Friday, June 27, 2008

Two Ehuds

My rage at the political farce played out this week by Ehud & Ehud hasn't really cooled all that much and it's hard to put into words how deeply the selfish, petty, myopic and destructive posturing of Israel's so-called leaders offends me. But I'm still here and they're still there and I'm ever mindful of the constraints that puts on the relevance of my opinion.

There are, however, actual Israelis who share it, and I can usually count on Treppenwitz to present a clear and articulate exposition of most any issue that often manages to mirror my own emotions as well as my thoughts. In this post, David explains what's been going on and shares his own feelings of betrayal. He also helps to clarify for me another dilemma I've been struggling with over the past few years.

You may not like or trust Natanyahu. Heck, I can think of 3 or 4 other people I'd rather see as Prime Minister. But Bibi's the only one who has a realistic shot of beating the current bunch of clowns right this very minute. He has also been a responsible opposition leader, being quietly supportive during wartime and bringing measured pressure to bear on the government at critical junctures.

Many don't trust Natanyahu because he failed to deliver on many of his promises during his last tenure as PM. But they conveniently forget that he was hopelessly saddled with the suicidal Oslo Accords which he had inherited from his predecessors.

Setting aside existing treaties is not an easy thing to do. This is one of the big reasons it is doubly troubling watching Olmert and Co.try to ram through new agreements at the last minute before the ax falls. If elections are held before the current government does too much damage Natanyahu would have no Oslo-like albatross around his neck and he would have the advantage of a nation that is ready for a complete change in the way we conduct our internal and international business.

I think that's exactly right. Or maybe it's just desperation. Maybe it's just the growing sense that almost anything would be better than the jokers who are running Israel today. Even from this distance, it's painful to watch.

And then there's this follow-up post, in which David explains how wily old Olmert pulled one over using one of the oldest tricks in the book.

It now turns out that Olmert - our very own Br'er Rabbit - was pleading "Please don't force us to hold internal primaries", when in fact that is precisely what he wanted.
Brilliant! And you really must read the whole thing. (It's short ... honest.)

Finally, the last word this week comes from Ann Woolner, who in this column for Bloomberg (much of which I disagree with) does manage to get right to the hollow core of the "activist judge" bludgeon.

Can we please just admit that the term judicial activism has no meaning, other than to slam opinions with which one doesn't agree?

I'm certain we can't. The right gets far too much effective leverage out of it. But we should. It would contribute tremendously to the honesty and integrity of our public discourse about matters of jurisprudence. But I guess it would require a quid pro quo of some sort, and I can't imagine what the left could possibly offer in return. "Third Bush term" and "tax breaks for the rich" just don't have nearly the same resonance as "death tax" and "judicial activism." Ah, well.

Shabbat Shalom.