Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Bush Visit

It’s a strange feeling when seeing the flag you grew up with sends chills down your spine.

American and Israeli flags on Hertzog street. In the background, an echo of the previous Anglophonic superpower, a pillbox built by the British colonial occupiers.

No left turn here today. All the streets are closed.

No no, ALL the streets are closed.

POTUS, the President of the United States, the DECIDER, has come to town to squeeze the Jews. The destruction of Jewish villages in Judea and Samaria and the creation on their ruins of the supposed-to-be-born-in-1998-but-still-clinging-to-the-womb Palestinian state is job one for the President’s final year in office. Echoes of Clinton (and Bush I, and Carter and…)

Let’s be clear, I’m not a Bush hater, and frankly, I’m bewildered by Bush haters. If you were to read, which I do from time to time, you would believe that Bush was responsible for every ill from 9-11 to Hurricane Katrina. Of course, the same website would tell you that a cabal of Jews from the Likkud party has infiltrated the American government and guided the United States to war with Iraq and soon, Iran. I’m also bewildered by the preponderance of Jews who hang out in the extreme-left conspiracy crowd and just sort of sluff off the anti-Semitism that passes for discourse. Yeah, sure, they hate Jews, but they’re great on healthcare. And don’t forget, Hitler built the Autobahn and stabilized the currency, before he did some of that other stuff.

I’m not an Olmert hater either. Oh, I think he’s a loser, but he merely represents a secular nationalism that’s run out of steam, that can no longer answer its critics. From his speech when he entered office a year and a half ago, “We are tired of being courageous, we are tired of fighting, we are tired of winning,” to last weekends’ speech “Without a Palestinian state, Israel is finished,” he displays the utter belieflessness of an aging ruling class that can no longer hold its wandering children from the enticements abroad.

I suppose I’m just disappointed in my fellow Israelis who focus their contempt on Olmert the man, and pay no attention to the rigged, pseudo-democratic system which allowed him to rise to power when he was 33rd on his party’s list, and to stay in power with a 9% approval rating. In perhaps the most amusing quote of the day, the President moseyed on over to the leader of the Shas (Sephardi Hareidi) party Rabbi Eli Yishai, “I understand that during our diner tomorrow, I’m supposed to have a long and intensive conversation with you to persuade you not to leave the government.”

I’m sure this is what Ehud’s father, Mordechai Olmert, had in mind when he fought the British superpower for Israeli independence… that some day there would be a Jewish government propped up by the American superpower.

The endless talk of the righteousness of seeking Justice, vengeance really, for those who dream of dancing on our graves was on parade today. “The Outposts?” POTUS responded to a reporter. “Yeah, they’ve got to go.” With a weak flick of his hand he envisioned the destruction of thousands of homes.

I remember back in 2004, when Ariel Sharon approved the construction of hundreds of housing units in the massive settlement Maaleh Adumim, and Bush responded, “I don’t understand why they’re building hundreds of homes that are just going to become Palestinian anyway.”

That was four years ago. The buildings have gone up, and Bush is going out. Four of Olmert's five children have left the country seeking greener pastures abroad, and the one who remained is an anti-Israel activist. Meanwhile, the population in the settlements increases at 6% annually, triple the national average. As one of the rabbis in yeshivah mentioned today, “Don’t pay any attention to a talking Bush. Last time we did, we ended up wandering the desert for forty years.”

"Above it All, Jerusalem," A poster announcing right-wing demonstrations against the Bush visit. A new outpost was also built.


Ephraim said...

Yeah, I feel like Israel is in a state of transition. Really, all we have to do is raise our kids Jewish, and endure, and things will get better, gradually.

Chana said...

Oy all this stuff just makes me sick. Trusting in Hashem and bringing others closer is the key.

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