Saturday, January 23, 2010

Masters and donkeys

Sarah Honig
Another Tack/JPost
22 January '10

Consciously or otherwise, the carrot-or-stick motif conjures images of masters and the dumb donkeys they try to prod and move along. Those lucky enough to be in position to choose between inducing or punishing are obviously the power-wielding honchos.

Those to be tempted or whacked into submission are clearly the brutish troublesome beasts which must be disciplined - one way or another.

Therefore, when US President Barack Obama's special Mideast envoy fails to object to carrot-and-stick speak - and even bothers to specify one stick's characteristics - he implies that he's in charge, while we, threatened with a severe whack on the rump, are his asses.

So forget the nitty-gritty of George Mitchell's January 7 gibber-jabber in the PBS interview with Charlie Rose about withdrawing loan guarantees if we Israelis don't obey pronto. Plenty of ink has been spilled on whether this constituted a serious signal. The point has been honed that we don't desperately depend on said guarantees, that Israel repays all its debts dutifully and that it can get along just fine, thank you, without Washington's grudging favor.

That's almost the lesser issue.

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