Bibi & Jacob: Beware of Your Friends

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EX-PRESIDENT

February 18, 2018

Dear Bibi

Thank you so much for replying so sincerely to my email, which after all came to you out of the blue – which, as astrophysicists could tell you, is actually black – another example of how the world’s controlling language has been colonized by white monopoly capitalism – and which didn’t even contain a cheque or promissory note. Should you be interested, I have many of both, all blank, from the Bank of Baroda, which can be filled out in any amount of rupees that you might choose.

I do appreciate your response. Which reminds me: there was another matter I wanted to mention in my first letter but obviously I couldn’t put in everything. Ah, had you and I but world enough and time, as a colonialist poet once wrote – which, as real scholars know, was not written at all by Andrew Marvell but in fact by an earlier incarnation of our late, great poet Keorapetse “Bra Willie” Kgositsile. Of course, as perhaps only you and I will readily appreciate, Bra Willie’s real sainthood stemmed not from what he wrote but from having been married to that prize cow, Baleka Mbete, for some 14 years.

She, the so-called Speaker of the National Assembly (our Knesset) – Speaker? More of a completely atonal Belter – is yet another who’s happily bitten the hand that often fed her: mine. But the name of those who have turned on me now, more quickly than they ever moved on a Tender document, is, as you can imagine, Legion – for they are many. (This comes from our Bible: Mark 5:9. I apologize.) Watch those around you, Bibi, especially your so-called dear friends. I tell you this as your friend.

But I digress. What I had wanted to say was that one of the reasons you must have been surprised to hear from me the other day was because you must have thought that I had it in for you because you didn’t attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December 2013.

Not at all. I for one understood fully that you were under pressure because of the costs of flying yourself, staff, stocks of bubbly and cigars, and Sara’s staff and stocks of ice cream. Besides, the fuss made of the Old Man was just too much, you know; it went on and on, more tedious than a state-of the-nation (SONA) debate; and as usual that coconut Barack Obama did not miss an opportunity to hog (I apologize again) the limelight. As you guessed, it was I and another erstwhile “friend,” Gwede Mantashe, then the ANC secretary-general – hah! more like the secretary-buffoon – who arranged for the Coconut to get that half-witted sign interpreter, who knew as much about sign language as I do about the tax laws. Good one, wasn’t it?

Similarly, Bibi, you musn’t pay too much heed to the anti-Israel crud that presently pervades ANC splutterings. It’s an easy way to score cheap points on the international stage; I obviously know better than to alienate the world’s controllers of finance – and Squirrel, my replacement (what a joke! but more of this in forthcoming letters), definitely knows better. When it comes to white monopoly capital, he’s a champion lickspittle and sycophant with a proven track record.

Got to go now. My boy Duduzane is allegedly on the run from the cops and I have to do stuff. So I know how you feel about Yair, believe you me.

Hasta la vista Bibi.

Jacob.

 


 

THE PRIME MINISTER’S BUREAU

February 18, 2018

Jacob, my friend.

Best of luck with finding your son and extricating him from the grasping hands of those envious of people like us. I read in the newspaper that he had fallen in with a bunch of Indian gentlemen, which must have come as a bit of a shock. I myself have been doing a bit of business with a gentleman from the subcontinent named Modi, who, only days after proclaiming his love and devotion for the Jewish people, flew off to kiss and hug that despicable fraud and inciter Abbas.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, last week he was scraping and bowing to the Big Persian Chalooga himself, the Jew-hating capo de tutti capi Mufti Rouhani. Has Modi no shame? Jewish missiles are good enough to defend his country, but he drops us like a stone to play footsie with the accursed Persians. Such people can’t be trusted. After all, how does he know it’s broken if he doesn’t even speak English? As you wrote so presciently in your email, it’s your so-called friends you have to watch most.

By the way, did you see my performance in Munich yesterday? I think it was pretty good, if I say so myself, especially the bit when I waved around a piece from the Iranian drone. If you looked carefully you would have noticed that it didn’t have any Persian markings on it; that’s because there weren’t any. But my Intelligence people assured me that it was Iranian, which is good enough for me. As usual my speech was met by the usual carping about warmongering etc. etc., but guess what? It knocked the media’s endless verbal diarrhea about corruption right out of the headlines and returned the Iranian danger to its rightful place. Is that success or what?

But really it’s the damn Poles who take the proverbial cake. I don’t think you have much to do with the Poles down at the tip of Africa, which is your good fortune. They’re the sort of people who get colonized rather than do the colonizing – not that I’ve got anything against people who get colonized, of course. The opposite is the case; some of my best friends have been colonized.

But who would have expected such Holocaust denial from the Poles in 2018? Saying, as their prime minister did, that Jews were also among the perpetrators of the slaughter of the Jewish people, the greatest crime in history! What can make a person think and say such a thing except for deep-rooted Jew hatred? A malice so deep and so inbred that not even the memory of the Holocaust is sacred.

It makes me wonder, my friend. What sort of world are we living in when humble servants of the people like ourselves are held up to ridicule and dishonor, while Holocaust deniers, genocidal Persians and mercenary so-called comrades run rampant? Perhaps you and I really are throwbacks to a gentler and more humane past, in which gentlemen politicians dedicated themselves to the good of the nation, without needing to worry about the probity of the minor gratuities that came their way during the performance of their duties.

The transition you are currently going through must be tough, my friend. I remember when Sara and I were thrown out of the official residence when I lost the elections after my first term. There we were, abandoned in the street with all our worldly possessions; one day the head of state and the next homeless. I certainly hope that your people treat you better than mine did. I’m sure that they will. Black people are always smiling and happy, so unlike the dour and querulous Jews I have to deal with.

When you get a moment, please write and tell me how one moves home with five wives. I find it an impossible task with one. The ranting and raving that goes on is enough to wake up the dead.

Until next time.

Macsalaamo (I asked one of the black people we’re trying to kick out how to say “goodbye” in black language.)

Bibi

Jacob & Bibi: The Private Emails

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE EX-PRESIDENT

February 16, 2018

Dear Bibi:

Hope you don’t mind me writing to you out of the blue – or calling you Bibi. Having seen on TV that you’re about to start having to go through what I’ve been going through here for years, decades actually – you know, bullying over pinko-liberal bullshit by the police, prosecution authorities, public opinion, the vershtunkende media and now my own party, the ANC, which I’ve served faithfully since I was a piccanin – I felt an immediate kinship with you.

And thought I should write to you, to share my experiences with you. After all, I’m almost 10 years older than you and, well, I’ve been through a lot and you look as though you could use all the friends you can get. (I was thinking also, if you don’t mind me saying so, that you could use a few more wives; yours looks very fierce, like a little ingulube we say in isiZulu, a little piggy; don’t know that I’d let her into Nkandla, let alone Mahlamba Ndlopfu. Well, the latter’s not mine any more anyway; so who cares?)

Yes, I know: you’ve been told I’m close to illiterate and can hardly add one and one, let alone write a letter in cogent English with the occasional Yiddish word thrown in for good measure.

Of course I’ve kept up the pretence for years that I’m basically an illiterate herd boy. Best way to keep the media and various other arseholes at arm’s length. I once read somewhere (during my secret “reading sessions” late at night, when all the wives were safely abed) that your Moshe Dayan, though he could speak English pretty well, always used an interpreter during interviews in English. He said it gave him time to think. Well, same sort of idea; though who needs thinking?

As for the Yiddish – ach, easy-peasy. My mother was a maid – now called in PC-speak, a domestic – for a Jewish family in Durban in the late 1940s and the very kind lady there, a Mrs Ginsburg, taught me a bit of the language from the old country. I tried to help her with some isiZulu but it didn’t stick. Well, vos veis a khazer von lokshen, hey? Heh-heh.

Have to start packing now; Cyril the nebbish is hassling. Let me know what’s happening with you. I’ll try to help.

Best

Jacob


 

THE PRIME MINISTER’S BUREAU

February 16, 2018

Dear Jacob

Very kind of you to write. Yes, we’re in this together, though I was shocked late last night to hear that you had resigned from office. It put me right off my Partagas Serie D, which is an expensive little mishap, as you might well imagine. Even another glass of pink bubbly was insufficient to wash the bitter taste of defeat from my mouth. When one of us goes, we all go a little, as I told Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan a few months ago during one of his regular wobblies.

Had this correspondence begun earlier, I would have made every effort to persuade you to sit tight, however virulent the neo-apartheid slander against you. Ever since we Jews went like lambs to the slaughter, the word resignation has been banned from our lexicon. We never forget, we never apologize and we never resign. And we never acknowledge wrongdoing either. As Lennie Bruce put it, “even when they find you with your cock in her mouth, deny it!”

Talking of cocks brings me back to what you wrote about the Stasi, otherwise known as my wife Sara. My friend, you have no idea how fierce she really is. I don’t know what your Afrikaans word ingulube means, but if it’s along the lines of “diseased insane bitch” then you’re on the right track. But I’m legally (a long story) and politically obliged to support the cow and pretend I love her. We politicians pay a heavy price for our values.

What I don’t understand is how any man can have four or five of them and remain sane – remain standing, even. Can you fill me in? I assume it has something to do with divide and rule or splitting the enemy; always rotating to the next when the situation nears hand-to-hand combat. But I don’t think I have the balls for it. And then there’s the kids. Imagine having more than one grasping and vicious little prick like Yair!

But back to our present troubles. My friend, I survive by viewing my predicament in historical terms. I am not alone and not unique. Uncountable numbers of Jews before me have been burned at the stake, drawn and quartered, gassed and incinerated for doing what’s good for the Jewish people. For standing up for our people, drawing a line in the sand and exclaiming, “Thus far and no further!”

Like Ann Frank before me, I sit in my little hideaway, writing to you, while the anti-Semites bay for my blood below. The Israel Police that ordered this inquisition is only the most recent Jewish institution to fall prey to the cancer of anti-Zionism and Jewish self-hate. They see me for what I am – a dedicated and determined son of the Jewish people – and their hatred consumes them. BDS, George Soros, all the peaceniks and Arab-lovers – they are determined to bring me down because only I see straight through them.

Jacob, be strong in this hour of testing. Chazak ve’ematz! The weak and the envious begrudge us all and any reward for the unstinting service we provide our people, but we are the true sons of the nation.

I am cc-ing this letter to my strategic adviser Lior Horev who may have some ideas about how to retrieve your situation after being bullied and harassed into resignation.

Shalom

Bibi

PS: I’ve heard that your country makes a decent grape. If you want to ship over a few crates of bubbly for the harridan, the Jewish People would be most grateful

 

Celebrating 50 years of false reality

Israel’s myth-making industry is having a field day as the country celebrates the Golden Anniversary of the Six Day War.

Even the progressive Israeli newspaper Haaretz saw fit this morning to describe the 1967 war as “a just war; a war of no choice,” before going on to lament the “enormous harm wrought by the war” – namely, the continuing occupation of Palestine and the Palestinians.

The war, according to Haaretz, “changed the character of the state, gave birth to a sub-state in the occupied territories, bolstered messianic religious ideology, distorted the justice system so that it became, in part, a tool that judicially sanitizes the occupation, and cracked the foundations of the Zionist dream.”

All that is true – and it was true long before the 1967 war. The war didn’t create or change the character of the state, the messianic religious ideology or the distorted justice system. All it did was exacerbate what was already in existence.

Encapsulated in the Haaretz editorial are two key myths about the Six Day War: That the war was forced on Israel, which had no option but to launch the first strike; and that the occupation is at the heart of the dispute with the Palestinians. Had Israel not been forced into occupying the West Bank, the narrative goes, everything would be peachy. While the ‘just war’ myth has become integral to the national collective memory and is shared by virtually all Israelis, the ‘occupation as the root of all evil’ myth is the foundation stone of the anti-occupation Zionist left.

Both are equally false. The 1967 war was the culmination of nineteen years of mutual provocation and aggression between Israel and an Arab front comprising Syria, Egypt and Palestinian refugees-turned-guerillas. The armistice lines agreed at the end of the 1948 war – and particularly the disputed areas which the UN described as “no-man’s land” – satisfied no-one. Refugees seeking to return to land occupied by Israel in 1948 were shot by the hundreds, if not the thousands, and Israel encouraged kibbutzim to cultivate land in the disputed areas, resulting in repeated military retaliation by Syria, including dogfights over the Golan Heights.

It was widely believed in both the IDF and the government that Israel had missed a golden opportunity in 1948 by not grabbing the entire biblical Land of Israel. “I’ve never forgiven the Ben-Gurion government – it didn’t let us finish the job in 1948-1949,” said Yigal Allon, commander of the Palmach in 1948 and subsequently Israel’s foreign minister. There is ample historical evidence that the 1967 war was regarded by many prominent Israelis as an opportunity to correct the mistake made in 1948.

In the years leading up to 1967, Allon, Moshe Dayan and many other leading soldiers, politicians and cultural figures constituted a Greater Israel lobby that actively promoted and planned for the conquest of the West Bank. According to Tel Aviv University Professor Yehouda Shenhav, “In June 1963, when Levi Eshkol took office as Prime Minister, Chief of Staff Tzvi Tzur and his deputy Yitzhak Rabin presented him with Israel’s desirable borders: the River Jordan, in the depths of the Jordanian West Bank; the Litani River, 30 kilometers into Lebanon; and the Suez Canal, beyond the Egyptian peninsula of Sinai.”

On the Arab side, the Palestinian refugee problem created in 1948 was regarded as an immense wrong that needed to be righted. Thus, both sides indulged in continuous needling and military provocation, attempting to overturn a status quo that was not acceptable to either of them. An Israeli attack on Syrian forces on the Golan Heights in April 1967 was described by Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin as an attempt to “humiliate Syria.”

There was brinkmanship before June 1967, particularly during a crisis on the Israel-Syria border in 1960, which was finally defused by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. The latter was no stranger to imperial ambitions – only a very blunt message from US President Dwight Eisenhower prevented him from declaring the Sinai as part of the “Third Kingdom of Israel” after the 1956 Sinai Campaign – but he had come around to the belief that the demographic consequences of ruling over the Palestinians would be fatal for Israel.

The repeated tit-for-tat provocations and brinkmanship that preceded the 1967 war were hardly new; what had changed was the environment. Hammarskjold and Ben-Gurion were no longer in office to calm the passions on both sides, the Greater Israel lobby was waiting for an opportunity to make its move and Egypt’s over-confident president Nasser miscalculated how far he could go. It was a war waiting to happen, but it was neither just nor a war of no-choice. And Israel made the first move.

The second myth – that the occupation is the core issue that needs to be resolved – totally ignores the historical roots of the conflict. Jews and Palestinians didn’t live in peace and harmony until 1967; they had clashed repeatedly since the start of large-scale Jewish immigration to Israel in the early twentieth century. Returning the borders of Israel to the so-called Green Line – with or without settlement blocs, land swaps and all the other enduring legacies of the occupation – may remove a major irritant, but it won’t resolve the root cause.

Returning to the Green Line is favored by the Zionist Left because it would leave the kibbutzim, the moshavim and the original Ashkenazi political-economic elite with all the Palestinian land and property they expropriated in 1948 and from which they have profited ever since. It would also enable them to continue living in their self-created moral bubble, according to which Israel was a just and moral society until 1967.

But that, as Trump might put it, is fake reality. The Palestinian land and property confiscated in 1948 and the 700,000-odd refugees driven from their homes are the very crux of the problem. As is, at a deeper level, the Zionist mindset that persists until today in which the Israeli right to the land is exclusive and Palestinians can be dealt with unilaterally. Zionists have always prayed for the Palestinians to simply disappear, like the unfortunate millions in the TV series “The Leftovers.” Many still do.

Even if the Palestinian Authority – under the same inexorable Israeli and American pressure that caused Arafat to cave in at Oslo – were to agree to the sort of limited, non-sovereign and non-contiguous solution offered by Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, it will be no more successful than Oslo. Real peace can’t be forced. And it will require solutions to the real problems – land, refugees and Israeli disdain for the Palestinians and their rights – rather than an exclusive focus on Israeli security and other Israeli concerns. After almost seventy years of statehood and fifty years of occupation Israelis remain staggeringly incurious about what drives the Palestinians.

As Israel marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 war, its collective memory remains impervious to change. Israel is just, noble and wise; Arabs were responsible for all the country’s wars and there is still no partner for peace. Onward to the next fifty!

 

Sara Inspires Ted Cruz to Make 2020 Bid

Ted Cruz, an unsuccessful Republican candidate in 2016, announced this morning that he would  challenge the incumbent Donald Trump for the presidency in 2020, having now “learned how it’s done.”

“I didn’t think it was physically possible to upstage Trump,” Cruz said in a telephone interview with The Kibbitzer. “But yesterday I saw on TV how he stood mute and totally lost for words in the face of Sara Netanyahu’s verbal onslaught.”

“I intend studying the tapes carefully to learn her technique,” Cruz added. “I think one of my mistakes was in trying to make some sort of sense, while what Sara seems to prove is that you have to make even less sense than he does.”

“If I can get it right, I’ll definitely be running against him in 2020.”

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted a composite image of his wife and Melania Trump with the caption, “Whose wife speaks a thousand words?”

 

Trump Doubtful About Peace After Meeting Sara

In a rambling and disjointed series of tweets before dawn on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump appeared to stipulate his preconditions for peace in the Middle East.

“No chance of peace until the slut shuts her trap and Bibi wipes the cat-got-the-milk grin off his face,” Trump wrote in his first tweet.

“And no more shaking hands with Israelis. Ever!” he wrote in a subsequent tweet.

Political observers in Jerusalem who were questioned by The Kibbitzer differed over whether Trump’s remark that Oren Hazan “should be nuked” was a fourth condition for peace or merely a recommendation.

A source in the Trump entourage who asked to remain anonymous told The Kibbitzer that the president appeared “shaken and unnerved” after his first encounter with Israelis en masse.

“He is a lot less confident about making peace after the airport reception and then dinner with the Netanyahus,” the source said. “He has finally realized what he’s up against.”

Meanwhile, The Kibbitzer has learned that Melania Trump required three booster shots of botox on Monday to keep her face smiling and immobile throughout the day.

 

Israbluff Facing its Greatest Challenge Yet

The secret but highly influential Israel Bluffers Association (IBA) has urged its members to exercise utmost caution during the visit to Israel of United States President Donald Trump, which begins tomorrow.

The IBA counts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, cabinet ministers and most Knesset members among its membership. Critics say that the association exercises an undue influence on government policies and activities.

“Our monopoly over deceit and mendacity in the Jewish state will face an enormous challenge with the arrival of the acknowledged world lying champion,” the IBA said in a confidential memo that was hand-delivered to its members this morning. The memo has come into the possession of The Kibbitzer.

“Proud as we are of the long and honored tradition of Israbluff, we should not bluff ourselves that we are invincible,” the memo continued. “Not since the days of Nixon have we come up against a bluffer whose skills equal, if not exceed, our own.”

“It is incumbent on all members to ensure that they don’t fall for Trumpbluff and find themselves agreeing to reduce the pace of settlement or even, God forbid, to hand over parts of the Land of Israel to heathens.”

The memo ends with the admonition that failure to take care when conversing with Trump could “spell the end of over 70 years of Israbluff.”

 

 

The surprising longevity of apartheid

The Afrikaner still reigns supreme in the Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest and most popular game reserve. The reception desks, restaurants and stores in the reserve’s rest camps are now manned by blacks, but otherwise little has changed in the past thirty or forty years. Afrikaans-speaking South Africans in khaki clothes and floppy sun hats still dominate among the almost exclusively white clientele. Practical, if not official, apartheid lives on in the Kruger Park, as it does in most of the formerly white areas of the country.

At a Saturday food market adjacent to the Waterfront shopping complex in Cape Town, my daughter and I played “spot the black.” There were many black people, of course, but they were all preparing and serving food. Those paying the money and eating the food were white. When we eventually spotted a colored (mixed race) man eating at one of the tables, we agreed to count him as black. We were bored with the game by then.

Wall-to-wall whiteness also prevailed at Cape Point Vineyards, where I tasted seven wines, one of them magnificent and three pretty good, while overlooking the spectacular beach of Noordhoek on the Cape peninsula. (The tasting, by the way, cost 60 Rand or $4.50.) Same story at Constantia Glen, a boutique winery set among exquisite hills and vineyards close to the city.

At the Waterfront itself, a vast, gentrified portion of the old Cape Town port, there were quite a few, coloreds, Indians and even blacks among the swarming crowds, but that was a semi-multiracial exception. The malls and restaurants in Johannesburg were again solid white. The only times I mingled with substantial numbers of non-white people were in a buffet restaurant in Cape Town (situated in the building that formerly housed The Cape Times newspaper), a weekend market in Hout Bay (which, many whites will tell you, has been “overrun” by their more swarthy countrymen) and at an Indian restaurant in the predominantly Indian area of Fordsburg south of the Johannesburg city center.

And then there was the mall at the Carlton Center, deep in downtown Johannesburg. These days, the city center is a no-go area for whites, who prefer to live with their own kind in the leafy northern suburbs of the city. My friend Jeremy and I ventured into the Carlton Center mall for coffee, finding ourselves the only whites in the place (as far as we could see.) It was a bit unsettling. No-one seemed to pay us any attention and the people we encountered were typically friendly, but after almost two months in South Africa I had grown used to predominantly white surroundings. The Carlton Center was pure Africa, which is a pejorative concept for many whites on the tip of the continent. “Welcome to Africa,” they say, when the electricity suddenly goes out or a black cashier takes too long counting out the change.

Social apartheid is still alive and kicking in South Africa. Twenty-three years after the last apartheid government fell, white families still have black servants, shop in predominantly white shopping centers and live in large houses (with high walls topped by electrified fences) in white suburbs. Today it is a segregation enforced by economics, rather than law, but it looks and feels like the good old days of apartheid and white privilege.

In Sea Point, a mainly white suburb of Cape Town perched between the mountains and the sea, the bid by a Jewish educational trust to purchase an abandoned school and its property led to a full-scale crisis. Social activists demanded that the provincial government, which owns the land, use it instead for building affordable housing for poor people who currently commute long distances to work in the suburb. The government eventually decided to sell the property to the trust, but not before the controversy had aroused a lot of bad blood. All the whites I spoke to about the issue, most of whom would probably describe themselves as liberals and former opponents of apartheid, were opposed to the use of the property for low-cost housing. They used such terms as “social incompatibility” and “lack of economic logic,” but their real objection was to the influx of poor blacks into their white neighborhood.

To be fair, the precedents for building low-cost housing in the midst of middle-class (read white) neighborhoods have been less than successful. In Hout Bay, formerly a mink and manure oasis some twenty-five kilometers down the coast from Cape Town, the authorities built a few permanent houses for homeless people who had been living on a local beach. Those houses soon turned into a massive squatter camp of some 20,000 people that today straggles a good way up one of the mountains that surround the town. Hout Bay locals say that crime has spiraled and property values have plummeted, both by dozens of percent.

A fire broke out in the camp while I was there and nine people died. Fire engines couldn’t make their way through the sprawl of makeshift housing to fight the blaze.

The concerns of the residents of Sea Point are real. It’s not necessarily racism to be concerned about the value of one’s property and rising crime and it’s arguably human nature to want to retain one’s standard of living. But there’s something seriously askew when the wider context of those concerns is the most unequal country on earth (according to both the Gini index of inequality and the Palma ratio.) By and large, South Africa’s whites have thrived since the end of apartheid, despite the niggling inconveniences of black empowerment, university entrance quotas and bureaucratic bungling. But the majority of the population remains entrenched in horrific poverty.

The failure of the four ANC governments since the first democratic elections in 1994 to tackle poverty and provide basic living conditions (housing, education and healthcare) for the majority of the population has been catastrophic. The incumbent President, Jacob Zuma, doesn’t even seem to have tried, preferring to enrich himself and his cronies. The result has been what South Africans call “state capture,” the takeover of the levers of political and economic power by Zuma and his allies for their own personal financial gain and to solidify their hold on power.

Things reached boiling point at the end of March, when Zuma sacked his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, who had been an obstacle to some of the president’s more flagrant escapades. His replacement, Malusi Gigaba is expected to be a lot more amenable to the Zuma-led kleptocracy. The sacking of the respected Gordhan outraged the international financial community and resulted in the downgrading of South Africa’s debt to junk status by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, two of the Big Three international credit rating agencies. Foreign investment in South Africa is now an endangered species.

Zuma, who is scheduled to step down as the head of the ANC at the end of this year, is said to be grooming his former wife, Nokosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as his successor. If elected, she would replace him as president in 2019, when he has to step down according to ANC rules. Assumedly, he is planning on retaining political clout after he leaves office, not to mention staying out of jail after he loses immunity. With 249 seats in the 400-seat parliament, the ANC is unlikely to lose a no-confidence vote before the end of Zuma’s term. Nor is there much chance of a significant number of ANC MPs turning against the president; Zuma has wisely spread the largesse.

As things stand, then, things are at an impasse. Zuma isn’t going anywhere and he has given no indication that he intends to change his thieving ways – nor those of his allies in provincial governments, the public service, the security forces, the judiciary, parastatals and more. But the money will soon run out. Here are two possible scenarios of what could transpire:

Bereft of foreign investment and bled dry by the kleptocracy, South Africa turns to the IMF for assistance. The terms offered by the IMF are unacceptable – both because they would mean the end of the corruption orgy and because the traditional fiscal recipes of the IMF are anathema to the influential Communist Party of South Africa and its trade union allies. Left to its own devices, South Africa dwindles into an African basket case, with less and less development, state services and growth. Power cuts become routine, infrastructure crumbles and poverty and crime both soar, with the underfunded police unable to cope. The tribal clashes that led to some 14,000 deaths before the 1994 elections flare up again. Armed and hungry men roam the countryside. Whites are now the obvious and natural target. Those who can, pack up and leave, now a lot more concerned for their lives than for their living standards. South Africa becomes a failed state, like Somalia and South Sudan.

Another scenario is that Zuma undertakes “radical economic transformation,” which in South Africa is synonymous with nationalization, income and land distribution and stripping whites of company and business ownership. That frees up the capital held by whites and reduces the need for foreign investment. But the poor to whom the land and businesses are distributed don’t know how to farm or how to run a business. Soon, the land is lying fallow and commercial activity is at a standstill. Deprived of their livelihoods and much of their property, most of the whites leave. South Africa becomes a second Zimbabwe.

Perhaps I’m being over-negative and there is still a good scenario for South Africa. But I don’t see it. Even without the corruption of Zuma and friends, the country would still be a bog of inequality, racial tension and class conflict. It remains deeply segregated and has few prospects for growth. The end of apartheid certainly improved human rights and sparked the growth of a small black middle class, but very little prosperity has percolated down. South Africa desperately needs sound leadership and heavy investment, neither of which is visible on the horizon. All I see is a solid mass of very black clouds.

 

Zuma: World Recognizes SA Economic Excellence

The excellence of the South African economy has been internationally recognized, President Jacob Zuma told The Kibbitzer in an exclusive interview yesterday.

Zuma was responding to a question regarding the country’s downgrading by Standard and Poor’s credit agency to BB+ last week.

“I never went to school, but a friend of mine who did told me that the highest you can get in an exam is an A and the second highest is a B,” the president said.

“That means that our double-B-plus is almost the highest a country can get. We’re almost at genius level.”

Reminded by The Kibbitzer that BB+ is regarded as junk status, Zuma said: “I have a friend who started out buying and selling junk and today he’s a multi-millionaire. Under my leadership, we’re becoming a country of millionaires.”

The president rejected the widespread criticism that he had brought the country close to collapse.  “If I, an uneducated boy from a very poor background, can end up with three (or is it four?) wives and a big house with a swimming pool, anybody can do it,” he said.

“All it takes is some hard graft.”

 

Friedman Planning Sacrifice at Temple Mount Home

David Friedman, the newly sworn-in United States Ambassador to Judea and Samaria, intends locating his official residence on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, The Kibbitzer has learned.

“My predecessors stayed in the kapo ghetto of Herzliya,” Friedman told The Kibbitzer in an exclusive interview following his swearing in by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday.

“But that is very far for the faithful to drive for the annual Passover sacrifice. I decided that it would be much more convenient for all of us if we did it on the patio of my residence on the Temple Mount.”

Friedman added that his representatives were still looking for an appropriate building on the Temple Mount, but “there’s a nice mosque there that they think could be adapted for residential use at minimal cost.”

President Donald Trump will soon issue an executive order for the residence to be available for the Passover sacrifice in ten days’ time, the new ambassador said,

“I can already picture us on the patio, doing al ha’esh (barbecue) and drinking our wine with a joyful heart as the sun goes down over the kotel,” Friedman said.

 

Netanyahu to Present Prime-Time TV News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will anchor the prime-time evening news on the new TV channel that will replace Channel 1, The Kibbitzer has learned.

The prime minister’s new media position was agreed last night in a compromise solution resolving the long-running crisis over a new broadcasting corporation. On Saturday, Netanyahu threatened to call new elections if he didn’t get his way.

“Bibi wanted to disband the new corporation because he couldn’t control it,” a source close to the prime minister told The Kibbitzer. “So anchoring the prime-time news seemed to be a good solution.”

“It will be a lot easier than submitting the news items to him for approval, which was the other option.”

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who had clashed with Netanyahu over the corporation, said that he would only agree to the compromise if he was appointed the channel’s news director.

In Beijing, meanwhile, a government official said that Netanyahu, who is currently visiting China, had asked to meet with former Politburo member Chen Liangyu, who is in jail for corruption. “My understanding is he wants to assess the prison conditions of politicians convicted of graft,” the official said.