Interesting times…writes Michael Kuttner

March 13, 2015 by Michael Kuttner
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The old Chinese blessing/curse of “may you live in interesting times” is never more relevant than at present.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

With less than a week to the Israeli General Elections and political mayhem in full swing, frantic efforts by left-wing foreign funded groups to influence the outcome and daily manifestations of terror tactics (diplomatic & physical) by our so-called peace partners, interesting times have certainly arrived. Anyone who has never lived in Israel cannot for a moment imagine the roller coaster experiences which 24 hours can provide. Israelis often ask us why we left New Zealand where life proceeds on a much more even keel. When I explain that there one can die of boredom, but here at least there is no chance of that happening, they look at you in wonderment.

If twenty-four hours can be described as frenetic just imagine what a week can deliver. Here are a few examples since my last communication.

In scenes reminiscent of the Nazi era, police from the Palestinian Fatah/Hamas Authority inspected every supermarket and corner dairy under their control in order to identify any products manufactured in Israel. Sweeping every item off the shelves they then proceeded to dump the stock outside where the media were then treated to a spectacle of hate and incitement. The object of this exercise in friendly peace relations was to enforce a boycott of Israeli (read Jewish) food and other items and to deter shopkeepers from tainting their shelves with these “enemy” items again. The spectacle looked eerily like the boycott of Jewish shops in Germany in the 1930’s and the heaped piles awaiting destruction could have been taken straight out of a textbook on how to delegitimize and incite. The fact that Palestinian Arab consumers would suffer as a result and be forced to do without or pay much higher prices and those shopkeepers would also suffer economic losses seems to be of no concern to all whose main obsession is Jew hatred.

Interestingly enough when I shopped at our local supermarket this week there were plenty of local Arabs from the PA merrily shopping and snatching up bargains which presumably no longer are available in their local stores, thanks to the bigotry of their leaders. Needless to say the international media remained conspicuously silent.

It also raises the interesting question as to whether this boycott campaign will logically include computers, electronic devices, medicines and other Israeli products. As logic has never been part of the Arab campaign against Israel one has to suppose that these will be ignored.

Now that the UN Security Council has new and more pliable members, the PA has announced it will resubmit its resolution for the withdrawal of Israel (and Jews) from Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. If at first you do not succeed then try again. This raises the question of how New Zealand is going vote given that this resolution usurps any chance of negotiation by the parties involved. Given past pronouncements it is not too hard to guess. Perhaps someone in Wellington could answer a simple question: who was in occupation of these territories prior to 1967? It certainly was not a Palestinian State. While the Syrians bombarded northern Israel on a daily basis from the Golan and the Jordanians ethnically cleansed half of Jerusalem and what they called the West Bank, of Jews and their properties, the rest of the world sat disinterestedly by. Perhaps when these facts are analyzed there may be some coherent and logical vote forthcoming based on reality and not knee jerk political correctness. It might also be instructive for those in charge to look up the San Remo Agreement which was endorsed by the League of Nations and subsequently reconfirmed by the UN after the 2nd World War.

The French Prime Minister this week provided a breath of fresh air with some candid comments. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal he stated, “In the 1970’s a new type of Jew hatred emerged among elites, one that expressed itself primarily as hostility to Zionism and Israel. This new bigotry has all the old components of anti-Semitism including a plot based view of imagined Jewish conspiracies.”

He also went on to say that by 2016, ten thousand Europeans could be waging jihad.

This refreshing candor contrasts with the hypocrisy of denial emanating forth from politicians in other countries and underscores why jihadist extremism and terror will not be eliminated in the near future. In fact the continuing blindness on display will merely mean that when the problem becomes more life threatening than it already is, the opportunity to defeat it may well be beyond manageable proportions.

Those who voted against Scottish independence must have felt vindicated when the current Scottish Minister of external affairs and international development, Mr. Humza Yousaf, was barred by the UK Government from undertaking a fact-finding visit to Gaza. The only purpose for this visit would have no doubt been to vilify Israel. Having failed this time around the Minister presumably need only wait and see if the forthcoming UK elections produce a more favourable Government in Westminster and then like President Abbas he can try again.

A final word on the Israeli elections. It never ceases to amaze me how many individuals are prepared to abase themselves in order to get elected. Listening to some of them one is flabbergasted at how low they can go and how much they can trash each other and indeed their own country.

A quote in 1891 from Ahad Ha’am, a pre State Hebrew literary luminary is very apt:

“Nothing is more dangerous for a nation or an individual than to plead guilty to imaginary sins.”

Stay tuned for more interesting times in the coming week.

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.


2 Responses to “Interesting times…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Monty Pogoda says:

    My my, a newspaper commentator in our midst and I didn’t know. Kol Hakavod on a well written article from the East Side of EFRATA.
    Shabat Shalom

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