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  Middle East & Africa
Op-Ed Special
Blind Observations
Special Contribution
By Zvi November
The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem
About 80 percent to 90 percent of Israeli TV, radio and print media reporting focuses on politics and politicos. Hundreds, maybe a thousand pundits publicly express their opinions on a daily and/or weekly basis. No two commentaries are the same. Very few remarks are truly neutral. Everyone has his or her biases and spin techniques. I include myself in this generalization even though I hunger for the truth. I believe in truth despite the claim that it is always debatable and relative.

In addition to the large diversity of ideas regarding Israel's domestic and foreign problems, each and every Israeli has own thoughts about the country's dilemmas.

With this in mind, I would like to make the following points:

1. The Israeli political system is dysfunctional.

2. Israel is a partyocracy overruled by the Supreme Court; a kind of pseudo-democracy.

3. Political players swear that they are dedicated to the good of the nation but their behavior is normally egotistical.

4. It is wrong to categorize Israeli politics as Right vs. Left. The conflict is really between nationalists and post-Zionists supported by anti-Zionists.

5. 20 percent of Israelis are Arabs. Almost all of them identify as Palestinians, fully support the Palestinian enemy's efforts to obliterate Israel militarily or at least to undermine it diplomatically. For the most part, Israel's Arabs are a fifth column within civil society. However, no mainstream public figure will ever say this because to do so would instantly elicit an accusation of racism (perhaps the most abused word in the English language today). Arabs demand rights but do absolutely nothing to help or promote Israel which they assert is merely (and unfortunately) the country of their citizenship. Every year Arabs commemorate Israel's independence as the NAKBA which means catastrophe. The Arab "minority," part and parcel of the 350,000,000 strong Arab world occasionally riots, loots, burns forests and attacks Jews when their level of Jew-hatred reaches the boiling point.

6. Professor Rafael Israeli, a life-long student of Arab machinations and author of several insightful books has documented how Arab lies generate hate. And Arab hate fosters lies. It's a circular phenomenon to our detriment.

7. Yisrael Medad in the Jerusalem Post on June 18, 2021 notes that everything Jews do (e.g. march with flags or visit the Temple Mount) is automatically a provocation to which Arabs must respond in force. Arabs are never aggressors: they simply respond to provocations.

Small and vulnerable, Israel is surrounded by Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthis in Yemen, Iranian army personnel in Syria and Iraqi Shiite militias in Iraq as well as active antagonists like Erdogan in Turkey, Abdullah II in Jordan and the Egyptians – all of whom find it hard to tolerate Israel no matter how helpful and accommodating we try to be.

Can any Israeli prime minister (young or old) really handle all these existential threats competently?

To survive, Israel must remain strong with a mighty army and a well-trained effective police force. We must study war to protect ourselves and our grandchildren. Reality forces us to be realists in a world that features sham morality, abundant bigotry and palpable Jew-hatred.


1. Just finished reading A Short History of Iraq by Thabit A. Abdullah, 2011. This exceedingly bloody history begins in the year 636 when Arabs conquered Mesopotania from the Persians. Over the centuries competing Arab dynasties have waged war on one another. Additionally, the Sunni-Shiite conflict continues to this very day with each sect assassinating members of the opposing heretical camp. Abdullah briefly mentions the June 1941 pogrom of Jews in Baghdad (called FARHUD). According to the author, Jewish economic advancement during the 1930s evoked Arab jealousy. In other words, Jewish success explains (and by inference) justifies the massacre.

In 1979 Saddam Husayn came to power. Show trials were organized and twenty-two of the ruthless dictator's comrades were executed while many other "lucky" potential competitors were locked up for a long time.

The 2003 US invasion of Iraq is also covered. It was a tremendous fiasco for the Americans and British as well as a catastrophe for the Iraqis.

2. Currently, the demand for apartments in Israel is far greater than the supply. Prices keep going up. New buildings can have 20 to 30 floors. 250,000 new vehicles join the traffic jams every year. Sometimes it is impossible to find a parking space.

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Zvi November, who grew up in New York, served as a Peace Corps' teacher in rural Philippines. He also taught at Hong Kong Int'l School. He earned his diploma from Univ. of Edinburgh, his MA from Syracuse Univ, both in anthropology. Now he is an activist in Israel's Media Watch and other civic bodies.






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