The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The good news is that the spirit of Israel is alive and well and the people are strong and healthy. So, I believe we are in for a great change. I said great change, not another shift. The political ping-ponging between the Right and Left of this country has gone beyond overtime and somebody needs to call the game, and turn the table over.

Ellen W. Horowitz

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One Thursday morning, I was sitting at breakfast with my husband at a certain five-star hotel in Jerusalem (I'm entitled to this rare occasion, OK!). We had the dining room all to ourselves, and in walks MK and then-Cabinet Minister Benny Elon; he was alone. So, I whispered to my husband, "Tell him in that great Tel Aviv accent of yours to quit the government now!"

My husband rolled his eyes and replied, "I refuse to invade the privacy or disrupt the meal of a public figure - you taught me that!"

And so I ate my scrambled eggs in silence, but every once in a while I threw a cold stare in the minister's direction.

24 hours later, Benny was on the lam and doing all he could to avoid being served a dismissal notice from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. It was both somewhat amusing and so very embarrassing. But all in all, I'm glad I voted for the National Union. Thank you, Avigdor Lieberman, for taking the lead. It seems that it took a former resident of the Soviet Union to see what a farce Israeli democracy really is. But what can you expect from a state built by and primarily populated with a people who were either indoctrinated by Eastern European Bolshevism or victims of Arab tyrannies? It should also be taken into consideration that Western-style democracy is not an inherently Jewish concept.

I was thinking about how America and much of Diaspora Jewry has always justified Israel's existence because, "It's the only democratic presence in the Middle East." Well, what will be the justification now - that we make the best felafel?

So, it seems the fledgling state has lost its political and national direction. But we are going to get it back. Don't fret, as recent developments are ultimately for the good.

It seems that seeds of truth - as opposed to "Seeds of Peace" - are starting to sprout. (Real peace can only be built on a foundation of truth, but the peace camp is ever-so anxious to skip over that basic premise.)

Sharon's plans to evacuate Gaza were overwhelmingly defeated in a very democratic referendum. This was no small minority vote, as the Israeli Left and international commentators will have you believe. The largest and most popular political party in Israel overwhelmingly defeated the plans of the country's leadership (who just happens to be a member of that same party). These are the facts and the will of the people cannot be taken lightly.

It's Hebrew Book Week and the new release The Covenant, by religious, right-wing author Naomi Ragen, just unseated A. B. Yehoshua's book as number one on the national best-seller list. Another indication that the people of this nation are thirsty for the truth.

Aside from little deviations here and there, for the last 27 years, the people of Israel have consistently voted to the Right. Even those few Labor victories have been ensured only by placing purportedly hawkish generals at the top of the ticket. Had the media and pollsters been correct in their reading of public opinion, people like Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin and Avrum Burg would have been leading this country long ago.

The assassination of the legendary Labor Prime Minister should have, theoretically, shifted public opinion to the far Left. Instead, we elected Benjamin Netanyahu. So much for pollsters and media pundits. They are perpetually off the mark and yet, like idiots, we still tune in.

Now, listen and learn - this is an essential point that must be understood:

We didn't elect Binyamin Netanyahu back in 1996 to bring about national reconciliation or to continue the peace process, or even to integrate Israel into the new global economy. The simple truth is that we, the public, desperately wanted to rid ourselves of Oslo. We elected the seemingly potent figure with the golden tongue to stand up in front of the world and to verbally and physically rip the Oslo Accords to shreds. At the time, that's all we required of him. Instead, the media sliced through Bibi and the wounded hero handed us Wye. So much for form and style.

For a brief time, we watched the ludicrous, boyish antics of former US President Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and our little General (Ehud Barak) at Camp David. When the mischievous game got out of hand and the blood started gushing, Israel ran into the arms of a big, grown-up man.

Ariel Sharon was not brought to power for his charm, diplomatic skills or talent as a tactician. We simply wanted the old bulldozer to push through all political roadblocks and to uproot and bury terrorism.

Instead, we got the Roadmap, free passes for bus bombers, and a disgraceful dictator who unabashedly proclaims his intentions to rip Jews from their land.

We Israelis have neither the time nor luxury to ponder our position on today's demented geopolitical chessboard. We're not so "sophisticated" or "intellectually" astute. The New World Order is Chaos - and that doesn't interest most of us. We just want to live on the land that G-d gave to us, pure and simple. How very primitive and elementary of us. But then again, the truth is rather unpretentious.

And if the very basic truth be known, our current political system, leaders and local media are corrupt and bad. The rot runs so deep that I doubt if unassisted human endeavors can rectify the damage. The foundations that the Modern State of Israel were built on appear to be corroded beyond repair.

The good news is that the spirit of Israel is alive and well and the people are strong and healthy. So, I believe we are in for a great change. I said great change, not another shift. The political ping-ponging between the Right and Left of this country has gone beyond overtime and somebody needs to call the game, and turn the table over.

It won't be easy; changes never are. There will have to be something of an earthquake to set things on the right path.

Israel as a nation needs to simultaneously separate and consolidate herself. There are elements in and among us and Diaspora Jewry we need to disconnect from. I am not referring to people with differing political and religious opinions and views, as that's what makes the world go around. I am suggesting that we expose and isolate those Jews who have clearly betrayed their own people and are actively working to bring about the destruction of the Land, People, Torah and State of Israel.

Which brings me to the ugly...

Jeffrey Goldberg of the very posh New Yorker wrote a self-hating, self-defeating, obsessive-compulsive piece of trash entitled, "Among the Settlers: Will they Destroy Israel?"

Through much of the article, Goldberg relies on erroneous polls, deceptive interviews and the demographic scare tactics of the left-wing, but what's particularly sickening is that a disproportionate share of the piece is spent on describing the physical attributes of rabbis, settler leaders and right-wing activists. A sampling follows:

"...her fingernails were chewed and dirty."

"He is a heavyset man who smokes bad cigars and has perhaps the most profane mouth in Orthodox Judaism."

"For many years, he has been the face of the settlement movement, which is no favor; his head is small, but his eyes are bulbous and his teeth outsized. His voice is deep, and his beard seems constructed of iron shavings. I said hello. He grunted a reply."

(By the way, when I read a portion of the last quote to my daughter, she was sure it was in reference to Arafat.)

It's funny that while the piece is peppered with other numerous personalities, including Prime Ministers, members of Knesset, generals and Arab terrorist leaders, degrading descriptions do not preface nor follow their names.

I've seen your picture on the Internet, Jeffrey, and it's nothing to write home about either. For the record, I bite my nails, am more than overweight and have a stutter. But I am a proud Jew.

Another far more sinister member of our tribe who appears to be oh-so-suave and debonair is Ian Lustick. The pride of the Left and professor from the University of Pennsylvania likes to play dangerous games, literally. Popular Science has a five-page spread on the professor's new virtual terror game.

He's a man who loves to pin the label of false messianism on the Israeli settlers. But in truth, it's Lustick, the control freak, who likes to play G-d. Israel and those who support her are mere pawns on Lustick's political chessboard.

I wrote about the prominent professor last February in "The Price of Arrogance". At that time, thanks to Lustick, the academic fate of pro-Israel professor and columnist Francisco Gil-White was hanging by a thread. Lustick was also actively encouraging the FBI and IRS to investigate the philanthropic, albeit Zionist, activities of Dr. Irving Moskowitz. A few months later, it appears that Gil-White has had his career (at U Penn) curtailed and Moskowitz is under investigation.

But Lustick should be the object for investigation, as he spends a lot of United States public- and private-sector funds on promoting Palestinian Arab endeavors to destroy Zionism and Israel.

PASSIA, the propaganda mouthpiece for the PLO, has invited Lustick to speak in "Jerusalem/Al-Quds" (sic) on June 16th. The topic: "The Future of the Settlements in a Two-State or One-State Solution".

PASSIA receives over one million dollars annually in US government aid and is registered as a legitimate charity with the Ministry of Interior of the State of Israel. Now that's ugly (and confusing), isn't it? Two exceptional investigative reports about PASSIA's activities were written by David Bedein of the Israel Resource News Agency and columnist Judy Lash Balint, and can be seen at and

Earlier in the week, on June 14th, Lustick is scheduled to speak in Ramallah at the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (Shaml). Here's the topic (take a deep breath, this one's a mouth full): "The Unraveling of Algerie francaise and the Fate of the Pieds Noirs Comparative Perspective Between Settlers in Palestine and Algeria."

I heard from a reliable media source that Lustick gave the same lecture last month at the Hebrew University's Davis Institute Conference. So if you missed that and can't make it to Ramallah, I'm sure the professor will be giving it again in either Oslo, Geneva or some other "neutral" European location in the very near future.

I can't help but wonder if, while in the neighborhood, the professor will take the opportunity to swing by the mukata for a quick visit with the Chairman (you know, the guy with the bulging eyes, yellow teeth and ugly whiskers - see, I can write as well as Jeffrey Goldberg.)

In an oh-so-civilized email exchange, Ian Lustick invited me to meet with him, but I'm afraid that I'll have to decline.

Welcome to Israel, Professor. I don't have the time nor desire to engage in any dialogue with you (I'm too busy trying to pick up the pieces from the mess that people like you have created), but I will find the time to write about you. I intend to make your stay here as uncomfortable as possible.

Once Israel rids herself of the murky influence of the ugly among us, we will then be able to clearly decipher the good from the bad. When that happens, we will all see a lot clearer and, G-d willing, make the right choices.