Monday, December 31, 2007

My trip to the heart of Jewness

Tim Blair

AN odd shift has taken place over the past 60 or so years. Where once the Jews were blamed by the far Right for controlling the world's finances, dividing societies and generally setting out to dominate the globe, now they are blamed for the same things by the far Left.
. You can see evidence of this at any Left-dominated protest march, anywhere on earth - banners and signs condemning Israel, Jews and the power they wield over Washington, Canberra and London. Admittedly, these protests are a step up from Hitler's level, which held that Jews were at once racially inferior yet somehow wily enough to undermine the entire German economy.

Also, modern protesters call them "Zionists". Last year, during the Israel-Lebanon conflict, some on the crazy Left actually took to waving Hezbollah flags - showing support for people who provoked a war by kidnapping Israeli soldiers from within Israeli territory.

Luckily, having just spent several days in Israel, I'm now in a position to correctly assess the massive influence of this sinister nation. Following is an account of my visit to the very heart of Jewness:

At Bangkok airport in Singapore, preparing to catch a connecting flight to Jerusalem, I am called aside - along with just about every other non-resident passenger - for special attention from agents of the great Zionist conspiracy. Questions are asked, passports closely examined, luggage inspected.

It could be airline El Al simply wishes to maintain its enviable security record flying into one of the world's more troubled regions. Or it could be my first encounter with the sprawling, globe-encircling oppressor-beast that is today's Israel.

Soon I find myself in a room far, far beneath the airport's surface (well, one floor) being subject to advanced metal-detection. Certain items of clothing are removed, possibly for study and duplication by notorious Jewish fashion barons.

In the confusion of gathering various possessions my belt is lost. I blame Mossad. The Jews may not control the world, but for now they control the height of my trousers.

Lunch with senior Israeli official. Tells of being born on a train as his parents fled the Soviet Union (reminder to self: check records to find any other cases of people claiming to have run away from full healthcare and free education). Interrupted by appearance outside restaurant of hot Israeli army chicks with guns. Close inspection - very close - reveals each and every one is wearing a belt. Coincidence?

Guided by Israeli functionary Roley to inspect ancient churches and synagogues from hill high above Jerusalem. Her lecture - entertaining and informative, who knew this place had so much history? - is accompanied by spontaneous visual assistance from one of the city's many tourist exploiters, who holds up maps and photographs to illustrate Roley's historical analysis.

Wanting to protect my remaining garments, I offer to buy some of the fellow's wares. "What are you doing?" he says, alarmed. "Don't open your wallet like that! Open it towards you. There are thieves around."

(Note to self: perhaps this chap has contacts within the Israeli belt-rebirthing racket. Keep him close.)

Later visit the Wailing Wall, now known as the Western Wall presumably due to the international wailing ban. Following local custom I write an impassioned personal prayer on a small piece of paper and jam it in one of the wall's crevices. Now to wait for proof of Zionist magic: if Collingwood wins the 2009 AFL premiership, we are dealing with a very powerful force indeed.

Local shops sell "Guns'n'Moses" T-shirts. No belts.

Meet the Gush Etzion region mayor Shaul Goldstein. Clever, engaging and belted, Mr Goldstein voices opposition to the so-called "security fence" keeping Hamas suicide bombers from innocently murdering Israeli citizens (down from 450 in 2004 to 33 in 2005). Turns out his main complaint is the fence makes it harder to pursue and capture these alleged militants and money spent on the fence could have been better used on other means of stopping the, er, Palestinian population explosion.

Mayor declares himself in favour of many small "local obstacles" rather than one continuous giant wall - boutique walls, they'd be. Mayor has background in engineering and construction. Follow the money!

Distracted from further pursuit of this subject by a section of Gush Etzion architecture that resembles exactly the buildings occupied by the Teletubbies.

Visit the Knesset. Note that security guards protect their own belts by hanging firearms off them. Good thinking. Observe attractive young female parliamentarian wave to little girl in viewing deck, was it code? An attempt to question the girl is waved away by her inexplicably hostile mother. Realise pants have fallen down.

Wake in unfamiliar surrounds far north of Jerusalem. Preliminary research reveals location to be an alleged "kibbutz". Further research reveals many empty Carlsberg and Heineken bottles. Concluding research reveals kibbutz stopover was included on itinerary planned months ago. Fellow journalists on tour report similar disorientation. Vow to never again research the products of Carlsberg and Heineken.

In three days of travel, have only seen three cars not entirely utilitarian in function - an old Triumph Spitfire, a sporty Audi coupe and a tiny dune buggy. About to form compelling thesis on the joyless, purpose-only nature of Israeli society when informed that locals pay 100 per cent tax on imported vehicles. There is no local motor industry. (Note to self: Israeli market wide-open for introduction of Hebrew-friendly models. Email instructions to copyright the name "Holden Menorah".)

Accompanied on drive through northern zone by Israeli Defence Force spokesman Eli Rubinstein. Oy, what a belt that man has! Such a fine, fine belt! Caution self against adopting local speech patterns.

Long dissertation on military matters diverted by Rubinstein comment: "Israel is not only about national security. It is also a birdwatcher's paradise." Thereafter follows 15-minute description of avian migratory patterns. Was about to put this down as ruse to distract us from the day's 17 rocket attacks - why is nobody talking about this? - when informed the rocket attacks were actually made on Israel by Hezbollah forces inside Lebanon.

Million-course Lebanese lunch at town of Kish, followed by similar force-feeding at elaborate Decks restaurant in . . . hey, these pants are kind of tight. I might have to loosen my . . . oh.

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