Olympic Meditation

Watching the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics I was struck by how many small countries there are in the world. Particularly small island countries in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. I did a quick check, and out of 191 countries represented at the UN, 35 have less than 100,000 inhabitants. I think that Israel as a small country should try to make friends with them and hence get many more votes at the UN. But they are only one sixth of the UN, although each has a vote equal to that of the biggest countries.

I estimated what is the average population of a country from the total list and it was 35 million inhabitants. If I removed the countries with more than a billion people, namely only China and India, and those with less than 5,000, the average population dropped to 22 million. Israel is now at 9.3 million, which is less than the average, but Israel is ranked at no.100 out of the total of 191, which is about half-way. But, certainly compared to many other countries with larger populations Israel punches above its weight (to use a sports analogy).

One of the common anti-Semitic memes that the Nazi anti-Semitic State used against the Jews was that they were poor at sports, not healthy and athletic like the Aryans. But, in fact this is another lie. Jews are good at sports. Remember the famous movie Chariots of Fire that depicted the competition between sprinters Harold Abraham and Eric Liddell, at the 1924 Olympics. Nazi Germany banned 17 Jewish athletes from competing at the infamous 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and of those 6 were murdered, including the best German sprinter Lilli Hanoch. Mickey Mantle in the 1960’s was a leading baseball player in the USA. Then there was Mark Spitz, the record breaking American swimmer who won 7 gold medals at the 1972 Olympics, all in world record time! The gymnast Aly Rasiman was the top female gymnast in America who won gold at the 2012 Olympics.

Israel has 90 competitors at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Of these a few have medal possibilities, Alexander Shatilov in gymnastics, Linoy Ashram in rhythmic exercise, Sagi Muki in Judo, Avishag Semberg in Taekwondo, and in wind surfing and many more. They won’t compare to the big teams (US, Russia , China), but they’ll do well. Last night I saw the Israeli baseball team beaten by one point by South Korea. But, we’re in there. I remember when a team from a Torah Academy beat a Maryland champion team in basket ball, it was headlines in the local papers.

One last comment, about the “mental health” issues of Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles. Yes, I sympathize, but what are they doing in Olympic competition if they can’t compete, why didn’t they withdraw before the Games started. You know the old saying, “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.” Tension and nerves are part of competition in sport. If you can’t face it, you lose.

Spies of No Country

Spies of No County: Israel’s secret agents at the birth of Israel by Matti Friedman (Algonquin, 2019) is a profoundly important book, for two reasons. First it shines light on a long-neglected subject, the actions of young Jews who were native Arabic-speakers, who came to British Mandatory Palestine to get away from Muslim domination and persecution, and to help the formation of a Jewish State that had not yet come into existence. Some of them were recruited as the Jewish State-to-be’s first spies, they knew Arabic fluently, they knew the culture of the Muslims and they could meld into Arab society and provide the embryonic intelligence apparatus of the Jewish community in Palestine with its first insights into what was really going on in Arab Palestine and those centers of Arab society Beirut, Damascus and Amman. Second for anyone who has delusions of Israeli power (on the right) or of Israel as a colonial power (on the left) it throws a bucket of cold water that must mitigate against such delusions.

These were young men who from personal experience knew deeply that they had no future in the Arab world. Any day, every day, they were insulted and spat upon by Muslim Arabs, they were barely tolerated, and they and their families could be attacked at their home or at their place of work and be dragged out into the street, beaten or killed, without any defense or justice. They were tiny minorities in Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, Beirut, and throughout the cities of North Africa (the Maghreb). After more than a thousands years of intolerance among the Muslims, there were barely 1 million from Morocco to Iran, far less than the number of Jews in the Middle East than at the time of the Arab conquest of Jerusalem in 637 ce. In a word these young Jews recognized their powerlessness, and saw in the eternally foretold religious promise of a return to Zion the possible means to redeem themselves and attain some degree of power over their destiny.

The book focuses on four of the 20 or so Arabic-speaking spies that were recruited to form the unit known as the “Black Unit” or the “unit of those who become like Arabs” (expressed in Hebrew by the word “mista’aravim”). They were Gamliel Cohen (alias Yusuf) born Damascus; Isaac Shoshan (alias Abdul Karim) born Aleppo, Syria; Havakuk Cohen (alias Ibrahim) born Yemen; Yakuba Cohen (alias Jamil) born Jerusalem (it is pure coincidence that three of them have the surname ‘Cohen’). Their exploits in Palestine before the State was founded and later in Beirut, Damascus and Amman are detailed in this book from personal memoires and recently declassified Israeli government files. Although they received some training they were essentially amateurs, although their commitment and their risk-taking were beyond question, and they formed the first group of spies that was later to become the Israeli foreign intelligence service, the vaunted Mossad (the Institute). Their main job was to infiltrate into Arab society, learn what was going on and what people were saying and thinking and trace troop movements and weapons caches and report back so that the Jewish leadership was better informed. They also engaged in cases of sabotage, but that was discouraged because their intelligence information was considered to be most valuable.

Their return to Zion coincided with the political movement of Zionism that sprung from the powerlessness of Jews in Christian Europe (that had recently been proven by the Holocaust of WWII). While the British tried to maintain hold of Mandatory Palestine, they came up against the anti-colonialist forces of the Jewish community there (the Yishuv) and were already in retreat soon after WWII ended. Since Britain could no longer maintain control of Palestine, it sent the issue for the UN to decide, and in a vote on Partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab States on November 29, 1947, resolution 181 was passed. However, the Arab/|Muslim States entirely rejected partition, they wanted it all for themselves, and so they attacked the purported Jewish State immediately after the British withdrew. The Jewish minority (then ca. 650,000), surrounded by hostile Arabs and attacked by the armies of 5 Arab States (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) was not expected to survive. The British High Command predicted the Jews would be defeated and massacred, and the Arabs issued blood-curdling statements, such as Fawzi al-Kaukji, Commander of the Arab Liberation Army of Palestine, who said “we will murder, wreck and ruin everything in our way.” Fortunately his army was defeated by a much smaller Jewish force and he was injured, whereupon he retired to Beirut.

One significant section of this book is devoted to what Israel was and currently is. When these young Arab-Jews, known as Mizrachim In Israel (Easterners) first arrived in Jewish Palestine they were a small minority. In effect they were used and patronized by the predominantly European Jewish (Ashkenazi) Zionists. But, with the establishment of Israel the Jews in Arab lands were both forced out by the Arabs and with the help of the fledgling Mossad managed to get to Israel (some 800,000; many of the rest moved from N. Africa to France and the USA). With this influx and their large families they soon became a majority. The tipping point came in 1977 when the “riff-raff” as the Ashkenazi ascendency called them, out-voted the Labour Party that had ruled since Independence, and voted in the right-wing Likud Party of PM Menachem Begin. It can be said that they voted against the liberal-socialists who were forever trying to assuage the Arabs and make peace (for example Defense Minister Moshe Dayan gave control of the Temple Mount to the Muslim Wakf in the expectation that they would show gratitude) and voted in the more realistic and hawkish right because they knew the Arabs better than the Ashkenazim. So Israel moved in a different direction than many of the European Zionist founders expected, with their socialist ideals and their sense of entitlement. For those who criticize Israel as a colonialist endeavor you should accept the fact that more than half of Israel’s population (55%) is descended from people who never left the Middle East, and now 74% of its population have been born in the Middle East, and aren’t going anywhere else.

For those who have seen the popular Israeli series Fauda, you may get a taste of what these Arabic-speaking Jews experienced. But, in Fauda the Duvdevan (cherry) unit goes in and out of the Arab West Bank and Gaza, while the Arabic-speaking Jews in this period were expected to live as Arabs in an Arab society for long periods of time, and without all modern means of communication. Their fate was more like that of Eli Cohen, the most famous Israeli spy, who conned the whole of the Syrian power structure for a long time, but was eventually caught and hung (see The Spy on Netflix). Of those Arabic-speakers who joined the fledgling Jewish intelligence service 8 out of 10 did not survive. They were caught out not by their ability to speak Arabic, but often by their lack of knowledge of Muslim religious customs, saying prayers or how to perform the routine ablutions (wudu). But, they learnt by mistakes and that was taken care of in time by expert training.

Victory Against Religious Coercion

As a non-believer I am always aghast at the lengths to which religious authorities will go to take control over the lives of their adherents. This has certainly been true in Christianity and Islam, but usually less so in Judaism, that is much less centralized and in any case the Jewish people have been so widely dispersed. But, the advent of the Jewish State of Israel and the need for a Chief Rabbinate, has resulted in the same phenomenon here.

The Chief Rabbinate has over time become more controlled by the most extreme religious elements, namely the ultra-orthodox or haredim. They have taken control of all conversions as well as matters of deciding who is a Jew and who can marry as a Jew and so on. In time they developed their own bureaucracy and regulations and took more power to themselves. For example, it is possible for many Rabbis to convert someone to Judaism, but Reform and Conservative Jewish conversions are not accepted by the Israeli Rabbinate. However, in recent times they have also rejected conversions carried out by Orthodox Rabbis that they don’t consider up to their standards of Orthodoxy.

One reason why they would reject such conversions is that the person concerned after being converted was not living an Orthodox Jewish life according to their standards. For this purpose they had investigators collecting evidence on the lives of such a convert. They also became very suspicious of the Jewish origin of many immigrants from the former Soviet Union and would summarily reject their claims of being Jewish. And if such a person applied to have a Jewish marriage they would reject that, and they would investigate their immediate family and for example even annul a marriage after they had already been married in a Jewish ceremony.

This was lowering religion to the level of petty spying. An organization called Itim, that protects the rights of religious people in Israel objected to these practices and took the Rabbinate to court. The State’s Attorney’s Office took up the case and it went to the Israeli Supreme Court. As a result of the Court’s rulings, the Rabbinate has now agreed to halt all third-party Jewish-status investigations and stop all unauthorized use of personal Jewish-status data. This is a victory for personal and religious freedom in Israel. No longer will the Rabbinate be allowed to investigate the religious practices of any Jew.

The Ben & Jerry’s Fiasco

The fact that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has decided to boycott the West Bank, but not Israel itself is a self-defeating move, since while some 500,000 Jewish Israelis live on the “occupied West Bank” there are some 2 million Palestinians there. They work in the B&J’s ice cream parlor’s and they buy B&J’s ice cream, so they will be the one’s most affected not Israel. Further, if Israel is indeed an apartheid state as “progressive” leftist companies like B&J assert (which is ridiculously not true), then they should be boycotting Israel. But B&J’s is no longer owned by Jewish Ben & Jerry, they sold the company to Unilever in 2000, and no longer have any input into the running of the company. But, whoever took this decision in B&J’s didn’t tell the current owner of it, namely the Unilever company of the UK. Notably Unilever was also founded by Jews, the Lever brothers, but is now an international conglomerate. In order to prevent further steps, Unilever stepped in and said that as a purely business decision they would not allow B&J’s to boycott Israel. So now B&J’s are caught in the middle.

But let’s face it, who really cares. The amount of business B&J’s do in Israel is a drop in the bucket, compared to the b$25 that some 400 other companies have invested in Israel in the past year alone (mostly in high tech). So the whole thing is a fiasco. The BDS movement that seeks to boycott Israel, and in fact destroy Israel economically, calls this a victory, that a Jewish company (NOT so) B&J’s has boycotted Israel (not so) and this is their victory (?), then they are in trouble (because it’s peanuts). And not to forget that there will be a counter-boycott of B&J’s ice cream all around the world.

What is really going on? First the Palestinians may be poor victims, but they long ago ceased to be Israeli victims. Israel is a strong, relatively affluent county, the Palestinian entities (the PA and Gaza) have controlled their own Palestinian populations for years, they are NOT “occupied” and haven’t been for many years. Everything that happens to them is due to the exploitation of their own leadership. In the PA it is corrupt, steals aid money, and keeps the Palestinian people poor and under control of their secret police. In Gaza Hamas steals all the aid and uses it for military purposes (building tunnels and rockets), and considers the Gazans as mere cannon fodder, and uses them as human shields, a war crime. It is Israel that is being attacked constantly by them, Israel only defends itself.

Terrible things are happening in the world, Lebanon is in meltdown, it is now calculated that 50% of the country is at the point of starvation, there is no bread, no water, no food, nothing. Similarly Cuba is in a state of breakdown with people demonstrating in the streets while the Communist government unleashes its secret police against them. In China and Germany there are terrible floods that have killed hundreds, Syria is a country in dire straits, occupied by Russia and Iran. Iran is trying to make an atomic bomb and threatening to use it against Israel and Saudi Arabia. South Africa is split asunder by terrible riots and extensive looting over the corruption of the previous President. In China a million Uigher Muslims are estimated to be imprisoned in “reeducation camps.” Yet, the whole weight of the left in the West is projected on their victory of denying Israelis B&J’s ice cream on the West Bank, What a fiasco

These are the People we are dealing with…

The Israeli Manager of a plant in the Ariel Industrial zone of Samaria thought that it would be a nice gesture for his Arab workers to organize a party for them. He invited a well-known Palestinian singer to entertain them. After the party the singer was arrested by the Palestine Authority security forces. He is being held on charges of promoting normalization with Israel. The PA governor of the region Abdullah Kmeil accused the singer of performing before “settlers and prostitutes” and accused him of “normalizing relations with murderous settlers.” The Manager of the plant denied that there were any settlers in the audience, only Arab workers. Some Palestinians appealed for the release of the singer, but Kmeil said he was “shocked” by this. These are the people we are dealing with, these are the people supported by naïve Western liberals, who accept Palestinian propaganda at face value, and don’t have the slightest notion how the Palestinian people are treated by their own dictatorial rulers and secret police. And these are the people you want us to make peace with?

Last week the FBI announced that it had foiled a plot by 4 Iranian operatives who entered the USA in order to kidnap a prominent Iranian critic, Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American journalist. Her crime, that she opposes the compulsory wearing of the hijab by Iranian women and the decree against women dancing (yes, its a crime in Iran). This attempt to carry out a kidnapping on US soil is not only outrageous, but must ahve been ordered at the highest level. By the way, Iran has previously kidnapped Iranian dissidents in Europe and by luring them to convenient countries such as UAE and Iraq. The plan in this case was to put her on a ship to Venezuela and take her from there. Iran has good relations with the dictatorial regime of Venezuela. Although the plot was foiled, the 4 Iranian operatives are still at large in the US, or they may have skipped the country.

This is the country, Iran, that not only did former Pres. Obama try to normalize relations with, but he also secretly gave them a huge sum of dollars as an incentive to be good. He also made the nuclear deal with Iran, that would have ensured them getting a nuclear weapon. Now Pres. Biden wants to make friends with them again by resurrecting the nuclear deal (known as the JCPOA). What a huge mistake. Liberal policies don’t work with such fanatics and extremists. But, Iran does these things knowing that Biden will do nothing against them. Liberal policies don’t work on the southern US border either.

Lebanon Crashes, Cuba Melts and South Africa Descends

At the same juncture in time, three legitimate States that have a history and a national ethos are in the process of disintegrating. Perhaps Lebanon is the worst case, it is in national meltdown, it has not had a government in three years, and the latest attempt by Said Hariri to form one has just ended. In Cuba, the typical lack of concern for the welfare of its people has bedeviled the Communist regime. They are effectively living back in the 1950’s, even their vaunted nationalized medical system has collapsed and coronavirus infections are rife. The people in both Lebanon and Cuba are without water, food and basic necessities. In South Africa, things are a little different, there is rampant corruption, and the former President Jacob Zuma got caught. But, his Zulu followers don’t like that he has been prosecuted and found guilty, so they rioted and have effectively destroyed the civil basis of life in S. Africa by looting and destroying stores and 70 have been killed, The current President Cyril Ramaphosa apparently cannot cope with this situation.

Certainly there are differences between these cases, but also similarities. In the cases of Lebanon and Cuba, the potential development of these countries has been stunted by regimes that are more involved in perpetrating themselves than improving their citizens lives. In Cuba it is the obvious control of a Communist regime, that the people when they reach rock bottom finally lose their fear of and the fascist tactics of the secret police. Whether the Communist regime can survive this massive public unrest and resistance is unclear.

In Lebanon it is the taking over of the national government by Hezbollah, a Shia army that promotes Iranian interests over those of Lebanon and is far more heavily armed than the national Lebanese Army. Following the explosion in the port of Beirut, that killed ca. 200 and destroyed most of central Beirut, things have gone from bad to worse. The problem in Lebanon is that it is composed to distinct faith groups, Sunni Muslim, Shia, Muslim, Christian, Druse, and each has their own power structures that prevent any form of true democracy from evolving. And that becomes impossible when Hezbollah effectively controls the nation and puts its emphasis and economic interests into fighting Israel rather than saving Lebanon. Nothing but a massive infusion of capital can save Lebanon, but who is going to do that when Hezbollah controls the worsening situation.

S. Africa is potentially a rich country, with enormous reserves of natural resources. But, I am afraid that its separation between different ethnic groups, like in Lebanon, has robbed it of a true democracy. If the Zulus are more interested in trashing the country and stealing what they can get and killing for it, than trying to work together as different interest groups, then S. Africa cannot work, It will descend into chaos. I think the Jewish community there will continue to leave, and this will only exacerbate the downfall.

I wish I could say that these countries should look to Israel as a model of development, but as we all know the electoral system here leaves much to be desired. But, even with that, and being attacked by hostile neighbors, Israel is relatively prosperous and stable. There is no rioting in the streets, the systems (medical, economic, industrial) are working well, and to all those who say Israel doesn’t have the right to exist or Israel should be replaced by a Palestinian State, I ask, and what then? No Israeli Arabs would give up Israel for a so-called Palestinian State. Would you live in one? It could be worse than Cuba, Lebanon and S. Africa combined.

PS. Note that I am in the process of finishing two projects, one scientific the other literary. This is taking much of my time now, hence gaps in my blog postings.

The Coalition Depends on an Arab Party As We Feared

I was relieved when PM Bennett managed to pull together his broad unity coalition and managed to oust PM Netanyahu after 12 years in power. But many of us who had previously supported Netanyahu and Likud have now come up against the very situation that we feared. Just as Netanyahu came to be blackmailed and controlled by the haredi (Ultra-Orthodox parties), so Bennett has become blackmailed and controlled by the one small Arab party Ra’am that joined his coalition. The Head of Ra’am, Mansour Abbas, and individual members of his Party, which has only 4 seats, are demanding concessions from Bennett and his coalition, and they are getting their way. This is because Bennett knows, as they do, that without their support his slim to nil margin will vanish and his coalition government will collapse. So the unique situation has arisen where a small Arab party controls the fate of the Israel Government, something we hoped never to see.

The specific case in point is that Abbas has demanded that the coalition not request support form his rival Arab Joint List, in case of state budgets and other key legislation. As a result of such a request Ra;am has refused to cooperate with the coalition until further notice. Also, Ra’am has demanded that the National Authority for the Beduin Population must be transferred to the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, and that has been accepted by Bennett. In other words, a small Arab Party is now determining how policy towards an Arab sector of the population will be determined. Presumably he hopes to impress the Beduin population by his power, and thereby gain votes.

PM Netanyahu in the opposition has of course opposed this action, which gives Abbas a controlling hand over the Israeli Government. It seems that because of the structural problems of the Israel electoral system, some small parties can gain power far in excess of their representation in the Knesset. So its either the haredi or the Arab minority that are calling the shots. Which one would you prefer? I would prefer neither, but that can’t happen. And what if Abbas decides he doesn’t like a specific security measure decided on by the Government, can he get them to change with the same threat of bring the government down. This is not good.

President Raisi, Crimes Against Humanity

There is a widespread opposition to the regime of the Ayatollahs in Iran from mainly Iranian exiles living around the world. Case in point was a series of demonstrations in Germany recently where Iranian exiles demonstrated against the appointment of Iran’s newly elected President Ebraham Raisi. Actually it is incorrect to say that he was elected, he was really selected by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei, who made sure that he had no viable opponents. This is not democracy.

Ebrahim Raisi was chosen because he is a well-known hard-liner of the Shia regime. He became infamous during the period after the Khomenei revolution in Iran in 1979 when he was the Chief Prosecutor of the many thousands that the regime arrested. There were mass executions of all who opposed the regime and Raisi is supposed to have condemned some 30,000 people to death. They were hung or shot by firing squads. This was a massive crime against humanity.

Now the question arises, what kind of regime is it that has a President who has the blood of innocent people on his hands to that extent. Someone who condemned 30,000 people to death and had them murdered, because they opposed the regime politically. Those who escaped from Iran and now make up the people demonstrating escaped with their lives, and many of them lost family and friends to the bloodbath that followed the Khomenei take-over of power in Iran at that time. All Western countries should refuse to deal with Iran at all, and particularly if as is anticipated, after being President Raisi becomes the next Supreme Leader of Iran.

Canada’s Chutzpah

Canadian FM Marc Garneau visited the Middle East and pronounced “we still have a fragile ceasefire,” but he advised Israel “as a friend” that “the building of settlements and the evictions and demolitions in east Jerusalem should cease.” Who is “We” in this case, certainly Canada doesn’t have a ceasefire, Israel does, and certainly Israel can determine its own policies dependent on its own interests. Israel doesn’t need self-righteous advice from far away countries such a Canada that has a pop-up President Trudeau, who pops up whenever there is a PR moment. Anyway with total lack of influence in the region who cares what Canada thinks.

Garneau went on to visit Pres. Abbas in the PA and gave him his full support, just when the 85 year old dead duck is on his last legs as political dictator of the PA, and his citizens are demonstrating all over against his regime that recently murdered activist Nazar Banat, who was beaten to death by Abbas’s security forces in his own home. Garneau expressed Canada’s support for the Palestinian people’s right to peace and self-determination and the two-state solution to the conflict with Israel.

He did not think to ask Abbas or the leader of Hamas in Gaza if they too support the two-state solution, which of course if they said they do, they would be lying, since both of them have only one policy, that is “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free,” in other words the destruction of Israel, Canada’s “friend.” With friends like these who needs enemies. I don’t know why Israel even bothers to accept visits by such hypocritical and holier-than-thou amateur meddlers. The Israeli PM should be too busy to see him next time. No joint statement was made.

A Necessary Change in Israel

The current coalition government of PM Naftali Bennett has been dubbed “the change government” not because of the needed changes it can make to Israeli society, but because of the one big change it did accomplish, namely replacing PM Netanyahu. But, on all other changes it is likely to be split, since it includes a wide range of political views, from Bennett’s right wing Yamina Party to Israel’s far left Meretz Party. A current example is the vote last night on the citizenship law that prevents Palestinians who marry Israelis from acquiring Israeli citizenship. Although it goes against Israel’s liberal traditions, this was considered a necessary security measure when it was introduced by Netanyahu in 2013. His Party, Likud, has supported it since then, but now that he is in opposition, Netanyahu had Likud oppose the vote on it, so that it failed to pass, mainly because of the opposition of members of the Arab Israeli Ra’am Party, which failed to support Bennett and the coalition.

However, of the many issues that Bennett’s diverse coalition may not be able to change, one that they could change stands out, namely rescuing Israel from the grips of the Ultra-Orthodox (haredim) on all matters religious. During the early years of the State PM Ben Gurion of Labour was quite sympathetic to the requirements of the Jewish Orthodox, partly to ensure that Israel remained a Jewish State. This was a popular attitude even of the non-religious after the tragedy of the Holocaust. It became common for Jewish religious political parties to join coalitions with Labour and they gained influence from that. Then under Likud these parties tended to be taken over by the haredim and became even more influential in coalitions with Likud, so that they became a fixture of Likud governments under Netanyahu. With time these parties, such as Shas and United Torah Judaism gained more influence over all matters religious, such as running the Religious Affairs Ministry, controlling the Rabbinate and conversions and excluding all non-Orthodox Jewish movements, such as Conservative and Reform, from all access within Israel. This has become a scandal, in which conversions even carried out by Orthodox rabbis outside Israel have been disapproved by the Rabbinate.

Now the Bennett “change” coalition, which does not contain any Haredi Parties, could finally be able to reduce their control over religious matters in Israel. Legislation is needed over which they used to exert total rejection on such issues as conversions, and opening Israeli society at large to Conservative and Reform Judaism. The Haredi Parties have shown their utter contempt for these valid forms of Judaism by referring to their rabbinic representatives as “devils” and much worse. This at least should be one area that all members of the Bennett coalition could agree on, even though he himself is religious, namely the non-haredi right-wing, the center, the left and even ironically the Arab Muslim Party.

PS. Yes, folks, I’m feeling better today.