It is almost summer, a shift of sorts in our year. And it’s not just that in New York the seasons are changing; we’re also at a turning point in the direction of our societies and our world.
After being disconnected from news and social media for three refreshing days of (Diaspora) yom tov, we were reintroduced to reality. As a news junkie, there were several times I felt concerned that I was missing something important. But after Havdallah on Monday night, a cursory glance at my favorite information sources on my phone showed that little had changed. The one appreciable change was that the leaders in the U.S. and in Israel both said that things were good, even great, in both countries while in reality they were actually worse.
Biden said on Monday that the economic recovery taking place in the U.S. today is the best in U.S. history. The average price of gassing up your car has doubled in the past year, the cost of food is sky-high and continually increasing, and there are shortages of essential products, baby formula in particular, but the Biden handlers have tweeted for him that things in this country have never been better.
Last week, Biden also was sent out in public to say that his administration has done something no other has ever accomplished. He said that his administration actually reduced spending in the U.S. by $1.5 trillion.
That is just another clear example of how politicians like Mr. Biden use truth to promote their falsehoods. A statement like that has many digesting the idea and convincing themselves that while things look and feel dismal, if Mr. Biden actually reduced spending by such a gargantuan amount, then he must be somewhat competent even though he sounds very much the opposite.
In this post-pandemic year, the country is spending about $1.5 trillion less than it did when we were operating under a public healthcare emergency and extreme spending measures had to be taken in order to keep our civilization afloat.
That we now have vaccines and therapeutics that deal effectively with the original ravages of the pandemic has almost no impact on effective economic policy brought into the country by the Biden administration. The statement that Biden and his economic team reduced spending because of their fiscally responsible approach is a lie that they are betting you will happily believe.
The farther away the Biden administration moves from the Trump years the greater the fibs and deceptions utilized by the Democrat Party administration. They are fairly sure you will buy into whatever it is they are trying to sell you. These distortions of reality will no doubt continue through the election season in the hope that this failed administration can fool you and retain at least some of their governmental power after the upcoming November election.
Over in Israel it may not be as bad as what we are dealing with here, but it is a lot of the same political zigzag tactics—betting on you being too busy to realize what is really going on. Earlier this year there was a spate of terror attacks—eleven people were murdered over a period of a few days—because the Bennett government has to go slow on terror crackdowns otherwise their Islamic partners in the Jewish state governing coalition can be jeopardized.
Also, there is an ongoing dispute over the rights of Jews to visit and pray on Har HaBayit. Somehow, over the last 55 years since the Six Day War, Jordan has been living under the impression that they are the premier authority when it comes to governing the way in which this holiest of locations on the globe is managed.
It has always been in the interest of peace to allow vagueness on this issue to prevail. But with the Islamic Ra’am Party holding the balance of power in the Bennett coalition, the stakes take on an entirely different and even unique dynamic. With Mansour Abbas holding sway over Prime Minister Bennett for all practical purposes, it is the Muslim clerics who control who can and who cannot visit the Temple Mount and if or how they might be able to pray.
In late May, an Israeli Court ruled that three teenagers who were detained for reciting Shema on the Har HaBayit were within their right to do so and cannot be charged with violating any applicable laws. The government of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and the terror group Hamas vociferously objected, saying that an Israeli court cannot rule on a matter of international law.
The falsehood and inconsistency there is that Israel captured the Temple Mount in a war of aggression started by a number of Arab countries, including Jordan. So while the policy has always been not to allow Jewish prayer at the holy site, this recent court ruling may have turned that policy on its head and was indeed a cause for celebration in Israel.
Immediately following the court decision, however, Prime Minister Bennett announced that there will be no change in Israel policy on the matter of prayer. He had to say that and had to do it quickly as he was threatened with the collapse of his coalition if the Islamic Ra’am party withdrew.
That’s no way to run a Jewish country.
In the new book Inthe Lion’s Den, by the former Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, he writes in detail about the Trump administration’s decision to recognize an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.
Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel has been on the law books of the United States for more than two decades. The law, however, came with a proviso that said the president of the United States can waive implementation of that law every six months. Beginning with George Bush and through Barack Obama that is exactly what every president did. Then Donald Trump arrived.
Danon writes about the ambassadors at the UN as well as heads of state fearing that the Arab world would erupt in riots and protest at the U.S. move. Mr. Trump remained undaunted and made the proclamation of recognition of united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and guess what the reaction was—nothing, none at all.
On the use of truth in perpetrating falsehood, President Obama was a master at the craft. Prior to his assuming office in 2009, Obama proclaimed his support for an undivided Jerusalem (I believe it was at his remarks before the AIPAC convention). He never said that he believed that the city should be undivided or actually united under Israeli sovereignty. On the contrary, it later became clear that the Obama stance was a Jerusalem that is the capital of Palestine and under Arab rule. That was the former president using his truth to perpetrate an extreme falsehood.
And with Mr. Obama in all likelihood currently pulling the Biden administration strings, it is little truths like this that line all the falsehoods and deception.
Biden will be in Israel soon to press Naftali Bennett to open up a virtual embassy to Palestine on Agron Street in the heart of Jerusalem. Along that same foreign policy fantasy line, Biden and his team are still hoping for a two-state solution, long considered an absolute impossibility.
Biden and company want you to believe that the U.S. economy is booming while the opposite is the reality. They tried to convince us that inflation was transitory but only recently changed that to “who knows how long things are going to be like this.”
And more than anything, they want you to believe that delivering control of both houses of Congress to the Democrats in November is the best thing you can do for yourself and the country. That is the greatest falsehood that they want you to internalize, so they stuff it with bits and pieces of little truths and then swear to you that it’s in your best interest. But the only thing right about that is that they’ve got it all wrong.
Larry Gordon is editor in chief of the Five Towns Jewish Times.