Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands next to his wife Sara as he waves to supporters in Tel Aviv, March 3, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

 

Shlomo HaMelech said in Koheles, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The contemporary context of this oft-quoted adage is essentially, as explained by our commentaries, that what has been will be again and what has been done will be done again.

So if we think we are facing unprecedented matters today, it could be that all that is required is to take a closer look until we find what we are looking for.

By Larry Gordon

This understanding can be applied to the debate that is now heating up on the matter of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, as well as to the ongoing struggle over the much-talked-about effort to somehow manage what is being mischaracterized as systemic racism in all police forces around the United States.

The two are not really related, but there is a connection in that both issues are coming to a crescendo at the same time.

There has always been a similarity in the way Palestinian leaders and African-American leaders have approached the issues that are on their agendas at any given time. While their missions and objectives are profoundly diverse, both want assurance of a certain outcome before any talks or negotiations take place.

For example, in Israel, Palestinian leaders would usually demand that the outcome of any negotiations with Israel result in the establishment of a state and the withdrawal of all Israelis from Judea and Samaria, and there was also the matter of establishing Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital. Those sound like unreasonable demands rather than negotiating positions.

Dating back many decades, black leaders have always demanded assurances that whoever was accused of any crime in which a black person was a victim, the alleged perpetrator should be found guilty and pay in some fashion for the crime whether or not he or she was tried or convicted of anything.

Another thing the two have in common is their continued quest of a half-century or more to achieve goals that, by and large, have remained elusive. In both situations, leaders have mostly misled their people. That may have been the result of corruption in the ranks or the result of just plain incompetence.

In the Middle East, relations between Arabs and Jews are once again at a crossroads. After three elections in one year, Prime Minister Netanyahu had to assure the right-wing parties and their supporters that after more than a half-century, Israeli law would finally be applied to advanced and sophisticated Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

This includes cities like Maale Adumim and Ariel where, combined, over 80,000 Jews reside. Palestinian leaders are opposed to the extension of Israeli law in these cities because they are misleading their people, who live mostly in poverty, that someday the Jews will be forced to leave these communities, and Arab residents of the region will be handed their homes.

The Arab Gulf States along with Jordan and Egypt support the Israeli annexation of the territories but have done so while vocally protesting the Israeli move. It is too bad, but that is what they have to do to survive. On the other hand, the Europeans are critical of Israel and seriously mean it. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the other day that annexation on any level would be a violation of international law.

The only problem with that is that it is not a violation of international law. But why get bogged down with the realities of the law?

After more than a half-century of this back-and-forth, the Palestinian leadership fully understands that the outcome they are articulating to their people is nothing more than a cruel fantasy. But that does not stop them from promoting or advocating for these ideas so as to, at the very least, control their people with the mirage of success at Israel’s expense.

Both movements could still be successful if only leadership would be honest and realistic about what they are dealing with. In neither case has anyone been making an effort to restrain them or collectively inhibit their ability to progress. The single thing required to advance both the Palestinian and the African-American causes is new leadership. For now, old-time leaders are hanging in there. On an economic level, they are doing extremely well while the people suffer. It will take time.

Douglas Tuman For Congress

He is engaging and knowledgeable about the issues of the day. When I met Doug Tuman the other day, I told him that he might be stepping into his destiny because he already projects the image of what it looks like to be a congressman.

Before facing off in November against incumbent Kathleen Rice, he has to get past one competitor in next week’s primary, and that is Lawrence resident Cindy Grosz.

Tuman has the endorsements of all leading Nassau County Republicans, including Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Legislator Howard Kopel, and others. Tuman is the commissioner of engineering for the Town of Hempstead and this is his first foray into seeking political office.

Doug Tuman is a strong supporter of President Trump but says that he is first and foremost an advocate for the people he will represent in Congress. Doug says he was a proponent of the early opening of businesses in Nassau County. He adds that he believes New Yorkers should be insulted by the Cuomo approach to managing the virus in New York State.

“New Yorkers are responsible people, and after all these months and with this experience, we understand that it is prudent and responsible to wear face masks and socially distance as a way of guarding our health,” Tuman says. The way he sees things, it was unnecessary to treat New Yorkers like small children when we should have been allowed to act responsibly to keep our economy alive.

There are important issues in this race other than the inter-party political squabbling, Mr. Tuman says. One of the major issues of concern for Nassau County residents is countywide flooding, as part of overall infrastructure issues.

The bigger question now is: Can this district elect a Republican to serve us in Congress? This is a presidential election year and the turnout will be greater than in any other election. The incumbent, Ms. Rice, is popular and has voted smartly on legislation that is top priority in our community here in the Five Towns. At the same time, Ms. Rice voted to impeach Mr. Trump, not necessarily because she thought the president committed crimes but rather because of the intense pressure from within the party to vote as a Democratic bloc. That should be an issue in the November election.

Kathleen Rice has demonstrated herself to be an ardent supporter of Israel and the U.S.–Israel relationship, but what will her record be if a Democrat is elected to the White House in November?

These are post-primary issues to be dealt with as Election Day nears. For now there is a primary on June 23 and we believe your vote should be rightly cast for Douglas Tuman.

Contact Larry Gordon at lg5tjt@gmail.com. Follow 5TJT.com on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and live videos. Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome at 5TJT.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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