Thursday, February 6, 2014

Israeli Justice Minister Livni strips hypocrisy mask from those in her own government who would sabotage the peace process

It is remarkable when a high-ranking politician, tasked with representing a government and a nation, in one of the most tangled and long-running negotiations for peace between two enemies, with deep and seemingly permanent scars from their many open and covert battles, speaks out against the hypocrisy of her own government colleagues.
And, it is also rare to hear an Israeli political leader publicly ascribe to limits on settlements, a subject she says is  being used as a  cover for the "security" card. We all know that politicians play one card for a more important card in their ideological agenda, especially whey they know that their "secret card" will cause trouble and their public card with make them seem agreeable. Playing a public game for the boss and for the media and especially for the votes of the people they represent, while all the time undermining the larger issues, in this case a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, is a ruse "up with which Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will not put"....and for that the world can be both thankful and humbled.
Would that there were more politicians with the courage, and the conviction and the intellectual heft to call out the hypocrisy of those whose secret and deceptive manipulation of the issues for their own private agenda, too often an agenda that places their personal needs and ambitions ahead of those of the nation.
We can see such hypocrisy being played out in Washington, in Ottawa and in so many other capitals, in which the nation's need is trumped by the coveted promotion of a private (held by a tiny rump) agenda. We saw it in the Tea Party's bringing the U.S. government to its knees over its intransigence in its refusal to permit an increase in taxes, as if they were the holy grail, in their hypocritical attempt to curry favour with the well-to-do cheque-writers of their political campaigns.
Hypocrisy, my friends, is a river that runs deep in the psyche of the human being. It is especially rampant among politicians, whose public face too frequently belies a different and more private, often frightened, agenda. In fact, it could be argued that the public face is the one the politician hopes will garner the necessary public support from the base of his ideological rump. Even yesterday, in an announcement of his intention not to run in the 2015 election, former Canadian Attorney General and former Justice Minister, Irwin Cotler, bemoaned the reality that the Canadian parliament is so partisan that the national interests are not being addressed. He expressed the hope that in the future that would change, and a less partisan approach would emerge. Would he concur with the Israeli Justice Minister, in her calling out of they hypocrisy of his fellow MP's? We suspect the answer would be, "Yes." However, the country will not longer have the benefit of his substantial contribution, only one of which credentials found him serving Nelson Mandela as a human rights legal specialist.
It is indeed hypocrisy that is at the core of too much political rhetoric. And the world needs many more Tzipi Livni's to strip that barnacle from the public debate over all issues, in all countries, for all time. It will not happen, however, because there are still too many practicing politicians who believe they can "cover" their real and narcissistic agenda with something more palatable to the public's mind. And yet, it will take centuries before the public mind can be completely fooled by their deceptive ruse.
As the cliché goes, "you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."
It is hypocritical for some right-wing politicians, in all countries, to continue to deny the human contribution to global warming and climate change, when most are really protecting their pursuit of profits, at the expense of the environment. It is hypocritical for Harper and his gang to trumpet "safe streets" in his mandatory minimum sentences legislation, when he is really pandering to a constituency that cries out for "law-and-order" punishment that trumps rehabilitation. It is hypocritical for Boehner to chime loudly and frequently that he cannot "trust" the White House on immigration reform, for example, when the real truth is that he cannot bring his Tea Party colleagues to heel, and to support a comprehensive immigration reform bill. It is hypocritical of new Jersey Governor Chris Christie to tell the world, loudly and daily, that he knew nothing about the George Washington bridge closure, when we all know that it was the culture and the temper of New Jersey politics, including those in the governor's office that resulted in the closure.
It is hypocritical for governors of Republican-led states to deny the expansion of Medicaid, 90%paid for by the federal government and thereby deny thousands of their constituents health care, when what they are really attempting to do is strip the guts out of the Affordable Care Act, and they claim they are saving money in the process. It is hypocritical of the leadership of the NRA to claim that guns don't kill people, people do...when it is the gun in the hand of people on the edge (perhaps criminally, or psychologically or even financially) that does so much killing.
Imagine a world in which hypocrisy were deleted from the politicians' vocabulary! The news media would not have anything to report that would garner sales, or television ratings.

From Jerusalem Post,, February 5, 2014
Livni: 'Hypocrites' in gov't could derail Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Chief Israeli negotiator says willing to fight for issues of wide-sweeping importance, but not for "ideological minority that prefers isolated settlements"; defends Kerry in light of recent criticism.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni blasted on Thursday Israeli "hypocrites" whose actions could threaten to derail the ongoing peace process with the Palestinians, Israel Radio cited her as saying Thursday at a conference at Bar-Ilan University.
There are critics in the government who claim to support peace, but in actuality use the argument of security as a cover for ideological opposition to a peace agreement, the chief Israeli negotiator said.
"I am ready to fight with the world on the important issues for all of us, to convince of the righteousness of Zionism, and Israel's security needs and preservation of the settlement in Israeli territory," Livini said.
However, she added that she was "not ready for us to pay the price for the ideological minority that prefers isolated settlements."
Following the approval on Wednesday of construction permits for more than 550 new housing units over the Green Line, Livni charged opponents of the peace process with voicing false support for the talks while continuing controversial building "to the point of no return."
Livni also defended US Secretary of State John Kerry in light of recent Israeli criticism over remarks he made about the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process.

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