Corruption in Israel is not simply an issue of one politician’s individual behavior, and diminishing it won’t solve the problem. There’s no way to seriously address corruption in Israel without addressing the settlement enterprise. Politicians who violate the law are nothing new. But how can we expect to change that when the state’s official policy is one legal transgression after the other? Avner Gvaryahu Apr 10, 2019
“Chaos is a lousy way to run a country, a war, an economy or anything else. It’s a great way to crash a country, cause a revolution; great way to crater an economy and a currency; marvelous way to screw up public services, utilities and anything else that the government has a hold on.” Farrell
“Logicians have but ill defined /As rational, the human kind; Reason, they say, belongs to man,/But let them prove it, if they can. Wise Aristotle and Smiglesius,/By ratiocinations specious, Have strove to prove with great precision,/With definition and division, Homo est ratione præditum;/But, for my soul, I cannot credit ’em. And must, in spite of them, maintain/That man and all his ways are vain; And that this boasted lord of nature/ Is both a weak and erring creature. That instinct is a surer guide /Than reason-boasting mortals pride; And, that brute beasts are far before ’em…” Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books, 1697
If anyone was wondering, we have proof that Israel is more screwed up than the USA. This includes not only the demographic problem, but the basic problem of the country’s purpose and continued existence.
If anyone thinks that our Congress is utterly screwed up, take a look at the Israeli Knesset. Now, Obama did a reasonable job of running a divided country; Netanyahu has been an unmitigated disaster for the state of Israel from his first day in office. Both dealt with recalcitrant beasts in their legislature; however, because Bibi’s continued governing depends on placating the most deranged of his constituents, he constantly finds himself at worst governing with their interests in mind and at best placating them as best he can without alienating everybody else in the world that the Israel depends on.
This spring, he found himself in tough election against a former Israeli general who decided that maybe the country should pay some attention to the reason Israel exists and not imitate the Nazis quite as much as the Likud-led mob demand. Whether you like it or not, Gaza looks a lot more like the Warsaw Ghetto every day. That General came close, but his party has announced that they do not have a way of forming a government. So, now it’s Beny’s turn…
Now, the hope for a possible outbreak of human decency and conscience is not quite dead yet. It’s possible that Netanyahu may not be able to produce a governing coalition either. In that case, they go back before too long to another election.
However, as Bloomberg noted Bibi got the hard right religious parties to come out of their shtetls and vote for the farthest right they could find. So, he’s much more likely than anyone else to put together a governing majority. One that will probably result in one of those situations where the members of the coalition all hate each other about various things but really hate the other side a lot.
The chief prosecutor has yet to decide whether or not to actually bring this to trial but Netanyahu could stay in office until the final appeal is decided. I find that interesting because while Israel has a different constitutional system than we do, at least they don’t let the PM be above the law. Neither, of course, should we; since there is the 25th Amendment, I think the idea that chaos results if the president is indicted is outdated.
Who knows, ehh? Hey, Mike Pence and Cabinet members with some loyalty to the nation as opposed to the Orange Lord High Manatee, deliver us from this bullshit…for now.
Frequently in the past I’ve referred to the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence which is a very admirable organization of Israeli military veterans, some of whom are still serving their country in the reserves.
The focus on exposing the abuses of the occupation of Palestinian lands, the illegal settlements, and the abuses of the people of Gaza and the West Bank and old Jerusalem by the Israeli military forces, police and the local settlers organizations. They have had continuous run-ins with the Likud government and security services, and yet they do a lot of good work. If you are visiting Israel, they lead tours in Gaza and in the West Bank so you can actually see what’s happening there.
Chaos, despite Likud’s worst efforts and Netanyahu’s most dramatic speeches is a lousy way to operate especially when dealing with complexity. Chaos is a good way to lose wars, campaigns, and any other endeavor. If the Trump organization ran like a greased pig and he was OK with that, cool. But, tossing out the two state solution and then trying to impose a peace on the middle east is probably doomed to failure; as, hopefully, both the Trump and the Donny Dumpf agendas probably are.
Of course, some other countries are more screwed up than Israel. We really should turn out attention to Great Britain and Brexit. In an election that was being repudiated by the British people from immediately after the results were called, the Special Relationship has been floundering around while the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland drunkenly stagger about trying to figure out how to do this thing.
Again, Chaos is a lousy way to run a country, a war, an economy or anything else. It’s a great way to crash a country, cause a revolution; great way to crater an economy and a currency; marvelous way to screw up public services, utilities and anything else that the government has a hold on. If the Labour party were not insane in it’s selection of leaders, the situation might be worse; or, possibly better if someone with some sense had run the party for the last snap election.
The EU wants no part of this debacle. They’ve let Teresa May who served as Donny T’s Personal Support Animal when they came upon some stairs, holding his hand while he descended said alien life forms…well, they’ve made their final offer and she can’t get anybody to agree to it. I am wondering why she hasn’t had to resign since she’s into multiple iterations of proposing various changes.
Now, if you recall the formation of the Conservative Government that brought May to power, her ultimate majority depends on an Ulster-Unionist party that seems to be run by Paisleyites, the Orange Order, and the ghost of John Knox. These people are solidly for Brexit, which puts them somewhat significantly out of step with the rest of the people of Northern Ireland, who had voted pretty overwhelmingly against Brexit.
It gets complicated, but the greatest accomplishment of the EU for Ireland has been the end of borders between Ulster and Eire. The border really caused problems during the history of the Irish Republic, and by eliminating it, the economies of both countries have benefited, and violence related to the border has basically ended.
If Brexit happens without a resolution allowing the border to stay an abstract concept on maps and perhaps signs on the major highways, then there’s a strong likelihood that the Troubles might start all over again. Nothing like chaos to excite the crazies and get them all out to try and resolve the resolution to the last extended unpleasantness.
Of course, this is not to claim that the US has no problems. Oh boy…do we have problems. In the past we have had solutions; today, we have none readily available because of the partisan divide between the various factions in Congress resulting in ideologues and fools and idealist naifs and actual criminals running the place.
Howard Fineman, a long time journalist and current NBC analyst had a first job in Kentucky and knows Mitch McConnell really well. He’s not a fan of McConnell’s policies or ethics or politics or personality. However, he’s pretty honest about the guy. Back in 2014 and consistently since then, when the topic of Mitch McConnell comes up, Fineman points out a few things about McConnell that people miss.
For example, on Hardball with Chris Matthews in 2011, he reminded Matthews that
…McConnell, again, started in Louisville at a time when busing was a big deal in Kentucky, in Louisville, and there were busing protesters all over the place. Mitch McConnell was not a busing protester. He was an establishment, a new generation establishment Republican who figured how the to use the energy of protest and the anger of disaffected people in middle class in Louisville to gain power as a Republican and build a Republican machine in Kentucky. OK? That‘s what he did in the last 20 years. Now, he is trying to do the same on a national level, taking the anger and protests, using the energy of it to cut deals in the Senate, and he did it brilliantly.
His role model is an old name in American politics, Henry Clay, going back to the 19th century, the great compromiser. But Henry Clay was trying to use compromise to build a nation and keep it together. Mitch McConnell is using his role as the sort of anti-Clay to tap into this protest movement and try to take the federal government out of a lot of business at the state and local level. That‘s his vision, that‘s what he‘s trying to do…
Now, if we look ahead to a potential impeachment, we can imagine how McConnell would handle it. He’s perfectly capable of refusing to put it on the Senate Calendar. Henry Clay was the great compromiser because he realized how possible and dangerous an armed conflict over slavery was to the nation; McConnell doesn’t believe that’s possible, so he can be as daring and partisan as he wants because the worst cannot happen…
McConnell and similar thinking Republicans should have realized that the worst has happened and continues to spiral to new nadirs of political experience under the steady genius helmsmanship of Donald Trump.
This is the best counterpoint possible to the unitary executive theory, and one that history will pounce on, assuming anyone is around to read it or write it. Unfortunately, the mess we’re climbing into is a hot tub with whirlpool filled with horse urine, political jisim of all types, treacherous fools explanation in three copies of partisan talking points, and lava.
It feels like it smells like it reads like it sounds and if this continues, the old Federalist papers will read like a late warning for the inevitable disaster.
Michael is a Retired Army First Sergeant, retired Corporate HR Executive, Occasional Adjunct Professor of Management, Organizational Effectiveness Free Range Consultant, Stoic Philosopher of sorts, Proud Heritage Irish Catholic Apostate…
He went from turning down fellowships to Graduate School after Holy Cross to Fort Jackson and a guy with few teeth from Georgia screaming at me to move his ass! And he enlisted after the draft ended. Twenty-three years active duty from 1974 to 1997 flipping between duty as REMF-Unit designated Grunt to Grunt Unit designated Smart Guy.
Last ten years either an Operations Sergeant Major (4 years) or First Sergeant (6 years). Made the CSM list a week after retirement papers went in.
He went into Human Resources because people said it was like being a First Sergeant.
Michael is retired these days, with time to think, write and occasionally enjoy life a bit. He reads five papers every day, lots of books on what interests me and pays attention. He has basic Socialist leanings. He is also a musician – fifty years plus with a guitar. Ex-marathon runner now lifting weights and grunting a lot to stay sort of in shape.
Michael is deadly serious about the issues but he likes to present with a lot of dry humor and satire. He discomforts the rich, offends the powerful and laughs at the pompous. So, stay awake and pay attention, or you’ll miss the jokes.
He refers to himself as a Progressive with an anarchist tendency. Think Bobby Kennedy Democrat at home with Sinn Fein; either a saintly advocate of sweet reason and justice or an arrogant self-righteous SOB with a traditional First Sergeant’s vulgar mouth and dislike of anyone’s rules but his own. That’s Michael Farrell