Bill Clinton giving a speech 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Cohn)
Indubitably the worst kind of nudnik is a kibitzer and the worst kibitzer is the
incorrigible chronic sort who just won’t let go, who is so full of himself that
he utterly fails to realize what a tiresome, preposterous broken record he has
Bill Clinton, US ex-president and darling of all too many of his
country’s inveterate Jewish liberals, doubtlessly knows that the Yiddish-
derived “nudnik” denotes a nag, a pest and an all-around nuisance. At about the
same time as “nudnik” became entrenched in American colloquialism, the Yiddish
verb “kibitz” likewise entered the lexicon and its current dictionary definition
is “to intrusively offer unwanted, meddlesome advice to others.”
Clinton kibitzes with habitual relish, as if his assertions are valid and as if
his judgmental pronouncements still count.
No matter how hard we try to
consign him to the hindmost recesses of our memory, he keeps popping up with
another exasperating rerun of the irksome old routine. In his latest kibitz-fest
he lashed out at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, insisting that the reason no
Israeli-Palestinian peace has yet blossomed is the fact that obdurate Israelis
had voted for Netanyahu.
Never mind that we weren’t blessed with bliss
pre-Netanyahu. Clinton himself failed miserably to garner glory by brokering
agreement over a decade ago. He had summoned then-PM Ehud Barak and then-PA
honcho Yasser Arafat to Camp David in 2000 in an imperious bid to impose his
solution upon them. He twisted Barak’s arm to agree to cede everything including
Jerusalem’s Jewish Holy of Holies (save – no kidding – for subterranean strata
of the Temple Mount).
But, despite the egregious largesse, Arafat refused
and launched another intifada – a bloodbath that cost over 1000 Israeli lives
about whom Clinton never had much to say.
He still avoids dwelling on the
human toll of his officiousness.
During a recent roundtable with bloggers
on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative, he unabashedly blamed
Netanyahu for not subscribing now to the terms of that monumental Camp David
flop of 11 years ago.
The PA’s knuckles aren’t rapped. It’s even praised
as “the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank.”
Curiously Clinton avoided noting that in 2008 Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud
Olmert, improved on Barak’s offer but got no peace either.
To be fair,
Netanyahu wasn’t the only culprit named by the unreconstructed
The former White House tenant even takes God to task for
allowing Yitzhak Rabin to be assassinated and Ariel Sharon to suffer a
debilitating stroke. Presumably, had it not been for divine sabotage, Clinton
might have trumped the Almighty.
But the core impediment to Clinton’s
ambitions is the Israeli collective. The troublesome makeup of our population
facilitated the formation of Netanyahu’s government in the first place. Most
contrary among Israelis are “all these immigrants coming in from the former
Soviet Union, and they have no history in Israel proper, so the traditional
claims of the Palestinians have less weight with them.”
But, hey, haven’t
we heard it all before? Isn’t this the nudnik’s oft-kibitzed refrain? Just a
year ago Clinton let us know that his problem is the composition of Israel’s
It’s who we are that gets his goat.
According to Slick
Willy’s astute analysis circa 2010, immigrants constitute “the hardest- core
people against a division of the land.
This presents a staggering
problem. It’s a different Israel. Sixteen percent of Israelis speak
Arab potentates probably agree and would like to be rid of
“Israel’s Russians” as much as of any trace of Jewish presence in this
Yet their genocidal hate and terror-mongering aren’t censured by
Clinton as obstacles to peace.
Among the foremost obstacles cited in his
previous kibitz was the fact that “an increasing number of the young people in
the IDF are the children of Russians and settlers.”
Moreover, it’s not
that he’s pleased with the “non-Russians” either.
somehow rate grudging approval, racist overtones notwithstanding.
Jewish state’s non-Jews earn Clinton’s top marks: “the most propeace Israelis
are the Arabs.” Given Clintonite definitions of “pro-peace,” Jews of Mideastern
extraction don’t make the grade.
“Moroccans,” he yammered, are too
“rightof- center,” even if not quite as disruptive an element as Russians. The
Moroccans’ desire for “normal lives” (presumably as distinct from Russians), he
pontificated last year, can turn them into “swing voters,” who might support the
Israeli party of Clinton’s choice.
Clinton’s unconcealed overbearing
intrusion into a fellow-democracy’s internal processes is of course nothing new.
He was always unabashedly partial to Israel’s Left – our sole tolerable
political component, to judge by Clinton’s none-too-objective past rhetoric and
Back in 1999 Barak was his outright favorite and Clinton spared
no effort to help him defeat Netanyahu. Indeed Clinton did for Barak what few
American presidents ever dared openly do even for their most promising foreign
Clinton pulled out all stops in his barefaced intervention in
Israel’s domestic politics – in a fashion unseen since the CIA’s blatant
interference in Italy’s post-WWII election. Brashly, Clinton didn’t even bother
to cover up his tracks but dispatched his own spin doctors, private pollsters
and campaign strategists to boost Barak.
Clinton could hardly contain his
glee after Barak’s 1999 win. On the eve of Barak’s first Washington visit as PM,
the eager American host quipped that he’s “as excited as a kid awaiting a new
toy.” It was pretty demeaning to look upon the leader of an allied independent
state as a plaything but, with incomparable chutzpa and outrageous meddling,
Clinton made Barak’s battle his own.
Now Clinton echoes assorted
self-promoted experts (generally with axes to grind) who rationalize that it’s
not the Israeli Left’s policies which were its downfall, but the electorate’s
composition. Clinton blames Israel’s objectionable voters for frustrating his
It may be childish, churlish and petulant but it’s essentially
the familiar psychological phenomenon of transference.
Had he not been
raised high on the pedestal of statesmanship and omniscience, Clinton’s bizarre
gibberish might all be chalked up to personal hang-ups. However, as in Jimmy
Carter’s case, asinine humbug gains inordinate currency when spouted by exalted,
supposedly super-savvy senior luminaries.
It therefore sways more
impressionable minds and is exploited to greater effect by unscrupulous
propagandists than would otherwise be the case.
prattle might, albeit unintentionally, delegitimize aliya just as much as Jewish
settlement has already been delegitimized. Since the advent of Zionism, the Arab
subtext had been that whatever betokens Jewish life and vitality in this land
perforce undermines justice and harmony.
Bottom line priority: weaken
Jewish interests in the Jewish homeland.
In the existential contest
forced upon Israel, the stakes are literally our lives. Compulsive
insist on periodically impressing our imperiled citizenry with their
perception are more than an infuriating distraction.
kibitzer’s most exasperating habit is throwing players off their game
cock-and-bull chatter precisely at the most crucial moment of greatest
Kibitzers aren’t always comical, especially not in a
danger-fraught fight for survival.www.sarahhonig.com