Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Israeli Cabinet Minister – Obama = Pharaoh

I can’t deal with this shit.

“The American demand to prevent natural growth is unreasonable, and brings to mind pharaoh, who said, ‘Every son that is born you shall cast into the river,'” Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz (Habayit Hayehudi) said.

“If there is a family that expands from one child to four or five, what should we tell them – to ship the children off to Petah Tikva?” Herschkowitz added. “This is an unacceptable demand, even if it comes from the Americans, and Israel should reject it decisively.”

Says another:

Interior Minister Eli Yishai said, “The American demand to freeze construction means expulsion for young people living in large locales. I hope the US administration understands that. If not, I don’t want to be an apocalyptic prophet saying we’re facing struggle and confrontation.”

He added that “the concessions they’re demanding of us are a security impediment we cannot tolerate.”

I’m Jewish.  I want Israel to be safe and secure.  My people have suffered greatly throughout history, and I cannot forget the value of having a place to be a Jew among Jews.  But, seriously?  Obama’s just as bad as the biblical Pharaoh?  For this?

President Obama and our Congress are showing a pretty united front against the expansion of the settlements.  I am completely and utterly on board with such a stance.  There cannot be a durable peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians if the Israelis continue to grab ever more land in the West Bank.  It won’t work.  It cannot work.

Zealots are zealots, whether they are my people or someone else’s.  I am an American.  I support my president, but all the more so because he is right here.  This hyperbole, even in private in the halls of power….well…

The Israelis may not come to their senses until some kind of loss drives home the point that they have to make sane concessions.  I do not want this to happen.  I will do nothing to further such a thing.  I am not advocating or wishing for hard times for the Israelis.  All that being true, I sit in awe at the rank stupidity of the portions I quoted.  I am not sympathetic to the “plight” of the settlers.  Get the FUCK back into Israel proper.  The settlers are making the longterm survival of Israel far less likely that it would otherwise be.

Religion is a dangerous thing if it isn’t mated with reason and intellect.  Such a match is possible, really anywhere with any religion.  I’d like to think my fellow Jews have a history of doing precisely this.  But I worry for the Israelis.


  1. If a country grows, it needs more room.  It gets that room by, um, taking if from the people already living there.

    This was (finally) proved false leading up to WWI.  Italy took over Ethopia, and years later there were 80 Italians living there.  Italians don’t want to live in Ethiopia, and it’s just way cheaper to buy stuff from there than to invade it and try to make the same stuff there.

    Do these same Israelis want to make the same argument for Egyptians, Syrians and Palestinians?  Expanding populations need more space…?

  2. these wackos do not make up the majority by any means – in fact in a spring time poll the majority of israelis do not in fact agree with the settlements at all.….

    all netayahu and his goons are doing is shredding any sort of credibility (not that they had any to begin with) and hopefully there will either be another election or a change of power in the knesset.

  3. Is that West Bank settlement actually speeded up under Rabin and Barak. If you visit East Jerusalem there is also a concerted move to move – either by financial incentive or big social and policing disincentives – the Palestinian residents there. And the West Bank settlements access about 80 per cent of the available water supplies.

    Unfortunately, whether it’s a religious demand for the reconquest of Judea and Samaria, or purely demographic impetus for more living space, Israel is now too heavily invested in the occupied territories.

    I’m actually writing a new play set in Israel, and thinking of making a return visit this summer. Looking at a travel ad on the London Underground I noticed that the sketched outline of Israel included all the West Bank.

    I’m not sure how settler withdrawl and then isolation will actually work in terms of a viable Palestinian state, even if the settlers were en masse forced to return. The levels of political violence that might ensue within Israeli society as result, let alone the vengeance reaped on Palestinians, could cause decades of instability. And as it is, Palestine will not be economically viable without very porous borders with Israel.

    So in the long term, a binational state is looking more and more like the only solution… But I know I am in a minority in thinking this here.

    But thanks for this diary Reaper. As is true across a lot of the blogosphere, I/P has proved contentious on the Moose, and a result we tend to avoid discussing it – until another conflict flares.  

  4. Strummerson

    Obama to wear one of those awesome costumes Yul Brenner wore in The Ten Commandments?

    The irony herelor is that this same minister represents that constituency which demands that permits for construction of new housing be restricted for Palestinians and demands that any subsequent “illegally” constructed houses be demolished in order to pressure Palestinians to leave for abroad.  I wonder how he would respond if someone asked him about the “natural growth” of his Palestinian neighbors?  Does it count too?  If not, why not?  It’s time to make them own their chauvinism explicitly.  Make them say it out loud to the international press.  The only way to wake the moderates in the Israeli electorate up at this point may be to embarrass them by giving ministers such as this a very large international microphone.

    Maybe the BBC, le Monde, the NYT, the Wash Post, and der Speigel could start featuring a small shaded box on their front pages entitled “Stupid Stuff from Bibi’s Boys.”

  5. More bad news…

    The xenophobic right in Israel feels in the ascendant, and in response to Bibi’s minimal plan to remove new ‘outposts’ attacked Palestinians and burnt their fields.

    Six Palestinians were injured in the stone-throwing attacks, meant to protest the removal of several tiny settler squatter camps by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    As for the evictions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem: more here.

    Obviously, it is a tragic irony not lost on any of us that descendants of people who for centuries suffered ethnic cleansing and racial bigotry should stoop to this.  

  6. creamer

    He will back the Palistinians into a corner. He will try to provoke them. He might show us that we have sanctions on the wrong people.

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