Israel is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles as a result of irresponsible parents not vaccinating their children against this childhood disease…writes Michael Kuttner.

As we transition into a new civil year there will also be a rash of election fever which promises to afflict all of us until at least 9 April if not later. There is no way short of hibernating or emigrating to avoid the forthcoming epidemic of political mayhem destined to infect the media in particular and our daily lives in general. While measles can be a life-threatening event, election fever is more a danger to our sanity than physical well being. There is no known inoculation to prevent nausea from taking hold and only a strong constitution can successfully weather the months of hot air eruptions emanating from aspiring Knesset members.

Many people will claim that this is the price we pay for living in a vibrant democracy but sometimes it seems that we are bombarded on a continuing daily basis by those who promise the Garden of Eden. The trouble is that after the elections and following the formation of a coalition instead of the promised paradise we find ourselves facing broken promises and unfulfilled goals. The irony is that although we are already living in the Promised Land it often seems as though political ineptitude and egocentric politicians combine to keep us from reaching our full potential.

Like measles, this upcoming campaign will see a rash of new political parties being established and subsequently fading from the scene.

Politics in Israel is an ever-present and chronic condition. Between now and April almost daily polls will bombard us with the latest findings and our pontificators will be in full cry. Millions of shekels will be spent on trying to convince us as to who is best suited to govern. If these amounts were to be spent on education, health and welfare we would certainly be far better off. Reality, however, means that we will just have to grin and bear it and hope forlornly that after April we can concentrate on more productive endeavours.

The year 2019 on which we are about to embark will without a doubt be yet another twelve months of drama and mayhem with Israel at the centre of the action more times than not. Many of these events will be hardy annuals and will vindicate the wise statement that “there is nothing new under the sun.

TUNNEL VISION:  Terror tunnels constructed by Hamas and Hezbollah with foreign aid provided by donor nations will undoubtedly be again uncovered and neutralized. The impotency of the UN and its agencies will once again be on open display. Despite overwhelming evidence of the northern tunnels originating in Lebanese homes and built by Hezbollah operatives being readied for terror use against Israeli civilians the international reaction has been underwhelming. UNIFIL, tasked with the job of ensuring the UN mandate to demilitarize southern Lebanon has confirmed the existence of these tunnels but in a classic example of diplomatic cowardice has stated that it “is still investigating whether Hezbollah is responsible!!”

Despite all evidence to the contrary Australia and New Zealand still maintain the fiction that political Hezbollah is benign and the military wing is a terror designated group. There is every indication that 2019 will see the continuation of this tunnel vision.

IRAN: The coming year will determine whether the USA led sanctions result in an Iranian meltdown or whether as seems more likely at this stage those engaged in abject appeasement throw a lifeline to the regime. If the abandonment of the Kurds in Syria, the intention to throw in the towel in Afghanistan and the sudden cosying up to Turkey is anything to go by 2019 promises to present Iran with glorious opportunities to cause further mayhem and threaten Israel. If nothing else the dysfunctional state of US foreign policies teaches us yet again that at the end of the day we can rely 100% only on ourselves.

UN: Despite the best optimism of some commentators & politicians we can forget anything positive happening regarding Israel as far as this corrupt organization is concerned. Two recent occurrences point the way as to what we can expect in the year ahead.

A representative of the fictitious “State of Palestine” was elected to the advisory committee for selecting judges to serve on the International Criminal Court.

The UN has issued an appeal for urgent aid to the Palestinian Authority. This appeal for further funds which taxpayers will most probably be unwittingly contributing to comes at the same time as a report reveals that Ramallah spends US$4.5 million per month to pay jailed Arab terrorists in Israel plus US$6.5 million per month as stipends for their families. These “pay for slay” disbursements raise nary a ripple in western Parliaments and thus the UN appeal instead of being denounced as an unbelievable fraud will garner further sympathy.

With these two examples, the expectations for any sort of balanced and truthful action from the UN is nil.

EUROVISION: We can look forward to this extravaganza diverting our attention from more serious matters. Scheduled to take place after the Israeli elections have been decided, this competition will make a welcome relief from the preceding months of political cacophony. It will be interesting to see how many if any, countries succumb to boycott blackmailing attempts and whether other considerations cause some to pull out. Perhaps we can witness another miracle and win again.

PEACE: Unfortunately the elusive doves of peace will continue to flutter in vain. Some hope that certain hitherto hostile nations may recognize our right to be here. Unfortunately, the main players in the region and in particular the PA and its associated terror components will still engage in delusional lies and revisionism and thus condemn their citizens to continued misery and deprivation.

The much touted “deal of the century” may cause eruptions of anger and dismay and is bound to please very few. Meanwhile, Abbas has dissolved the Palestinian Arab Parliament which has not met in twelve years, violates civil rights and cons the rest of the world into believing that “a democratic peace-loving State” can exist in the heart of our country.

This time of the year usually produces a crop of noxious incitement particularly revolving around the season of goodwill to all. If you ever wondered why most Israelis continue to write off our designated “peace partners” as a lost cause have a look at this latest report produced by courtesy of PMW:

http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=26965

With examples like these, what are the chances that 2019 will be any better than 2018?

Naturally, we all pray and hope that the new year will finally usher in an era of peace and goodwill but realistically given the facts in front of us we would be foolish to ignore the glaring warning signals.

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.

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