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On Ducks & Israel
Israel - Middle East
Friday, February 01, 2013
Alf Cengia

I happen to dislike clichés, though, for some reason, I seem to be doomed to endlessly repeat them. My favorite ones that I don't like are: ''It's all good''; ''At the end of the day''; ''The bottom line is''; ''It is what it is''; ''When all is said and done''.

That's enough...well, maybe one more.  There's one favorite saying that I really dislike for various personal reasons:

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck then it probably is a duck."

Wiki helps with a definition of the saying: [It] "implies that a person can identify an unknown subject by observing that subject's habitual characteristics. It is sometimes used to counter abstruse arguments that something is not what it appears to be." (Emphasis mine)

There have been several reports and murmurings in the media regarding renewed efforts by the current U.S. administration to impose a "two-state solution" and the division of Jerusalem.  I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone - after all it is Pres. Obama's last term in office (well, who knows?) and past U.S. presidents have tried to go out in a blaze of glory by bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Take Bill Clinton and the 2000 Camp David Peace Summit fiasco.

A little bit of history always serves as a nice refresher course.  Clinton thought he had the Peace Summit deal sewn up and could finally leave the haunting of the Lewinsky affair behind him.  In a nutshell:

"[Israeli Prime Minister] Barak was prepared to offer a contiguous Palestinian state (meaning no cantons) on Gaza and 92% of the West Bank (a 9% annexation with a 1% swap), Palestinian control of 85% of the border with Jordan with an Israeli security presence on the remaining 15%, Palestinian sovereignty over the Muslim and Christian quarters in Old Jerusalem, shared control of the rest of the city based on demographics, custodianship of the Haram ash-Sharif (Temple Mount), and further provisions on security and refugees to be more clearly defined later."

As it turns out Arafat promptly spat the dummy, picked up his attaché case and left the building in a huff as if to say - "How dare they give me what I asked for! What am I going to do for a living now?"  He wanted to portray himself as a Swan fighting for the rights of his people but his very actions confirmed he was just a duck.

Three days before Clinton's retirement, Arafat chuffed to Bill that he was a great man.   To which Clinton responded: “The hell I am.  I’m a colossal failure, and you made me one.” My guess is he had a little help there.

You'd think Clinton might have taken away something from that experience - got a clue even.  Sadly, Arafat is no longer with us - and someone really needs to take some blame for this Palestinian mess - so back in 2011 Clinton decided to point the finger at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Ironically, senator McCain has called for Clinton to be involved in the peace process once again.  That would probably be because of his great negotiating skills.  So near and yet so far!  Say it ain't so, John.

Whatever the case, Clinton's innovative "bipartisanship" was apparently evident when he singled out the Israeli government for drifting far from the willingness to offer the kind of deal that was rejected by Arafat.

Now I wonder why that might be so:

“I do not accept it. [Israel as a Jewish state] It is not my job to give a description of the state. Name yourself the Hebrew Socialist Republic — it is none of my business" ~ Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

And on another occasion he stated: "Israel can call itself… the Jewish-Zionist Empire." But perhaps Abbas was just having a bad hair day...or maybe he's dead serious.  The Palestinian maps sans Israel may shed some further light on that.

Do I hear quacking in the background?

Then we have the synergy between Sabeel and The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (The Order).  When the Vatican posted Cardinal O'Brien as head of The Order, many hoped his tell-it-like-it-is approach would filter down the organization.  But as it turns out, the narrative promoted by The Order indicates that:

"...the organization is afflicted with an obsession with Israel and an inability or unwillingness to tackle Islamist violence against Christians head-on."

Jeff Abood, who heads the North American arm of Sabeel in Cleveland Ohio, recently remarked in a presentation that the Qassam rockets landing In Israel are non-exploding.  Well thank goodness for that.  Just get your Qassam-rocket-umbrellas out and..."It's all good."  I guess he thinks the Cleveland "Lake Effect" weather is worse.

Unfortunately, he's dead wrong about the Qassam rockets being non-exploding but he's not going to let that inconvenient fact ruffle his duck feathers.

Another sterling example of quacky behavior is the British Vicar who writes prodigiously against Israel (2 books on Amazon and countless blog articles).  Even the secular community has questioned his motives.  He's now had to defend allegations of anti-Semitism via numerous blogs and character references from his friends (one of whom is Hank Hanegraaff).

While, he's been trying very hard to behave he still couldn't resist promoting a Chinese version of "Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions" based on his anti-Zionist book.  I guess the Chinese Church is a very large market and one has to get the truth to them as well.

The pre-election U.S. president once announced that as far as Iran was concerned, no options were off the table. As one pundit put it:

"President Obama can't show enough love for the Jewish vote – er, community."

Since then, however, he's courted Chuck Hagel and now John Brennan for key positions in his administration.  Both gentlemen have reputations for being anti-Israel but perhaps that data somehow slipped past the President's notice.

In 2010 Brennan stated that the "administration was looking for ways to build up 'moderate elements' of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah."  Apparently he thinks Hamas and Hezbollah aren't as bad as the naysayers portray.

Yep, they're as cute as ducklings.

Of course the Israeli's are an intolerant lot.  Even as I write, there are rumors that it has struck a truck convoy inside Syria.  Allegedly the shipment included "sophisticated, Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles" and was heading straight for "moderate" Hezbollah.

I'm sure Messrs Brennan and Abood would have pointed out the hastiness of such action.

There seems to be a lot of ducks surrounding Israel and Jerusalem of late.  I wonder if it might not be prudent for them to keep an eye out for Duck Season (Zech 2:8).

About Alf Cengia

Last week: The Tide of Islamist Violence

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