Clueless politicians…writes Michael Kuttner

March 4, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
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Some definitions of “clueless” according to the Webster and Oxford dictionaries are: ignorant, oblivious, unacquainted, hopelessly unaware, uninformed, unknowing, unmindful and unwitting.

An additional definition is: having no knowledge, understanding or ability.

Take your pick as to which best suits those whose recent pronouncements I report on in this op-ed.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Most probably the politician who takes first prize for issuing the best clueless pontification is none other than the United Kingdom Prime Minister, David Cameron. Speaking in the House of Commons he condemned the building of houses for Jewish Israelis in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Claiming to have been “genuinely shocked” and “outraged” by what he saw on a previous trip to Israel, he launched off onto an amazing indictment of perceived Israeli crimes. Coming from a Prime Minister who has previously had an excellent record of balanced and forthright views this sudden outburst of irrational condemnation had many people mystified. Sounding more like a throw back to the colonial mandate era when Jews were prevented from living, building and worshipping in certain designated places, his strictures against a Jewish presence in their own country went down here like a lead balloon.

Some commentators thought he had caught the Jeremy Corbyn loony left virus but other more well informed sources suggested that it was more a matter of political even handedness. Coming on the heels of a ban against municipalities supporting boycotts and divestments of Israel, it seems more than likely that the Foreign Office, reacting in its usual anti Israel mode, advised the PM to soothe Arab feelings by coming down hard on Israel.

However the farce doesn’t stop there because in a follow-up statement, the PM made this mind-boggling demand: “it is very important that this Capital City is maintained in the way that it was in the past…”  At first I thought he had been misquoted but apparently this is not the case. Therefore, here we have an admission, made wittingly or unwittingly, that Jerusalem is indeed the Capital City of the Jewish State. This is a historically ground breaking admission. The second part of his demand however demands clarification and challenging. What past is Cameron referring to?

Does he by any chance mean that Jerusalem must revert to the situation which existed between 1948 and 1967? The illegal Jordanian occupation of the city was recognized by only two countries, namely Great Britain and Pakistan. The ethnic cleansing of Jews from the old city, the destruction of their houses and communal buildings including Synagogues and the banning of Jews from visiting and praying at the Western Wall are all hallmarks of the past. To suggest, as the PM has, that we revert to those times is not only ludicrous but obscene.

Perhaps Cameron means that we revert to the mandate past when Britain closed the gates of Palestine to Jews fleeing Nazi genocide and those Jews who managed to make it to these shores were rounded up and exiled to Cyprus or, even worse, shipped back to certain death in Europe.

Perhaps he means back to Ottoman times when Jews were discriminated against and settling and developing the land was severely proscribed.

One past I am sure he did not mean but which actually would be the most appropriate is back to the time of King David who made Jerusalem the Capital of the Jewish State and who commenced building the infrastructure for Jewish habitation and government.

I suggest that David Cameron should consult with the Conservative Friends of Israel Parliamentary group which recently visited Israel to see reality for themselves. In order to hear both sides they visited Ramallah and were met there by a barrage of accusations and recriminations hurled forth by representatives of those mistakenly designated as “peace” partners. Accusing the United Kingdom of being responsible for the Israel/Arab conflict, the meeting descended into rather heated and vigorous debate. This is diplomatic language for saying that the British visitors did not kowtow to bullying tactics and lies. At the end of this intended dialogue, the leader of the group stated: “it is impossible to negotiate with these people.”

The cause of peace will not be furthered by pie in the sky demands that Jerusalem suburbs be made Jew-free zones and that the Capital is re-divided and half of it be handed to Islamic extremists and corrupt dysfunctional deniers of a Jewish presence here. So long as Cameron and others trot out clueless claims and demands, the Arabs will never give up their unattainable objectives.

The resounding response from us must be, NO, PRIME MINISTER.

Just to prove that clueless politicians are not confined to the British Isles we have the spectacle of the Obama Administration trumpeting its own version of witless wisdom. Apparently we are about to be graced with a visit from Vice-President, Joe Biden, who no doubt will impart more messages of goodwill, disguised as advice from on high to the unenlightened and stubborn Jews. Last time he visited there was a minor drama as it was announced that authorization had been granted to build homes for Jews in north east Jerusalem. In order to avoid another such embarrassing moment the US is apparently demanding that new building of homes for Jews in such allegedly sensitive suburbs of Jerusalem as Gilo, Har Homa and Pisgat Ze’ev, not be permitted or authorized. However building homes for Arabs in Jerusalem is perfectly OK.

If ever there was an inept attempt to interfere in Israel’s internal affairs and foul up what presumably is intended as a “goodwill” visit, this latest effort takes the cake. Unfortunately most of our politicians don’t have the intestinal fortitude to call these clueless demands exactly what they are.

I suggest a response which in my opinion would be most appropriate in that it would honor the current incumbent in the White House while at the same time demonstrate some Jewish Zionist pride.

We should announce the immediate development of a new Jewish suburb in our undivided Capital to be called…… BNEI BARAK!!

Joe Biden, David Cameron, Ban Ki Moon, EU representatives and any others who fall into the clueless category should be invited to the ground breaking ceremony.

Does this sound like a pipe dream? Probably. On the other hand as the founder of modern Zionism said: “if you will it, it is no dream.”

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 “Clueless politicians…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    I agree with Paul Winter that what is at work here is not ignorance, but, if not malevolence in Cameron’s case, at “best”, appeasement, abandonment of civilised values, and cowardice.

  2. Paul Winter says:

    By and large, I agree with Michael, although I think that malevolent would be a more appropriate term than clueless.

    And yes, Israeli politicians, like Diaspora “leaders”, are gutless.

    I suggest that when Biden makes hie next time wasting uninvited visit, a new suburb of B’nei B’rack should not be announce. Rather, he should be taken to a place where construction for Arabs is taking place, he should be persuaded to praise it and then whoever’s time he is wasting should announce plans for Jewish housing as a balance. And when he blows up plans should be presented for Jewish construction in area E plus the nationalisation of EU construction in Area C.

  3. Erica Edelman says:

    Brilliant idea and one not without merit!
    Make the announcement during Biden’s illustrious visit – A new Suburb!
    And of course make a fuss of Biden at the opening “blessing of the land ”
    Induct him into the “Book ” of Pioneers – pro Israel political pioneers!
    Name an Ave after him!
    And then year after year do the same for other politicians who are “clueless” so that they
    Become “famous” – bodily presence or not !
    They will soon get the hang of it
    Simply brilliant Michael Kuttner – you’ve nailed it again!

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