September 25, 2007

For the want of a bullet, the world was lost ...

As I prepare my Sukkah here in Jerusalem, the news networks are reporting on A-jad's hugely provocative appearance in the US and his invitation to speak to the students of Columbia University.

What he had to say was not of importance. The excuses given by the faculty for giving this man a platform are of even less importance.

What is of crucial interest is what history will record about this week's visit.

If there is an historian or journalist still alive after A-jad has tried out his nuclear toys, and should they find a scorched laptop with enough battery life left to tap out a few lines, they will most likely refer back to this particular week in the history of mankind.

And with their stiffening fingers, they will type out a sentence that contains a long list of "if onlys".

  • If only we took him at his word about wiping a nation off the map.

  • If only we had not let him go nuclear.

  • If only we had realised that the cold war safeguard of 'mutually assured destruction' only worked between rational minds.

  • If only we had understood that A-jad considered his own people totally expendable martyrs in the Jihad's ultimate - global and nuclear - suicide bombing .

  • If only we had registered his maniacal belief that this death and destruction would usher in the era of the hidden imam; for whom he had built a grand roadway into Teheran as one of the first acts as president.

And finally .... if only we had not let him out of New York alive!

Many have speculated how many tens of millions of lives could have been saved if Hitler had been assassinated at any number of opportunities that presented themselves. Had Hitler won the war, such of us that survived might now be speaking German.

After A-jad's war, people may not be speaking at all.

Or breathing.

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September 23, 2007


New Year Message to Likud-Herut UK

This time last year our brothers and sisters in Israel limped into 5767 in a state of shellshock in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War. For many the bombshells were real as they fell on Israel’s northern towns while they cowered in totally inadequate shelters. But even for the elites living in the relative quietude of Ramat Aviv, there was shock at the scale of the government’s miscalculation of Hezbollah’s missile threat and the mishandling of the war itself by one of the most inept, unprincipled, and scandal-ridden governments imaginable.

Whatever Mr Olmert may have lacked as a leader, he made up in heaps of pure chutzpah and utter contempt for his people. He brazened out the most damning indictment of Winograd’s initial report. He made light of mass demonstrations calling for his resignation. He spurned poll ratings lower than the margin for error. He thumbed his nose at the justice system by reinstating his convicted friend as a top minister within weeks of finishing his soft community service at a riding school in the Sharon. What must the world think of the Middle East’s only democracy? What kind of light is this to show to the nations?

Despite the unpleasant reality of Olmert’s continuing hold on power - with the connivance of coalition parties corrupted by cabinet posts, perks and grants - there have been many reasons to be cheerful. It has been a relatively quiet year in which the economy and shekel have continued to strengthen. With the exception of the January attack on a bakery in Eilat, we have, thank G-d, seen no further suicide bombings in our streets. And whilst the Kassam threat to Sderot continues, we have seen more pre-emptive and retaliatory strikes on Gaza terrorists behind those launches.

All this has to do with other positive developments, not of Olmert’s making but rather forced upon him. There is the appointment of Gabi Ashkenazi as a strong and charismatic chief of staff to lead the IDF in its re-training and new direction. And, for all his faults, new labour leader Ehud Barak is clearly a safer pair of hands to hold the defence ministry. You can be sure that if war breaks out again before the next election, Mr Barak will be running the show without tolerating any interference from Olmert. Just in the last few days we have seen a major intervention in Syria over which both Ashkenazi and Barak showed dignified satisfaction, while Olmert was quick to take the bows.

Alas, for Israel a period of quiet often means trouble looming. And there is no doubt that Iran’s proxies in the north and south are restocking for another missile war. We pray that next time we shall be ready and inflict nothing less than total destruction on those who seek to wipe our nation off the map.

A fitting message to the world for our 60th year of statehood.

Wishing you and all our wonderful people a Shana Tova


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