Monday, May 18, 2009

Dovid vs. Goliath, Part II

There are some days when merely surviving means prevailing.

Yesterday we sent our contemporary Dovid in to do battle with the American Goliath. This time our David didn’t carry a single stone but otherwise the battle scene was much the same: Goliath appeared to have all the power. The two circled the battlefield, sniffed each other out, exchanged gifts, then held a press conference.

Good enough. Just fine, actually. Our contemporary Dovid didn’t set out to slay this Philistine, merely to live to fight another day.

Such are contemporary society’s modest goals.

First of all, Kol Hakavod to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He did it – he didn’t persuade the Community Organizer to his point of view -- that would have been impossible. But he did take a feisty stance, which in itself is worthy of serious praise. Bibi didn’t knuckle under. He didn’t even mouth the words, “two state solution” let alone use any mealy-mouthed verbiage that would allow him to say that he didn’t but he did.

The Community Organizer has brought lesser men to their knees with his threats, but not Bibi. You did good, Mr. Prime Minister. We’re proud.

Which is not to say that the Philistine is backing off on his threats or that the danger is over – Goliath made that absolutely clear. Using weasel words like “extraordinary relationship” – whatever that might mean – and referring to “historical” and “emotional” ties, he let our Prime Minister know that we’re in his cross hairs, and he’ll take care of us later.

Goliath put his bias on display. He made it clear he expects “serious movement” toward the “Annapolis process.” (You remember that one, don’t you? The Rape at Annapolis? Where Condi Rice made the Israelis enter the building through the back door, so as not to offend the Arabs by making them use the same door as the Jews?) And he criticized Israel for leaving the terrorists in Aza with “no hope” – as though it’s our fault they continue to terrorize us, imposing a kind of “Stop me before I kill again” obligation.

“Hope”, of course, is precisely what we don’t want to give the terrorists. What the terrorists ‘hope’ for is the end of Israel. That’s not change Israel needs.

But the big issue – obviously – was Iran. Keep in mind that Tehran is just 750 miles from Jerusalem. With the madman at the helm over there daily promising the world that Israel is a dead man walking, Iran’s nuclear threat is something we can’t ignore. I don’t know about my fellow Israelis, but for the most part, Iran comes most clearly to mind at about 2 am, when that final scene from Nevil Shute’s 1957 book “On the Beach” plays in my head.

The Community Organizer, with his na├»ve faith in talk, doesn’t get it. You know, and I know, that Iran and the world Islamist movement is a dire threat to the US too. We remember 9/11, even if he doesn’t. This is Hitler all over again, except that this time he has nuclear weapons, he hates everyone and he’s being completely open about his intentions.

What did the Community Organizer say about Iran? He applied a heavy dose of Bubba-speak, saying he was “reaching out” to Iran, planning to "persuade them that it is not in their interest to pursue a nuclear weapon and that they should change course."

Well, that should work. But if it doesn’t? "We are not foreclosing a range of steps, including much stronger international sanctions."

Beyond that, as Jerusalem Post Editor David Horowitz pointed out, the Community Organizer even appeared to equate Iran’s threats against Israel to Israel’s threat to wipe out Iran’s nuclear installation. "We want to achieve a situation where all countries in the region can pursue economic development, commercial ties and trade, and do so without the threat that populations are going to be subject to bombs and destruction."

Good grief. Who elected this idiot, anyway? It’s a wonder he doesn’t just sign his name with a smiley face and dot "i's" with a little heart.

And so it went. They exchanged gifts: Bibi’s gift was wildly interesting – offering just a tad of Israeli chutzpah. He gave Obama a copy of Mark Twain's 1867 travel memoir, "Pleasure Excursion to the Holy Land.”

You gotta laugh – Twain’s account offers up a dismal view of Israel under Moslem rule. “Jerusalem,” Twain wrote, “has become a pauper village… of fourteen thousand souls. … Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound."

Let the Community Organizer put that in his pipe and smoke it.

News reports aren't forthcoming about what the Community Organizer gave Bibi, but when Israeli President Shimon Peres visited at the White House last week, he gave Peres a silver mezuzah case – the traditional way to fulfill the commandment in Deuteronomy 6: 4, which requires the words of Torah to be “written upon your doorposts”.

There might have been a message there, too. The Mezuzah is generally regarded as the Jewish home security system, protecting the inhabitants from evil. I guess the Community Organizer thinks that’s an appropriate gift – well, hey, it beats a DVD of his own speeches.

What’s the Israeli reaction to the whole thing? It’s still early, but comments seem to fall into the “Well, at least now we know. Israel stands alone” category.

Indeed, there’s something to be said about that. Better that we know we’re on our own, not trusting in the “extraordinary relationship” we’ve previously enjoyed with America. Sic transit Gloria mundi.

Which is not to say, of course, that Israel ever stands alone. Goliath might forget that, but we won’t.

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