Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Painful anatomical symptoms


A new book published in the United States this week reveals that President Obama considers the prime minister of Israel to be a pain in the tuchus. For those Yiddishly challenged this translates as a pain in the posterior. No doubt the diplomatic fraternity will be frantically trying to play this latest revelation down and bury it under the proverbial carpet but for us mere mortals it is plainly obvious that despite spin doctors’ activities to the contrary, Israel’s reluctance to acquiesce to its own demise, does cause painful symptoms in the nether regions of the State Department and the White House.

Unlike those who gasp in horror at inflicting such physical stress to the body politic of the U.S. administration, I can only express admiration that we must be doing something right at long last to cause such spasms of discomfort. It means that finally those in charge in Washington are able to appreciate how Israel and other allies of America are feeling now. Those who are at the receiving end of current U.S. policies feel as though they have been punched in the “kishkes” which translated means kicked in the guts. A few examples should suffice to illustrate the point.

Like hemorrhoids the results are cumulative but they all have the same painful symptoms. Now that Mr. Obama is into his second term the consequences of his disastrous policies are finally manifesting themselves in all their incompetent glory.

Despite congratulatory whoops of joy over the chemical weapons intended destruction, civilians in Syria are still being massacred, disease is spreading and the dictator of Damascus continues to rule. The actual destruction of chemical weapons has still not taken place and we do not know how many have been hidden in Lebanon and Iraq or in Iran for that matter. Meantime staunch allies of the U.S. such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Egypt have been left high and dry witnessing the ongoing dialogue with an Iranian regime which not only wishes to destroy the Zionist entity but also attain total dominance over Arab countries in the region.

The Russians and Chinese are circling like predatory sharks sensing blood in the water and before we know it the Egyptians will be replacing their American arms with those made in China and Russia. That means the Egyptians will no longer be beholden to the U.S. for maintaining the peace treaty with Israel and we all know what happens after that. Jordan can see which way the appeasing winds are blowing and fears for its future.

Israel meanwhile has to endure the obsessive desire to create yet another terror State in its midst despite the repeated declarations by our so called peace partners (to their own people) of an ethnically cleansed land from the sea to the river. This is of course a code word for the elimination of Israel and its Jewish population but this far from secret aim seems to induce no pain on the White House or anywhere else, apart from possibly Canada. It is this reluctance by Israel’s prime minister to offer the country up on the altar of a Munich style piece of paper that causes so much discomfort to so many.

Not content with all this aforementioned gut kicking, the recent revelations of illicit spying on staunch allies in Europe has revealed more painful anatomical damage. We all know that countries spy on each other, whether it be economic, political or military, but never in the realm of this murky world of espionage have we seen so much damage caused in such an incompetent manner. The first rule of espionage is after all not to get caught.

I wonder what Chancellor Merkel of Germany thinks about having her conversations monitored. President Hollande of France likewise must be feeling rather peeved at the actions of the United States. Countless other allies who have been on the receiving end of this spying scandal no doubt also feel as though they have been abused in a most undiplomatic way. Israel of course has needless to say been a target of spying by its erstwhile major ally. Critics will assert that after all the Mossad engages in the same sort of activity and this is no doubt true. However it does not deliberately leak sensitive information in order to harm the vital interests of friends.

This is exactly what happened when anonymous sources in the U.S. leaked to CNN confirmation that Israel had bombed a rocket storage facility in Syria. This is not the first time that such information has mysteriously found its way into the media and its deliberate publicity could only have been designed to cause maximum damage to Israel’s security. Not exactly the sort of action one would expect from a “friend” who has declared that he has your back when it comes to the crunch. It feels more like a stab in the back than any other sort of friendly gesture.

What about Jonathan Pollard? His continued incarceration beyond anything any convicted spy in recent times has ever had to endure is something inexplicable. Others who have been convicted of activities far more damaging to the U.S. have been released after a relatively short sentence, whereas Pollard seems doomed to die behind bars far above and beyond any reasonable punishment meted out to others. Now that the spying activities of some in the American government have been exposed one can reasonably ask if they will be punished in any way. If not, why is Pollard rotting in jail for a crime that caused the U.S. far less damage than the revealed activities of the current suspects? If this is the way the U.S. treats its allies it is no wonder that they feel aggrieved and pained.

Mr. Netanyahu may very well be causing severe pain in Washington but it is nothing like the agony being inflicted on others by those in charge there at present.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organizations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel where he is J-Wire’s correspondent.


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