It’s been another family-maintenance day, which precludes not only blogging but, quite often, even thinking. Having a house full of children is revitalizing and exhausting all at once.
I also took my Mom clothes shopping, which makes her extraordinarily happy, but leaves me limp and floppy. I am every cheapskate’s dream, because I just hate to shop. When I was young and shopped only for clothes to hang on my lithesome frame, it was all fun. Now, though, shopping means shlepping out to get groceries, household supplies, supplies for my Mom, clothing for the children, etc. It’s drudgery not pleasure and, to add insult to injury, I’m not as lissome as I once was. Clothes shopping tends to demoralize rather than hearten me.
All of which is irrelevant to this post’s purpose, which is to pass on to you interesting articles I read this weekend. So without further ado, here are things that you might find as interesting as I did.
I begin with a whole series of articles relating to the fact that, after having rockets rained down upon her for years — and in exponential numbers since Obama’s reelection — Israel is finally pushing back. I’ll throw in here that, while Obama got encomiums from Israel’s supporters yesterday because he said that Israel has the right to defend herself, today he managed to un-deserve those same encomiums. Why? Because he added that this right to self-defense exists so long as Israel doesn’t actually do anything . . . you know, defensive:
Obama said that his message to Erdogan, as well as Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, was that it would be “preferred” if Israel could deter missiles from landing in its territory without ramping up military activity in Gaza. “That’s not just preferable to the people of Gaza, that’s also preferable to Israelis,” he said.
In other words, Israel is once again going to be bullied into a ceasefire after universal obloquy from the usual suspects, but before she can achieve any of her national defense goals. Obama can’t seem to get it through his head that it takes two to tango — and two to make peace. Constantly forcing Israel to hold back, while doing nothing about the thousands of rockets from Hamas and others (well, not nothing, because Obama does send them lots of taxpayer dollars) is just another example of government picking winners and losers — and in this game, Israel always loses.
Yesterday I posted about how the educated elite is economically ignorant, so today it shouldn’t be surprising that we learn that the educated elite is also ignorant about realities in the Middle East. Obama is simply the most visible ignoramus on the subject. Barry Rubin focuses on the foolish mentality Obama displays: namely, that Israel is totally entitled to defend herself, provided that she doesn’t do anything . . . you know, defensive.
One of the things I love about my conservative friends is that, contrary to the stereotypes the Left likes to propagate, they truly respect Israel — and it’s not just because they want all the Jews packed back into that small nation in order to facilitate the Second Coming and subsequent destruction of the Jewish nation. This canard, incidentally, is one of liberal Jews’ deepest suspicions about philosemitic Christians. Instead, true conservatives are people who value individual liberty and economic freedom, and they recognize what the elites refuse to see; namely, that this beleaguered Middle Eastern nation is a bastion of humanism in a dark, cruel, Islamo/Marxist region.
Richard Baehr points out that one of Israel’s problems is that the media and the Left (to the extent there’s any difference) completely ignore the dark cruelties that are integral to Islamic nations today, ranging from starvation in Egypt to civil war in Syria to attacks on sovereign U.S. territory in Libya. Instead, the media focuses obsessively on the small number of civilian deaths Israel tries so desperately to avoid, against an enemy that deliberately places its most vulnerable citizens in the softest targets.
Jay Gaskill tries to give the media a reality check: the problem isn’t Israel, the problem is an aggressive Islamism that has been pushing against and probing at the non-Muslim world since Mohamed first ordered it to do so. Given that this last election proved that the media has deep, strong tentacles into the American psyche, as long as it cannot distinguish cause from effect and predator from prey, both America and Israel are in great danger.
Not everyone thinks that Israel’s imminent incursions into Gaza will be disastrous. Jonathan Spyer argues that the Islamists aren’t truly ready for the fight they picked. Instead, they’re acting from a burst of hubris brought about by Obama’s reelection. According to Spyer, Hamas acted too soon because the Arab Spring effectively bankrupted Egypt, which is now dependent on American and other Western dollars to keep its citizens from starving. As long as the West wants to avoid all-out war in the Middle East, it can put economic pressure on Egypt, which will then put pressure on Hamas.
Okay, I’m done with the Middle East, but no Bookworm Room political post would be complete without some Obama bad-mouthing. I don’t like the man. It’s not just his Leftist policies and ignorance. It’s him. I find his narcissism and egotism repellent and dangerous. So does Neo-Neocon.
And finally, on a lighter note, Joel Pollak has some advice for surviving the holidays if you find yourself with liberal relatives. I’m fortunate in that my relatives, like me, have also made the transition from unthinking Leftist Jews to thoughtful Jewish conservatives. For me, the Thanksgiving holidays mean a restful time in the company of intelligent, fun, like-minded people.