Rosh Chodesh Adar (the new month of Adar) has arrived, and that means Purim is not far away.
In Israel, schools are blaring forth joyous music heralding the approaching Festival, and children are busy deciding which fancy dress costumes to choose.
A very old custom that has revived in recent years is the annual “shpiel”, which is a glorious opportunity for amateur thespians to demonstrate their acting skills. At the same time, it is opportune to write scripts that lampoon politicians and current events.
This year there will be no lack of material, given local political upheavals and continuing international farcical developments. In fact, one can confidently predict the expected scenarios because the agendas are so blatantly clear.
There is no need to wait for the advent of Purim because hysteria and unhinged conduct seems nowadays to be the normal default condition. Festival skits are no longer a match for the absurdities which are staged at the UN and other international and local forums.
The frenzy being generated at present over the Israeli Government’s plans to reform the selection process of Justices for the Supreme Court and its power to strike down any legislation which the Knesset may pass is at a peak. Unhinged tantrums by those still not reconciled to the results of the elections are the order of the day. Breast beating and predictions of apocalyptic doom resound from locals and foreigners. The latter comprise many who have never visited Israel but think that they have the divine right to tell us how to act. Also hopping on the bandwagon are long-time haters of the Zionist dream and knee-jerk self-loathers.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has already sprung into action and warned us of the dire consequences if we dare to reform our courts and enact related measures. Wouldn’t you think that he might have plenty on his plate at the moment with the epidemic of human rights abuses taking place in a myriad of UN member nations? You may also well ask why he is not convulsing over the blatant abuse of human rights taking place with the official connivance of the Arab Palestinian Authority. Where is his demand that Abbas and his corrupt crew cease paying rewards and stipends to murderers of Israelis?
I know that these questions are a futile exercise because neither the UN nor all the great champions of “two states for two people” have the slightest interest in confronting the real facts staring them in the face. That is why the US has no problem in acquiescing to yet another totally detached statement condemning the rights of Jews to live in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. While this frenzy continues the real threats from North Korea, Iran and others are consigned to the “too hard” basket.
We are supposed to remain “shtum” when the White House and US State Department express “dismay” because houses are being built for Jews. Iran continues to overtly transfer missiles and other weapons to Syria and Lebanon. Israel is targeting these sites and Russia, that great champion of international legitimacy, calls our efforts a “flagrant violation of international law.”
The European Union has stated that there is no legal basis to designate the Iranian revolutionary guards as a terror organisation. Obviously, the urge to appease is so ingrained that despite clear proof of terror intent the threat can be dismissed by performing a dubious legal somersault.
The South African Government is now among the most fervent deniers of Israel’s sovereign rights and was instrumental in expelling the Israeli observer to the recent African Union meeting. One would think that the increasing efforts to delegitimise Israel might wake up South African Jews to the proverbial writing on the wall. Unfortunately, just like their compatriots in Russia, Germany and other countries they prefer to ignore the increasingly hostile omens.
In a recent survey, it was revealed that one in four American Jews avoid wearing anything that may identify them as Jews.
A survey of British Jews revealed that 52% view Israel’s Government with “dread.” Meanwhile, the Jewish Chronicle reported this message issued by a pro-Palestinian group: “Is your co-worker a Zionist? Is your teacher or lecturer a Zionist? Campaign for them to be fired. Zionism justifies the genocide of Palestinians.” If this is not explicit enough and a sign of things to come, I do not know what else is. Yet the message falls on barren ground much like the increasingly strident messages of hate in pre-war Germany, and we all know how that ended.
The uncanny ability of otherwise educated and level-headed Jews to self-flagellate and identify with those seeking our demise goes back a long way, but it still leaves one amazed.
Gershon Baskin, a long-time op-ed writer for the Jerusalem Post and a veteran left-wing devotee, recently penned this gem: “In my mind, the creation of a Palestinian State was the ultimate fulfilment of the Zionist dream.” I naively thought that the fulfilment of the Zionist dream was the creation of a Jewish State, but obviously, all who followed this dream must have been deluded. There seems to be no realisation by the flagellators that the offer of an Arab State has been rejected time after time in preference to the elimination firstly of the Jewish nation.
This perversion of history and desperation to appease those determined to murder Jews is an old story. We don’t need to go back all the way to the Biblical narrative. As recent as May 1936, the Labour Zionist leader Berl Katznelson asked: “Is there another people on earth whose sons are so emotionally twisted that they consider everything their nation does despicable and hateful, while every murder, rape and robbery committed by their enemies fills their heart with admiration and awe? As long as a Jewish child can come to the Land of Israel and here catch the virus of self-hate, let not our conscience be still.”
Proof that Purim parodies are no match for reality is provided by the reaction to the decisions of our security Minister who is routinely described as ultra-right or an extremist.
Apparently, as part of their ongoing campaign to damage and harm Israel in any possible way, security prisoners in Israeli jails have been taking lengthy showers in order to waste as much precious water as possible. Please note that the term security prisoners is a woke way of describing murderers and terrorists. The Minister has now instructed that showers are to be no longer than four minutes.
At the same time, he has announced that cosmetic surgery will no longer be available.
Spokespersons for the terror groups have denounced these measures and threatened to go on a hunger strike. You can be sure that the UN Security Council will soon be called into an emergency session to discuss these latest Israeli threats to world peace.
Meanwhile, the PA Minister of Justice (a misnomer if ever there was one) has approved certificates to be awarded to terror prisoners in Israeli jails who have successfully completed a course of study in international law and human rights.
Ramadan this year coincides with Passover. Normally this is the signal for Islamic violence and incitement to break out, and there is no reason to believe that it will be any different this time around. Despite all evidence, we are being warned by so-called friends and serial appeasers not to do anything that might upset the terror planners.
Purim is often described as a time when truth is inverted and logic is upended.
Observing current developments, one can heartily agree.
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.