To move or not to move? That is the question

A November trip to Israel has proven to be more than just a historical walk through my Christian and Biblical heritage. It was a dose of reality that Israel is a steady pendulum that swings between sanity and chaos in this part of the Middle East. Despite the political rhetoric, it is the only stable element that keeps a precarious rhythm between separate religious and ideological elements bent on retaining cultural identity, individualism, and faith. The temperament of the country depends on the moment to moment existence of those who live, work, and worship within its statehood. Jerusalem is the central artery of Israel. It is an organic city that has lived through more strife, pain, destruction, and un-relenting spirituality and idealism than any city in the world. Everybody wants Jerusalem. Why? What makes Jerusalem imperative to peace?

Jerusalem endures as a religious crossroad to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. It is the Vatican of the Middle East but without the Pope. It is Christianity’s epicenter. It is strategic and accessible. Most importantly: it is symbolic. It is a symbol of Statehood power. From the Babylonians, to the Romans, the Crusaders, and the Arabs: Jerusalem was the city to conquer, to have, to govern from, to boast about, to cherish, and to die for. For the Jews; it remains the city of Abraham. For the Christians: the city of Christ. For the Muslims: the city of the “furthermost sanctuary”.  But who is the rightful owner? Logically and historically: the Jews. No one could or should dispute that. There is no other religious or political claim prior to Abraham. Archeology supports this claim. So why the question?

It seems that since its conception as a State, Israel remains the inadvertent and insidious property of what we politically correct refer to as: the world community or the United Nations. Slowly but surely, Jerusalem has become the catalyst of the “two state” debate and the nebulous basis for peace. How the United Nations and the rest of the world came to that conclusion is beyond me. In a possibly far-fetched attempt at an analogy, Jerusalem reminds me of Berlin. Those of us who have lived in Germany through the Cold War recall a divided city. Berlin was the city of the “haves” and “have nots”. Through no fault of theirs, the latter lived a life deprived of all luxury and resources abundant in West Berlin and West Germany. Germany was divided into two countries, and Berlin was the “tale of two cities”. That did not work well, because the abundance of the one side was the continual envy of the other. My personal opinion: if Jerusalem is divided as part of the two State deal, the East Jerusalem portion will become the “carpet beggar” to its Jewish/Christian neighbor. If the world community thinks that by forcing Israel to give up East Jerusalem a Middle East Pollyanna will rise in epic glory; they are highly delusional. Just as those in former East Berlin coveted the West, East Jerusalem will have a hard time looking across its border and not wander why they are still a poor relation. Anyone thinking otherwise is a closet hypocrite.

But the question remains: to move or not to move? The 1967 war was not initiated by Israel but won by Israel. The surrounding Arab countries had a beef with Israel and not the other way around. The West Bank is not occupied, it is claimed. Israel and Jerusalem have always accommodated other faiths. Israel never banned Christianity or Islam within its Statehood. So again: what’s the beef? Why the feeble attempt by the world community to dissuade moving embassies to Jerusalem? Why the narrative that it would entice violence? Why hold a country hostage to a threat in the hope of achieving peace? Logically: moving embassies to Jerusalem would increase the chance for peace. Jerusalem would be recognized as the diverse inclusive capital of the world; idealistically, politically, spiritually, and religiously. It would send a message to the world that Israel embraces all faiths and traditions sans bias and prejudice. Embassies would bring prosperity to the city by virtue of their presence. Following this futile attempt at logic, one would think that  everyone would be jumping on the band wagon. Unfortunately logic has never been the United Nations’ forte’.

If truth be told: logistically and realistically, Jerusalem is not equipped to handle large embassies. But it could handle all symbolic embassy duties with a caveat that Consul Generals would remain in Tel-Aviv maintaining normal administrative Consul duties and personnel. Such a move would minimize the real estate nightmare the city would have to endure. As a goyim who spent time in Israel and Jerusalem in particular, I base my opinion on my experience in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem speaks to those of us who are strong in our faiths. Jerusalem made me a better Christian because I found my Jewish roots praying at The Wall. Jerusalem has a heartbeat which transports one closer to whatever God he or she worships. But ultimately: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.  As a capital, Jerusalem is entitled to the respect world capitals enjoy. That would include global representation. Jerusalem should never be reduced to a pawn played in a game of political “musical chairs” for the benefit of those who do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Jerusalem should never be up for bids. Love him or hate him: I commend President Trump for at least recognizing Jerusalem as the rightful location for the American Embassy. I also commend him for taking this stand in the face of fierce world opposition and criticism. Those opposing the move of the US embassy and other embassies are not opposing on logical grounds, but on an emotional Statehood narrative that has played for so long we are starting to believe it. The opposition stands on the predetermination that violence will ensue if embassies are moved. This is not an empty determination. The Palestinian Authority has declared more than once that if embassies are moved there will be violence. Really? If that is the case; why not condemn the threats? Why condemn Israel which as a state should have the right to determine where it desires to have its embassies? Can you imagine if after unification the world community had asked Germany to keep the embassies in Bonn and not move them to Berlin? After all wasn’t Berlin the capital of the Third Reich and its horrors? I do not recall any uproar from the world community then. Probably because it would have been regarded as insane. So why put conditions on Israel and Jerusalem? Finally: Why is the argument for Statehood so one sided, and against Israel? Why indeed! That’s a debate for another day.

Women’s march: what’s all the angst?

All the women in the world seem to be on edge because “the” Donald is President of the United States. Such unprecedented furor: how can one man create such emotional upheaval among the global sisterhood?  Exactly what set off a catalytic pink emotional cascade among liberated feminists? What prompted these women in the western hemisphere (because in third world countries they would have been stoned just for wearing pink!) to go out into the streets in mass hysteria? What happened to these progressives who for the past eight years held hands in a sixty-style “kumbaya”? What turned on the switch to fear? What catastrophic dialogue did I miss? Why didn’t I feel the burning  urge to defy mother nature and join the vaginal throngs?

Last weekend, women declared war on Washington because overnight they feared “what might happen under Donald Trump.” Unless I missed something during the torrid and often vulgar campaign (on both sides), I do not recall Donald or anyone else talking about recalling women’s rights. Not even remotely. So who or what set off this alarm? Who indeed. I do have theories and hypothesis of my own that might shed a light on the complete feminist melt down. Those who marched claimed that they were sending a “message” to the president: any change to women’s rights will not be tolerated. Of course in between the now familiar “women’s rights” rhetoric creep the usual buzz words: equality, progress, pro-choice, sexism, feminism; the list is endless, mundane, and to some extent: ho hum! This cry for freedom was launched at a man whose daughter manages his global business, and whose campaign manager, another woman, won his campaign against all odds. Is this perhaps “the code?” Women who do not represent the intellectual progressive “us” of the women’s movement do not count as part of the sisterhood? Are women intolerable toward other women based on political affiliation and lines? Where is the equality and diversity cry of sisterhood outrage in support of these women who do not fit the feminist mold? Will there be a march for them as well? I never found the women’s movement enlightening.  I never needed validation from another women to determine who I was and what I want. I find their superiority annoying and hypocritical.  The movement embraces only one narrative and one agenda: theirs. The rest of us are inconsequential and unimportant goofs. This is the movement of the tolerant intolerant; inclusive only to those who walk the same walk and talk the same talk. Women who are not easily swayed by militant rhetoric are on the fringe of this elite circle. But what am I missing? What was the march really about? What great act of injustice was being perpetrated against my sisterhood? How come I did not heed the call? Why the angst?

Sifting through social media clippings and pseudo news, I found plenty to work with in my quest for the truth. Images of women carrying placards that “screamed” inequality, injustice, and the proverbial “production rights”, were in every amateur’s YouTube: a futile attempt at recording “news” for a ten-second call to stardom and social media fame. To an innocent bystander, “production rights” could mean anything from copyright infringement to proprietary information. So what are “production rights?” In one video clip a protester was costumed in a purple vagina. Why? Did she believe that the president is going to intrude on her vagina?  So I concluded that  perhaps I was missing the anguished cry of the downtrodden. The loud and incoherent call to justice by Hollywood celebrities like Madonna and  Ashley Judd. I was distraught because I have obviously been missing the significance of “production rights”. So I asked myself: when did abortion morph into “production rights?” How did I miss that rite of passage? Why the subtle modification of the process? After all if women are secure enough to publically dress up as a vagina they should be intellectually safe enough to utter the word “abortion.” I have a theory. “Pro-choice” or “production rights” plays better to this generation of pseudo tolerant than abortion does. Abortion is an “in your face” word; one that people do not want to think about because they might change their minds and go to the dark side. The word is too blunt, too crude, too inhumane for those who see themselves as avengers for justice. The Millennial Generation would have a tough time dealing with such harsh reality; “production rights” is softer and more palatable for the trophy generation. So why the angst? It is a justifiable angst because the new administration does intend to enter the  “production rights” sanctuary and cut federal funding to clinics that perform abortion.

But, what was the march about? What inequality was the sisterhood marching for? Western women are blessed with the same opportunities as men, and with stiff laws to protect them. So who were they marching for? Definitely not for me or for women who are eager to stay home and raise a family. Or those against “production rights”. Or those who want to follow their religious beliefs without being bullied. These women would not have been invited to cross the sacred lines of the sisterhood that marched on Saturday. We are the intellectual deficient. So who exactly was the march for? It was for money. Remember Jerry McGuire? Follow the money! The free flowing tax dollar taps will be shutting down on clinics performing “production rights”. Those “rights” will not be taken away, but the tax payer will no longer foot the bill. The silent cry of the march was: how is it going to be funded?

A few months ago, the popular Broadway show Hamilton was donating a portion of their ticket sales to Planned Parenthood. Among the usual social media diatribe, one woman bullied another because of her disenchantment with the show having aligned itself with the organization she happens not to support. A slew of insults were hurled at the deficient non-cooperative woman for betraying women’s “production rights”. I found myself obliged to solve the altercation and suggest that everyone should watch the play if only to get Planned Parenthood off my tax dollar payroll! This got me to think ways to fund “production rights”. How about asking all the pinheads in Hollywood to donate? Nothing makes them feel more worthwhile than supporting “victims”. Have an annual telethon for Planned Parenthood. Maybe Meryl Streep could be the host. Organize an annual marathon through New York City.  The ideas are endless. Just stay out of my wallet.

The Women’s March was not about inequality and misogyny (the new 2016 word of the year): it was about money.   The free ride is almost over: “daddy” is taking your pocket money away. The march had very little to do with equal rights. If equal rights was the prime objective: how come the western sisterhood does not march against Sharia Law? Why don’t we support women in Asia, Africa, the Gulf States, or the Middle East who suffer stoning, beatings, mutilation, and even death?  Why don’t we march for all the girls under terrorist regimes who are not allowed an education or are married before puberty? Why didn’t we march when 200 Chibouk girls were abducted by terrorist thugs in Nigeria? Yes, this new president is a force to reckon with; but not because of his alleged anti-female stance, but because he has put everyone on notice. No more free lunch: if you want it and not everyone else does: pay for it yourselves. Ladies remember the song: I am woman hear me roar? Your march was a petulant whimper.