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Netanyahu re-elected, West appalled

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

Israel seems to have re-elected Bibi Netanyahu and Likud to run the nation for another term, making him nearly as politically successful as the revered David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister. Apparently all the polling before the election was off, way off, and over the past weekend Netanyahu's waving of the bloody shirt and fear mongering paid a fat dividend.

Let it be said, there is much for Israel to fear: because of its neighbors, because of Iran's nuclear ambitions, because twenty percent of its citizens are Arab and increasing in number far faster than the Jewish population. Supposedly, the top four Arab political parties united in order to obtain an increased number of seats in the Knesset, but these parties were communist on one side and Islamist on the other, and aren't exactly together on most issues. But this unlikely possibility allowed Netanyahu to go racist along with blowing off any possibility of a Palestinian State, and he said leftists with foreign money were busing in Arabs to vote 'in droves' to scare his base into voting.

Israeli newspapers except for the far right are not thrilled, nobody is, and one referenced it as a dismal election. This is a sensation hardly unknown in the United States, but Israel is different, being a Parliamentary system and far more confusing to us here, where we sort of think we understand how England works. We don't, actually. Regardless, it was unfortunate that during this election cycle a highly competent selection of Israeli center left candidates, led by Michel Herzog, had the combined personal magnetism of Mitt Romney on Seconal, and that Netanyahu is such a good speaker and performer. Bibi knows what works.

Netanyahu, though, has literally and seriously offended much of the western world, with Europe and the US more or less united in both personal disdain for his smug face and his wildly varying statements of policy over the years. His wife's knack for screaming at the help and spending money on herself and family on the public nickel hasn't exactly made her a beloved Mother to the Nation, either. When statements about her appear in western newspapers it can certainly seem like rank anti-Semitism, since she fits the bigot's image of the social climbing, loud, Jewish harridan with dyed blond hair. Some of it most certainly is, which is depressing and infuriating, but the thing is Israel's mainstream media is probably harsher on her and her husband than anything in this country or in Europe.

For all Israel's errors, aggressions, and crimes, it remains a nation deeply concerned with Biblical righteousness, a concept westerners strangely don't fully grasp. Few nations are as self critical as Israel. It has to be a fascinating place, and its televised pugnacious Parliament in action can be very entertaining even to me, whose Hebrew cannot be said to be the best, a euphemism for no knowledge whatever. It's hard in the times of immediate reactions and media tongue bathing and what we call celebrities who have no known talent or thoughts of interest to grasp that righteousness is simply doing stuff of which God would approve, although he may not know ever know about it. There is no praise, there is no reward, there is no minimal compensation except the self knowledge you have done a good thing. It's clearly a major part of the Golden Rule, something else the West's supposed Christians don't really grasp either.

I mention this because here in this country so many avowed Christians supposedly want us to be a nation based on their often weird conceptions of Christian values and under God. Alabama Supreme Court judge Roy Moore, who has spent much time trying to make the Ten Commandments and Bible the basis of law for everyone, is dealing with a son this week who has been caught with drugs and it's his third offense. Immediately, the son blamed a corrupt police department and said it was just people trying to get at his father, who wants to ban same sex marriage. Moore has previously been against over harsh punishments, saying that there are people serving 99 years to life in prison for whom a one to three sentence would be sufficient. Be interesting to know if that opinion appeared before or after his son's first run in with the law.

It could have been worse, Judge Moore. Your child could have willingly eaten flesh from a pig, which would make him as evil as your gay boogymen. And you know what the penalty is for abominations.