Home At the Table with Barry, Leon and Howard
Home At the Table with Barry, Leon and Howard

At the Table with Barry, Leon and Howard

Leon Panetta, fresh from a stint as CIA director and off to his new job as Secretary of Defense, did his best to  butch up in the usual way of DC hacks "daringly" delivering the same utterances that have been current in the capital for generations.

When Panetta, the man who looks like everyone's least favorite accountant or funeral director, showed up at the Saban Forum, he butched up by shouting that Israel needs to "get to the damn table" and negotiate with the Palestinian Arab terrorists.

What table? Which terrorists? Those questions didn't bother Panetta, who after years of being wedgied by Biden and having his pants pulled down by James L. Jones had finally discovered the thrill of being a bully. Or as David Igantius at the Washington Post puts it, "He liked the “just get to the damn table” line so much that he repeated it, for good measure." Which is a common phenomenon among five year olds who say a bad word for the first time. It's a little more pathetic when it's being done by the Secretary of Defense.

Not done for the day, Panetta went out to lay out the rest of his "Blame Israel" peace plan, suggesting that it was up to Israel to mend fences with Egypt and Turkey. It's hard to say whether the former CIA director is familiar with anything that happened in Egypt this week, but he might have noticed that the big winners in the election down there were the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis.

It's always a good idea to mend fences when the people on the other side of the fence want to establish a demented theocracy and kill you, but the fence mending is going to have to be a unilateral project and the fences are going to be really high and thick with missile launchers on top.

Turkey, currently occupying parts of Cyprus and Kurdistan, and purging its domestic opposition, is a more likely target for fence mending because of the lack of fences. It's strictly naval warfare over there. Rick Perry complained that he couldn't be expected to build a fence on the Rio Grande, and is Israel really supposed to mend fences on the Med with bankrupt Islamists upset that they haven't gassed their quota of Kurds this week?

According to Panetta, Egypt and Turkey share an interest in regional stability. The missing letter that the former CIA director is looking for is a "d". Shared. Egypt shared an interest in regional stability before it was taken over by an apocalyptic cult after its government was pushed to the side by Leon's boss in the Oval Office in between two rounds of golf and a vacation on Martha's Vineyard.

Turkey has a compelling interest in regional stability. Its plan for regional stability is called reviving the Ottoman Empire, but with more mosques. This doesn't worry Panetta who thinks that no empire based around ornate furniture and peaceful religions can be a bad thing.

But Panetta isn't as stupid as he looks. Shouting about Israel needing to get back to the "damn table" and maybe bring him a "damn ottoman" so he can put his feet up, isn't really about Israel, it's about the new Secretary of Defense giving the Saudis a shout out to remind that this administration still has their back. Sure Chas Freeman didn't get to draw up the National Intelligence Estimate, but Leon will run out and get them a Hookah any time they want it.

The Saban Forum, for those who think that it rings a small bell, is a vanity forum for Haim Saban, an expat Israeli mogul who is known for donating huge amounts of money to the Democratic Party and for bringing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to the United States-- giving Americans who were parents in the 1990's two reasons to hate him. For all the table pounding, nothing that matters much happens there.

At this point in time an American defense official ranting that Israel needs to get back to the table, some table with somebody, is the equivalent of the Coca Cola company putting Santa on their soda bottles in December. Everyone knows it's coming and no one pays much attention to it.

The "Get back to the damn table" policy is the product of senility. It's half a dozen administrations pounding the table and shouting, "Get me my medication," and "Bring me my apple juice" and "Get back to the damn table and sign a peace agreement with one of the terrorist groups and this time make it stick somehow, we don't care how."

As Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld talked about the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. For Secretary of Defense/CIA Director/Official White House Dog Groomer, Leon Panetta, everything is an unknown unknown, except for the received wisdom of his old bosses back in the Clinton Administration. When in doubt scream that everything would be better if the Israelis just got back to the table.

Make some gestures, Panetta urged. Do a little dance, sing some showtunes, apologizing for your soldiers, your national defense policy and anything else you can think of. "If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are -- and Israel's moral standing will grow even higher. And that is why Israel should pursue them,"

Which world does Panetta mean exactly? The Muslim world, which has this black book that is filled with the names of Mohammed's favorite slave girls and six year olds, and a whole lot in there about killing Jews, isn't likely to be won over with gestures, whether they are in American Appeasement Sign Language or New York Cabbie, though the latter would at least be more honest.

Then there's the First World which is rather concerned about the number of New York cabbies reading that particular book and going on killing sprees, especially if they're backed by a dozen or so Muslim regimes, some of which are giving out nuclear party favors. The First World's diplomats aren't likely to be impressed by Israel's moral standing or ottoman fetching skills. They don't care about those things, they just wish the nice people would stop blowing up so often, and if shouting that Israel needs to get back to the table might slow down the detonations, they'll pound on the table until their hands turn blue and until there isn't anyone left in Israel with enough body parts to gesture with.

Not to be outdone, Howard W. Gutman, this nation's ambassador to Belgium joined in the chorus explaining that some types of anti-semitism were more justified than others.

Gutman, the former lawyer for a member of the Weather Underground, certainly knows which way the wind is blowing in Europe. Buggenhout, a Belgian municipality that no ambassador had wanted to visit before because of the embarrassing name, actually put up a plaque commemorating his visit there. But you don't get to be the man dubbed "the most popular ambassador in Belgium" by not bashing Israel.

But give the Gut some credit, he knows how to warm up a crowd. Before launching into a diatribe about the Jews, he told his audience, and I quote, "If you are new to Belgium, the frites, chocolate, beer and mussels  are terrific and have only the oval waffles called Liege waffles, put no toppings on them, and get them straight from the waffle iron." With fantastic material like this, you can see why Howie had to fall back on the classics.

After the Liege waffles and the chocolate beer, the Honorable Howard W. Gutman explained that there were two kinds of Anti-Semitism. There is the unambiguously bad kind.

"There is and has long been some amount of anti-Semitism, of hatred and violence against Jews, from a small sector of the population who hate others who may be different or perceived to be different, largely for the sake of hating.  Those anti-Semites are people who hate not only Jews, but Muslims, gays, gypsies, and likely any who can be described as minorities or different."

This kind of Anti-Semitism is of course never practiced by Muslims, unless Muslims are capable of hating themselves for being different from themselves. It's practiced by people who hate Jews, Muslims, gays, gypsies and ambassadors who wear stupid glasses. Crazy irrational racists whose bigotry can't be accounted for. And then there's the other kind.

"It is the problem within Europe of tension, hatred and sometimes even violence between some members of Muslim communities or Arab immigrant groups and Jews." 

While the bad gay gypsy haters actually hate other people, here there's only a tension. Not a crime against, but in between. Muslims have tensions with Jews. Jews have tensions with Muslims. Sometimes it ends in kidnapping and beheading, and you're invited to guess which group wields the machete and which one gets it head sawn off.

"It is a tension and perhaps hatred largely born of and reflecting the tension between Israel, the Palestinian Territories and neighboring Arab states in the Middle East over the continuing Israeli-Palestinian problem. " 

Does it ever enter Howard W Gutman's mind that possibly there are people in those neighboring Arab states or among Muslims who hate people for being different, or is that a superpower only possessed by Western Europeans? History would suggest otherwise, but Gutman didn't get this far by being a historian, he got it by raising money for the post-American man in the White House.

Gutman goes on to explain that this kind of Anti-Semitism is really a very subtle and complex nuanced thing. For example he explains, that Muslims cheer him whenever he goes, which means they can't be Anti-Semitic. Clearly it's just Israel that they hate, not Howard W. Gutman. And the Gut warns against "lumping the problem with past instances of anti-Jewish beliefs and actions or those that exist today among minority haters under a uniform banner of “anti-Semitism.”

Which is to say that when a Jewish child is punched in the face by a Belgian accompanied by a shout of "Dirty Jew", then it's Anti-Semitism-- but when he's punched in the face by a Muslim with a shout of "Ibtach Al-Yahood" then it's one of those complex problems that we shouldn't lump under a uniform banner of Anti-Semitism. We should just take our lumps and accept the blame for a thousand years of Islamic Anti-Semitism which began when Mohammed got on his flying horse and traveled through time to visit modern day Gaza.

According to Gutman, every time a settlement goes up in Israel, a Jewish child gets punched in the face, and the only people who can make it stop are Israeli leaders.

Anyone who finds this noxious patter familiar might remember it from one of Soros' speeches or from 1930's rhetoric. Or Gutman might just default to the patron saint of socialism's suggestion, "A careful study of anti-Semitism, prejudice and accusations might be of great value to many Jews, who do not adequately realize the irritation they inflict." But H.G. Wells was closer to saying what he meant than Gutman is.

In his opening, after the thing with the waffles, Gutman boasts, "Though there was much support in the Jewish community during the campaign, I combated significant suspicion and concern among the Jewish community as to whether a black man named Barack Hussein Obama could really be a good friend for Israel and the Jewish community."

But as Gutman's repulsive speechifying reminds us that it's not the color of Obama's skin or his middle name that's at issue. You can be named Howard W. Gutman and still be the worst of enemy to Israel and the Jewish community.

Gutman's remarks, coming right after Barack Hussein Obama had made some gestures to try and reassure nervous Jews that he doesn't intend to nuke Israel this term, can't be too helpful. But the Gutmans and the Soroses and Sabans greet this sort of thing with enthusiasm. Finally someone is telling those damn Jews to go back to the table. And then under it. Because someone has to be the ottoman for the new Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate. Someone has to be willing to bow down and accommodate the feet of Islam.

Make a gesture. Take your lumps. But don't you dare bomb Iran or stay away too long from the table. If you do, the next time a synagogue is burned, you only have yourselves to blame. And don't even think of not voting for Barack Hussein Obama, just think if you don't vote for him, Leon Panetta and Howard W. Gutman will be out of a job.


  1. Anonymous5/12/11

    This week really took the cake for outrageous statements, no? But, all of my sarcasm and anger aside, there is profound fear because these people wield a lot of power, they have the support of the mainstream media, the support of academia, and are chipping away, day after day, at the perspective citizens around thw world old about Israel and Jews. I often wonder, why are we not in the streets every day, raging? Why are we not walking out of events when someone even utters the first inane word? Our tribe is small and the world views us as meak. This is an enormous problem.

  2. Anonymous5/12/11

    typos...sorry: meant to say "citizens around the world hold..."

  3. Two-fisted fisking at its best, Sultan!

  4. Great article, but I'm not sure if making fun of Panneta's appearance is right; that's something he has little control over, as opposed to his words.

  5. Hey don't knock the waffle speech Sultan!!
    Sounds like the most sensible and coherent thing this Weatherman Defence Idiot had to say!!

    As to the "damn table" the Israelis would be ever so glad to "get back" to it if the "damn" Muslims didn't keep blowing it up!!

    These gasbags need an occupational therapist, stat!!

    I must say, the number of idiotarian wealthy men who give their money to terrorists and their supporters is probably the best argument against wealth that exists...not as a whole, but there are too many rich idiots financing totalitarian loons to be comfortable.

    Apart from Soros (I know his story), what is their story, one wonders...???

  6. To fsy: when you compliment someone and then follow it with 'but' it wipes out the compliment. You also suffer from Stockholm syndrome.

    To The Sultan: You are correct on every level. Jew haters are bold & apparent, quiet & cunning, apologetic & blind. We have our public schools to thank for the lack of true knowledge about the historical, ongoing battle Jews have faced at the hands of Muslims. To busy teaching kids to 'like everybody' and your 'bad' if you don't 'like everybody'. No ability to discern what is unmistakable good or evil. Keep up the good fight.

  7. Anon, because we aren't united, instead we let our agenda be dictated by the Gutmans and the community leaders afraid of offending them

    Jewel, would have added a third fist,

    fsy, which would be why the proportion of the article weighs toward his words

    TBS, a lot of them are left-wingers, wealth can create the same delusions of godhood that drive liberalism

    Elizabeth, the left has hijacked much of the educational system and portions of the clergy

  8. Anonymous5/12/11

    Get back to the table isn't that far from go back to the ovens.

  9. Unfortunately again, Sultan a huge hat tip to you. Why? What you write is true. Everyday is becoming a glaring blaring alarm moment and a push forward to Moshiach. We can achieve this with achdus, yet the vast majority of jews still see obama as some sort of savior. We must wake up to the truth. Thank you for being forthright in this most important endeavor.

  10. The irritation Jews bring to the world is called Torah, the words of G-d which annoy and irritate the world because it is universal law, justice and demand for personal responsibility in a world that hates that.
    This is a world where each man is a god unto himself and where each nation decides for itself what is good and evil.
    And so they must destroy the ambassadors of a higher King who calls them to account because they feel convicted.


  11. To fsy: when you compliment someone and then follow it with 'but' it wipes out the compliment. You also suffer from Stockholm syndrome.

    What??? All I did was question the wisdom of confusing the real issues with gratuitous insults to a person's appearance. Maybe he does "look like everyone's least favorite accountant or funeral director", but how is that relevant?

    Anyone who has seen any of my comments here knows that I'm a big fan of SK, and that is why I'm worried when he writes something that could play into the hands of his opponents who could now characterize him as being rude.

  12. You have to admit - all these peace dividends are finally breaking out after 18 years of Israel's religious obedience and devotion to their Oslo/Road Map god of no-peace.

    Israel's loyalty has really paid off.

    The wisdom of Israel's YES,YES secular leadership in bending their knees to Washington with unflinching loyalty instead of listening to the Boss has really move Israel closer to Yasser's peace of the grave.

    Exodus 23
    For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you.You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33 They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”

  13. Why is it that lefties are ideologues above all, no matter the consequences of their stupid beliefs? Jabotinsky and his associates were told to shut up about the death camps, don't make FDR look or feel bad... by fellow Jews. They were of the left, and Jabotinsky was of the right, so that was that. I'll never understand or forgive the leftist propsensity to throw away reality and lives with prodigious abandon. With them, it's ideology uber alles, always and forever.

  14. Sultan, in the last paragraphs you mentioned that Obama threated not to nuke Israel this term. When did he say that?

  15. Anonymous5/12/11

    Well, Lemon has really hit the nail on the head. In my years of missionary service, I often had the feeling that when people gave intellectual reasons for not accepting the message, that they were not telling the real reason, which was not wanting to be bound by one of the commandments or commit to the lifestyle.

    David Berlinski is personally an agnostic, but offers a defense against atheists who think science proves there is no God. In this interview, he mentions on of the reason for the development and defense of all these theories that provide alternates to the narratives that come to us from religion is precisely so that they don't have to be subject to religion:


    Berlinski' maternal grandfather, Samuel Goldfein, was a victim of Auschwitz.

  16. He didn't say that, the article is written in a somewhat sarcastic vein.

  17. Anonymous6/12/11

    Sultan, I disagree somewhat. We have organizations that could/should be organizing forces. But instead, most of them (ADL, for example) are suicidal. I'm getting very fed up with our little tribe. Is there any other group on earth that so relentless behaves in ways that are completely contrary to their best interests, to their very survival? When did this begin? How did we get here?

  18. "Is there any other group on earth that so relentless behaves in ways that are completely contrary to their best interests, to their very survival?"

    Americans and Europeans?

  19. Anonymous7/12/11

    Mr. Greenfield, your response nailed it. You make me aware of my bias. Yes, Jews are no more stupid or smart than anyone else.


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