anti-American shock troops. A true believer. But Hagel and McCain? Hagel, an infantry squad leader and recipient of two Purple Hearts commendations? What has happened to these men’s minds? My only explanation is Washington D.C. It’s a place where principals, ethics, good judgment, common sense and decency go to die – and die hard.

Black is White, up is down, stagnation is recovery, 2 plus 2 may actually be 5 for all we know.

This is but one example. Then we are told that flooding the United States with millions of illiterate, non or low skilled impoverished migrants, will not only rejuvenate the economy but create prosperity. On this planet? Really? Well, then what are we waiting for? Come on we’re burning daylight here! Bring in the entire population of Mexico and Central America and let’s use our transportation assets to import millions of the same from China! I mean if it is such a wonderful idea with such prospects of success, let’s not shilly-shally around here!

We need foreign workers any way we can get them – Lindsey Graham thinks so, anyway. He once stated that illegal aliens were needed to provide cheap labor for golf courses. Heaven forbid, our Golf courses (have you priced Green fees lately?), should have to pay decent wages for facilities workers! After all, everyone knows Golf is a poor man’s sport – right?

To those of you who think that the collection of your personal information and the monitoring of your activities, constitutes the abrogation of your expectation that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” – your thinking is wrong headed. The Obama Administration’s apologists will reassure you that it’s for your own good. “We’re protecting you against terrorists”.

Who is protecting me against you?

To cover the entire gamut of the “honey, who do you believe – me, or your lying eyes?” narratives from the political class of both organized crime, er – political parties in D.C., I would have to write a book. But for now I’ll provide you with one more notable example of how they’re peeing on our legs and telling us that it’s raining. It’s the meme that bigger government and more spending, will restore the economy. It’s not too terribly dissimilar to the open borders = national wealth increase.

The premise is pretty simple and straightforward. Don’t cut spending and taxes in a depressed economy if you want the economy to recover – increase them. Congress, the White House, the Treasury Department, the recipients of the Wall Street bailouts and the Federal Reserve, all believe it. The investors in the stock market believe it – until they don’t.

So, the smart people, the ‘intelligentsia’ – are appealing to us to ‘call off our old tired ethics’ and outmoded concepts of how the world works – and trade them in for the wisdom of the brave new Utopians of Oceania. Where did I hear all of this brilliance before? “War is Peace”, “Ignorance is Strength”, “Freedom Is Slavery”. Was it on Airstrip One?

I’m trying very hard to accommodate my accustomed patterns and modes of logic, reasoning, questioning authority, independence, traditional morality and all those other archaic values that anchor me to the moorings of Western Civilization, to the new paradigms of the Political Class – but it’s just no use.

I’m just a malcontent, I guess. If accepting the tenets of the Brave New World Order is the price of salvation – I suppose I’ll have to quote Mick Jagger once again. “I’ll never be your beast of burden and you’ll never, never, never, never, never make a Saint of me”.