The New Yorker appeared to break its silence about the Middle East – one would think that the Middle East with all of its complexities did not exist because it is almost never mentioned, or even alluded to, in the myriad of stories that flood the Internet and the weekly printed edition that fills my mailbox. It is unfortunate as it reports facts (not opinions) and is my fact-checked ‘bible’. It seemed to finally open its eyes to the Middle East by featuring an incredibly well written and researched article by a brilliant man. Its appearance was made on May 13, 2021, the author is Bernard Avishai, with three books under his belt, those dealing with Zionism and other relevant topics. Avishai is also a Guggenheim scholar, so the best of all credentials. The title was riveting: Hamas and Netanyahu Are Gambling Dangerously in Jerusalem: Forces in Israel and Gaza Are Seeking to Exploit The Polarizing Violence. To make a long story rather short, Avishai portrays Netanyahu as an asshole. I shall in due diligence attempt to find another, slightly more appropriate term. Asshole is defined as a a stupid, irritating, or contemptible person. But the more sophisticated term of Devil Incarnate came to mind and was immediately Googled. It better captured the ‘charms’ of the man, who is not only a loathsome politician but also financially corrupt but is evading prosecution by the courts of the land.
“A Deuil incarnate, all deuilishly enclynde [inclined]In 16th century England the devil was considered to be a real living entity that roamed the land and was able to transform itself, or at least inhabit, other living beings. The expression ‘the devil in human form’ wasn’t a metaphor as we might use it now but an actuality. The first reference to it that I know of in print is in the collection of tragic poems The Mirour for Magistrates, 1578:
A wicked wretch, a kinseman most vnkynde [unkind],
A Deuil incarnate, all deuilishly enclynde [inclined]
The expression must have been in common usage in the late 16th century as Shakespeare also used it, without any explanation, in King Henry V, 1598, and Titus Andronicus, 1588:
Henry V – Boy: Yes, that a’ did; and said they were devils incarnate. Titus Andronicus – LUCIUS: O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil That robb’d Andronicus of his good hand.”
Netanyahu is indeed, the devil in human form as portrayed by Avishai. Avishai must be read in entirety and may be if you follow this link… https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/hamas-and-netanyahu-are-gambling-dangerously-in-jerusalem
His last paragraph speaks volumes. “Israel and in Gaza are seeking to exploit the polarizing violence. Yet this polarization is just what Netanyahu needs right now. Eight days ago, Yair Lapid, of the Yesh Atid Party, was given a Presidential mandate to try to form a government—it would likely be an odd fusing of left-wing, right-wing, centrist, and Arab parties. Netanyahu knew very well that his only chance to preëmpt this government, whose members would be united mainly in opposition to him, was to create an atmosphere that made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a central issue. “The latest escalation started at Nablus Gate weeks ago,” the journalist Danny Rubinstein told me. “Here at the gate,” he said, “after Ramadan, many hundreds traditionally sit and eat.” But the gate is also where many Haredi Jews enter the Old City to get to the Western Wall. “So, the police, reporting to Bibi sycophant Amir Ohana”—the Minister of Public Security—“tried to clear them off the steps. That was the match. The fuel is that Arabs are forty per cent of the city and have no rights.” Things got seriously worse for Netanyahu with the approach of Jerusalem Day, which happened to coincide with Lapid’s getting the mandate; Lapid and Naftali Bennett, the leader of the rightist Yamina Party, were advancing toward a rotation agreement in which Bennett might serve as premier first. “Lapid and Bennett were supposed to present a government this week,” the former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was the mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003, told me. “But now we don’t know what will happen—if the right now says that we can’t form a coalition with an Arab party. Or how does the Islamist party leader join anything while we are attacking Hamas?” The leader of the Islamist Ra’am Party, Mansour Abbas, subsequently committed to returning to coalition talks “after the fire subsides.” But Olmert is right that the tensions work for Netanyahu—and that he helped foment them. (By Thursday evening, Bennett was reportedly back in talks with the Prime Minister, and had said that a government with Lapid is “off the table.”) “In Sheikh Jarrah and Nablus Gate, the inciter Ben-Gvir, whom Bibi brought into the mainstream, was showing up,” he said. “With these anxieties, you march thousands through Nablus Gate on Jerusalem Day?” At the last minute, on Monday, Netanyahu changed the route of the march. But, “by then, we had both capitulation and rockets firing. You lost twice.” Perhaps Netanyahu didn’t want war, Olmert said. “But he wanted passions to rise just to a boil.” They have.”
But back to Alexis McBride, living a moderately normal life in Marin County, California. She received the an Instagram message that brought absolute joy to her heart.
She: Love the work you are doing. You are so inspiring.
Me: I wept when I read that but it was tears of joy, not sorrow! I cannot thank you enough for this. I shall mention this on the blog – taking a day off. I am tired but will be back. Much love.
She: Sending you love.
Me: Back to you!
What did I do on my day off? Became an Uber Virgin. Took Uber for the very first time. It was a slow start due to my ineptitude but it was most enjoyable. Driver Number One was Andy hailing from Vietnam, Number Two was Clinton, from the Philippines. Exchanged stories with others about their experiences.
He: Once I made a huge mistake. I made the destination my home where I was picked up.
Me: So what happened? They drove you around the block and charged you a fortune?
He: Thankfully no!
I formerly detested Uber, but that was a different time and place. Studies two or three years ago revealed that Uber led to traffic congestion, that it undermined public transportation. Studies took place in urban areas, in pre-pandemic times. But there is no public transportation to speak of in Marin, and my trips are made during hours where there is no congestion.
Met with Wise Man yesterday, who as usual, provided wisdom.
He: Now think about this first before you answer. What was the tipping point for you – what made you speak out so stridently against Israel and take such a powerful stance.
Me: OK I will think. Two things actually. Reading the Al Jazeera article which listed all of the cities that held demonstrations for Palestine and then remembering my May 31, 1943 LIFE magazine, rereading it and the unheeded wisdom of King Saud.
He: Yes I can understand that.
Me: Thank you for asking that question, it clarified my thinking. No wonder I pay you the big bucks. Hahaha
Today is a big day but not a big day. Having a MRI of left knee to access the damage, and having blood work done to access the possible damage of Ramadan fasting. But I have excellent medical insurance and excellent physicians, so all will be well.
I take good care of myself, it is critical. Always did as never had anyone to take care of me. But totally fine with that.
Photographs are rather at odds with one another. One my newest unicorn who is appropriately named Lilac. The other a photograph from LIFE picturing falcons. This is the caption: “Falcons are used by the King to spot gazelles on the wide desert where a dog would obviously be useless. They cannot kill the game but they mark it for the Arab hunters and attack its eyes.”
Remember the Sultan, aka Fazza, aka The Crown Prince of Dubai and his fascination and collection of falcons? He left my life but he is sort of still around. It is most unusual, to say the very least. But I am most happy in my present existence. It is best not to need a man – if one comes around it is ok but not necessary.