Thinking Like a Tank

During a political discussion recently (a rare occurrence; I try to steer clear of them) one of the participants pulled out his ace: something that he had been told by a former senior officer in the Mossad. In most Israeli circles that would be the clincher; similar, I guess, to quoting the word of God around the table of the rebbe. There’s no arguing with the source of sources.

My reaction was that, davka because it came from a former senior Mossad officer, it had no value.I didn’t believe a word of it. My interlocutor regarded me with the benign tolerance that many of us display when confronted with the  immature self-assurance of our kids. They’re talking utter nonsense, of course, but they’re still young; life will teach them a thing or two. Continue reading

Sharon shoots the elephant

This article was originally published in January 2003 in Robert Rosenberg’s Ariga.

by Roy Isacowitz

In his short story “Shooting An Elephant,” published in 1936, George Orwell depicts one of the ironies of colonial rule. The colonial power’s authority rests as much on how it is perceived as on its guns. Maintaining the perception of power and strength is paramount; losing face is the greatest failure. But perceptions exist only in the eyes of the beholder. So the colonizer becomes dependent on the reactions of the subject; the ruler becomes the puppet of the ruled It is an irony that shouldn’t be lost on us today . Continue reading

Israel, Iran and the Blue Ball Syndrome

Apologies to those of you who actually enjoy this stuff for my silence over the past few weeks. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to kibbitz about – Israel is always very dependable in that regard – but my mood has been low.

I’ve been burdened by a general sense of ennui, influenced probably by the approach of winter, the creeping annexations of age (I’ll be 60 very soon) and the apparent readiness of the Israeli government to provoke a missile war with Iran. Just when I thought that I could safely dwindle into a gentle retirement of distilled liquids and casual pornography, the assholes begin threatening Armageddon. Continue reading