Solomon Trump to Become First Jewish President Friday

In a shock decision just one day before the presidential inauguration in Washington, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate today issued a revised opinion on the traditional matrilineal criterion of Jewish descent.

Henceforth, the grandfather of Jewish children born to a converted mother will also be regarded as Jewish according to the halakha (Jewish law,) the rabbinate said in a statement issued in Jerusalem.

As a consequence of the rabbinate’s unexpected decision, Donald Trump will become the first Jewish president of the United States. Sources close to the president-elect said that he intended adopting the Hebrew name Solomon.

“I wish a hearty mazaltov to President Solomon Trump and his mishpocha,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters shortly after the rabbinate’s decision was announced.

“I always knew there was something Jewish about him beneath that bluff Teutonic exterior.”

Netanyahu added that he was looking forward to swapping kneidlach recipes with Trump and seeing if they could standardize on a single hair color.

Hillary Clinton said that she would issue an injunction against the Chief Rabbinate, calling on it to explain why the new criterion did not apply to the grandmother of a child with a Jewish father.

“It’s clear that Trump is up to his usual sexist and misogynistic tricks,” Clinton said.


Trump Appointments: Hitler to EU, Stalin to NATO

Just days before his inauguration, president-elect Donald Trump has announced a series of foreign policy appointments, saying that he had chosen “experienced and non-partisan people” to bring peace to some of the world’s hot-spots, The Kibbitzer has learned.

As his envoy to resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Trump appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a Jewish businessman who has donated heavily to Israeli settlements and has no diplomatic experience.

“Jared can be relied on to be scrupulously even-handed in fulfilling his mission,” the president-elect said. “I think he’ll do great.”

As his special envoy to the European Union, Trump chose Adolf Hitler. “Adolf has shown in the past that he is a great believer in European unity,” Trump said. “I think he’ll do great.”

For his representative to NATO, Trump chose Joseph Stalin. “Joe is an experienced diplomat with a deep understanding of the role of NATO,” Trump said. “I think he’ll do great.”

Kushner refused to comment, while Hitler and Stalin were unavailable.


SCOOP: Bibi to Cover PM Beat for Paper

Benjamin Netanyahu will join Yediot Ahronot, the country’s widest circulation newspaper, as senior correspondent and head of the editorial board, The Kibbitzer has learned.

Netanyahu’s beat will cover the prime minister, his family, his rich friends, his lawyers and lackeys, the prime minister’s office and any or all gifts, favors or benefits that may or may not have been exchanged.

Another beat covered by Netanyahu will be the Communications Ministry, which, coincidentally is also headed by the prime minister.

“We are delighted to have such a seasoned and experienced journalist as Netanyahu on our team,” Yediot Ahronot publisher Noni Mozes told The Kibbitzer.

“We have no doubt that he will make a tremendous contribution to our well-earned reputation for honest, fearless and hard-hitting journalism.”

A spokesman for Netanyahu said that he intended bringing  his well-known brand of principled and fair journalism, as well as his overriding concern for the little man, to his new job.

“His record speaks for itself,” the spokesman said.

Diplomat Rebuked for Telling the Truth to Goyim

Israel’s embassy in London has apologized to the UK government after a senior Israeli diplomat was recorded while plotting to “take down” British politicians and boasting about pro-Israel groups that he had established in the country.

“He broke all protocol,” Ambassador Mark Regev, a former spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a statement. “Our procedures clearly specify that diplomats must thoroughly search all interlocutors before divulging secret information.”

Regev added that “telling the truth is contrary to all Foreign Ministry instructions, all the more so when it involves potentially criminal behavior.” The diplomat, Regev said, had not even “bothered to read Section 7:2:11 of the ministry booklet, which clearly spells out the precautions to take when involved in ‘take down’ operations.”

The diplomat, identified as Shai Masot, is now on his way back to Israel. Sources in Jerusalem said he can expect to be reprimanded, to have his mouth washed out with soap and to be instructed to write “I must not tell the truth to goyim” 1,000 times on the blackboard.


Corrupt Politicians Disassociate Selves from Netanyahu

The current police investigation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on various suspicions of corruption has elicited an irate email to Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit from the Association of Corrupt Israeli Politicians (ACIP).

“The current investigation of Netanyahu puts us in a very awkward spot,” ACIP wrote to the Attorney General.

“People are beginning to think that we, too, dabbled in Cuban cigars and first class flights with nights in luxury hotels. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“We demand that you clarify publicly that the prime minister is an amateur and dilettante and is in no way associated with our professional organization.”

ACIP added that the organization has “high standards” and does not condone “petty malfeasance by wannabe corrupt politicians.”

“We deal in big-time graft involving high-value real estate, Greek islands and the like,” ACIP wrote. “We refuse to have our name sullied by a small-time shnorer.”

The email was signed by ACIP board member Ehud Olmert, Aryeh Deri, Avraham Hirschson, Shlomo Benizri and Ariel Sharon (honorary).


The Dying Gasp of Sanity in Israel

Personally, I believe that kids can’t be expected to grow up with morals or values different to those of the environment in which they mature. If a kid grows up watching his mother and father eating missionaries in the deepest Amazonian jungle, he’s going to be a cannibal. Similarly, it would have been exceptional for a kid who grew up with die-hard Nazi parents in the Germany of the Thirties, to have matured into anything but a Nazi himself. It’s a question of nature and nurture.

Elor Azaria, an Israeli army medic, was 19-years-old when he summarily executed Abd Fatah al-Sharif, a Palestinian from Hebron, in March last year. I don’t know anything about Azaria’s home life, but the public comments of his parents and family members since the execution leave little doubt that he didn’t grow up in a home in which the rights – or even the lives – of Palestinians were a major concern. Never mind a Palestinian who had apparently stabbed another Israeli soldier and was therefore a “terrorist,” a category of sub-human as deserving of grace as a cockroach.

I know a little more about the general environment in which Azaria developed, however, having lived in it myself and sent my children to the same sort of schools. Azaria was born into the occupation and the colonial, racist and intolerant society that is has engendered in Israel. For the six years preceding the execution, from the age of 13, he imbibed the poison of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel. He had no choice; it’s everywhere.

At a time when he was most vulnerable and most susceptible to outside influences, Azaria was bombarded by the propaganda of a regime that is inimical to anything even resembling justice and respect for human rights. He learned that Arabs are the implacable and eternal enemies of Israel; that they are little better than animals. He learned disdain for all criticism of Israel and its civilizing mission in the occupied territories.

He learned that concepts such as human rights, justice and freedom are the code words used by sissies, wusses and misguided liberals in their never-ending campaign to besmirch the good name of Israel and weaken it in preparation for destruction at the hands of its enemies

He learned that everything done by Israel in pacifying the Palestinians and securing its hold over the Greater Land of Israel is not only acceptable but blessed. And in the army’s Kfir battalion, a unit dedicated to the pacification and policing of the Palestinians in the territories, he learned that anything goes. Kfir is the settlers’ private security force, courtesy of the state. Loathing for and brutality against Arabs are the tools of its trade.

Those were the building blocks of Azaria’s character. They made him the person he was when, on March 24 last year, he fired a bullet at close range into the head of a severely wounded and totally unthreatening Abd Fatah al-Sharif. He was raised and conditioned to do it.

And let’s be candid. No-one actually believes that he was the first to execute a suspect or prisoner. Approximately 200 Palestinians have been killed since the wave of knifings began in October 2015, about 30 of them uninvolved in any attempted attack, by the army’s own account. It’s unlikely that we will ever know how many of those killings could have been avoided, but my guess is many.

Azaria’s only crime, in the current moral climate, is that he got caught. He did his Kfir duty in front of a video camera. And in so doing, he let the side down. Dirty work should not be done in public.

The military court that convicted Azaria of manslaughter on Wednesday is an anachronism; a feeble remnant of the law-abiding democracy that Israel still claims to be. It’s a dinosaur that will soon be extinct as a muscular, Putinesque authoritarianism takes over. Government ministers such as Miri Regev and Naftali Bennett criticized the verdict – and rightly so. It has no place in the new era they are creating.

The force is with them – and with the burgeoning army of land-stealing settlers and the cohorts of holy men who preach Jewish exceptionalism, disdain for women, contempt for gay people and hatred for the Palestinian Amalek. They are the future of Israel.

The court’s verdict was not, as some saw it, a victory for sanity and justice. It was a dying gasp; the desperate flailing of a swimmer in rough seas, before the tsunami hits. Sooner than we think, Azaria will be pontificating gravely as a right-wing member of the Knesset.


Nazi War Criminals Ask Netanyahu for Pardons

In a shock development late last night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received pardon requests from convicted Nuremberg war criminals Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg and Hans Frank, The Kibbitzer has learned.

“Consequent to your initiative to pardon convicted killer Elor Azaria, we request that you include us in the pardon process,” the three wrote in an email to the prime minister.

“We submit that the shooting of a prisoner in the head is no more deserving of pardon than the crimes we were convicted of many years ago, when we were young and unaware of the divine mission of the Jewish people.”

Azaria was convicted of manslaughter in a military court on Wednesday for shooting dead a Palestinian assailant who was already wounded and immobile.

Several hours after the verdict was handed down, Netanyahu said in a statement that he supported the granting of a pardon to Azaria. The decision to award a pardon would not be made Netanyahu but by President Reuven Rivlin.

“We have faith in Jewish justice and appeal to you to regard us as your own wayward sons,” the Nazi war criminals wrote in conclusion.

In New York, meanwhile, Donald Trump tweeted: “Things will be different after January 20 @freeelorazaria”

New Year Kisses from The Kibbitzer

President-elect Donald Trump will kiss himself at midnight tonight precisely, a senior source in the presidential transition team told The Kibbitzer.

“You’re meant to kiss the person you love most to welcome in the New Year,” the source said, asking to remain anonymous.

“Well in Donald’s case that’s Donald,” the source added. “Of course, he’ll also kiss Melania afterwards, but he’ll make sure to do it in front of a mirror so he’ll be looking at himself.”

“And he’ll tweet a kiss emoji to Putin for hacking him into the White House.”

A source close to John Kerry said he was considering stopping to speak about settlements long enough to kiss whoever is closest to him at the time.

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, a source in the prime minister’s bureau said that Benjamin Netanyahu would be spending a quiet evening at home, building a settlement with his Lego Christmas present.

“He’s not really a kisser,” the source said, “though he wouldn’t mind having the nation kiss his ass.”

Kerry Doesn’t Understand the Problem

US Secretary of State John Kerry summed up the international consensus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday, when he enunciated the Obama administration’s principles for a peace settlement during a speech in Washington.

Of the western countries, only the UK begged to differ from Kerry’s prescription, and that was more about emphasis than essence. And Australia was unable to stop itself from poking its neighbor and perennial rival New Zealand in the eye. But the rest of Europe, China, Russia and even the Sunni Arab states went along with Kerry’s approach.

Trump is likely to put a speedbump in the road of US Middle Eastern diplomacy, which Israel will rush through with alacrity and glee. More damage will be done; more lives wasted. But Trump, too, will eventually come up against the immovable reality of the conflict and return to the traditional approach.

The fact remains that there has rarely, if ever, been such global consensus on a local issue, albeit one with tremendous emotional and geopolitical impact.

But what if the world is wrong?

After all, it has happened before. Slavery, colonialism and even communism were once global endeavors, supported at one time or another by the current western powers and wide swathes of people around the world. Yet they eventually became anathema. It is entirely reasonable to at least ponder whether the world is not on the wrong path this time as well.

There are probably numerous grounds on which the Kerry doctrine can be questioned, but the three keys ones are a) whether Israel’s position is valid, b) whether the two-state solution as proposed by Kerry is fair, and c) whether it is viable.

I don’t doubt the importance of the land to many Israelis and even Jews who don’t live in Israel, but colonial occupation of a land and its people and the resulting brutality, oppression and denial of rights that are necessary to sustain that occupation are not, and can never be, a solution to the conflict. Israel has had 50 years to come up with a plan, but it hasn’t done so. And the simple reason is that there is no way it can both control the land and do justice by the people. Fifty years of occupation and settlement put Israel in the wrong.

Secondly, is the Kerry doctrine fair? Clearly not. Security Council Resolution 181 (from 1947), which Kerry quoted in his speech as the unavoidable basis of a solution, actually went a lot further than Kerry let on. For instance, the resolution allotted some 43% of Mandatory Palestine to the Palestinians (excluding Jerusalem, which was to be shared); the Kerry doctrine gives them only 22%.

It also envisages the Palestinian state as being demilitarized, while Israel would retain its army. And it includes land swaps, in which the Palestinians will have to give away some of their best land. Not to mention that the creation of the state will only follow a transitional period; the Oslo Accords taught us all we need to know about Israel and transitional periods. Needless to say, Israeli sovereignty would not be contingent on a transitional period. The Kerry doctrine doesn’t meet the test of fairness.

Which leave us with the viability of the two state solution. The US, the European Union and much of the rest of the world believes that the establishment of two sides living side-by-side in peace is the only rational and fair solution. The Palestinian Authority is officially committed to the two-state solution and even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on record as saying that it his preferred goal, though he is doing everything in his power to ensure that it never comes about.

But the two-state solution will not solve the problem and is therefore not viable.

To understand why the two-state solution will not solve the problem, we first need to understand the problem itself. For a world that is tired of the conflict and wants to move on – a world that has been trying to stop Palestinians and Jews from killing each other for 50, 70 or even 100 years, take your pick – the two state solution is a godsend. It determines the starting date and place of the problem – June 1967, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – and attempts to solve the problem as so defined in place and time by reverting to the status quo ante. Presumably that will make everyone happy.

But it won’t. The first reason is that the territorial dispute did not begin in 1967. It didn’t even begin in 1948, though that was the year of the greatest upheaval. The dispute began when the first Zionist settlers arrived in Palestine with the goal of acquiring land on which to build the future Jewish state. That was over 100 years ago. Since then, Jews and Arabs have been locked in a struggle for the land, with much bloody water flowing under the bridge long before the 1967 war.

Nor did the problem begin in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians don’t commemorate the Nakba (the expulsions of 1948) just because they know it pisses off the Israelis. They remember it because it left some 700,000 Palestinians as refugees and over 400 villages as rubble – all of the latter in the area defined as Israeli in the Kerry doctrine. And there’s really not much point in debating whether the refugees were expelled or fled. The salient point is that they weren’t allowed back. The fledgling state of Israel prevented the return of the Palestinian refugees to their land and homes as deliberate policy, creating a body of refugees and their descendants that today numbers in the region of five million.

Israel also dynamited and covered over most of the villages and towns from which the refugees had fled, just for good measure.

Kicking the Israeli settlers out of the West Bank and returning to the so-called ’67 lines won’t solve the problem of the refugees. It won’t even tickle it. And without a solution to the refugee problem, there will never be peace. It is far too essential a part of the dispute to be ignored. Nor will it resolve the dispute over the land, much of which was seized or otherwise acquired by the Jews before 1967.

The second reason why the two-state solution won’t make everyone happy is that it ignores national aspirations which, like the refugee problem, are too dominant to be ignored. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Jews regard the West Bank as being the heartland of the territory promised to the Jews by God and are unwilling to see it under foreign, never mind Palestinian, sovereignty.

Personally, I don’t believe in God or the bible, so depriving messianic Jews of their heartland is no skin off my own nose. But I recognize their belief as an insurmountable problem to any peace effort that doesn’t take their national aspirations into account.

Likewise, many Palestinians are just as determined as the messianic Jews to return to their previous homes, lands and “national sanctuary” within the so-called ’67 borders. Kerry spoke vaguely and without much enthusiasm of “compensation,” but what precisely does he have in mind? Jews are not the only ethnic group or nation attached to a specific piece of land. Few of them would be satisfied with monetary compensation and the same goes for the Palestinians.

The unfortunate fact is that both Palestinians and Jews are attached, emotionally, religiously and as former owners, to land on both sides of what Kerry would like to see as the border between the two.  A separation agreement will only exacerbate those attachments. It certainly won’t stop true believers on both sides from trying to return to land they regard as their own.

The final reason why not everybody will be happy with the two-state solution is more prosaic. There are too many Jews now living in the West Bank and they are too well connected politically and too much part of the Jewish-Israeli mainstream for it to be feasible to move them. And even if Israel were to maintain the settlement blocs, as they are called, the large and militant settler community simply won’t accept the evacuation of God-given territory, irrespective of whether or not they live on it

It will mean civil war and no conceivable Israeli leader will take that risk. It was traumatic enough when Ben-Gurion fired on a few hundred militants, crew members and passengers on the Altalena. Doing the same to a sizeable chunk of the population, with its emissaries in every Israeli institution, including in the senior echelons of the army, is simply not on the cards.

I don’t have any easy solution to offer, but it’s perfectly clear to me that the two-state solution as enunciated by Kerry doesn’t even begin to deal with the real core issues – Israel’s colonial history, the Palestinian refugees of 1948 and the national aspirations of both Jews and Palestinians. If the two-state solution were ever implemented, it would be only a finger in the dyke. Trouble will begin rushing through soon enough, because neither side will give up on its claims or aspirations to what’s on the other side.

The place to start is in acknowledging reality and understanding the true nature of the problem. The Kerry doctrine, by treating June 1967 as Day Zero, doesn’t do that. It mistakes only part of the problem for the whole. It’s a real pity that smart and well-meaning people like Obama and Kerry are so blind.


Global Chaos as 2017 Chickens Out

The world was thrown into existential chaos last night, after 2017 tweeted that he had decided not to take office in three days’ time, as planned.

“Been thinking about what a fuckup @2016 made of things,” 2017 tweeted. “Don’t think I want to pick up his mess #screw2016.”

In a subsequent tweet 2017 wrote that if the world thought he would play Obama to 2016’s Bush, it had another thought coming.

The United Nations Security Council went into emergency session immediately after the tweet went public. “We’ve never had a year refuse to take over from the previous one before,” America’s UN ambassador Samantha Power told The Kibbitzer. “This is an entirely new ballgame.

Contacted by journalists, 2018 said that he had no intention of filling in for 2017. “I still want to enjoy life while I can,” he said.

Responding to 2017, Donald Trump tweeted that he understood how 2017 felt and suggested that he begin the year on January 20.

“That way you won’t have to suffer 20 days of you-know-who and we can get off to a good start together,” the president-elect said. He also invited 2017 to visit him at Trump Tower to discuss things.

2017 has yet to respond to Trump’s proposal.