Thoughts on Events the week of May 19

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 30, 2021

Israel v Palestinians: President Biden’s administration managed to negotiate a cease fire the old-fashioned way: through diplomacy. But this cease fire, like countless negotiated cease fires between these two adversaries, will not last. Both sides have incentives to continue their macabre dance of mutually assured self-destruction.

Pundits have opined that this negotiation had a new twist in that American attitudes toward Israel and Palestinians seem to have shifted since the last dust up, with public opinion becoming more sympathetic with the Palestinian cause. There is some evidence of this. We have even begun electing Muslim citizens to public office.

But I think the reason for this shift has less to do with us and more to do with Israel. Since Benjamin Netanyahu became Prime Minister in 2009, Israel has moved radically to the right. How radically? It has morphed from a liberal democracy to an illiberal, occupier nation and more aggressive oppressor of Palestinian rights. This shift has turned off many Americans, even Jewish Americans, as well it should.

From the founding of Israel in 1948 through the 20th Century, the U.S. was sympathetic to and supportive of the Jewish state, no one more so than me. This was particularly true of Jewish Americans, who supported Israel religiously (pun intended) because they saw Israel as a safe harbor for Jews in a hostile, anti-Semitic world.

But while Israel has shifted to the right, the younger generations of American Jews remain liberally democratic, and many are off put by Israel’s oppressive behavior, including myself, and I’m not even Jewish. What this means for Israel in the long term is uncertain, but I worry for them. It’s not a good sign.

It is Israel that must change its behavior. Let’s face it. Israel is infinitely more powerful and better armed than the Palestinians will ever be, and more than the entire Middle East Region combined for that matter. Their victimhood posture no longer washes. Netanyahu sounds like what’s his name, the disgraced former president, claiming how unfairly he’s being treated.  

I am glad to see us taking a more even-handed diplomatic approach to Israel, guided by our own national interests, and not held hostage to single constituency, not unlike the Cuban American population in Miami that has distorted our policies toward Cuba.

Worst state: Okay, it’s time to admit that I was wrong to take Arizona, my own personal residence, off the worst state list. Ever since I did, Arizona has been trying to get back on the list by its reprehensible governance, and they have finally convinced me that they still belong among the worst states and should get the cup this week.

In addition to the utterly meaningless “audit” of the 2020 presidential election results, Arizona Republicans held a rally to support the big lie and the audit, featuring four of the most loathsome of Republican Congresspersons – Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, along with two locals, Paul Gosar, my own personal Representative, and Andrew Biggs. If Louis Gohmert had been here, it would have been the worst five Representatives in the 435 member House.

Not that there weren’t other worthy candidates this week. Take South Carolina. Please. South Carolina has added a new item to its death penalty menu: firing squad. This in addition to the good old electric chair. And worst of all, the condemned must choose his method of execution.

Not to be outdone in amount of crazy, Texas (everything is bigger in Texas) has just passed a law allowing everybody to carry a gun, concealed or open, with or without training, just about everywhere in the state.

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