Sour Grapes and Bitter Herbs…writes Michael Kuttner

March 27, 2015 by Michael Kuttner
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In the aftermath of the Israeli elections we are witnessing an unprecedented outpouring of bilious blathering from dismayed local and foreign sources.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

It seems that those who claim to be enlightened and liberal still cannot come to terms with the choice of the Israeli electorate. A week after the polls there is an endless stream of recriminations, accusations and denunciations against the majority of the voters who decided most emphatically that they preferred to entrust the country’s fate into the hands of those who view our neighbours realistically rather than myopically.

Since the elections hardly a day has passed without expressions of dismay and disapproval emanating from the White House, State Department and certain quarters in Europe. It is not just negative narratives but tendentious hints at spying and other nefarious activities that hit the headlines on a daily basis. The coincidence for all this leaking drip feed of negativity makes one realize that in fact it is a concerted campaign. Having failed to thwart the re-election of Israel’s PM the idea now seems to be to try and undermine him. Whether it takes the form of spokespersons dropping heavy handed hints of punitive action or White House hand picked Jewish cheer leaders addressing far left J.Street conferences the objective is the same. Delegitimize the choice of the Israeli public and make sure that everything is done to blacken a coalition which has yet to be formed and installed.

As far as the overseas media is concerned the torrent of angry admonitions has continued unabated. It is open season on reports, editorials, op-eds and cartoons, all of them disparaging of the Israeli electorate’s choice. Finger wagging, censure and predictions of imminent disaster appear every day. These prognostications of our foolishness echo the sentiments emanating from the corridors of power in Washington.

As Mitt Romney stated today: “hell has no fury like Obama scorned.”

That is the crux of the situation. As a result of our audacity to push back against blatant interference in our democratic process, punishment must be meted out. Thus, at the recent meeting of the Israel bashing UN Human Rights Council, the USA did not speak out against the usual circus of morally corrupt and bankrupt nations who habitually sit in judgment against us. Likewise heavy handed hints are dropped that we cannot rely any more on support at the UN. Quite frankly, you would be hard pushed to find a majority of Israelis these days who believe that the United Nations is worth anything. Certainly not many would lose any sleep if this organization sunk beneath the weight of its majority hypocritical membership.

To illustrate how sour and bitter the elitist left liberal critics of Israel still are and how they are unable to accept the verdict of the majority it is only necessary to peruse the headlines of Ha’aretz which promotes itself as Israel’s leading newspaper. This extreme leftist paper has the lowest circulation of any Israeli daily but nevertheless manages to be touted by foreign media and politicians as a leading authority. It is quoted frequently as the authentic voice of the enlightened educated elite and therefore radiates an aura of infallibility. Here is a selection of headlines associated with items which appeared this week:

“Netanyahu’s successful campaign may prove destructive for Israel.”

“It is right wing journalists who failed Israel during the election campaign.”

“Accept the election results but do not respect them.”

“Israeli voters suffer from battered women syndrome.”

“Why Israelis voted for their fears instead of their hopes.”

“Netanyahu mortgaged the future in order to win re-election.”

“Israelis choose security over democracy.”

These examples of continual self flagellation are eagerly picked up by those who revel in Israel bashing. On more than one occasion when I have remonstrated with journalists who have repeated these accusations I have been told that as it appeared in Ha’aretz it must be true. One would think that there was no other viewpoint, but for those with a set agenda of course there is not, hence the outpouring of outrage since the elections.

Likewise some headlines from the foreign media:

Israel Cannot Reform Itself and Needs Some Tough Love

Benjamin Netanyahu’s dangerous worldview: Why his reelection spells doom

Netanyahu’s recklessness has consequences that Israelis fear

Netanyahu’s Unholy Alliance With Europe’s ‘Anti-Semitic’ Far Right

These are just a few examples of the gratuitous rubbish being published.

Setting the seal on a week of unbelievable disinformation is the remark of the CIA chief. He refused to admit that ISIS is motivated by religion. When asked if they are Islamic extremists his reply was:

“I am only prepared to say that they are extremists.” Obviously taking a cue from his political masters this amazing assertion demonstrates why Israelis voted the way they did.

The Yiddish saying “kaher iz nit azoi toib vi der vos vil nit herren,” expresses it best.

Loosely translated it means “there is no one as deaf as he who will not listen.”

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.








5 Responses to “Sour Grapes and Bitter Herbs…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. norman goldbereg says:


  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    There are two highly and often vehiculated positive notions about Israel which have come home to roost; “Israel is a beacon of democracy” and, “When under threat, Israelis show strong unity.”

    The one about democracy has some aspects which go well beyond normality, one would say, smilingly, typical in a local, Israeli fashion. Well, I know few, if any, normal democratic countries where electoral outcomes cause more anxiety than the pre-election fervor. Lately, passionate electors found at the losing end cannot accept the very mechanism which would be the pride of the nation, a mature, sophisticated, morally strong continuous engagement in the very same process which allowed them to exercise their democratic privileges. The post election manic balagan we see now in the squares and any other gathering places in Israel is anything but a manifestation of genuine democratic acceptance of a perfectly legal electoral process. That famous unity is forgotten and an embarrassing circus takes its place. The ” ma pitom” madness dominates some of the Israeli media as well as if the very being of Zionut is at a high risk, attacked by some menacing forces.
    We know that Israel must keep pace with times, the old halutzim era is well past, sacrifices of idiosyncratic voices are no longer seen as vital, but how bloody advanced and “sophisticated” can we be !!! This is not laughing matter, yet guess who’s having a bellyfull of laughter !!!!

  3. Leon Poddebsky says:

    There is an Arab saying, ” The dogs bark but the caravan moves on.”

  4. harry rich says:

    Apart from relatively innocuous comments by the Herald press and some other
    usual media suspects we have been spared the vitriolic media poison.But there must be considerable gnashing of leftist elitist teeth.

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