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Veteran Israeli Commentator Takes on Bibi, Adelson and Israel’s Political and Media Establishment

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July 28, 2015

I love Uri Avnery. I don’t always agree with him, but you have to give this 91 year-old Israeli veteran journalist, peace-activist, former member of the Knesset, and Irgun fighter during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence credit for doing so well what Jews have always done – criticize themselves, take on the powers that be, smash sacred cows, and speak honestly about the direction of Jewish society and values.

As Avnery has always been, he is one of Israel’s greatest critics. I am eager to hear what he says because the old man’s wisdom and historic perspective frequently keeps me from slipping into mindlessly supporting positions that “experts” and leaders advocate.

This week, Avnery has done it again in his provocative op-ed that he calls “Sheldon’s Stooges” published by Gush Shalom, an Israeli peace organization that Avnery founded (July 25). http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1437736410

Do read the article. It is not long.

Here are Avnery’s main points and my brief reflection about them in CAPS:

1. Bibi, after failing in his “declared war on the President of the United States” should resign, but doesn’t for all kinds of nefarious reasons – I AGREE

2. Bibi is neither insane, nor a fool – I AGREE

3. Sheldon Adelson has no real interest in Israel at all. Rather, he is using Bibi to personally gain control of the White House in 2016 – INTERESTING, BUT I HAVE NO IDEA IF THIS IS RIGHT!!!!

4. Adelson is a caricature of the Jew that the Zionist movement was established to reject and excise from Jewish society – I AGREE

5. The Israeli opposition has caved to Bibi’s fixation on the Iranian move towards a nuclear bomb – THIS DEPENDS, OBVIOUSLY, ON ONE’S PERSPECTIVE. I CREDIT BIBI WITH RAISING THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR ISSUE TO THE WORLD’S ATTENTION. THAT BEING SAID, MANY IN ISRAELI POLITICS AND IN THE ISRAELI SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT BELIEVE THIS AGREEMENT IS THE BEST ONE AVAILABLE AND THAT IT IS NOT IN ISRAEL’S BEST INTEREST TO DO WHAT BIBI IS PLANNING TO DO WITH THE AID OF AIPAC, TO LOBBY CONGRESS TO DEFEAT THE AGREEMENT – SEE MY FORMER BLOG “MANY BELIEVE THE IRAN AGREEMENT IS SUPPORTABLE DESPITE ITS FLAWS” https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/400228/759611871

6. Bibi’s arguments that the P5+1 agreement with Iran is bad and catastrophic are shallow, and that the Prime Minister’s fear-mongering has succeeded in producing what Avnery calls “total unanimity, …total absence of doubting and questioning.” JUDGE FOR YOURSELVES

7. No one in Israeli politics and the Israeli media is seriously debating the meaning of what Bibi has characterized as an “historic disaster” and “that the price of cottage cheese evokes more emotion” – I ACTUALLY AM HEARING DEBATE, BUT I AM NOT AN ISRAELI AND I DEFER TO THEM TO EVALUATE WHETHER AVNERY IS RIGHT OR NOT. THERE IS CERTAINLY A LOT OF DEBATE GOING ON IN THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY ABOUT THE MEANING OF THIS AGREEMENT, ABOUT WHICH I FEEL GRATIFIED. AFTER ALL, DEBATE IS WHAT JEWS DO BEST – WE ARGUE AS A PEOPLE ABOUT VALUES, ETHICS, REAL POLITIC, CONSEQUENCES, AND LIFE ITSELF.

You can learn more about Uri Avnery here https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Uri+Avnery.

May he live to 120 and continue to act as the grand provocateur of the Jewish people and the state of Israel!

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