The raven doesn’t always wait for the starling to come to him; sometimes he invites him over. So here they are, two men in a lordly pose.
“You and I will piss on the world. Soon the microphones will be removed and we’ll be able to exchange jokes about that woman, who has developed a bad habit − she sticks her nose everywhere and has something to say about every country. She thinks Israel resembles Iran, and that Russia holds fraudulent elections. We’ll show her from where the beluga secretes its caviar.
“It’s true we get the money and weapons we need from that presumptuous woman and her Obama, whereas you, Comrade Vladimir Vladimirovich, help Iran and Syria as much as you can. But we can’t let ourselves be confused by unfortunate facts. We, the Israelis, distinguish between those who pretend to be friends and a true friend like you. Please, continue to see me as your representative in Jerusalem. We are brothers, heirs to the KGB tradition − let’s raise a glass of Stolichnaya to your life and the life of your 25 years in power, at least.”
Despotic regimes and illegitimate entities are experts at deceit, and collaborators will always be found for them. Welcome to Theresienstadt − with your own eyes you will see the lovely art exhibition, with your own ears you will hear the excellent orchestra.
The junta in Argentina also used to invite in guests for quick visits − people who see no flaws. Once Gen. Jorge Videla opened the prison gates to a well-connected Israeli journalist. She spoke with the tortured prisoners and returned full of impressions: Things aren’t so terrible and the victims aren’t innocent.
And South Africa, during apartheid, purified its sins through others: You are permitted to walk around our country without interference, said the ambassador. You can even meet with members of the opposition in your free time, before or after the visit to the safari. Just don’t arrive with prejudice. I decided not to accept the invitation.
And the country of the settlers is also full of guests. Why not visit and enjoy our vineyards and oil presses − they’re all so small and pleasant. People sit under their vines and olive trees, in the heart of the pastoral landscape. Only 10 days ago I was invited again, but as a private citizen I no longer cross the Green Line.
Without prejudice, three MKs went to Russia as inspectors − two from Yisrael Beiteinu and one from Kadima. It’s true that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has doubts about the legitimacy of the elections − former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is calling for new elections, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reports “manipulations” and “meddling with the ballot boxes.”
But Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his envoys are not impressed by the gossip about disqualified parties, and about activists and bloggers who were threatened and banned from the media, their websites sabotaged and telephone lines cut. They were urgently summoned to the police and the courts, and were even imprisoned for a few days of cooling-off and reeducation.
After all, Yisrael Beiteinu MKs Faina Kirshenbaum and Robert Ilatov are familiar with those shouting people back home, who have learned as well as they to put subversive and unpatriotic nonprofit organizations in their place. The Russian election committee did a good job choosing the most transparent observers. It’s no coincidence that these starlings, of all people, were invited − to learn, but to teach as well.
Lieberman is farsighted; he’s laying the foundations for a joint Russian-Israeli future. Just as the defects you attribute to others are those you yourself possess, when you give approval you do so in your own way, in the spirit of the Kremlin and Lieberman’s headquarters when he was Likud director general. Perhaps foreign observers will be needed for the coming elections here too, and Vladimir Putin will be have to send his own Kirshenbaums and Ilatovs if he isn’t defeated first, like every corrupt tyrant whose time has come.
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