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I HAVE a confession to make: I don't hate Binyamin Netanyahu. I don't hate Sara'le either.
I generally don't hate people. With the sole exception of people who have betrayed the trust I put in them and tried to stick a knife in my back. Not more than three or four in all my life. I am not going to name them.
I have not met Netanyahu on a private basis more than two or three times.
Once, he introduced me to his second wife in the Knesset corridor. She seemed to me a nice young woman.
The second time we met at a photographic exhibition, in which there was a photo of me wearing a pilot's helmet. (Don't know how and why).
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THE FLOOD of corruption affairs that is now engulfing the Netanyahu family and its assistants and servitors does not seem to diminish his popularity among those who call themselves "the People".
On the contrary, according to the opinion polls, the voters of the other nationalist parties are rushing to the rescue of "Bibi".
They believe that he is a great statesman, the savior of Israel, and are therefore ready to forgive and forget everything else. Huge bribes, generous gifts, everything.
Strange. Because my attitude is exactly the opposite. I am not ready to forgive "Bibi" anything for being a great statesman, because I think that he is a very minor statesman. Indeed, no statesman at all.
THE FINAL judgment about Bibi's capabilities was passed by his father early in his career.
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IN THE Autumn of 1948, after some eight months of continuous fighting, I was promoted to the lofty rank of corporal. After taking part in a crash course for squad leaders, I was allowed to choose my new soldiers – new immigrants from Poland or Morocco.
(Everybody wanted Bulgarians, but the Bulgarians were already taken. They were known to be excellent fighters, disciplined and stoical.)
I chose the Moroccans. I also got two Tunisians and five Turks, altogether 15 men. All of them had just arrived by ship and not one spoke Hebrew. So how does one explain to them that a hand grenade has a high course of flight and a sharp angle of descent?
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TOWARDS THE END of 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and declared war on the US. Their Nazi ally followed with its own declaration of war, and so did all its satellites.
The joke tells about the Hungarian ambassador in Washington who delivered his declaration of war to the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, who decided to have some fun.
"Hungary, Hungary," Hull queried, "Are you a republic?"
"No," the ambassador corrected him, "We are a monarchy."
"Indeed? So who is your king?"
"We don't have a king, but a regent, Admiral Horthy."
"An admiral? So you have a large navy?"
"We have no navy at all, because we have no outlet to the ocean."
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The Israeli military was forced to give in and drop 8 of the charges against Ahed as part of a plea bargain, in which Ahed recognized in court the fact that she slapped the soldier and called for protests. In return, Ahed will get the minimum sentence of 8 months instead of spending at least 3 years in prison based on what the military prosecutor was initially seeking. Lawyers at Ofer Military Court told us we would be lucky if they offered a 2 year plea bargain. But now, Ahed will be out in July — early enough to go to her first year in college. For the next 4 months in prison, Ahed will focus on her studies and take her final year exams. Ahed’s mother, Nariman, will also be released at the same time.
1) The Israeli military appeals court denied Ahed Tamimi, 17, the request of an open trial on charges stemming from her slapping an Israeli soldier occupying her home last December 15, claiming a closed trial was “in her best interest”.
2) The Israeli military parole board further shortened Elor Azarya’s prison sentence for shooting an incapacitated Palestinian suspect in the head at point blank-range, killing him in 2016, to 9 months, after the army chief of staff had reduced the original 18 month sentence to 14 months.
THE CLOSER Mahmoud Abbas gets to the end of his reign, the more extreme his language becomes.
Recently he spoke about Donald Trump and uttered the words "May your house be destroyed". In Arabic this is a common curse, and sounds less extreme than in English. But even in Arabic this is not a usual phrase when speaking about a head of state.
This week Abbas spoke about the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and called him a "Son of a Dog". This, too, sounds in Arabic slightly less offensive than in English, but is hardly diplomatic.
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