Will dishing the dirt on Israel work the second time? Another Durban?

The biblical Balaam narrative foretold the plot against modern Israel. If war could not bring the nation down, try disabling words like Apartheid, occupation etc.  Will the BDS brigade and the whole army conquer where the biblical model failed?

Steve Apfel, | updated: 06:59

Steve Apfel
Steve Apfel
INN:SA

Plots and characters in the bible are said to portend what lies in store for the Jewish people. That being so, the Balaam narrative, read this week in Diaspora synagogues, foretold the plot against modern Israel. If war could not bring the nation down, try disabling words.   

The compelling intrigue with its twists and turns and bad forebodings is familiar to many. It begins with the desire of King Balak to stop redeemed slaves, desert rodents, in their tracks after they’d made mincemeat of real armies. Military might, he understood, was not behind the juggernaut Jews.

The might of the start-up nation resided in their leader’s power of speech. Moses was the secret weapon.

And this set the king thinking. If Moses could weaponize the rabble by sweet-talking God, what about a prophet to engage the Lord in a destructive dialogue?  

So the king contracts with a professional curser. Bad mouthing in the ancient world was big business. Hired cursers were a dime a dozen, but one, unique as a unicorn, stood tall. “No prophet arose in Israel like Moses” (Deut. 34). Maybe so; but one did arise outside of Israel. Balaam was the equal of Moses in prophetic power. All prophets open their curses with “So says God,” or words to that effect, meaning interpretation of the Divine word. Not Balaam. For God to speak to him and through him all he had to do was open his lips like a ventriloquist dummy.

Already Balaam had an international reputation for cursing victims to untimely and ugly deaths. But here was the mother of all commissions: a king’s ransom: to bad mouth a nation protected by the Shechinah – the Cloud of Glory. The end game was not to wipe the Israelite marauders off the face of the desert, but to keep them from going onto the Promised Land.  

“The problem is…”  Ideas to get the marauders out of it are considered at a far-ahead point in time. Israel is thriving in the Promised Land and a mixed multitude meet on the side of a game-changing conference at the Indian Ocean city of Durban. The year is 2001 and plots are afoot. The venue is a global conference on racism staged by the United Nations.


Pick the ugliest international crimes in the book and level them at Israel. Apartheid – who wouldn’t hate an apartheid country! Then war crimes. What gnashes teeth more than ethnic cleansing, attempted genocide and occupation! Echoes of death camps. Links to Stalin and Hitler. 
Obsessed minds are rattled, again, by the Jewish question. War after war had left the problem people more entrenched. Conquering armies had tried, now for conquering words.  The war by non-military means would be a carbon copy of King Balak’s plan to curse the desert wanderers. Now dishing the dirt would bring the Zionists to their knees. The plan was to condemn and demonize Israel to the point where it became a pariah nation. The cursing of Israel would unite the world in a common hatred. 

Here was an intoxicating vision, and many entities and people bristling with pent-up scores to settle were intoxicated by it. Pick the ugliest international crimes in the book and level them at Israel. Apartheid – who wouldn’t hate an apartheid country! Then war crimes. What gnashes teeth more than ethnic cleansing, attempted genocide and occupation! Echoes of death camps. Links to Stalin and Hitler. 

The prospect was enough to make the plotters drool. Add some imaginative PR, enlist the New York Times, CNN etc; draw on deep pockets and the halo crowd: human rights watchdogs, puffed up righteous rabbis and clerics supported by experts on international  law, all holding their own in a shrill, ferocious crusade, loving the hate and needing it. Before Israel knew, opinion-makers and mind-benders were onto its case. From there on it was all downhill. 

Great dark operatic curses pummeled the target. Some were furious and wild. Apartheid? The Afrikaners were amateurs compared to Israel, swore a cleric icon with the mentality of a pimp.

Other curses, with an insidious purpose in mind, were more subtle. These played the Jews at their own game: “You want to be more virtuous than everyone?  Take it away man – show what ya made of!” My chapter, “The weapon of law” identifies a four-pronged assault: Hadrian's Echo: The Whys and Wherefores of Israel's Critics

1. The agenda: to punish Israel for fighting back against a foe intent on murder, mayhem and martyrdom.

2. The design: to make the IDF fight the enemy with one hand behind its back.

3. The trap: to set the bar for legal military operations high enough, far higher than anywhere on earth, to guarantee that soldiers would fall foul of international law. 

4. The looked-for result: upon violations, to blow the whistle, then to haul Jewish leaders before kangaroo courts, UN commissions of inquiry, the media and the public, for crimes against humanity.

The haters waited and watched. How high can Israel jump? A shiver of the bar created frenzy, and sent Israel, the world’s polecat, into the dock.                 

These are the Axis powers and their strategy to paralyze the Jewish state to the point where it stands alone and vulnerable, a meek prey for waiting wolves.

Will the BDS brigade and the whole army conquer where the biblical model failed? Will the dirt-dishing anti-Zionist powers meet the fate of Balaam the wily wizard? Is he completely our contemporary?  

When the Lord told the curser to hold his tongue he disobeyed. Feted celebrity-hood beckoned like a pot of gold. Balaam ransacked his whole bag of tricks, but God had other plans. Stymied, he rode from pillar to post. Even his donkey opened its jaw to complain and humiliate Balaam.

True – success did come, but it was not the success he had sought. At the moment of truth, words of praise and blessing tripped off the curser’s tongue, that mouth organ of militant curses and master of a talking donkey. 

The curser’s fate? He winds up on a heap of kings, food for dogs.

Steve Apfel is an economist and a cost accountant, but most of all a prolific author of non-fiction and fiction, published in many journals and sites. He was commissioned to write the ground breaking works, “A bias thicker than faith;” and “Is the NYT motto for real?”  His latest novel, “Balaam’s curse” a biblical novel, is near publication ready. His non-fiction books are: Hadrian’s Echo: The whys and wherefores of Israel’s critics”; (2012); contributor to “War by other means”, Israel Affairs (July 2102); and “Enemies of Zion”.   Steve blogs at https://enemiesofzion.wordpress.com/


 





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