Advice galore!

June 23, 2013 by Michael Kuttner
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What are friends for if not to give solicited or unsolicited advice at any time?…asks Michael Kuttner.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

The trouble is that many times these so called friends are not really individuals who have your best interests at heart. Their interest in giving you the benefit of perceived wisdom as they see it may be motivated by other than altruistic intentions and instead can be triggered by an intense desire to interfere or an agenda which is not necessarily beneficial to yourself.

Then there is the problem of deciding whether these advice givers are actually true friends in the old fashioned meaning of the word or merely “hangers on” as per the latest face book variety.

Another factor is recognizing whether the advice being given is based on experience and accumulated wisdom or is bestowed by those who never learn from their past mistakes and are determined to pass on their failures to others no matter what the results may ultimately be.

The Jewish People have been at the receiving end of “friendly” advice for at least the last 2,000 years, most of it toxic and certainly not conducive to producing any positive outcome. We have been told that we are too pushy, exclusive, superior, elitist, capitalistic, communistic, nationalistic, militaristic, too clever for our own good and of course totally wrong in our religious convictions. That just about covers the field.

Since the re-establishment of the Jewish State we have been at the receiving end of similar advice which follows more or less the same pattern as in the past when we were weak, defenseless Diaspora Jews at the mercy of every bigoted ruler. In the last 65 years, Israel has been the beneficiary of more unsolicited advice than any other country in the world. In fact one can safely assert that no other country has come close to receiving the same barrage of blatant and biased advice than has been directed at us by so called friends. Of course these friends all assert that they have our best interests at heart and that they really are dishing all this stuff out of “love”. Perhaps they think that tough love is what we need or that in the words of some, we need to be saved from our own follies.

I prefer to call it a disease: BLAME ISRAEL AUTOMATICALLY SYNDROME – abbreviated as BIAS, which is currently running rampant and infects Jews and non Jews alike. Here are some particularly recent choice examples.

First the usual suspects.

Baroness Ashton of the EU by virtue of her position issues continual inane advice. I now understand why she is a Baroness – her pronouncements are so barren of any semblance of common sense or reality that it is no wonder they fall like lead balloons. Her latest bloopers were made this week while visiting Gaza, that bastion of religious freedom and fraternal love. She advised Israel to lift the “siege” obviously ignorant of the fact that tons of food, medicines and other items flow daily to the territory via the designated entry points. The only things which Israel prohibits are weapons and material able to be used for terror purposes. These anyway are flowing freely via tunnels from Egypt. She then stated her wholehearted support for the work of UNRWA and pledged increased EU funding. Missing from her misguided musings was any reference that UNRWA schools teach hate towards Jewish Israelis and contributes towards perpetuating rather than solving the refugee problem, the Hamas charter which calls for the destruction of the Jewish State and the rocket attacks from Gaza against Israeli communities. The Baroness is a perfect example of not letting facts interfere with preconceived prejudices. She is, however, in good company.

The retiring EU Ambassador to Israel recently gave a most memorable speech. In his farewell remarks he lectured us like a bunch of naughty school children advising Israelis to choose between Hebron and Haifa. In explanation he stated that Israel had accepted the 1947 partition plan, therefore implying that despite everything which has occurred since then we would need to rewind ourselves and embrace something which was not only rejected by the Arabs but which they tried to destroy. Admitting in passing that he really did not know too much about the Jewish historical connection to this land he nevertheless was confident enough to lecture us pesky Jews about our irredeemable failings. The inane musings of these two EU officials proves beyond doubt that we cannot expect anything of value from this cursed continent which still cannot bring itself despite the Syrian carnage to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.


Russia and China via their respective leaders continue to give unsolicited advice to Israel. One would have thought that given their respective dismal records in taking over other people’s territory and their less than stellar performances in the fields of civil rights and true democratic values they would be embarrassed to lecture Israel on its obligations. However never short of chutzpa and safe in the knowledge that Barak Obama is loath to confront terror in any meaningful manner they can lecture us to their heart’s content.

Our friend, the American President, tells us that Israel-Palestinian peace will change the atmosphere. Of course it will but then his vision of peace is not exactly a recipe for our survival. After all if he can without any qualms open peace talks with the Taliban then there is nothing stopping him from doing the same with Hamas, Hezbollah and of course the latest moderate on the bloc, namely the new Iranian mullah President. With a friend like this who needs to worry?

Meanwhile Mr. Kerry is continuing his frenetic perambulations advising Israel to make more gestures and concessions, blithely blind to the refusal of the Palestinian Arabs to do the same. Making peace seems to be a one sided affair but then what can one expect when we look at the track record since 1920?

Mr. Ban the UN Secretary General is no doubt a decent person but that does not explain why he feels compelled to give us advice every Monday and Thursday while all around him and his useless organization, massacres and mayhem are taking place.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are ostensive lovers of Israel and the Jewish People. These two buddies also cannot help themselves. The former despite past failures keeps pushing for more disasters and the latter feels compelled to also join in. At least Tony seems to have a more realistic idea of the obstacles Israel faces but this does not stop him from pursuing puerile pontifications.

We have Hollywood stars whose expertise on international affairs is nil but this does not stop then from offering gratuitous advice. Why should they pass up an opportunity to be hugged and feted by Shimon Peres when they can share his own disasters such as Oslo and bask in the glow of future hallucinatory mirages?

There are Israelis, many of them now residing in other countries, who miss no opportunity to expound on the failings of their country. They are eagerly embraced by self hating Jews and radical left groups which hate not only Israel but also the USA. Former officials from military and security backgrounds also delight in giving advice and criticizing failures as they see it. This is their democratic right but I wonder why the media describes them as fearless champions of democracy while those who do the same from the political right are described as fanatical fascists and a threat to democracy. I also wonder why these individuals did not resign their lucrative positions as a matter of principle but waited until their pensions were in the bag before they suddenly had a revelation.

Another constant advice giver is William Hague. His regular plum in the mouth admonitions as to how we should behave exposes his memory loss over his own country’s long standing occupation of the Falklands, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.

A surprising addition to this list is the New Zealand Minister of External Affairs. In recent times he has become quite vocal about how Israel must make peace as though we have never offered to make peace for the last 65 years. He has offered the US Secretary of State the services of NZ army personnel in the role of UN peacekeepers ignoring the fact that UN peacekeepers have been a dismal failure in preventing Hezbollah from amassing thousands of rockets, stopping the flood of rockets into Gaza and doing anything meaningful to prevent mayhem on the Syrian border. Nobody seems to have asked why peacekeepers should be needed at all if a genuine peace is attained. If the peace sought by Mr. McCully and others is so flawed that it needs peacekeepers to sustain it, Israel is right to view the whole idea as yet another Munich peace in our time type of self delusion. Not content with offering to help out Mr. Kerry, the NZ Minister is now visiting the region and preaching his even handed advice to all and sundry. I could not work out why we are witnessing this sudden burst of activity on the part of New Zealand which has its own problems and is far removed from being a maker and shaker on the world stage. To be fair, Mr. McCully is far more balanced than most of his predecessors and he is a genuine friend. The answer came to me one night in a blinding flash. New Zealand hopes to be elected to the UN Security Council at some stage in the next few years. What better way to court the necessary votes from certain quarters than to be seen giving unsolicited flawed advice to Israel?

The list of advice giving friends is endless. I have not mentioned such merry mates as Jimmy Carter, Stephen Hawkings, Desmond Tutu and various Church luminaries all of whom embrace boycotts and delegitimisation as their way of showering advice at us.

Golda Meier was once asked what it would take for the world to love us. She replied in her inimitable way that only if we promised to commit suicide and disappear from the scene could we expect universal approval.

I guess that says it all.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and works for The Israel Resource News Agency in Jerusalem.     



2 Responses to “Advice galore!”
  1. Gil Solomon says:


    Israel will continue to look like a floundering fool of a nation and be treated with contempt by the International community because it simply refuses to act like a sovereign power which will not tolerate interference in its internal affairs. On the contrary, thanks to the likes of that left wing idealogue Shimon Peres, Israel goes out of its way to invite those who don’t necessarily know anything but the propaganda they have been fed, others who could be characterised as just plain morons and many others who are clearly hostile to Israel’s very existence, to come and give it advice.

    Simply put, no other country on the face of the earth would invite a miscellaneous rabble from around the world to come to a “peace” conference and give it advice on what it should or should not do.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this conference is pure fantasyland stuff brought to you by that so called “elder statesman” Shimon Peres, the man who brought Israel the disastrous Oslo Accords.

    This man to this day still has the audacity to state that Abbas is a partner for peace and that “no one will change my opinion of him” in spite of the fact that Abbas’s statements over the years have been just the opposite to peace. Abbas also has no problem with Arab children being taught from kindergarten age that Jews are the offspring of pigs and apes. And Peres still carries on that Abbas is a “friend” he can do business with!

    It’s time Israel and the Jewish people woke up out of their coma. To this end, it might be a step in the right direction when the likes of Shimon Peres departs the Israeli political scene once and for all, the sooner the better. One way or another, the Government should ensure that this latest Peres sponsored “peace” conference will be his last.

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    And unfortunately many of us have and have had, to learn this the hard way.

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