Bibi & Barry

One fought for the survival of a young Jewish state.

The other smoked and lounged around bragging about his latte prowess.

Who would you think has the better character and judgement skills needed in today’s dangerous world.

73 Responses to Bibi & Barry

  • …This is rather depressing– Bibi was cute!

  • You talking about Bibi and Barack or Rahm Emanuel and George W. Bush?

  • Benjamin’s brother, Jonathan, is a legend in Israel. He was the head of Sayeret Maktal (Israel’s Seal Team 6) and the only Israeli commando who died during the raid on Entebbe. Benjamin was also a member of Sayeret.

    Their father, Benzion Netanyahu, was a fierce Zionist and scholar of the Spanish Inquisition, who argued that Jewish efforts to placate the Spaniards were futile from the outset. I don’t think most Americans can understand how the current Prime Minister processes the question of Israel’s survival–it’s hardwired.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/opinion/17goldberg.html?pagewanted=1

  • “I don’t think most Americans can understand how the current Prime Minister processes the question of Israel’s survival–it’s hardwired.”

    Considering the history of the Jews, especially the recent history of the Jews, I think it is astonishing that the Israelis have been willing to take any steps for peace that involve diminishing their security one iota. If I were a Jew I would suspect that if we were about to be massacred in Israel, the non-Jewish world, with the exception of the US (although under Obama I think that exception might be shaky), would look on with cool indifference, unless they were viewing it with rabid enthusiasm.

  • I completely agree.

    In light of history, the Jews should annex large portions of the West Bank.

    The rest they should divest to Jordan and give Gaza back to Egypt.

    They were invaded and successfully repealed the invading Muslim armies. They have every right to do what they wish with the West Bank and Gaza.

    As for the other point I mentioned, let the remaining land, of whatever is left after Israel fairly stakes their claims decide if they want to be the Lichtenstein of the Muslim world or merge with Jordan and Egypt.

  • RR,

    You mean the Rahm Emmanuel that shot at US Navy ships and killed countless American sailors and the W. Bush that served in the National Guard defending the greatest nation on God’s green earth?

    You need to make a bigger lie, a la Hitler, to even think of getting away with the psuedohistory that you peddle brother.

  • Anachronistic, Tito. Lattes were rare if not unknown in the northeastern United States when B.O. was that age.

  • Art Deco,

    I believe.

    I absolutely couldn’t tell you the difference between 3 day old spoiled chocolate milk and a latte or decaf, or a capuchino.

  • You talking about Bibi and Barack or Rahm Emanuel and George W. Bush?

    Rahm Emanuel served for a couple weeks during the Gulf War as a civilian assistant to the IDF dealing with anti-aircraft defenses.

    George W. Bush served in the National Guard flying fighter jets.

    I’m not clear how Emanuel is supposed to rate as having “fought for the survival of the Jewish State” or Bush gets cast as being like Obama.

    Which is not to say that the comparison of Netanyahu and Obama’s activities in their early 20s is hugely relevant to how good they are as heads of state now — it mostly just serves to underline that Netanyahu is an interesting person while Obama is not particularly.

    Gotta love the pictures, though.

  • “You mean the Rahm Emmanuel that shot at US Navy ships and killed countless American sailors”

    Talk about pseudo-history!

  • The pot calling kettle black.

    It just dawned on you?

    /sarcasm off

  • While I find Bibi an appealing personality, I think he is making a strategic blunder of potentially dire proportions. To quote Jonathan Chait:

    During the first quarter-century of Israel’s existence, the prospect of a massed conventional military invasion constituted the greatest threat to its existence. That’s no longer true. The greatest dangers today are the combination of demographic and political threats posed by the growing relative size of the Arab population west of the Jordan river, terrorism, and the loss of legitimacy posed by a continuing occupation and counter-terrorism policy in the West Bank and Gaza. Those dangers all dwarf the potential that armored columns of Arab armies will cut Israel in half. The tragedy is that huge swaths of the Israeli right and its sympathizers (both Jewish and Gentile) have failed to grasp this, and have placed it in danger of succumbing to the mortal new threat while guarding against the antiquated one.

  • Strategically, they should probably bomb the blank out of the surrounding areas, inform any neighbors that providing weapons to terrorists is an act of war, and generally act in a rather deadly manner to those who live near them.

    Negotiating with those who 1) don’t hold to agreements and 2) aren’t even expected to hold their agreements is a Bad Idea.

    Let’s not hope too hard for them to think strategically, given what the body count would be…. *shudder*

  • Strategically, they should probably bomb the blank out of the surrounding areas, inform any neighbors that providing weapons to terrorists is an act of war, and generally act in a rather deadly manner to those who live near them.

    As strategy this leaves something to be desired.

  • As strategy this leaves something to be desired.

    As does the fool’s bargain with those who will not hold faith, as does falling back to indefensible borders, as does committing mass suicide (directly, since most strategies end up being this….)

    It’s hard to have a really desirable strategy when you’re surrounded by those who think you have no right to exist, let alone be successful.

  • It strikes me that Chait has a point that the 9 mile depth of the old Israeli territory that Netanyahu doesn’t want to go back it is not the danger that it was in the 40s-70s, for the reason that Israel now has such incredible and obvious military superiority over all its direct neighbors that one would imagine that actual states would have the wisdom not to attack and face the choice that either:

    a) The Israeli conventional military would defeat them quickly and spectacularly or else

    b) If things seemed tight, Israel would nuke them.

    That said, for those same reasons, I’m not sure that Israel necessarily needs to make seriously dangerous sacrifices in the interest of “legitimacy” with countries that would tend not to like them anyway. (Turkey and Western Europe seem unlikely to become their fans no matter what, much less their immediate neighbors.)

    This probably means it would make sense for them to pull out of parts but not all of the West Bank and then announce that cross border attacks will be treated as acts of war — but one thing that probably is not in the cards is that the Palestinian leadership announce they are actually happy with any deal that’s ever offered.

  • Being that the West Bank is the high ground and of strategic importance to Israel, I would see their need in taking it back. If I were President Obama, I would stay out of the fray, except to ensure rights for Christians who are native to the area. Unfortunately, our President always makes the wrong moves and ruffles the feathers of the wrong people.

  • Foxfire,

    There’s nothing indefensible about the pre-1967 borders. The idea that Israel would be at risk from an invasion by Jordan if it returned to those borders is a bad joke.

    The Palestinians have long since abandoned the idea that you can defeat Israel by military force. Instead, the new plan is to try and turn Israel into a pariah state akin to Rhodesia or South Africa. The way you counter that threat is by ending the occupation. That was Sharon’s vision (roughly), and if he hadn’t had a stroke he may well have pulled it off.

  • I very much doubt if there is any diplomatic solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians, the vast majority in any case, have never come to terms with Israel as a permanent reality. They assume that something will occur which will remove Israel from the equation and they only have to wait. Israel is often compared in Palestinian writings to the ephemeral Crusader States of the twelfth and thirteenth century and the Palestinians view time as being on their side.

    The main military threat to Israel is not conventional, although I would note that Israel suddenly has a potentially hostile Egypt now on its southern border. The military threat to Israel comes from a massive terrorist strike involving WMDS probably backed by Iran. I have heard that the Israelis have viewed with increasing alarm the infighting going on within Iran’s leadership fearing that it may presage an attack on them. Things will get very dicey over there before this year is out.

  • BA-
    how about that it involves abandoning tons of their citizens? How about that it involves giving in to terrorists that aren’t going to be happy until they’re gone– and probably not even then? And who on earth limited it to Jordan?

    The military folks that I know are good with this stuff say they’re indefensible to easily foreseeable Arab aggression–even if one ignores whatever the frick happens with the “Palestinians.” (A radio show that is pretty representative of what the folks I trust say would be “Dark Secret Place“– the host of which is no big Israel fan, incidentally, although he’s not hostile.

  • The main military threat to Israel is not conventional, although I would note that Israel suddenly has a potentially hostile Egypt now on its southern border. The military threat to Israel comes from a massive terrorist strike involving WMDS probably backed by Iran.

    The Egyptian army is not a real threat to Israel. Iran is a real threat, but to do that you need U.S. support. The best spin I can put on Bibi’s actions is that he’s written Obama off as an ally and is trying to hurt his chance at reelection in the hopes of having someone more favorably inclined get elected President.

  • I would note the Prime Minister and the Likkud are now saying this was overblown by the media.

    And not to be offering an opinion but just correcting the misstatement that “They were invaded and successfully repealed the invading Muslim armies” I would remind folks that almost all of the uniformed Christians in this conflict were among the invaders.

  • how about that it involves abandoning tons of their citizens?

    What Obama outlined doesn’t involve abandoning any Israeli citizens.

    How about that it involves giving in to terrorists that aren’t going to be happy until they’re gone – and probably not even then?

    It’s not about making the Palestinians happy. It’s about removing their main weapon against you (which I suspect will make them very unhappy).

    And who on earth limited it to Jordan?

    Given where the border is, it’s pretty much geographically limited to Jordan.

    If the idea is that a Jordanian attack would be accompanied by attacks by other Arab states, well, that’s been tried before. In 1967 it took the Israelis six days to rout the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. If there was a repeat today it would probably take about six hours.

  • What Obama outlined doesn’t involve abandoning any Israeli citizens.

    *snort* Yeah, sure, if Israel can talk the Palestinians into trading them.
    “Here, I’ll give you all this land that I have right now– and then we’ll work on trades, how about that? Oh, by the way, will you trade me the west bank where most of our 300,000-ish settlers live?

    It’s not about making the Palestinians happy. It’s about removing their main weapon against you (which I suspect will make them very unhappy).

    How does giving in remove their ability to badmouth Israel? Look at how they removed the last weapon– by destroying the tactic, not by rewarding it.

    Given where the border is, it’s pretty much geographically limited to Jordan.

    And Palestine–wherever that ends up being– and anyone that the Palestinians let march right on in, and Egypt with whoever the Muslim Brotherhood wants to come in, and Syria, and Lebanon.
    That’s before we even start thinking about sea and air power, and assumes that— ha!– terrorism stops.

    If the idea is that a Jordanian attack would be accompanied by attacks by other Arab states, well, that’s been tried before.

    I thought you were upset about fighting the last conflict when the facts on the ground have changed?

    I missed it the first time, but my dark suggestion actually agrees with your statement– the way to win is to end the occupation. There’s two ways to end any occupation, only one of which doesn’t leave Israel with an even bigger border and a reputation for backing down from attacks.

  • The Palestinians have long since abandoned the idea that you can defeat Israel by military force. Instead, the new plan is to try and turn Israel into a pariah state akin to Rhodesia or South Africa. The way you counter that threat is by ending the occupation.

    I get that, and it strikes me as the strongest argument for a unilateral pull-out from most or all of the West Bank. I guess I’m still a little uncertain, though, as to how effective this would be in stopping the attempt to label Israel as a pariah state.

    Admittedly, they haven’t left Gaza entirely alone since pulling out (though their interventions were provoked) but the pull out there has if anything increased the pressure on them from that quarter not reduced it.

    I’m not entirely sure one could be confident that the same would not be the case with the West Bank if they did a unilaterial withdrawal.

    If the idea is that a Jordanian attack would be accompanied by attacks by other Arab states, well, that’s been tried before. In 1967 it took the Israelis six days to rout the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. If there was a repeat today it would probably take about six hours.

    There, I agree. And indeed, if Jordan was willing to actually take back the West Bank, I would imagine that Israel would jump at the chance, as then they’d have the rest of Jordan to also aim force at if the West Bank got out of hand. The thing which makes the West Bank so problematic is that it seems little to willing to immolate itself if Israel is likely to get burned in the process. And it’s so messed up already, it’s not as if threats to blockade or bomb it are really all that efficacious. (Which, at the same time, is why it’s almost impossible for Israel to police when they are in charge.)

  • “The Egyptian army is not a real threat to Israel.”

    It came very, very close to being a major threat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and without Nixon’s airlift of supplies the Israelis might have faced a very precarious military situation in the Sinai. Now the main problem it presents for Israel is that their military can no longer count on a quiet border with Egypt in a crisis.

  • *snort* Yeah, sure, if Israel can talk the Palestinians into trading them.

    The Palestinians aren’t likely to agree to any peace deal. Since the Palestinians aren’t going to agree to a peace deal, it serves no purpose for Israel to let itself be perceived as the one who won’t agree to a peace deal. In fact it is positively harmful, since it allows the Palestinians and their allies to paint Israel, rather than the Palestinians, as the obstacle.

    How does giving in remove their ability to badmouth Israel?

    The Palestinians can say whatever they want. The question is whether anyone will listen.

    I submit that that people are more likely to feel sympathy for the Palestinians if (1) Israel continues to occupy the West Bank, and (2) Israel is perceived as being unwilling to negotiate a peace deal. It therefore behooves Israel to try to eliminate these sources of Palestinian sympathy if it can do so consistent with its own security (which it can).

    And Palestine–wherever that ends up being– and anyone that the Palestinians let march right on in, and Egypt with whoever the Muslim Brotherhood wants to come in, and Syria, and Lebanon.

    As I said before, if it came down to it, the IDF could rout the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon in about six hours. They really really are not a threat to Israel’s security. Anyone who tells you different is either lying to you or doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  • I think there’s a lot to what BA is saying, but I agree with Don regarding sweeping generalizations about the Arab militaries. In the air–perhaps. But on the ground, the Egyptians and Syrians fought very, very well in 1973, as did Hezbollah back in 2006.

  • “The Egyptian army is not a real threat to Israel.”

    It came very, very close to being a major threat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War

    That was 40 years ago when Egypt had Soviet backing and was, if not at the height of their power, then at least a lot closer to it than they are now.

  • The Palestinians can say whatever they want. The question is whether anyone will listen.

    If it’s a hammer against Israel, they’ll listen. Facts haven’t changed anything thus far, and I doubt they’ll change things in the future.

  • I wouldn’t overestimate Israel’s ability to fend off another multi-nation attack. Yes, on paper it may look like a cake walk even compared to their earlier victories. However, war doesn’t usually play out like it does on paper. It wasn’t five years ago when Israel entered Lebanon and pulled out in a month. I don’t think they even claim that campaign a success.

  • Darwin,

    There is a kind of fatalism among some on the right when it comes to public perceptions of Israel. The view is basically that it doesn’t matter what Israel does, the people who don’t like her won’t like her, while the people who support her will stand by her.

    I don’t think that’s right. You mention Turkey and Western Europe, for example, as countries that aren’t going to like Israel no matter what. Yet Israel either has or has had excellent relations with both Turkey and Western Europe. Certainly there are some people who will oppose Israel no matter what, but there are also lots of people whose attitude towards the Mideast is going to be determined by whether Israel seems like an oppressive colonial power or a country that wants peace and is only defending its right to exist.

    In the long run continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank is untenable. Either it will have to make the area and its inhabitants part of Israel proper (which for demographic reasons would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state) or it must withdraw from them.

  • It wasn’t five years ago when Israel entered Lebanon and pulled out in a month.

    This was for political rather than military reasons. Militarily the IDF could have occupied Lebanon for as long as it wanted.

    I would note that during the early days of the war, western opinion was almost universal in support of Israel, and even the Arab states were publicly muted and privately supporting (belying the claims that people will condemn Israel regardless of what happens). It was only once it became clear that Israel wasn’t going to really commit to destroying Hezbollah but instead was going to use bombing to affect Lebanese opinion that support evaporated.

  • It was only once it became clear that Israel wasn’t going to really commit to destroying Hezbollah but instead was going to use bombing to affect Lebanese opinion that support evaporated.

    Definitely not how I remember it. More like, Israel was actually attacking Hezbollah instead of doing a quick smack after they were invaded and had their soldiers taken captive. While rockets kept firing into their country, too– I CAN remember failing to be surprised that Israel’s bombing got condemned, but the stuff headed their way was just accepted.

  • There is a kind of fatalism among some on the right when it comes to public perceptions of Israel. The view is basically that it doesn’t matter what Israel does, the people who don’t like her won’t like her, while the people who support her will stand by her.

    I don’t think that’s right. You mention Turkey and Western Europe, for example, as countries that aren’t going to like Israel no matter what. Yet Israel either has or has had excellent relations with both Turkey and Western Europe.

    I think there’s a measure of truth to this, I’m just not sure I’d take it as far.

    Yes, Turkey and Western Europe were both fairly positive on Israel for a while, but in Western Europe there’s a three way set of motivators to stay anti-Israel now that they’ve got there:

    – Opposing Israel as a colonialist power helps them feel about their colonialist pasts.
    – Seeing Israel as a wicked or at least ambivalent power helps them feel less guilty about the Holocaust (since it suggests that the Jews are no better than they are and would have done the same thing given the chance.)
    – It fits with a pattern of Antisemitism which is a lot older and more rooted than the more recent period of good feelings toward Israel.

    Given all these (and the fact that Israel’s enemies can sell them oil while Israel can’t) I’m not sure it’s realistic to expect Europe to feel much differently about Israel any time soon, even if Israel takes the high road in every way possible.

    Turkey, on the other hand, has had it’s own massive demographic shift over the last couple generations which may well make it permanently a religiously oriented power rather than a secular one — and one way for it to try to return to being a leader among religiously focused nations in its region is via opposing Israel.

    That said — I’d agree that some sort of unilateral “peace deal” on Israel’s part, which involves “giving back” the parts of the West Bank which Israel can obviously never govern peacefully is the right thing to do. I just think that they’ll get no credit for it except among their traditional supporters and continue to be portrayed as a colonialist power. (Though behind closed doors, I would imagine that most of the Arab governments will continue to be glad to see them make the heavy blows against the local terrorist organizations when necessary.)

  • An interesting take on the differences of cultures.

  • Despite mass media spin and what Israel would like to believe, it is not “a Jewish state.” There are 500,000 Palestinians living in Israel, a quarter of the population, and this is the reason why the Jews are against “the right of return.” In no time, they would become a minority.

  • Of course the Arabs, after the 48 war, chased about a million Jews over the years out of their countries, not infrequently confiscating their property. The vast majority of these refugees made a new home for themselves in Israel. Too bad the Arab world, with a vastly greater land mass and resources, did not make new homes for the refugee Palistinians, instead keeping them in “refugee” camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to this very day, the better to stoke their hatred of Israel and use as pawns in the neverending war against the Jewish State. There are even “refugee” camps in the West Bank and Gaza which is absolutely farcial.

  • Yes, Turkey and Western Europe were both fairly positive on Israel for a while, but in Western Europe there’s a three way set of motivators to stay anti-Israel now that they’ve got there

    I don’t think it’s as bad as that. I can think of a number of current or recent European leaders, Blair, Sarkozy, Aznar, etc. who have been decently pro-Israel, and the overall trend in Europe is towards anti-immigrant parties who tend to be more favorably disposed to Israel. Overall Western Europe tends to be a lot more anti-Israel than the U.S. but then in general the political spectrum tends to be shifted leftward in Europe as compared to the U.S. on pretty much every issue.

  • I think Paul Johnson in his excellent book, “The History of the Jews,” points out there were at least 3 times the Palestinians/Arabs could have had a better deal, their own state, etc. but rejected all attempts, always holding out for more while Israel gave more than it got. Perhaps this long-running conflict will never been solved because Esau got outwitted by Jacob and never forgave him and never will.

  • The Palestinians Joe have had the worst leadership of any population since World War II with the exception of the North Koreans, and that is saying a mouthful. They never miss an opportunity to fail to give a forwarding address to all potential opportunities.

  • I have no sympathy or concern for the Palestinians, who have become progressively more radicalized Islamists. I do have concern and pity for the Arab Christians.

    I have only slight concern for Israel, a secular, liberal country which, while formally secular, continuously advances religious reasons for its existence and permanence, reasons ridiculously embraced by American Evangelicals. It’s ironic to see an aborting, sexually immoral, modern western nation defended as the “sacred homeland of the Jewish people,” as if the Patriarchs and Prophets would supporters of the Israeli state.

    In any event, I don’t see that we have a dog in this fight. Support of Israel has done nothing for our national interests since the fall of Communism (when Israel was a counter-weight in the Middle East). I don’t particularly wish to see Israel fall, but don’t think preventing that is worth one drop of American blood.

  • I agree, Tom, that Israel, armed to the teeth by the U.S. already and possessing nukes, can take care of itself no matter how many fronts it has to fight. The Arabs, far from united in purpose and strategy, are vastly overmatched in weaponry and soldiering skills. It should be noted that Israelis are not monolithic either in their views, with a political and religious spectrum that runs the gamut. Nor is a drop of American blood for Iraq/Libya/Afghanistan worth it.

  • I’m warm to the idea of hitting the Islamists, with whom we ARE at war, whether we want to acknowledge it or not (Libyan intervention would not be related to fighting Islam, so I can’t see our national interest there). Only to that extent do I see Israel as offering us anything of interest: they’ve got an impressive military and intelligence leg up on radical Islam. But I don’t care to see the Holy Land in the hands of a secular Israel any more than I would care to see it in the hands of the Moslems.

  • “But I don’t care to see the Holy Land in the hands of a secular Israel any more than I would care to see it in the hands of the Moslems.”

    They are the only two games in town Tom, and I much prefer the Israelis controling the Holy Land than the adherents of the Religion of Peace.

  • Agreed, Don, but only insofar as for the time being Israel shows more willingness to allow Christian access to the holy places. Whether they would be so accomodating if they didn’t need to curry favor with the West, who knows? You can guess and I can guess, but that’s what they are: guesses.

    That issue aside, I see no compelling national interest at stake for us in picking sides in this fight, at least as far as our blood or treasure is concerned.

  • Tom,

    Since 1948 the Christian population under Israeli control has more than doubled.

    In the West Bank and Gaza, it has dropped from 20% to barely 1%.

    Combined with the fact that even though Israel treats Catholic Holy Sites with contempt, they do allow access and have ruled in the Church’s favor time and again whenever it was confronted with Radical Muslims demanding space near Christian holy sites.

    I’ll take a hedonistic Israel over an anti-Christian/radical Islamist state any day of the year, decade, or century.

  • Sure, if that’s the only choice. But that’s hardly reason to support Israel qua Israel, and certainly not to the extent this country has. let’s not forget Johnathan Pollard– Israel spies on us not for just diplomatic reasons, but for military technology.

    We ought to keep both the Islamists and the Israelis at arm’s length.

  • Comparing Esau to the Palestinians is rather unfair ( to Esau). Some time after he had been cheated of his birthright, Esau went on to become a rich man through his own efforts. The Bible records that he forgave his cowardly brother and continued to maintain good relations with him. A most likeable and unusual man. Anyone who has gone through the trauma of a property division would recognise immediately that Esau was a gem of a man, a man in a million. He received some negative publicity from the Talmudists, who were concerned to present Jacob as a paragon of virtue. But the Bible takes a more relaxed view of these things; who among us knows how he will behave under similar circumstances?

    Had the Palestinians been largely Christian, the dispute between them and the Israelis would have been solved years ago, through mutual forgiveness and a sincere desire to let bygones be bygones. Being Muslims, peace with the Israelis is for them impossible short of the Second Coming. Their model and proximate idea of peace is the hudna – the temporarising ceasefire – that the pervert Mohamed agreed to liberally whenever he did not hold the upper hand militarily. Their ultimate ideal of peace is of course far worse, submission to the dead hand of Islam as befell the Bani Quraytha – Jews who could not hold their own against the grasping hand of the prophet of Islam. For this reason I hold all the peacemongers including sadly some nutcases in the Vatican to be misguided fools or worse.

  • Ivan,

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Bibi is a soldier and a mensch. Obama is a crafty community agitator and a cunning demagogue.

    Israeli/Jewish interests are not exactly equivalent to American/Catholic interests. They are closer than terrorists” interests.

    The enemy of my enemy . . .

  • I don’t have my comparative religion text on hand, but isn’t Esau the traditional ancestor of the Arab people?

    (Took a class several years ago…it was pretty good once one accepted that they viewed all religion like mythology, dead and with no real authority to what this or that group believed. Compared to the actively hostile to X and Y group ones, that’s pretty good.)

    Other than that, agreed, Ivan.

  • The Muslims Foxfier regard Abraham’s son Ishmael as being the father of several Arab tribes. He is regarded by them as one of the great prophets and a forefather of Muhammed.

  • “The Muslims Foxfier regard Abraham’s son Ishmael as being the father of several Arab tribes. He is regarded by them as one of the great prophets and a forefather of Muhammed.”

    From Dale Price’s Comprehensive Warehouse of Useless Trivia:

    In Byzantine historical sources, the Arabs are routinely referred to as “Hagarenes” in reference to Ishmael’s mother.

  • Malachi 1:3 (New International Version)

    3 but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”

  • Looking at my Catholic edition of the New American Bible, it notes that “hated” should be read as “rejected,” and “loved” as “preferred,” and notes that St. Paul used the passage to point out God can call the Gentiles to Him if He wishes.

  • Hamas rejects Obama’s call for a return to the 67 borders:

    “Speaking to Al-Emirate Al-Youm, Zahar asked “Why won’t we talk about the 1948 borders? Why won’t we discuss the partition plan which was internationally recognized?””

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/24/hamas-rejects-the-1967-borders-too/

    That would be the partition plan which was agreed to by Israel and rejected by the Arabs. As if Hamas would be satisfied with a do-over that would roll back the clock to 1947. Anything less than a Juden Frei Palestine is merely a step in the right direction as far as they are concerned.

  • ALSO; Bibi knows what the year is, although he doesn’t use AD.

    Obama (today signed register 24 May 2008) believes it’s 2008 in Great Britain.

    Can you imagine the media/intellectualistas’ reaction if Sarah Palin or any Republican was so bloody stupid?

    Maybe Bibi didn’t do HIGH school HIGH on WEED, either.

    Hey, let’s bring the federal budget back to the 1967 limits!

  • BA,

    You may be right on that, I’ll admit that I tend heavily towards the more cynical approach.

  • I’m not upto speed on Malachi, but isn’t it a much later book with all the overlay of subsequent history? The Catholic Encyclopedia appear confused; Jacob had cheated his brother and thus he had every reason to be wary. Unless this a cautionary tale of a fool and his money going their seperate ways, I do not see any significance in describing Esau as a ‘greedy’ man, when to a modern ear Jacob is clearly the malefactor. Yes Esau married many wives, but Jacob was no slacker in that department either.

  • That issue aside, I see no compelling national interest at stake for us in picking sides in this fight, at least as far as our blood or treasure is concerned.

    We have never devoted any manpower to the defense of Israel. About 11% of the foreign aid budget is distributed to Israel, or about $3 bn. That would amount to about 2% of Israel’s domestic product.

    they’ve got an impressive military and intelligence leg up on radical Islam

    But apparently, we should not contribute to maintaining it.

    It’s ironic to see an aborting, sexually immoral, modern western nation defended as the “sacred homeland of the Jewish people,”

    Israel has a lot of black hats. That aside, your objection would apply to the defense of any occidental country, including our own. One is reminded of George Kennan’s remark (ca 1980) that he did not care for the expense and risks necessary to defend the porno shops of Washington, D.C.

    I gather that with the death of Joseph Sobran, you think it necessary to take his place.

  • Ivan-
    looks to me like they made a deal. A bad deal, but a deal. Reading the translation in my home Bible, the main similarity is that they both emphasize that Esau cared so little for what-would-be as opposed to what-is that he sold his birthright for immediate gratification. Betting that’s about as big a no-no as you can get in such a culture, kind of like how we’re horrified that folks name their child after a retail product.

  • Art, yep I figured it would not take long for the ad hominems to start once the most modest suggestion is made that support of Israel is not in our national interest.

    You’re absolutely right, though, I don’t think we should be spending a single dime of our money on any of our 1st world allies, but certainly not on Israel, since whether there’s a Jewish state or a Palestinian state, or a mixture of the two in that region is of zero interest to American security.

    As late as yesterday, Netanyahu was calling Israel “the Jewish state.” I don’t think it’s out of bounds to question the duality involved in claiming that Israel is some sort of religious homeland while simultaneously Israel is as aggressively secular as any western nation.

    And what other country could get away with claiming to be a religious state? Would we tolerate Ireland, for instance, referring to itself as “a Catholic state” much less “THE Catholic state?” We criticize Iran and other Islamic states who are conciously and self-identified as religious… why not Israel?

  • Oh, and as for Israel being an ally, I wonder when it became the norm for allies to spy on us?

  • Oh, and as for Israel being an ally, I wonder when it became the norm for allies to spy on us?

    I know we spied on them during the Vietnam era– pretty openly, too.

  • Again, in Israel, Bibi could not give 1,372 waivers from Obamacare to his friends; nor tell Boeing to building its assembly plant somewhere far away from South Carolina; nor use Israeli tax police to punish criminal organizations guilty of supporting opposition political candidates.

    Tom,

    I was where you are until 0846 hours 11 Sep 2001.

    From then on (for me), support of israel became our national interest.

    Ditto, Fox. During the 1973 war, we were 24/7 flying SR-71’s over Israel. If I told you more, I’d have to shoot myself.

  • Oh, and as for Israel being an ally, I wonder when it became the norm for allies to spy on us?

    Ages ago. Friendly nations spy on each other all the time. We do it, and we’d be stupid not to.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2106079/

  • Art, yep I figured it would not take long for the ad hominems to start

    Rubbish. Your remarks resemble the late Mr. Sobran’s with near precision. (Down to the argumentitive contrivance below). Sorry the comparison bothers you. He remains revered by the Rockford Institute.

    As late as yesterday, Netanyahu was calling Israel “the Jewish state.” I don’t think it’s out of bounds to question the duality involved in claiming that Israel is some sort of religious homeland

    The term ‘Jewish’ denotes an ethnic group and a cultural minority as well as a confessional one. That’s the ‘duality’.

  • “Oh, and as for Israel being an ally, I wonder when it became the norm for allies to spy on us?”

    We spied on the Brits during World War II all the time, and they returned the favor. I can’t think of two closer allies, but routine spying is simply a fact of life between nations.

  • Foxfier,
    I have to agree that Esau’s flippancy meant that he did not deserve the responsibility of being the father of Israel.

  • Much of the 3bn that the US provides to Israel is in reality a cross subsidy to the US arms industry. Giving F16s to the Israelis who are unlikely to use them against US interests, is far better than giving them to either Egypt or Pakistan. The Israelis are the only ones who can field test US weapons and associated tactics given their peculiar circumstances. The 3bn aid should considered a part of the defence R&D budget.

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