It’s Flanders and Verdun, not Auschwitz

Bibi Netanyahu makes a big deal about Ahmadinejad being Hitler and the year being 1938 etc. I submit, without respect, that Bibi, the son of a historian, has got his history all mixed up. He should backtrack by about 25 years.

The current situation is nothing like the lead-up to World War II, but it is uncannily similar to what happened in 1914, when hubris and brinkmanship precipitated the disaster that was World War I. Four years on, England, Germany and France had each lost a generation of its youth, That’s the historical precedent that should be staring the prime minister in the face.

Bibi would have made a perfect European statesman circa 1914. He’s arrogant, smug, out-of-touch and horrifyingly secure in his small-mindedness – the sort of politician who causes wars because he thinks he’s a lot smarter than he really is and who turns out to be incapable of handling the chaos that he so mindlessly unleashes. Continue reading

Turning the clock back to 1789

Watching too much TV coverage of the American elections is unhealthy for an Israeli kibitzer. It can cause a loss of focus; a questioning of one’s most basic values. The dangerous illusion, even, that there are people out there who are even more confused and misguided than Israelis.

How to explain a county that has both the most powerful economy on earth, even if it is limping badly right now, and probably the most backward population in the developed world? That can send amazingly sophisticated technologies to Mars, but where flat-earthers and purveyors of ideas from the Inquisition get standing ovations at political conventions. A country where a politician is obliged to bring masses of people to tears (not difficult to do, mind you) with heart-rending anecdotes of crippled children and abandoned old folk in order to get elected. Continue reading