December 27, 2019
There are six world leaders who closely imitate Donald Trump’s AmericaFirstism: Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu; India’s Narendra Modi, who’s pushing hard, hard against Muslims in India as a whole, as well as in Kashmir in particular; the UK’s Boris Johnson; Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Hungary’s Viktor Orban; and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte.
We deliberately left out of that list China's President for Life, Xi Jingpin.
Unlike the United States, Israel has a parliamentary system, and so does the UK.
Yesterday, Bibi, 70, brushed back a challenge to his very firm grip on his Likud Party by a much younger Gideon Saar (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/26/world/middleeast/israel-netanyahu-likud.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share).
The margin was 72% to 28%.
Bibi was born in Tel Aviv to secular Jewish parents, and he grew up both in Israel and in the US.
He first became Prime Minister in 1996, but, over time, he’s grown closer and closer to the ultra-orthodox and orthodox parties in Israel, just so he can stay in power.
Netanyahu hated President Obama, but he loves Trump, one of whose big big advisers is Son-in-Law-in-Chief Jared Kushner, who is an Orthodox Jew.
Kushner is in a bromance with both Netanyahu and MbS in Saudi Arabia.
In March 2020, Bibi’s Likud Party faces, for the third time in one year, a national election — because Bibi couldn’t form a coalition government, and he utterly depends on the ultra-orthodox and orthodox parties to get the coalition he needs in his Knesset.
In yesterday’s Likud primary, it didn’t matter that Bibi’s been indicted for corruption.
It will take a very enterprising person to lead Israel out of its continuing political crisis.
Which is why the best person to take on such a challenge is a revered reverend who was born in Enterprise, Alabama — the town in Democrat Doug Jones’ Heart of Dixie State whose most distinguishing feature is the Boll Weevil Monument.
The Boll Weevil Monument was erected by the white denizens of Enterprise in 1919 to show their appreciation for the boll weevil for its profound influence on the area’s agriculture and economy. As Jimmy Wales' Wikipedia so aptly descrdibed it, the Boll Weevil Monument is viewed by the enterprising voters in Enterprise as their “herald of prosperity,” and it’s the world’s first (maybe the last?) monument built to honor an agricultural pest (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boll_Weevil_Monument).
That enterprising politician is Monsignor Jim Bob Hobarto, who was graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1921, and he earned his Master of Divinity, not from the (Unitarian Universalist) Meadville Lombard Theological School, but from Denver's Iliff School of Theology, in 1924, with a full scholarship from the American Unitarian Association, which really, really needed a Southerner to proclaim its Gospel of freedom, reason, and tolerance.
Associate solitary reporter Revered Rev. Hobarto is our Chief Theological Correspodent.
Only five minutes ago, Revered Rev. Hobarto appeared magically in the Knesset, surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of devout Israeli Presbyterians — many of whom are Palestinian Israelis — and announced the formation of his Anti-Bibi Party.
Associate solitary reporter Matthew Gilson, based in Jerusalem, has been diligently polling Israeli voters for forty years, and it was on the basis of his polling that Hobarto made his announcement — because Israeli voters — those who are neither ultra-orthodox nor orthodox — know full well that if Israel, a nuclear power, is to survive, it has to learn to live with the Palestinians.
After all, the golden days of King David and King Solomon happened several centuries before the Common Era.
And it was Revered Rev. Hobarto, Professor Emeritus of Unitarian Universalist Non-Theology at Harvard Divinity School, who wrote the definitive treatise on The Song of Solomon -- a book in the Hebrew Bible which rivals The Book of Job for its profundity.
ASR Gilson predicts that come May, Netanyahu’s Likud will have lost nearly all credibility that it ever had in our fifty-first State.