Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bugs Bunny in the United Nations, again.

This speech I wrote myself. Who needs speechwriters? I personally wrote it, I have been working on it for a whole week.  I prepared public opinion in advance to tune in to the best show in town. It is not every day that I get again to be the Israeli Ambassador to the UN. Those were the days, the good old days. No need to maintain a government coalition, no need to deal all the time with the economy. Just take the stand in New York and put on a show and go get them!

And the subject? What a question. I told everybody in advance. This subject is Iran, Iran and Iran - and Iran again. That's my greatest achievement. The Palestinians are out! Who's talking about them nowadays? Who is Abu Mazen, anyway? We can throw him some crumbs so that he could pay his officials, and let him shut up. The main thing today is Iran. I'm the one who set the global agenda! I personally did that, nobody can take it away from me.

What a pleasure it is to stand before the cameras and attack the evil Ahmadinejad. Since he started spitting out a new villainy every day, my speeches have become so easy. They virtually write themselves. I hear they are going to replace him next year. A pity, I will really miss him. I hope his replacement will not prove a disgrace, will continue to provide us with juicy gimmicks.

So what do I say now? When do I actually go to war? It will not do to give too close a date. Our dear country people are a bit scared, they take this war a bit  too seriously. And also all these military officers and intelligence personnel and former high officials making so much trouble, chattering and chattering nonstop. Also Barak can't be trusted anymore. So what to say? The Summer of 2013! The Summer of 2013 is now our Red Line. The final Red Line. Completely final. The war will be in the summer! You can take Bibi's word! Yes, that's good. We have nine or ten months until then, that’s virtually an eternity.

In the meantime, until then we can get through elections in Israel. Of course, the elections would be about Iran, Iran and Iran. What a beauty! Let's see that Shelly conduct an election campaign with no economy and no social issues and no housing shortage and no rising cost of living and no suffering workers. Who is interested in all that now? The Social Protest is out, too! Iran, only Iran! The elections campaign will provide more opportunities for fiery speeches about the scoundrels from Tehran. Maybe we will include selected Ahmadinejad appearances  in our election campaign TV spots. For example the Holocaust  denial cartoons. They could not have made it more graphical.

Which reminds me, here too I must have a gimmick to catch the eye. Where did I put it? Here, here is the Iranian bomb, I brought it with me for all to see and understand who we're dealing with. Here you can see, I marked all the stages –the  centrifuges which constantly go around enriching uranium, turning and turning and threatening the entire world. How backward these Iranians are, only now they arrive at this point. We went through all that in Dimona fifty years ago, when I was still a child. But who would dare compare us to them?

Anyway, pay attention to me now. Now is the crucial moment when I pull out my red marker and mark for all the world to see our last and final Red Line. What does it mean? I think it is quite clear, even a little boy who loves Looney Tunes would understand immediately. Once they have finished enriching  uranium to twenty percent, they have already completed ninety percent of the process. That is the time to stop them. That and not a minute later. Here, I marked the red line where it says ninety percent. No, no, I definitely did not mean that they are allowed to enrich uranium up to ninety percent! Absolutely not, absolutely not! Are you crazy? Such stupid people. Oh well. But my picture with the gimmick of the bomb went straight to the front page of the New York Times. That's also something.

Here they are in the stands, all my best friends clapping. What a speech that was! Everybody is here. Here is Sheldon, what a good friend. Without his money, where would I find a newspaper to print the whole text of my speech, word by word, and add three very, very flattering commentaries? There they are, all the good friends clapping for me.

Among them Alan Dershowitz. Alan is such a good guy, doing a great PR job for us voluntarily. But something went wrong this week, he is a little bit freaked out. Why meet with Abu Mazen? With Abu Mazen, of all people? And not just meet him, but talk of a settlement freeze. A settlement freeze? That's really too much. Why the hell talk of a settlement freeze?

Here, just this week the bulldozers went out, to prepare the ground for yet another big neighborhood of Efrat. A beautiful settlement, Efrat. A pleasure to visit. A very dynamic place, constantly growing and growing and growing. They always come up with new projects. I gave a nice speech there, too. A  month ago, when I came together with the Minister of Education to greet the children at the beginning of the new school year. What had I said over there? Oh, yes. "Efrat and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc are an integral and fundamental part of Greater Jerusalem. They are the southern gate of Jerusalem and will always be part of Israel. We are building up Efrat and Gush Etzion with energy, faith and responsibility, and so will we build up education, too."

Well, better not say all this here in New York. No need to go too far. Here it would suffice to say a few general words about Jerusalem being Ours Forever and mention King David. That's it, finished. Get down from the stand. One more Historic Speech which would be Long Remembered etc. etc. Hooray, Bibi!
Eran Vered's take:


Saturday, September 22, 2012

King Bibi in the political casino

On the front page of Ma'ariv's weekend magazine appears the headline from a commentary by Ofer Shelah:  “A dangerous gamble" - followed by  a quote “Netanyahu features in the broadcasts of the Mitt Romney campaign, and the Republican candidate anti- Palestinian utterings seem to be direct quotations from Israel's PM. Netanyahu has put all his chips on Romney – but who will pay the bill if Obama is re-elected?"

The Ma'ariv newspaper, a pillar of the Israeli press throughout the county's entire history, is at this moment itself in grave danger. Its fate and that of its two thousand employees hangs in the balance. Ma'ariv - and other newspapers and media outlets in Israel –suffer from  the unfair competition by "Israel Today". Copies of "Israel Today" are spread in huge quantities in the streets and at the entrances to public institutions. Unlike other papers, readers do not have to pay for it. And this newspaper also offers incredibly cheap advertisements, at prices with which no other paper could possibly compete.

So, how can "Israel Today" make a profit under such conditions? It does not. "Israel Today" suffers huge losses every month, but it has an owner with very wide pocket,
ever ready and willing to cover the losses. Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who gets very lucrative profits from running casinos in China and the United States, can afford this expenditure. Not by coincidence, "Israel Today" consistently and bluntly supports Binyamin Netanyahu and the policies of his government, while casualties of its wildcat competition are newspapers taking a more critical stance towards the Prime Minister. And also not by coincidence, Sheldon Adelson is also a major supporter and prime funder in the election campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential candidate in the United States.

In yesterday's issue of Ma'ariv also appeared a commentary by Ben Kaspit, which might be one of his lasts: “This week Obama gained a decisive advantage in the polls, and in the Electoral College which actually elects the President his situation is even better. It seems that only a miracle can save Romney and the people who have staked the fortunes upon his. It is for such a miracle that Netanyahu and Adelson are now fervently praying. (...)  Based on the assumption that the miracle does not happen and that Romney is sent despondently home on 7 November, the PM's men understand perfectly well what they can expect from the White House during Obama's second term: the immensity of the disgust which the President now feels for Prime Minister of Israel and all that the PM stands for;  that the effort of rebuilding relations which awaits them is virtually hopeless. This is very bad news for the Right-wing, for the settlers, for everyone who tied their fate to the one who tied his own fate to Mitt Romney.”

Caspit – not  staunch leftist - speculates that Obama's second term would start with “another settlement freeze and a resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians (assuming that Abbas survives until then)."

So, perhaps something would happen, after all? Perhaps, it would still happen after all the disappointments and frustrations and bloodshed, despite the ever increasing desperation and cynicism? Maybe the phrase "Middle East Peace Process" would still cease to be a sad and pathetic joke. Maybe a president elected for the second time, having no longer electoral constraints in settling  outstanding accounts with the Prime Minister of Israel, would at long last devote to this issue a significant part of the enormous power at the disposal of the President of the United States of America? Perhaps it would still happen that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories would not reach its fiftieth anniversary in 2017, but get its long overdue passing away  during the second term of Barack Hussein Obama?

So, would we after all have reason to a sleepless night on November 6?