Balagan…writes Michael Kuttner

November 4, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
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Definition: “chaos, fiasco, bedlam, mess, foul up, a state of extreme confusion and disorder.”

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Take your pick from this selection of the modern Hebrew expression which is widely used in Israel to describe all sorts of every day experiences. I cannot think of a more appropriate term to use when surveying the current state of international affairs, especially those which impact the Jewish State. A selective sampling should suffice to illustrate the lunacy now rampant and help to explain why most level-headed Israelis have tuned out to the seductive but hopelessly destructive siren songs emanating from some naïve quarters.


The fallout from this farce continues. There have been demonstrations in France against that country’s hypocritical refusal to vote against the resolutions. How the French Government expects Israel to embrace their “peace” efforts is anyone’s guess but when you live totally detached from reality then I suppose all is possible. Meanwhile we are still waiting for the NZ Government to follow Australia’s lead and issue a condemnation of the denial of any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Our “peace” partners are hailing the UNESCO votes as a victory for Islamic supremacy. I wonder if the deniers and abstainers realize that religious Jews have been reciting the following prayer, three times a day, for generations:

“To Jerusalem, Your city, return in compassion and let your presence dwell within it, as You have promised; Rebuild it soon in our days, as an everlasting structure and speedily establish in it the throne of David. Blessed are You, Oh Lord, the builder of Jerusalem.”

 I get a special thrill when I recite this verse from the prayer-book because it encapsulates exactly what the international community denies us. It confirms the age old Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the site of the Temple. No doubt once UNESCO and the Security Council wake up, there will be resolutions condemning us for having the temerity to utter these prayers.


The end of October marked the completion of New Zealand’s chairmanship of the Security Council. What has been achieved? Absolutely nothing of value. The Syrian bloodbath continues, the refugees are still fleeing, Iran ferments terror and hate incitement against Israel escalates and the UN fiddles. The UN Human Rights Council, ignoring daily massacres elsewhere carries on condemning Israel and it’s business as usual. If ever there was a good reason to bail out from this morally bankrupt outfit the current balagan provides it.

U.S. Elections:

The election campaign circus now drawing to a close must without doubt qualify as the biggest balagan in living memory. With only two choices, neither of them exactly anything to become ecstatic about, the American voters face a dilemma. The rest of us face the certainty that whoever wins will do little to tackle the major crises engulfing the world. Israel will continue to face the endemic hostility of the State Department and the usual crop of “experts” will be descending upon us again singing the off key chorus of “two State solution.” Having witnessed what passes for democracy in the USA I will never again criticize the Israeli electoral system which at least gives voters a multi choice at regular intervals. We have the opportunity of ditching failed or non performing Prime Ministers while in the USA electors are stuck for 4 years with disastrous consequences.

“Peace partners”:

Proponents of the two State delusions will have had a hard time ignoring the peace like gestures emanating from Ramallah this week. However ignore them they do and this only confirms for most sensible Israelis how detached from reality some are. Here is a short summary of recent balagan events:

  • More terror carried out as part of the ongoing campaign to demonstrate the Arab version of tolerance and “non violent” diplomacy. Participating in these “peace” gestures have been PA police and security personnel.
  • Two Palestinian Arab children aged 8 years were intercepted carrying knives on their way to stab Jews on a Kibbutz. When questioned, these youngsters admitted that adults had given them the knives and instructed them to murder Jews. The fact that these children enthusiastically proceeded to carry out their “holy” mission attests to not only the sickness pervading our “peace” partners’ society but also that school textbooks and incitement continue to plant the seeds of hate in the minds of the next generation. It is obvious that those who dispatched these tiny jihad warriors were hoping that they would be killed by Israeli security forces and thus would be able to be used as propaganda which the ever gullible media, anti Israel NGO’s and the UN could hail as martyrs to a noble cause. The fact that the usual knee jerk Israel haters remained silent in the face of this obscenity speaks volumes about hypocrisy, double standards and plain old hatred. Read what an award winning Palestinian Arab journalist had to say about this:

  • Arabs living in the eastern part of Jerusalem are threatening a violent reaction to archaeological excavations in the Old City. Following the lead of their politicians, they described the excavations as “a declaration of war against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and contempt for Moslems all over the world as well as the UNESCO resolutions.” Of course what really riles these deniers of Jewish legitimacy are the amazing discoveries which are being made and which conclusively prove the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount area.
  • The Palestinian Authority has launched a major campaign which will last until November 2017 against the Balfour Declaration. Its intention is to get the British Government to apologise for this recognition of the Jewish indigenous right to the Land, formally cancel it and pay compensation for the alleged suffering caused. This amazing own goal campaign will feature no doubt over the next year and we can expect plenty of hype internationally. Watch out for Jeremy Corbyn and similar left wing politicians to fall over themselves and issue breast beating confessions of culpability.

International Community:

The USA has warned the “moderate” Palestinian Authority not to initiate anti Israel resolutions at the UN before the US elections. What does this tell you about their real intentions after the elections?

Chatham House in the UK has awarded their 2016 prize to the US Secretary of State and the Iranian Foreign Minister in “recognition of their leadership and commitment.” Work that one out as Iran commits to develop and test more missiles and ferments and supports terror in other countries.

The list of “peace” facilitators keeps growing. The latest is Russia. They join France, New Zealand, USA, EU and the UN who have all failed to recognize that unless and until there is a major change in Palestinian Arab and Islamic rejectionist attitudes towards Jewish legitimacy in the region, nothing will succeed.

Israelis know all too well what a balagan can do. After all we have been dealing with this phenomenon for thousands of years. Unfortunately the rest of the world has not got a clue and that is why we will all suffer continuing aftershocks for the foreseeable future.

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 is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


3 Responses to “Balagan…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Gil Solomon says:


    Give me a break.
    It is beyond belief that you imply that basically in regard to USA policies towards Israel, there is no real difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, a woman who surrounds herself with anti-Israel self hating Jewish born people like Sidney Blumenthal and George Soros. It’s time you woke up Michael and pulled your head out of the sand. The world needs strong US leadership and a Clinton victory will mean Obama version 2 all over again. One other thing, the US elections may seem like a shambles this time but looking at the big picture, the Israeli electoral process with umpteen parties, never a victor at the end of the process, with one useless coalition after the other is the electoral system drastically in need of change. Additionally, without a Constitution, there is no real hope of a change to the leftist make-up that comprises the Israeli Supreme Court, but that’s another matter which I won’t bother expanding on here.

    • Michael Kuttner says:

      I’ll try to explain why I see no basic difference between Clinton and Trump. Neither of them will be any better for Israel. Clinton will be more of the same Obama policies. We will get the return of Bill of Shalom Chaver fame and various other recycled so called experts including Jewish types who will lecture us from afar. If you actually believe that Trump has a clue about reality here and will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital and go against State Dept. obsessions with Judea and Samaria you are going to be greatly disappointed. Trump blows hot and cold every 5 seconds and is totally unreliable.

      The Israeli electoral system is not perfect but given our diverse ethnic make up it is nowhere near the worst. Australia is not exactly a model to follow and I repeat that the USA has one of the worst systems around. Undemocratic and unrepresentative of all its population. That combined with the fact that they are stuck with a disastrous President for 4 years is not something I believe we should emulate.

      You do not seem to realize that Israel’s judiciary and democratic norms are a beacon of light in an otherwise dark and forbidding Middle East landscape and that compared to the goings on in Europe, the USA, UK, Russian and former Soviet countries we have nothing to apologize for.

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    If it weren’t for the British conquest of the Middle East in World War One, the Arabs would still probably be cringeing under the Turkish Ottoman jackboot.
    On second thoughts, however, they swapped the Turkish yoke for their own homegrown ones in the form of all their Kings, presidents, emirs, leaders, fuhrers et al.

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