Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Before Bibi Left

Once upon a time when I was at university I did some research which required the perusal of lots of old newspapers from the 1950s. I was startled to see how many of the events trumpeted with large fonts on front pages I'd never heard of. Not only local news, even reports on international diplomatic events, proclamations, and programs. Some of this was my ignorance, of course, but some was the newspapers' fundamental need to portray the moment's events as important, and the editors' natural inability to know in advance what might have lasting significance (not much) and what would be forgotten by the following week.

So while the media and blogosphere have been full of reports on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations which are re-starting this week, I've mostly been silent. I expect they'll fail, I'd wish they'd succeed, and don't have much to tell that you won't find elsewhere, and it's not very serious over there, either.

I can add one very small tidbit however. It has to do with Bibi Netanyahu's relationship with his father, 100-year-old Benzion Netanyahu. Much has been written about this, recently for example by Jeffrey Goldberg in his interesting report on the possibility Israel will bomb Iran's nuclear program. The theory is that Bibi can't moderate his hawkish positions for fear of angering his father. How much truth there is to this idea I cannot say - nor can anyone else except Bibi, and he ain't telling. However, it might interest you to know that early this morning, before setting out to the airport on his way to Washington, Netanyahu made a visit to his father, who lives around the corner from here, and his security escorts blocked the street. I find it slightly touching that our prime minister comes to get his father's blessing (I'm assuming) before setting out on a potentially important trip.


Anonymous said...

among the many things I found objectionable in Goldberg's piece was his amateur psycho sleuthing into Netanyahu's presumed by Goldberg insufficient separation at the navel of father and son. It made me suspect that Goldberg has a father problem worth to be examined.

Family tradition contributes of course to any person's worldview and actions but I somehow doubt that anybody in WW2 threw lights on Churchill's actions by uttering deep stuff about his relationship to his father.

This habit of doing the amateur-psycho thing on a subject is for me on the same level as keyhole voyeurists are in another context.

and once again, that Goldberg-piece which I found nothing but rehash of known gossip overshadowed the really tell one something report of Jon Lee Anderson's interview with Ahmadinejad. Gossip beats info?


Barry Meislin said...

Moshe Arens nails it.

Israel is being set up (and with characteristic perversity, Obama thinks this will help him....)

(You thought it was already pretty ugly?....)


Anonymous said...

what probably riles me most whenever peace talk pontifications are in full swing is the demand that Israel must take risks.

It is perfidious in that it implies and quite often says in the next sentence that Israelis are cowards because they take serious the Holocaust-experience and all its countless by comparison minor but taken by themselves horrifying and memorable enough predecessors.

By all means how can Israelis insist that this time it might NOT be different, what a defeatist attitude not to trust in the future while forgetting all lessons of the past.

As to what one registers of what's going on in the world:
My memories of June 1967 as well as of September 1972 are very vivid in the sense that I can visualize myself back into experiencing it, I have no such memory of the Yom Kippur war - therefore I guess that in October 1973 something in my private life may have blacked out the world, but what? it can't have been anything momentous or I would remember it.


Lee Ratner said...

Silke, yeah I hate this to. Israel has to do this, Israel has to do that. What do the Palestinians have to do? Not a bloody thing because they are genuine, third-world, oppressed people that can do anything they want.

The same goes with Jewish-Muslim relations. Jews have to do this and that to improve the relationship but Muslims get to hate, hate, and hate Jews till their hearts content.

Sylvia said...

This is perverse"? This is expected!
I'll go further than Arens: Hamas will try a take over of the West Bank, Abbas will be kicked out as a result, the negociations will stop because no partner - and we'll be blamed for having caused the failure of the peace process.

Sylvia said...

Four Israelis murdered near Kyriat Arba' as terrorists fired on their car.
Apparently somebody is already trying to sabotage the talks as Bibi is on his way to Washington.

Anonymous said...

4 or rather 5 Israelis killed and look how carefully P.J. Crowley words his response - just don't show bias, keep it balanced, both are to be viewed equally guilty all the time - I don't give sh.., if it was Hamas. If the PA were up to the game they would have prevented it.

“Any time one human being takes out a weapon and fires and kills other human beings it’s a tragedy,” said State Department spokesman PJ Crowley following the attack, adding that the US still didn’t know the circumstances surrounding the incident. Me thinks sometimes the oh so well-meaning neutrals may be the worst foes.

“We are cognizant that there could be external events that can have an impact on the environment. We also are cognizant that there may well be actors in the region who are deliberately making these kinds of attacks in order to sabotage the process,” he said. “We are very aware that as we go forward in this process, not everyone sees this in the same way, and there are those who will do whatever they can to disrupt or derail the process.”


PS: somewhere they have it that Hamas has "confessed"

Gibson Block said...

It's nice if a son pays a visit to his father. Not if he feels obligated to do what dad wants. Remember Mel Gibson was unwilling to say that his father was wrong about the Holocaust - on the grounds that he was his father? It was dumb.