The circus moves on

The circus moves on

Column Jewish News August 3 2018

The trouble with the lunacies in the Jewish world is that the whirligig effect is so strong. No sooner has one absorbed the most recent evidence of derangement than the circus has moved on, providing the greedy commentariat with fresh grist to its already over-stuffed mill.

We are, I am afraid, in just such a week, despite the convention that summer is the “silly season” for news and that very little of substance normally happens.

But, as we have wearily recorded before, we are not living in normal times.

Let us begin with the national act of self-delusion that is Israel’s most recent political act, the new nation-state law.

This law has been something like seven years in the making and finally went on the statute books two weeks ago, to rabid cheers from the right-wing and cries of despair from the left.

But no sooner did the nation-state act become law than the grinding gears of U-turns could be heard, most notably from Bibi’s right-wing rival, Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party.

Bennett, who can read the political runes quite well, understood – better than Bibi, it seems – how the new law would have an impact on the Druze community in Israel, which has reacted with outrage, claiming the law makes them into second-class citizens.

Bennett said: “It has become clear that the manner in which the nation-state law was enacted is very damaging – especially to them and to anyone who has tied his fate to the Jewish state.

“This, of course, was not the intention of the Israeli government. These are our brothers who stand shoulder to shoulder with us on the battlefield and made a covenant with us – a covenant of life. We, the government of Israel, have a responsibility to find a way to heal the rift.”

To which one might reply: Aw, diddums. Did the nasty government push through a law without thinking about its consequences? What a surprise.

Five minutes later, politically speaking, The Jerusalem Post fired cartoonist Avi Katz from its magazine, The Jerusalem Report, for a cartoon he drew criticising the nation-state law, invoking George Orwell’s seminal novel, Animal Farm, with its central contention that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.

Katz, who has worked for the Report for 30 years, drew government ministers as pigs, which did not go down well. To be clear: the firing was stupid and makes Israel look stupid.

Parts of Israel were behaving admirably last week, offering help to the Greek Government to combat the devastating fires there, and performing a dangerous and heroic rescue of hundreds of Syria’s White Helmets community, en route to repatriation elsewhere. But for every good deed, the white noise of the idiotic drowns it out.

And while we are on stupidities, I almost can’t fix on one, among so many in the current non-relationship between our own Jewish community and the turbulent mess that is Britain’s Labour Party.

But, even judging by the low bar that we must apply to all such nonsense, Barnet Council reached new depths this week with the apparent suggestion that in return for failing to deal with anti-Semitism, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn should be divested of … leadership? Authority? Wrong. The answer is his allotment. Give me, as they say, strength.

The allotment, dear Barnet Council idiots, is the best place for him. Let him moulder among the giant marrows and rot on the compost heap.

  • 31 July, 2018