I’m guessing this Bibi gem won one of those 29 Congressional standing ovations
Probably a facepalm – or laugh-out-loud – moment for many Israelis. Here’s our
PM in plain view of the entire world, demonstrating in first person what is dome-
stically known as the Ugly Israeli: a ridiculously arrogant, pushy, free-riding,
zero-self-awareness caricature of a person. (For Americans, think about that rude
sloppily dressed Yankee tourist barging into a vegetarian restaurant in India and
demanding a hamburger.)
Or as Carly Simon would put it: “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is
But seriously. Leaving aside the pitiful circus that Congress becomes when they do
Israel, and also leaving aside Bibi’s bad personal taste, most Israeli Jews would agree
with some version of his statement, and a majority is suspicious or outright hostile
towards Obama’s gentle attempts to nudge us towards acknowledging reality.
How can we be so collectively blind? What follows below is not a polemic, but rather
an attempt to provide some insight to a nation that sees itself, in some ways, as sitting
outside history and not subject to its laws.
What is this History that we are Ignoring?
One problem when discussing Israel-Palestine, that the first thing to go down the
drain is that simple beautiful principle: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but
not to your own facts.”
To try and mitigate this problem, below is a simple (incomplete, time permitting)
list of major, glaring, important existential facts that most Israelis nowadays either
completely ignore, or brazenly defy that they have any practical implications.
A friendly tip: this can be used a self-selection list. If you find most of the facts in the
list unbearably false, twisted, maliciously selective or unfair, just save yourself the
time and go elsewhere.
But before you do so, consider this: the point in this diary is not to claim who’s morally
“right” or “wrong” (my stand on the matter is well-known, and although it is not 180-
degree opposed to Bibi’s, it is certainly well over 90-degrees away from him).
The point is to demonstrate that from a practical standpoint, Israel is now facing a
multi-dimensional historical train wreck, mostly of its own making. Yet it is precisely
this train wreck that the Israeli mainstream – whether in its brazen Bibi version, or
in its more savvy Olmert-Livni-Barak version – is still ignoring.
And the diary further tries to explain why this deliberate blindness to history, from
an Israeli insider’s perspective.