Feeding crocodiles

April 21, 2023 by Michael Kuttner
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Winston Churchill knew a thing or two about nations that tried to appease those plotting their eventual demise.

In 1940 he uttered these memorable words:

Michael Kuttner

“Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear greatly that the storm will not pass. It will rage, and it will roar ever more loudly, ever more widely.”

How true these predictions turned out to be and how sad that today far too many have still not learnt the lessons of the recent past.

What was glaringly obvious, except to those besotted by apparitions of appeasement in the 1930s, seems to escape the policymakers of 2023.

Nothing better epitomises this latest cozying up to bullies and genocidal plotters than the mutual embrace of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

In the face of a weak and confused response by the USA and EU to Iran’s rush to the nuclear option and unmistakable hints that sanction concessions could still be forthcoming, it is not surprising some in the crosshairs of Iran’s Mullahs should be having second thoughts. After all, why stand isolated against the region’s major bully and terror facilitator if your so-called friends are prepared to sell you down the river?

Saudi Arabia can clearly see that the US Administration has an ambivalent response to Israel’s plea for effective military responses. Until recently, Washington assured Israel that the Iranians would be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, although how this was going to happen, nobody really knows. All one has to do is look at North Korea, and then all is revealed. Diplomacy and hot air rhetoric failed miserably, and every day brings more news of nuclear-capable ballistic missile tests and developments. Japan panics, and South Korea watches. The international community remains impotent in the face of increased North Korean threats and preparations for eventual action.

In a subtle change of wording, deliberate or otherwise, a top US General stated that The United States remains committed as a matter of policy that Iran will not have a fielded nuclear weapon.” Note the use of the word “fielded” as opposed to the hitherto used phrase of “acquired.” If this was not a slip of the tongue it actually means that the Biden Administration now has given up on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and instead prefers to wait until the missiles are actually “fielded” with nuclear warheads. By that time, of course, it will be too late to bolt the stable door because the horse will have well and truly bolted.

In the face of all these developments, it is not a surprise that the Saudi Arabians have concluded that relying on the Americans and Europeans to save them from becoming Iranian victims of extortion and bullying is a lost cause.

That is the primary reason they have jumped into bed with the Mullah regime in the vain hope that this will somehow save them from eventually being devoured. The natural consequence of this appeasement is that the Gulf States feeling vulnerable and defenceless will follow suit.

Where does this leave the much-vaunted and touted breakthrough with Israel, which was supposed to herald a revolutionary new era and strengthen the Abraham Accords?

Like all such desert mirages, it is in danger of evaporating and vanishing.

As usual, there are still hallucinatory individuals who think that they can discern some sort of benign outcome in this latest realignment of Middle East nations. An op-ed in a leading Saudi newspaper (Al Riyadh) waxed enthusiastically about the prospects for peace and brotherly love in the region.  

How can any sane person think that Saudi Arabia’s embrace of Iran can be a positive step? Watching the mobs in Tehran demanding the eradication of Israel on Al Quds Day and listening to the inciting threats against the Jewish State should be clear enough.

There are still 8,000 Jews living in Iran, ostensibly happy and content to be enjoying the “idyllic” life there. On Al Quds day, the leader of the community was filmed demonstrating with the Islamic mobs and declaring his undying hatred of the evil Zionist colonialist regime. This is the “paradise” that Saudi Arabia is now trying to placate in the hope that the Iranian crocodile will leave them alone.

Given all these realities, believing that Saudi Arabia is now about to embrace Israel is nonsensical.

The terrorist leader of Hamas is visiting Saudi Arabia at the present time. Taking into account that Hamas’s aim is to eradicate Israel, any thought that this somehow represents the dawn of a new age of peace is delusional. Equally delusional is the notion that this new axis of Israel haters will embrace a Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine with Amman as its “eternal” Capital.

On Yom HaShoah the exiled Crown Prince of Iran and his wife attended the ceremony at Yad Vashem. He later visited the Kotel and prayed for peace and friendship. This occurred concurrently while the President of Iran was threatening to wipe Tel Aviv and Haifa off the map.

Whether the Abraham Accords survive this latest onslaught or unravel is something we will all have to wait and see. What is certain is that the appeasement policies of the democracies are not helping.

Talking of crocodiles makes one think of the fake tears being shed by some in the face of murderous terror against innocent Israeli civilians.  

Following the murder of Rebbetzin Dee and her two daughters by Arab terrorists, who will now receive lifelong stipends from the PA, condolence messages were forthcoming from local and overseas spokespersons. Almost without exception they followed a similar theme of sympathy mixed with inane politically correct expressions.  

Politicians and media alike ignored the “elephants in the room,” namely the payment of stipends to the murderers as well as the daily incitement of PA Arab media and officials. Also conveniently excised was the funding by many countries of UNRWA where textbooks teach the next generation to murder Jews.

As millions of dollars pour into the bottomless coffers of the corrupt PA donor nation, UN representatives and Foreign Ministers alike prattle on about horizons for peace, two States living side by side in tolerance and preserving the “sacred” status quo whatever that might actually be.

All this is bad enough but what makes matters worse and, in my opinion, almost unbearable is the attempt to claim a moral equivalence between the murderers and the victims. A consistent theme of the ultra-left and haters of Israel is the script that there is basically no difference between the jihadist genocidal aims of the terrorists and the response of the IDF. In the eyes of these unhinged groups tracking down and catching or eliminating murderers is equal to the terror crimes themselves. A corollary often articulated is that the terrorists should be excused because the Jewish presence here causes them to resort to murder.

Another favourite mantra is the “cycle of violence” theme. In plain English, what the articulators of this phrase mean is that Israel’s use of disproportionate action to seek and punish terrorists is the cause of continuing violence. In other words, Jews need to turn the other cheek and accept their fate just like they always were expected to do during two thousand years of exile.

In its initial comments, the British Government statement said it was “saddened” by the death of the British-Israeli family. Anybody ignorant of the circumstances would never know that they had been murdered. No doubt this Foreign Office-inspired narrative was designed to avoid any reference to terror and its facilitators.

As a result of outraged reactions, a subsequent letter from the Foreign Secretary condemned the murder but couldn’t resist trotting out the old “cycle of violence” rhetoric. This fooled nobody except those eternally hallucinating about the pure intentions of the Ramallah kleptocracy.

I did not hold out too much hope that the international media would manage to contain its usual bias, and I was not disappointed. Most reports referred to the settlement of Efrat in occupied Palestinian territory without mentioning that Gush Etzion was inhabited by Jews before 1948 and that the whole area was legally allocated for Jewish settlement by the San Remo Agreement. Furthermore, since Biblical times and well before the advent of Islam and the current fake Palestinians, this part of Judea was settled by Jews.

Listening to an interview with Lord Wolfson (former UK Justice Minister) on Sky News proved interesting. Amidst the interviewer’s oozing of shock and sympathy, there emerged a classic case of blaming the victims. In good old upper-class UK diction, the Sky News reporter dropped a not-very-subtle observation that the Dee family were living in a “war zone” and, by implication, in an illegal place. It followed, therefore, that any sort of violence was inevitable and presumably the fault of the people living there.

To his credit, Lord Wolfson demolished this specious reasoning, but you can see how this resonates with the ignorant and the ill-informed and has become the gospel of so many.

Crocodiles, by their very nature, are always on the lookout for their next victim. The only question which remains is whether those targeted prefer to feed the beast or instead decide to eliminate the threat.

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 “Feeding crocodiles”
  1. michael kuttner says:

    Shalom David
    I have to take off my kippah to you for flogging a dead camel. One of us is going to be proven wrong in due course. I only hope that we are both still around when that happens. Meanwhile Chag Yom Ha’Atzmaut Sameach.

    • DAVID SINGER says:

      Hi Michael
      Shevua Tov and Chag Yom Ha’Atzmaut Sameach. Does Lapid intend joining you in the celebrations?
      The camel meantime continues to respond to your merciless floggings with renewed vigor as its potential drivers King Abdullah, Abbas and Haniyeh arrive in Saudi Arabia to confer with Head Cameleer Mohammed Bin Salman. The crocodiles might be circling this Quartet – but it seems increasingly likely they will have to go elsewhere to get a feed – maybe at the Knesset or on the streets of Tel Aviv?.

  2. David Singer says:

    Michael It is very hard to disagree with your gloomy analysis.

    However I take issue with you on your statement: “Equally delusional is the notion that this new axis of Israel haters will embrace a Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine with Amman as its “eternal” Capital.”

    There has been no rejection of this solution – in the 10 months since this solution was published – by King Abdullah of Jordan, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh or Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman – although this solution shreds the separate policies each of them has pursued for decades.

    Each had every reason to reject it on it publication – but none of them did or has done so since. That is a remarkable common denominator.

    Until this happens – the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution remains the only lifeline to achieving an end to 100 years of unresolved conflict between Arabs and Jews.

    Netanyahu needs to make a statement that he is ready to commence negotiations to implement this solution without delay or confirm such negotiations have been conducted in secret back channel negotiations for the last three months.

    Perhaps the crocodiles have had enough to eat. Negotiations to implement the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution will prove whether they have.

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