Categories
Satire

‘We Were Schlonged!’

An email exchange between Jacob Zuma and Bibi Netanyahu, by Jeremy Gordin and Roy Isacowitz

With the Permission of Politicsweb

Private and Confidential

To: Donald J Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Fr: Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.

Bcc: JF Gordin.

Dear Donny and Bibi:

“Lovely party, super people, must fly, toodles.”

That is what I would have written on my Twitter thing if I were allowed access to my phone. But eish, my lawyers, they boss me around all the time, unlike yours, and they won’t allow me to keep the umshini iPhone.

They say this funny umlungu, the one who keeps following us around, Carl Niehaus, must keep the phone. The police would never accost a white man, they say, especially one wearing camouflage. Only Julius Malema, the cheeky little scoundrel, would do that.

This morning I went to the Zondo Commission into state capture to hear what Judge Raymond Zondo had to say about my friendly application to have him recuse himself. My first reason for why he should go is that he is a friend. Why else would I have appointed him in the first place?

But Zondo claimed he wasn’t my friend. What kind of a friend is that? What sort of ubuntu is that? Ubuntu, Donny, is the compassion, humanity, and fellow feeling that we need here to make South Africa great again. But you both know how untrustworthy former friends can suddenly become.

My second reason for why Zondo should go was that he made it obvious from the start that he was biased against me. This he actually denied today, can you believe it? You know, I went to the commission before and explained in detail that the cause of everything that has gone wrong was not this state capture nonsense but was due to the impimpis found throughout our country.

They are the snakes, informers and bad people – like the Democrats, Hillary Clinton, and so on that you have in your country, Donny. A somebody can even find sometimes they are one of his own wives. I know, Bibi, that you have experienced this.

But Zondo obviously wasn’t listening properly to me – and, behaving as though it was the biggest thing he’d ever done in his life, like it was the first time he’d lain down with a woman, he refused to recuse himself.

Then my advocate Muzi Sikhakhane said we would take Zondo on review and also report him to something we have here called the JSC (Judicial Service Commission).

Thixo wase George Goch!” I said to myself, “another commission, good luck with that, Muzi. It’s even slower than this one. They’ve been going nowhere slowly with my good friend, Judge Yahya John Hlophe, for years now.” But I didn’t say anything to Sikhakhane. He is a sensitive somebody. I pretended, as usual, to be snoozing.

Then the “evidence leader” Paul Pretorius SC got up to talk. My learned friend this, my learned friend that, blah blah blah. By the way, I must tell you that the police from the previous regime – some still remain good friends – they banned this Pretorius in 1973.

I don’t wish anyone any harm, I am truly a man of ubuntu, but I wish those boere had taken care of Pretorius properly – we knew how to do such things when I was head of Mbokodo, our internal ANC security force, in the good old days. Banning blah blah, banning blah blah, what use was that?

This Pretorius – how he can walk around with the same name as the Boer leader who massacred our people in their thousands and stole their land, I don’t know – this man said that now the recusal matter was over and a summons against me was still in force, I should get on with answering questions. Sikhakhane went to talk to Zondo and Pretorius at the tea break but they were carrying on with their foolishness.

So, I decided – how do you say it in your country, Donny? – I decided “Let’s blow this popsicle stand”. It was almost lunch time, I had a nice friend waiting where I was staying to give me a massage, and I wasn’t going to wait around for further nonsense.

Afterwards I was told that, having heard I’d left, my friend Zondo came back into the commission looking as though the commander-in-chief of all tokoloshes had sidled up to him in the loo. He looked completely spooked.

Zondo said he hadn’t given me permission to be absent (does he think he’s Angie Motshekga, our head schoolteacher?) and that it was a very “serious” matter that I had left for lunch.

He should have issued a warrant for my arrest. But of course, he said he’d rather “reflect” on matters. These book-learners, you know, who never served in MK, they’re not very brave or decisive.

But, yes, I know what you’re both thinking – and what you’re thinking is why you two are in my thoughts. If only I’d told that wheedling public protector to get lost in 2016 (but she was a woman with a nice voice, you see), if only I had taken care of business myself at Nasrec in 2017 (not left things to an ex-wife, what was I thinking?), and if only I had not allowed my political party – another bunch of fair-weather friends – to dump me in 2018, I wouldn’t be in this pickle.

Well, it’s true. This is why I want to say to you both, but particularly you, Donny, please don’t make the same mistakes I have made.

Carry on – as you are – there in the White House. Kick and scream. Launch court cases, bomb Iran if you have to (or get Bibi to do so), but don’t let them remove you. Once you leave, there’s no going back – and your friends miraculously disappear into thin air.

Same goes for you, Bibi. Never mind their indictments and that stuff, you hang in. Your people need both of you – and, as I said, I made a massive mistake by simply wanting to get back to my cattle and wives at Nkandla.

Do not allow yourselves to become “former”. Once you are a “former” president, “former” prime minister, “former” SOE boss, “former” commando, “former” pussy grabber, “former” husband, “former” editor – it’s the beginning of the end. I became a “former” – and look at me now.

But all this does not mean that I have lost my joie de vivre. There was a gullible white journalist who some years ago wrote a so-called biography of me, I used to call him “the fat, jolly one” – he taught me that French phrase.

I still wake with a chuckle and a spring in my step and my, etc. What amuses me most, I have to say, is the complicated, long-winded dance that goes with what they call “the law”. Sometimes I skip the good TV shows like Uzalo and Generations and watch the news (if it has to do with me).

Such warra-warra (which means talk-talk-talk) you have never heard!

Will Zondo recuse himself? Won’t Zondo recuse himself? Why is Zuma doing this? Why did Zuma walk out of the commission? Why won’t he talk to the commission? Must Zuma answer the questions at the commission?

Some evenings I want to step into the TV and help everyone, I really do, and sort them out, then we can all go back to our favourite TV shows and so on.

Because it’s all so simple. I applied for Zondo’s recusal because I can’t sit there and answer a bunch of impimpi questions that they’ll use against me, my family, and (true) friends.

Of course, when I was the president, I did everything I could do business-wise for the Gupta brothers, my family, and friends. Why else be a president? Everyone must eat (as we say in Africa), not just the lawyers and the white monopoly capitalists.

Do they think I went through what I went through in life – jumping back and forth over border fences with Ronnie Kasrils, like some Shepherd Bushiri – just to be poor?

Stay well – and, whatever you do, do not become “formers”. A luta continuaMatla!

Your true friend,

JGM Zuma


Private and Confidential

 

To: Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, Donald J Trump

Fr: Benjamin Netanyahu

Bcc: RJ Isacowitz

 

Shalom from Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital

Please forgive me, Jacob, for not replying earlier. Your email caught me as I was preparing to board a plane for a hush-hush visit to Saudi Arabia, where I met with my new best friend Mohammed bin Salman, who’s a very nice young guy despite the whining of the chattering classes.

Having been on the receiving end of the tyranny of the fake media for so many years, I can understand a man who takes matters into his own hands and shuts the mouth of a particularly snarky journo. Not that I’m in favour of bodily dismemberment, you understand, but it is what it is. One less clown to be entertained by.

I was accompanied on my trip by Porky Pompeo, who, as you probably know, is busy solidifying the ranks in the Middle East on the off-chance that Don might need some foreign cheerleaders. I just love those evangelicals, don’t you? No porkie is too big for Porky to swallow. I guess if you believe in a guy who died on a cross and then came back to life you’ll believe anything.

I fully agree with you that we men of vision need to stick together in the face of the onslaught by the pygmies (aren’t they from your neck of the woods by the way?) The thing about greatness is that it must be seen to be believed. You can’t lead a nation and live in a shack or drink inferior bubbly. People don’t respect you if you do. They need to see you reaping the fruits of your labour to understand that you are a rais, a man born to lead. The masses want a leader whose success is an example to them all. What example is set when the leader smokes cheap Honduran cigars?

You, my friend, are a man who has set an example. A serene country estate (I think it’s called a kraal where you come from), thousands of maturing chunks of beef roaming your fields and a harem of wide-hipped gezunte maideles to do your bidding. I envy you the latter. Law and Jewish custom limit me to only one and she – just my luck – is a meshugane from hell. I think your lot have got it right. A man needs to rest between a variety of young and fertile loins after giving his all for his country.

It saddened me to read about what you call your “mistakes,” Jacob. I don’t think you should blame yourself. Certainly, you should not have let the dark forces remove you from office – just look at Don, stonewalling, defying the losers, whipping up conspiracies – but you came relatively late to politics and were experienced in leading men, not pandering to them. You were a soldier, not a soapbox orator. That’s something we have in common; I too have led men in battle.

I will be going before a court soon and you will be doing the same shortly after, by the sound of things. Stand tall, Jacob, be proud. Those who accuse us of corruption are midgets who lack the capacity to understand that all we have ever received are the physical representations of our nations’ eternal gratitude. The people appreciate what we have done for them and reward us for our endless toil and labour on their behalf. They are proud of us. The Jewish people would be distressed were I to appear in public wearing an off-the-rack suit and polyester tie.

The height of indignity is that we are both being hounded for our prodigious efforts to enhance the security of our nations – you as regards arms deals with Swedish, French etc. corporations and me in connection with a German submarine contract. Both were massive and complex undertakings. At that level, it’s only natural for a few shekels to find their way into unintended hands. But corruption?! What are they thinking?

Do the miserly assassins in the media really believe that men such as ourselves – strong, determined, incorruptible men – would be attracted by the dull glint of lucre? Do they really think we can go into a meeting with German bankers in T-shirts or entertain them in our homes by serving them sparkling wine from Argentina? Do they not understand that we need to maintain standards for the sake of the country? That, as representatives, the impression we make is that of the country?

Perseverance, Jacob. You, Donny and myself are currently facing the poison barbs of the envious, the ignorant and the small minded, many of them people to whom we gave a leg up in the past. Friends, you say! Forget it; there’s no such thing. In our business a friend is someone who hasn’t asked you for a favour yet. The rest are debtors and creditors.

One of my assistants here in the Prime Minister’s Office is a young man who was born in South Africa. I asked him how to say “be strong” in your language. Here goes:

Vasbyt, my friend. Be true to yourself in the face of adversity. And don’t let the bastards get you down.

All the best

Benjamin Netanyahu

Categories
Kibbitz

On Track for American Fascism?

As I write, Joe Biden seems to be doddering to an excruciatingly close victory in the US election. That result, if it comes about, will be litigated furiously by Donald Trump and – depending on the success of his litigation – it could well be fought in the streets.

Having been liberated from the shackles of democracy by the words and actions of their leader, the Proud Boys and other simple-minded jingoists are unlikely to accept the authority of judges any more than that of vote counters and assessors. If things are looking ugly now, they could soon get a whole lot worse.

What seems to be unfolding is a well-planned strategy, rather than post-election tactics. Trump’s plan – as detailed so presciently by Bernie Sanders – has been in play for months now. He lured the Democrats into the mail-in ballot trap he set for them – playing on their pandemic concerns – and is now reeling them in. Things are going to plan.

Not being a conspiracy theorist, I won’t attribute the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Trump – though the timing was uncanny, wasn’t it? – but he has appointed almost a quarter of all federal judges during his single term. Now, some of them may well be called on to decide between their benefactor and an electoral system that everyone knows is far from perfect.

We liberals like to believe that no American judge, however dubious, could rule against the basic tenets of democracy – free elections, unhindered ballot counting and the like. I suspect that we underestimate the degree to which Trumpism has taken hold in America and the depth of the well of grievance from which it draws.

Every coercive regime finds a judiciary willing to do its bidding. That was true of the USSR under Stalin, Germany under Hitler and apartheid South Africa. In a climate in which a sitting president can argue that vote-counting is a fraudulent activity, there is good reason to believe that he will find like-thinkers on the bench – particularly those who are beholden to him.

That said, litigation is unlikely to be the only course of action in Trump’s plan. The tyrant-in-waiting may be repulsive, but he’s not stupid. Resorting to the courts is likely to be his opening skirmish, not his endgame. Unlike Bernie Sanders, I don’t know what he has up his sleeve, though making the country ungovernable is probably part of it. He didn’t tell the Proud Boys to “stand by” for no reason.

Trump has abettors – lots of them – and he will deploy them as necessary. If those in the judiciary don’t get the job done, he’ll unleash the unruly mob – those who tried to push a Biden bus off the road. And if that’s not enough, he’ll turn to the militia and his supporters in sheriff’s offices around the country and the immigration thugs he let loose in Portland.

Trumpism has been more contagious than the pandemic. Trump clones are everywhere – and, like the boss – they have no shame. He has taught them how to free themselves of the burdens of values, moral qualms and consideration for others. They love him because he liberated them to indulge their grievances, their envy and their racism.

As Judith Butler wrote in a brilliant article in the Guardian yesterday, “The excited fantasy of his supporters was that, with Trump, shame could be overcome, and there would be a ‘freedom’ from the left and its punitive restrictions on speech and conduct, a permission finally to destroy environmental regulations, international accords, spew racist bile and openly affirm persistent forms of misogyny.”

In a WhatsApp exchange a few months ago, my friend Alan Kaufman (author of Jewboy and The Berlin Woman) predicted that Trump would not be America’s Hitler but that he would plant the seeds for the Hitler to come. At the time, I thought he was way over the top. Trump was bad, I replied, but outright fascism…?

Now, I’m a lot less sure.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Kvetch

Prayer, Plague, Protest & Pusillanimity

The director of the only hospital in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak resigned yesterday after describing the community among which he works as an “insubordinate mass that kills people.”

“I do not understand what the connection is between religion and what they are doing,” Prof. Moti Ravid told a TV interviewer shortly before his resignation. “They were taught to accept everything and give nothing in return for years.”

Ravid’s resignation came at the behest of the hospital’s management, which later apologized to the community for his statement. Prof Ravid himself clarified that he had been “referring to extremist sects.”

Though the number of new Covid infections in Israel has dropped over the past week, it remains the highest in the world. An estimated 50% of all current Covid patients in the country come from the ultra-Orthodox community. In Bnei Brak, the infection rate is apparently above 30%.

The country’s recuperation hotels – tourist hotels that have been converted into recovery and quarantine wards for patients not requiring hospitalization – currently house 6,400 ultra-Orthodox patients and 1,200 secular patients – five times the number of rooms for a community that comprises only 12% of the population.

And things could get worse, not better. Prof. Ravid cautioned that this weekend’s Simhat Torah holiday is likely to lead to a massive new spike in coronavirus infections – precisely as happened after the preceding holidays of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succot.

He said that he had never before seen an entire community “unburdening itself in this way and killing people as a part of it.”

The rebellion of the ultra-Orthodox – their refusal to wear masks, observe social distancing and compromise traditional prayer and study practices in conformity with the state’s anti-Corona regulations, as well as their running street battles with police attempting to enforce the regulations – is a two-headed monster.

On the one side is the mass display of clear suicidal tendencies which, in any other context, would be diagnosed as psychotic and dealt with accordingly.

On the other is the government’s spinelessness in handling the ultra-Orthodox madness, an impotence that amounts to criminal collaboration.

An apt analogy would be if the authorities in the US and Guyana had known in advance of Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid plans and blithely allowed him to continue. Except that Kool-Aid does not diffuse through the air and poison those who didn’t drink it.

Most secular Israelis don’t understand the insanity that has gripped the ultra-Orthodox community. They tend to attribute its infection rate to the typically large number of children in ultra-Orthodox families, their cramped living conditions, the traditional group prayer and study sessions, their lack of the most basic education in the sciences and other subjects and their general weirdness, which defies secular understanding.

Those may all be factors in the spread of the coronavirus, but they don’t account for the impunity that the ultra-Orthodox community grants itself – the dispensation to ignore and contravene regulations that everyone else (except politicians, of course) has to abide by.

For the ultra-Orthodox, the pandemic is a blatant challenge to the supremacy of Torah and those who interpret its teachings – the rabbis. It is a showdown between Torah and Science; between scientific experts – in this case those with expertise in virology, immunology and the like – and religious experts, namely the rabbis.

Not that the entire community rejects science; it doesn’t. Science is fine, as long as it knows it place. Science is predicated on a process of hypothesis and challenge. The ultra-Orthodox demand that the edicts from scientists-on-high (usually via politicians) be treated as hypotheses as well – and that they be subjected to religious challenge.

“Just as a Dayan cannot make a ruling without hearing the opposing side, decrees cannot be made upon the people, if they can be made at all, without a thorough investigation as to whether Torah and the metzius hadevorim [state of reality] support such a decree,” writes Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Smith, of Passaic Park, New Jersey, a practicing corporate attorney in addition to his rabbinical duties.

In other words, temporal law – even if backed-up by scientific consensus – is no more than a hypothesis that can, and must, be subject to rabbinical exegesis. The ultra-Orthodox themselves will decide. And they haven’t decided yet.

It’s important to bear in mind that the rebellion is not restricted to Israel. The ultra-Orthodox in Brooklyn are also on a self-harm rampage that has the authorities from Governor Cuomo on down pulling out their hair. Their reasoning is no different from that of their Israeli brethren, though it may also have been influenced by Trump-era notions of individual freedom.

Rabbi Smith, mentioned above, is implacably opposed to what he calls “the rule of Public Health” and describes the distinction made between essential and non-essential workers as “something the Nazis used … who is really valuable, who is acceptable, who is healthy.”  It is a religious variation of the Trumpian notion of freedom as a right that belongs to the individual, unencumbered by any responsibilities.

The main reason for the pusillanimity of the Israeli government in the face of the ultra-Orthodox revolt is more prosaic than the good rabbi’s religious blather. Since 1948, Israel has always had a coalition government; no single party has ever achieved a parliamentary majority enabling it to govern without partners. With rare exceptions, parties representing the ultra-Orthodox community, both Ashkenazi and Sephardi, have always been included in coalition governments.

Supporting the government of the day has brought the community innumerable benefits – budgets for their schools and seminaries, stipends for families of men studying rather than working, religious control over marriage and divorce, laws that entrench their idea of respect for the Shabbat, military deferrals – the list is endless. However insurgent they may be right now, the ultra-Orthodox are totally dependent on the state for their way of life and their politicians are under constant pressure to supply the goods.

Since 2009, the governments established by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been dependent on the support of the ultra-Orthodox parties. Had he lost their support after any of the three elections held in 2019, he would have lost power.

And Netanyahu, lest we forget, is facing trial for corruption. Being in power while the trial is in progress may be a legal and moral travesty, but it has a purpose. He can denigrate and browbeat the legal system and attempt to turn the public against it, as he is currently doing, in the expectation that something will give and his trial will somehow disappear. Were he to lose power – were the religious parties to withhold their support – he would be on a fast train to incarceration.

Enter the coronavirus pandemic. The ultra-Orthodox, believing in their own exceptionality, refuse to adhere to pandemic regulations. Netanyahu, dependent on their political and personal support, allows them to continue with impunity, while insisting that the rest of the country follows the rules to the letter.

The secular public, pissed off by the favoritism enjoyed by the ultra-Orthodox, decide that they won’t cooperate either. The pandemic rages out of control. Another lockdown is introduced – and immediately violated by the ultra-Orthodox, followed by some of the secular population. Thousands of small businesses shut down; millions are out of work. Politicians continue to receive their salaries and flout regulations

Anti-Netanyahu protests break out, first outside the prime minister’s residence then – when that is banned by decree – at thousands of squares and junctions throughout the country. Enraged by the protests, the prime minister urges his colleagues to enact tougher legislation. The police are deployed against protesters and conduct themselves brutally. Another mask-free ultra-Orthodox bash begins tonight …

An up-to-date picture of Israel.

 

 

 

Categories
Satire

EXCLUSIVE: The Truth Behind Sara’s Dirty Washing

The dirty washing that Sara Netanyahu had laundered in Washington last week consisted of PPE from Ichilov Hospital and items of clothing left behind by Balfour Street demonstrators, the First and Only Lady said in a statement issued this morning.

“I normally wash the protesters’ clothing by hand in the bathtub before ironing it and handing it back,” the statement quoted her as saying. “But it was essential that I go make peace with the IUD and Burundi so I decided to do it in Washington instead.”

“Imagine my surprise,” Sara continued, “when I got back to Blair House after the signing ceremony and found that someone had ransacked my bags and done all the washing. I was devastated.”

The PM’s wife added that the management of Ichilov Hospital had been “utterly delighted” when she volunteered to take some of its PPE for washing, “seeing that I had some extra room in my bags.”

Mrs. Netanyahu is now in quarantine after her trip to the US. Sources in the Prime Minister’s Residence told The Kibbitzer that she is spending her time helping out the domestic staff with their housework and crocheting quilts for the children of immigrants from Africa.

 

 

Categories
Kvetch

It’s Howitzer Heaven for Trump and Bibi

You won’t find Donald Trump or Benjamin Netanyahu on any list of philanthropists or altruists. They’re takers, not givers.

Interestingly, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, is a well-known philanthropist, though I doubt he sold out the Palestinians due to an excess of altruism.

Behind the peace agreement between the UAE and Israel that was announced yesterday – announced but not signed, note – is a trade-off. Its details have not been made public yet, though it’s not particularly difficult to discern its contours.

One broad hint is the centrality of Trump, who was the third leg in the joint statement issued by the two countries. The US has traditionally played a mediating role in Middle East negotiations, though it’s doubtful if any previous president has needed a “victory” as much as Trump does.

With less than three months to go before the US elections and plummeting in the polls – one result of his farcical handling of the coronavirus pandemic – Trump needed a major boost. It wasn’t going to be a domestic achievement – corona again, economic collapse, rioting in the streets – and his preferred foreign policy surrogate, the Taliban, didn’t play ball.

Enter the UAE, a tiny but rich territory, which includes the playland of the Arab world, Dubai.

Netanyahu, too, was in need of a diplomatic achievement. His initial coronavirus “victory” has soured rapidly, he is hounded by demonstrators in the street and, as an accused grafter who barely survived three elections last year, his magic was looking decidedly tarnished.

What’s more, Benny Gantz – Netanyahu’s intended dummy – did not turn out to be as obsequious as the boss had expected. Election fever was beginning to contaminate the air in Israel before yesterday’s announcement. A peace agreement with an Arab state – only the third since the founding of the state – could be the basis of a dream campaign.

But what of Al Nahyan, who lacks neither oil nor riches? The current common wisdom is that he was motivated by brownie points – as the Arab leader who got Netanyahu to renounce annexation of part of the occupied territories. But did he?

Trump says he did, the US ambassador to Israel says maybe he did but tomorrow’s another day, and Netanyah says he didn’t – he merely agreed to a “temporary suspension.”

Even a suspension will be regarded as a sell-out by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, for whom annexation has spiritual, rather than political, significance. But they detest Netanyahu anyway and typically vote for parties to his right. I doubt that their opposition – however vociferously expressed – will make much of an impact on the premier – to whom selling out comes naturally; he is normally juggling a few of them at any given moment.

Netanyahu is an experienced horse trader. If the annexationists desert him, he will find other partners. He’s always found them in the past.

Either way, stopping annexation does not appear to be sufficient recompense for betraying a 73-year-old, pan-Arab principle – not recognizing Israel before it has signed a peace agreement with the Palestinians. It’s unlikely that Al Nahyan would have left the fold without additional inducement.

That, I suspect, is where Trump comes in. There’s nothing a Middle Eastern potentate likes more than expensive, shiny things that kill – and America makes more of them than any other country. Israel is no slouch in that respect, either, though its role will probably be to provide intrusive software and digital systems, rather than hardware.

And then there’s the Iranian Satan, on which all three countries – the UAE, Israel and the US – see eye-to-eye. It stands to reason that a geo-strategic agreement that further tightens the screws on Iran is central to the peace pact. They all want it and there’s no downside – except for Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Shi’ites in general.

On the face of it, the agreement announced yesterday is a win-win for Netanyahu and Trump. Its timing was perfect and neither of them will face much opposition. As for how Al Nahyan benefits from it – it’s too early to tell. I certainly don’t see the divided and self-interested Moslem world uniting against him.

And then there’s the Palestinians. I can’t see any upside for them in the current situation. Amid the triumphalism of Trump and Netanyahu, they have again been overlooked, betrayed, stabbed in the back – choose your own metaphor. If annexation is really all that Israel gave away, it will make precious little difference to those who have been effectively annexed for decades.

 

 

Categories
Satire

Gantz Doing Well After Spine-Stiffening Surgery

Israel’s Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz is recovering well from the emergency back surgery he underwent on Wednesday, the Sheba Medical Center spokesman has announced.

Gantz’ spine-stiffening procedure took over five hours and involved the implant of titanium rods to create the type of backbone not normally found in politicians, the spokesman said.

First contemplated earlier this year as elective surgery, the operation was upgraded to an emergency procedure following Gantz’s cringing and sycophantic performance since he took office.

“Such spinelessness is not something a people can live with for any length of time,” said Dr. Netanel Mayersohn, the surgeon who performed the operation.

“It not only impacts life-style, but life itself. Humans can’t function adequately without any sort of backbone whatsoever.”

“I wish Benny a full recovery,” said Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. Gantz’s Blue & White Party colleague. “If it helps him get up from the carpet after Bibi has stepped all over him, I may consider having one myself.”

 

 

Categories
Satire

Blood-Thirsty Anarchists Accuse Bibi of Libel

The International Alliance of Anarchists (chair. M. Bakunin) has sent a formal complaint to the Israeli Consumer Protection Authority regarding the prime minister’s description of the protesters who have thronged his residence in recent weeks as “anarchists”.

In a six-minute rant in front of the Cabinet last week, Benjamin Netanyahu railed against “dens of anarchists,” who, he said, were out to topple his government.

The premier’s son, Yair ‘Parasite’ Netanyahu, also got into the act, tweeting that “you aren’t [even] allowed to protest outside the homes of anarchists who have called for the prime minister’s murder.”

“We take great exception to the image created of our profession,” the IAA wrote in its complaint to the Authority. “The namby-pamby, middle-class protestors with national flags, signs calling for democracy and smileys on their T-shirts who we see in the media are as far from anarchism as Netanyahu is from truth-telling.”

“Annoyance at the closure of one’s local sushi bar due to the pandemic does not an anarchist make.”

“If anything,” the complaint continued, “the true anarchists in Israel are those who raid Palestinian homes in the middle of the night, shoot people in the street and bomb the shit out of women and children. Those are our kind of anarchists.”

The complaint concluded with an invitation to the true Israeli anarchists to apply for membership in the IAA.

 

 

 

Categories
Satire

Brownshirt Leader Praises Trump’s Tactical Nous

Support for President Donald Trump’s deployment of irregular troops onto the streets of Portland has come from a surprising source.

“It takes me back to the good old days when we battled commies in the streets of Berlin and Munich in ’32,” Ernst Röhm wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.

Röhm, who largely dropped from sight after Hitler had him killed in June 1934, has made a comeback recently with posts praising Trump for “making the streets ungovernable so citizens will turn to a strongman for protection .”

His Facebook posts have become required reading in recent weeks on alt-right forums such as “Braunhemden for Trump” and “Don’s Weimar Warriors”.

“I never thought it would happen, but another tactical genius has arisen,” Röhm wrote in a recent post. ‘We are witnessing an historical rebirth.”

“The president’s tactics of causing anarchy on the streets to propel good, property-owning citizens into the arms of a strong, law & order leader could have been cut & pasted from the Fuhrer’s playbook.”

“He’s even created concentration camps in the desert to hold the commie, Negro troublemakers.”

The White House said in a statement that, while the president had never met Röhm, he “appreciated the input of a man with such an outstanding public record.”

 

 

 

Categories
Satire

Gory Godfrey Joins Wave of Protests

The world of global cultural politics is in an uproar today after an unprecedented tweet from Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade and the conqueror of Jerusalem in 1099.

“Love the new anti-racist crusade,” Godfrey wrote, in what Twitter confirmed was his first tweet in 921 years.

“Death to cultural appropriation, anti-intersectionality and elite privilege. #deadlivesmatter #coronacrusader #takeaheadandaknee”

“It’s extraordinary,” said Prof. Philip Bryant-Waugh, of the Yale History Department. “Something about the current situation must have struck a chord with Godfrey, who has gone down in history as an intolerant and sanctimonious bastard. Can’t think what it is, though.”

“Another old, male, white elitist trying to stay relevant,” tweeted Darleen-Ubuntu Vangellis of the Identity Pride Coalition. “I bet he never toppled a statue in his life. #icantbreathe”

“I don’t know who he is, but anyone who recognizes the problems of power, privilege, marginalization and historically ignored communities – as long as they’re not a cis white intellectual – is welcome to join our ranks,” said Jason Zygelbaum of Crusaders of Color.

One enigmatic tweet by someone named G.K. Chesterton said simply, “Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out. #dragonsreallyexist”

Categories
Kibbitz

The Empty Hope of Liberal Zionism

“It’s time to imagine a Jewish home that is not a Jewish state.”

Those words – which appeared in a New York Times opinion piece last week – have created a tempest in that segment of the Jewish world that regards itself as progressive. They were written by journalist and commentator Peter Beinart, who, until the publication of the article, was one of the darlings of the Jewish Left.

Now he seems to be everyone’s favorite anti-Semite, the catch-phrase for anyone who disagrees with the Zionist mainstream. “Denying the right of Jews to a national homeland is anti-Semitism,” wrote Ben Dror Yemini in Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s largest daily, before apparently realizing the absurdity of his knee-jerk response.

“Beinart is not Anti-Semitic,” Yemini added quickly. “His intentions are different, but his position assists the anti-Semitic campaign.”

I’m glad we clarified that.

Even some columnists in Haaretz, the only surviving island of sanity in Israel’s media, have gotten into the act, describing Beinart’s about-face as “utopian” and “jumping ship”.

Personally, I’ve never had much time for Beinart’s blinkered and earnest liberal-Zionism, in which, “the dream of a two-state solution that would give Palestinians a country of their own let me hope that I could remain a liberal and a supporter of Jewish statehood at the same time.” Seventy-two years after the nakba and fifty-three after the occupation, intelligent people shouldn’t have been lulling themselves to sleep with such dreams.

But, to Beinart’s credit, he saw the light. “Events have now extinguished that hope,” he writes, pointing to the close to 700,000 Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and the fact – obvious to all but those who refuse to see – that “the leaders of Israel’s supposedly center-left parties don’t support a viable, sovereign Palestinian state.”

Hardly anyone in Israel does. For decades, Israel’s leaders have had their fingers crossed behind their backs when talking of a two-state solution. It was the price they had to pay for the billions of dollars in American aid and access to European markets. No-one really believed they were serious, did they?

With Trump now in charge, Israel has largely dropped the charade. Talk of a two-state solution elicits little more than sniggers these days. Now it’s all about annexation – the de facto situation for years already, but the stamp of kashrut that the messianic right seems to need to cross ownership of the territories off their bucket list.

Beinart says he now believes in a bi-national state – “a Jewish home that is also, equally, a Palestinian home. And building that home can bring liberation not just for Palestinians but for us, too.”

Yet, oddly, he writes that “this doesn’t require abandoning Zionism… It requires distinguishing between form and essence. The essence of Zionism is not a Jewish state in the land of Israel; it is a Jewish home in the land of Israel…”

Oops, just when he was getting it right he blew it.

It is true that Herzl originally spoke of a Jewish home in Palestine and the issue of full statehood was open until the Biltmore Conference in 1942, if not later – but that home never, ever included Arabs. The wimps of Brit Shalom may have spoken of Jewish-Arab equality but real, macho Zionists never did.

From the start of Jewish settlement in Palestine, the issue that most concerned the leadership of the Yishuv – aside from security – was avoda ivrit (Hebrew labor), which was code for separate development. Ostensibly a means of opening up jobs for new Jewish immigrants by getting Jewish farmers to hire only Jewish workers, avoda ivrit was in fact the means of developing an ethnically-pure Jewish society – long before the establishment of the state. Hebrew labor was achieved through violence and racism. Even David Ben Gurion, an activist for Hebrew labor, at one point accused fellow Jewish workers of treating Arabs with violence, arrogance and condescension.

Jewish racism and anti-Arabism dating back to the dawn of Zionism are well documented. “They behave toward the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, commit unwarranted trespass, beat them shamefully without any good reason, and brag about doing so,” Ahad Ha’am wrote in the 1880s. According to Israel Rokach, a resident of Jaffa, the Jewish farmers “do not think of the fellahin (peasants) as human.” And that was well over 100 years ago.

Many more scales need to fall from Beinart’s eyes before he understands that the essence of Zionism was – and remains – racism, ethno-centrism and Jewish exceptionalism. Those are the values on which the current generations of Israelis were weaned – and they don’t make for successful bi-nationalism.

Peter Beinart is on the right path. It took courage to write what he did and I applaud him for it. But he’s deluded if he thinks that Jewish statehood is the only obstacle – on the Jewish side; the Palestinians have their own obstacles – to the establishment of a bi-national state. The Zionism that he continues to swear by is rancid. There is no way it can serve as a moral basis for the state’s Jewish component

Israel’s Jews have been brought up to be conquerors, bosses and masters. They are uniquely unqualified to live as equals alongside Palestinians. A good place to begin a process that might, eventually lead to bi-nationalism would be an honest reckoning with Zionist dogma and praxis.