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Ruthie Blum: 'I like to call myself a right wing bohemian'

Ruthie Blum: 'I like to call myself a right wing bohemian'

My guest today on the podcast is Ruthie Blum! Ruthie is originally from New York, and is the daughter of journalists and authors Midge Decter and legendary editor in Chief of Commentary Magazine, Norman Podhoretz.

Since she immigrated to Israel in the late 70’s, she’s become a very well known journalist and pundit in her own right, and as you’ll probably hear - despite my attempt to listen to ALL my guests no matter what - I agree with maybe 1 percent of what she says.

I met Ruthie when she came as panelist on my TV show, the Spin Room, where she was just great TV - giving hell to the left wingers I put up against her, but also listening, agreeing, and doing her best to convince others with some reason while showing respect.

So, I hope you enjoy this one - because this is the essence of what this podcast is about - about listening, trying to better understand ALL the people who live here. Because we’re gonna be stuck together for a long time.

(5:00) Politicians have nothing to do with the virus
(22:00) How her father Norman Podhoretz affected her opinions
(34:00) Her beginnings in journalism, starting at the Jerusalem Post
(39:00) The only reason she rules out a two state solution is because of the enmity between the two peoples
(53:00) Why she - and her father - are in love with Donald Trump
(57:00) Jews vote for Democrats because their religion has become liberalism
(1:04:00) The one thing that Ruthie does not like about Netanyahu is…

Transcript (by

ami kaufman 00:00

Yeah, let's get this show on the road. Hello, glad you've joined me again here on otherwise occupied podcast where I amI Kaufman speak to anyone in everyone between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. My guest today is Ruthie bloom. Ruthie is originally from New York and is the daughter of journalists and authors, Mitch dektor, and legendary editor in chief of commentary magazine, Norman Podhoretz. Since she immigrated to Israel in the late 70s. She's become a very well known journalist and pundit in her own right. And, as you'll probably hear, despite my attempt to listen to all my guests, no matter what I agree with maybe 1% of what she says, I met Ruthie, when she came as a panelist on my TV show the spin room where she was just great TV giving hell to the left wingers I put up against her but also listening, agreeing and doing her best to you know, convince others with some reason while showing respect. So I hope you enjoy this one because this is the essence of what this podcast is about, about listening, trying to better understand all the people who live here because we're going to be stuck together for a long time. So without further ado, here's me and Ruthie bloom. Are you doing?

Ruthie Blum 01:58

I'm good. It's nice to see you. Nice to see you.

ami kaufman 02:04

hanging in there.

Ruthie Blum 02:05

I'm a in in there. You know I work at home anyway. And where are you right now? Are you are you you're in? Jan? Yeah, I'm in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv. Okay. And how are you hanging in there? You've got kids, you've got young kids. I don't at least so you know,

ami kaufman 02:22

yeah, we're hanging in there doing the whole zoom thing with school.

Ruthie Blum 02:25

I don't manage that.

ami kaufman 02:28

And, and Karen, the wife is working from she's working from home, but you know, doing a lot of zoom meetings as well. Yeah. And, and I'm doing podcast, as you can see, I'm doing right.



ami kaufman 02:43

So how So wait, you said you're working. Jan. So

Ruthie Blum 02:45

I'm working. What would you say? That's not the only thing right? Now. I mean, I'm writing a weekly column for the post, a weekly column for j and SM. And that's 25 hours a week editing in JMS. That's what I'm doing. So how was the whole thing you know, affected? affected your your routine? It hasn't changed? Because you know, you were mainly working from home. Yeah, I was working from home. But I had a social life. And now I don't.

ami kaufman 03:18

So hard, isn't it? It's hard.

Ruthie Blum 03:20

Yes. And no, in some ways, it's a relief. There are aspects of it that are relief. But find myself no more. I don't have to make excuses. You know, do you know what i? Uh, yeah. I don't know. It seems like it made me realize how many things I do that I don't feel like doing. Yeah, and then normal, you know, normal.

ami kaufman 03:46

Realize, you realize that maybe there's, there's some pluses to this

Ruthie Blum 03:51

thing. That would be one of them. The and the other is that it's no good. Otherwise, there's no Plus, the thing that bothers me about myself in this whole thing is, is that I've started getting annoyed if other people don't follow the rules. Because it makes me feel as though well, then we'll never get out of this. You know, like a friend of mine. You know, Friends of mine constantly say things like, so I'm so I'm going up north, I'm going down south, I'm going here, I'm going there and they do it. And then and I feel like it's not my business and I shouldn't you know, I say but that's against the rules. You know, I think what whoever they turned into but mainly, and another thing a friend called me today and she said that people told her that a lot is completely open restaurants, malls, everything and you know, in general they're pretty fairy everything is open and thinking. And meanwhile, you see the hundred Dean, you know, on young people crowding in, it's worthless, and then you say, well, so So what's the point Like what's so? Well,

ami kaufman 05:01

I mean, let me ask you this. I mean, I mean, now that we're going into this, we're we're in this second full lockdown. Right? I hear you, I hear you talking about, you know, people that are not following the rules and the guidelines. But if you look, if you zoom out a little of the whole, you know, what is it six months, seven months now that we've been in this thing? Are you happy with with with how nataniel has been handling this?

Ruthie Blum 05:27

Um, you know, it's a good question, because my feeling has been from the beginning, that no leader knows how to handle this. Because this is something that you can't know how to handle until you know, what it is what to do about it, no leader, the only there are two countries that we did not want to emulate. One was China, and the other was Sweden, China for the obvious reason that you don't want the government or the police barricading you in your home, right, you don't want them coming into locking you. That's horrifying. A Sweden's a different story. In this way, whenever you like, didn't want to emulate the United States either. No, but wait, we'll get to that in a minute. Okay, because the United States is not the United States. They're separate states. And each one handled this differently. And that's why you can't say the United States, Sweden, a country comparable in size to Israel is a better place to compare Israel to Sweden from the beginning said, Okay, we're not locking down anything or anybody. But here are some suggestions if you're in a high risk group, stay indoors. You know, keep your distance wash your hands, stuff like that. But there was no mandate to wear masks. And the Swedes did it. First of all Swedes, it's a whole different population, they have a much older population, etc. Also a much more obedient population just culturally. So what happened in Sweden, was that right from the beginning, thousands died, you know, it hit up to almost 6000. And what we said when we were almost at zero was, well, that's all well and good. But we don't want to just say, okay, fine, let 6000 people die. We're not like that. And we don't want including if they're in their 80s. I don't want get we don't want our parents dying just because they're in their 80s. Okay, fine. The trouble is that at this moment, Sweden stopped, the death toll has stopped and ours is going up. And I have a feeling that we're going to hit that number with lock downs and with easing up and not easing up and locking down in schools closed and the economy destroyed. We're gonna watch. But

ami kaufman 07:51

I'm still gonna I'm gonna press you on a little. Wow. I mean, the question was, are you are you happy with how Nintendo has managed it?

Ruthie Blum 07:59

Well, no, but you see, I, first of all, I think that gitanyow originally initially seemed like he was managing it great. Okay, he was on TV every night, people seem to trust him. And the public seem to be sufficiently afraid of the virus to follow the rules. And then the national unity government formed and everything went to hell. Okay, now, I'm not blaming the national unity government for this really, I'm not I'm not saying

ami kaufman 08:29

that. We're, I mean, where does the buck stop? Right?

Ruthie Blum 08:32

Well, in my opinion, the but this whole virus, no matter where it is, has nothing to do with politicians. And I would be saying that I'm telling you, that I mean, if you take New York for a

ami kaufman 08:45

politician, if a politician does a great job in a different country, yeah. Like if New Zealand or other places. There are examples where they say leaders, leaders did good jobs, they get the credit. But no, no, no,

Ruthie Blum 08:56

no, no, no, it's not. I understand why our leaders get blamed. Whatever is going wrong. We blame the leaders. Okay. You're the leader during this time, my What I'm saying is that I'm not sure it would make any difference who the leader was given the cultural climate. That's what I'm saying. I'm not saying that we we don't blame nataniel. In fact, I found right from the beginning that Nintendo is a bit of nataniel and Trump are complete opposites where Corona is concerned, and yet our numbers are high. Trump was basically saying, Oh, come on. We don't this is ridiculous. He was sort of downplaying it.

ami kaufman 09:38

While it really downplayed it to Bob Woodward. He admitted that

Ruthie Blum 09:41

right, okay, well, he downplayed it, but he also even when he stopped downplaying it publicly. You can see that he's not afraid of it and he, that's not his thing. Okay.

ami kaufman 09:52

It's interesting that you do the comparison to Trump because because I was kind of thinking about there you always see this person comparisons about you know, these countries where we're now it's really bad and they always, you know, set up the show they make the list of the populist leaders they do Trump, Netanyahu bolsa narrow in Brazil, and some others and now put them all together,

Ruthie Blum 10:14

but you're not gonna? Well no, the reason I'm saying that is that an individual individually and now if you talk about Trump and Netanyahu as two people and not just as leaders, what is very clear is that nataniel takes virus very seriously, he's afraid of it. He's for lockdown. Trump is the opposite. He's not afraid of the virus, you can tell that he's not afraid to catch it even I'm not even talking about the policy I'm talking about. So no, you can see the country is being led based on on the anxiety or lack of their of the leader and what it also shows it that doesn't make any difference.

ami kaufman 10:57

Yeah, well, I don't know.


I don't know.

ami kaufman 11:00

But but here's where I kind of agree with your comparison. I mean, to Trump because, for me, they were different in a way that I really don't think that Trump believes in the science. And I believe in Antonio, as opposed to Trump believes in science. And I believe nataniel was also one of the smartest people that I that is living on, I think is a very, very, very smart person. I don't agree with anything that he does, you know, politically, but he is one of the smartest people around, which is why I found his failure in management. so surprising to me, because I thought, you know, it was like, this is where the cream rises to the top right. This is this is where, where you see the chances of true leadership, because this is a man who has respect for science has, you know, shown leadership in the past, even though it's not the kind of leadership that I believe in, but he's shown it, here's a chance for him to, you know, prove that he can deal with this thing. And I think that he has,

Ruthie Blum 11:55

well, you know, it's interesting, it's interesting, because in March, between March and May nataniel, seemed to be

ami kaufman 12:04

but Ruthie, that was the easy thing. It was easy. It was just as it was the beginning. No, wait, no, because it was easy to lock, you just did a lockdown. You closed the country fast and hard, right? But then there was no planning. He didn't plan anything.

Ruthie Blum 12:18

In plan anything. What he did, though, was he said in May, okay. Just to, you know, to, in, in his defense, let me put it that way. He did say, okay, we're going to open up the economy now. Because this is not good for the economy, we flatten the curve, we're going to open it up. And what he did was beggar the public or impress upon the public, all sectors of the public, okay? Because we're opening up now it's more crucial than ever, to practice social distancing and to hygiene and the whole thing, and nobody obeyed. Now, I agree with you that a great leader can make his people follow him. Okay. There, I would agree with you. But I have to say alongside that, that no matter what is happening, you can see Israelis don't listen, and all is really seem all they seem to do is not believe that what they themselves are doing is affecting anybody else.

ami kaufman 13:25

They do look at either. I I agree with you that they're not following the guidelines. And I think, by the way, before, I don't want to talk too much about Corona. I have one more question about it. But I think by the way, one of the reasons that Israelis aren't following the guidelines, by the way, and why they lost faith in their leaders, was because of the leaders themselves. For example, right at the beginning, when the tenyo has that Seder thing with his family, when Rivlin president does the same thing and other ministers, and the public sees that the top the top are doing whatever they want. And they're saying, you know, what, why, why should I?

Ruthie Blum 14:00

Why? I know that's correct. And we all the whole public got furious about that. And they weren't the only ones President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu. We got furious about the hypocrisy of telling us to lock down and they weren't following okay. We always get furious when our leaders do that. Having said that, I will say that I think the public lost fear of the virus. You say they lost trust in the authorities. I say that I saw for the first two months when there was hardly anybody dead from this virus, total panic. I saw people wash their hands and wash their groceries and not let anybody touch any door handles. And now as the death toll really is increasing, the number of critically ill patients is in the hundreds. People are not afraid of the virus anymore. It's an interesting phenomenon that I noticed. I see it The people I know, they're not

ami kaufman 15:02

thinking right. I think I think you're not I think they're not afraid. I do think I feel that the fear is starting to come back in the in the people, at least that are around me and near me. One last question really quickly, I'm seeing this, I think a really interesting trend in the right wing weed media. Maybe it's too early to call it a trend, let's be honest, okay. But two very prominent journalists started with Akiva Novick, who wrote an op ed that made a lot of noise in hearts where he said, I think Netanyahu should be given a deal, something that his former lawyer yakko Ryan, Ryan Roth offered. And Akiva, the deal was to drop all the charges against the Prime Minister for him. And he resigned, resigned office. And the reason that Akiva was was was bringing this up now is because of Corona because Akiva was saying, You know what? Now, I see that the Prime Minister isn't focused enough on the pandemic, he made a lot of noise. And then a week later, he was joined by an even more prominent journalist on the right, common lip skinned, who said, I support a Kiva. And there were a few more journalists. So I don't know if it's a trend. But these are very, very important. People were saying, these are these are nataniel supporters who are saying, you know what, we have a problem. And this guy is not showing the right kind of leadership at a very important, important, important time. Where do you stand on that?

Ruthie Blum 16:35

Okay, well, I have two things to say about that. One, is that it's therefore interesting, that all the support nataniel has been losing in the polls, and then it gets if you can trust the polls, but many polls have been indicating that his support is waning, or at least could support and of course, that means that support for him is waning. But who's gaining that support is enough tally Bennett to the right of him, not the left wing. And why is that interesting? It's also interesting because the right wing columnist, if there's a trend in that direction, it's because they are supporting Bennett. They are not supporting a left wing government. They're supporting someone to the right. So that's number one. Number two, if you believe that Nippon Yao is guilty of all these crimes, and you know that you and I disagree on this, because my feeling is that the indictments are totally bogus, and, and you don't feel that way. I do. But nevermind, if you feel they're serious, and they're not bogus, then how could you want to make a deal like that? That he stepped down? And then he's cleared? Okay, because I have horrible. Okay, right. No, I mean, I'm saying that that kind of deal makes no sense. Unless you believe that the indictments are not serious. And if you believe they're not serious? That's because if you believe they're serious, you should be charged with them, even if he steps down. Okay, I believe they don't, I believe that kind of deal doesn't make sense for one major, major reason because it sets a horrible, horrible precedent. For anyone from the right from the left or anyone who's a criminal, who says, all you have to do to get off is he in turn to mount a hold a certain amount of power? Well, fairness, even regular criminals, okay, petty criminals. Even regular criminals make deals all the time. Some deals are such that if you rat on someone else you might get off. In other words, the criminal justice system does allow for deals, then it's often seen that people observing them not to be so great. Okay, but we know they exist. So you know, and Nintendo is not different from another citizen and that is no but they

ami kaufman 18:59

in those deals in those deals, they admit guilt.

Ruthie Blum 19:03

Okay. Now here, here's that this is what I'm saying. I also I have another thing to say about this. As I think I've said this to you before, I am against in dating sitting prime ministers in any case, and I was against in dating former prime minister and would omert, even though I totally disagreed with all his policies, or not, even though maybe because I did. My feeling was that if you were going to indict him on the charges, that of things he did when he was mayor of Jerusalem, wait till after he's done, and why did I feel that way? Because I felt I felt this way about Arielle Sharon as well. I'll get to that in a minute. The reason I felt that way, and I said so at the time, was that I want to defeat his ideology. What happens to him in court later, let it happen or not happen. That's that's not about To me, I have no basis to judge whether he shouldn't have taken this kind of money or that kind of money. That's not up to me. That's up to judges. But and after all, these are not crimes, violent crimes or something like that. It's not murder. You know, obviously, there are crimes, I wouldn't say that, in this case I felt that we really need to do is defeat the ideology, not the person. It's not just that we shouldn't try to oust someone through the legal system and not the ballot box. But I think it was really crucial to defeat his position. And that was one thing, so I was against it. Now, if I use Eric Sharon, as an example. This is another thing that I find intolerable these days on both sides of the political spectrum. And that's the hypocrisy involved on both sides, when the guy you don't like is doing something you don't like, or a guy you used to like, is doing something you don't like. And there's a possibility of in dating him somehow you're you say he's corrupt, and he's dead, or you accuse him of trying to avoid that when Sharon was wanting to go ahead with disengagement, the right wing said, Oh, he's doing that to avoid corruption trials, okay. And I, at the time said to my fellow, right wingers don't sell me that crap. Because if Sharon, were not disengaging from Gaza, you would shut your mouth and you would never say such a thing. I don't want to hear it. Because as soon as we say those things, that and then and then how can we get angry when the left says those things? I am against that kind of political that argument?

ami kaufman 21:50

Well, okay, I, you know, you know, how what you said, you said, we disagree, and I'm not going to go into agreement. Of course, I think that there's if there's evidence, the man should be investigated, especially in a country where there are no term limits. But let's, let's move on to

Ruthie Blum 22:07

terms term limits.

ami kaufman 22:08

Oh, I'll see about that in a few minutes. actually asked about that in a few minutes. But you know, cuz I want to get this to you first, because I usually start I mean, of course, I start these conversations about Krohn and everything I want to get to know the listeners to get to know the person more that I'm talking to him. And well, you grew up in the states in in New York, and we're gonna talk a course about your parents, especially about your father, daughter of Norman

Ruthie Blum 22:34

Norman Gerhart, and my mother.

ami kaufman 22:38

And, and this is, you know, he will first tell us, the mythological editor and founder right and founder of

Ruthie Blum 22:50

he was the founder of common idea.

ami kaufman 22:53

35 years. I mean, how does that affect the way you formed, your opinions growing up, even, you know, as a as a teenager, and

Ruthie Blum 23:06

Well, it's interesting, you should ask that as well. Because my parents were on the left when I was growing up, and they moved to the right. And I before they moved to the right, was like born a right winger, it was very weird. And they made fun of me all the time. As a very young kid, it was like, a sitcom or something. As a very young kid, I argued the most reactionary positions that they just did it totally disagreed with.

ami kaufman 23:39

Okay, what are you arguing about with with with your father when you were a teenager? What?

Ruthie Blum 23:43

What? No, no, when, by the time I was a teenager, they had, let's put it this way their move happened. They were Reagan Democrats, that's when their shift happened. When they they had been democrats and they gradually were the gradually shifted, and then they voted for Reagan, and that was 1980. Interesting in 1976 was my first, the first time I voted in an election. They voted for Carter, and I didn't. I voted for Ford. I voted Republican from the beginning. I registered as a Republican and my first election and they

ami kaufman 24:25

just send their parents did you change them?

Ruthie Blum 24:27

No, I'm sure I didn't, for sure I didn't. But when I was very young, when I say the kind of arguments I had, I'm not talking about intellectual arguments. I'm talking about gut, gut, let's say reactions, based on my experience growing up in a very slummy kind of neighborhood and going to a very expensive private school, this kind of weird schizophrenia. And that was, I would say the first time I encountered this hypocrisy what I call the hypocrisy of the left. Will never saw a black unless he was wearing a uniform and serving them dinner. Unlike me, living in a black and Hispanic neighborhood and my first boyfriends were all black and Hispanic. What was it and I was in the high Upper West Side. And I saw the the limousine liberal phenomenon of those whose that you know, as long as it's not in our neighborhood, and to me, it was very natural to live. Listen, you can see that in Israel with attitudes towards Arabs. There are a lot of people I noticed that when I moved to Israel, a similarity that the Labour Party people I met when I first arrived in Israel in 1977. Were were they seem to me to be so racist the way they talked about Arabs seriously, they would say things like, they all have lice, and we don't want to live with them. And the Jabotinsky, right wingers. Now, at this point, I was not well versed enough in the subtleties of the politics. So I was just sort of trying to get my bearings. But I did see a very similar thing, where the right wingers seemed to me to be far less racist. They were much more political, ideological, we have to fight, you know, you'll have to defeat the enemy. But it was it felt to me like if we guess we have to defeat the enemy, we're on equal footing, and we're defeating the enemy and the other seem to be patronizing and vary in the way that liberals and America work towards blacks at the time. That's how I felt when I was growing up. But when I was very young, my focus wasn't so much on, you know, economics and all that stuff. I was not. I wasn't that interested in it. At the time, I'm talking about crime in New York City at the time, it's happening again now and pre Giuliani days, the city was a total shithole. And where I lived, it really was, I mean, to get to the subway to get on, you know, we would have to cross over this block. And that block, you knew where the homeless people were, you knew where the muggers were the knife, people with knives, the rapists, you know, you took your life into your own hands to take a subway ride, there were also There was also an idea that you had to let all people out of mental institutions. So you had psychotics walking all up and down Broadway on the Upper West Side, things like that, um, it was horrible and disgusting. Until Giuliani came around and put a stop to it. And then New York was just not only a great city, but it was also clean and safe. It was really shocking to me having grown up there in that in that really dangerous neighborhood. And also, General Central Park was really dangerous. They were just, it was just Dang, one big pile of danger everywhere you walk. So basically,

ami kaufman 28:12

basically, if I'm trying to sum up what you're trying to say here, Democrat policies suck republican policy safe.

Ruthie Blum 28:19

Well, I certainly saw it that way that I mean, I certainly saw it that way. But my original reason for being on the right was cultural and not political, was much more culturally, and because I'm nothing like a republican or you know, classical, what you would think of as a Republican. And I never was like a, you know, like an evangelical Christian or an Orthodox Jew, never. Okay, I'm a Jew, but I never was orthodox. That's when I started saying, describing myself as a right wing bohemian. And that's what I call myself, because I live like a left leftist. And my ideas are on the right.

ami kaufman 29:00

When When did you, when did you decide to become a journalist?

Ruthie Blum 29:04

Well, I never decided to become a journalist. Really, it happened, you know, as we often say, by accident. In fact, I believed that I was the last thing in the world I was going to do is following my parents footsteps. I was not what

ami kaufman 29:18

I was gonna ask you. I was gonna ask you, if your father was a good man, he would have warned you.

Ruthie Blum 29:25

My father, I think what he wanted for all of us is that we make a lot of money. Okay, I think he felt like, you know, he if he would do us all a great service, if we succeeded financially, and then maybe we wouldn't have to live in slums and things like that. So I know that was the last thing on my mind. Actually, I went to a Science High School. And I had a fantasy Yes, I'll become a biologist. I'll become whatever you know. I had many fantasies growing. But my, the main fantasy I had was not to have a career at all. My main fantasy was that I want to marry, meet and marry an extremely successful man have lots of children and live in in such luxury that I could afford to have all those children and you know, the feminism was, I wasn't a feminist at all, you could maybe my mother influenced that. And she wrote the first empty book against the feminist movement. She was working all the time, but I was against the feminist movement. And I also was, you know, part of my, let's say, being provocative, had to do with saying, what was unpopular, okay, so imagine being in high school, and then going to college and a person like me, talking, like, you know, someone on the far right, or telling people at the University of Chicago that all I want to do is find a husband and get married and have a lot of children, when all the women are done on getting my doctorate, and I'm a doctorate in marriage, just a piece of paper. That was in the days when everybody said, marriage is just a piece of paper. And I spouted that a lot. And I meant it. I really believe that what I need is not to have a career, but I need to have a man whom I'm proud of, and I could be on his arm, he would have the career and he would make money and therefore I could live in luxury, and play with my seven children. I could bake cakes with my seven children rolling around on the floor of a mansion. That was what I fantasize, of course. No, I didn't did what how I started in journalism, if you want to call it that was my very first encounter with it. What you could say was, I was in Israel, and I called the Jerusalem Post. And I asked,

ami kaufman 32:06

I don't know how much after you made Alia,

Ruthie Blum 32:09

I made only I moved to Israel in 1977. And I was at the Hebrew University. I came on a one year program. And then I decided I wanted to stay. And so when I decided I wanted to say I had to transfer it was like, I was like, I'm junior year abroad, I had to transfer credits and finished my BA in Jerusalem. And when that was done, or towards the end, I contacted the Jerusalem Post. And I said to one of the editors there, you know, how can I get my foot in the door? Maybe I could, you know, I'll sweep your floors. I'll make coffee. I don't know, I said I could I'll do something. And then I can get my foot in the door. And that editor said to me, Well, can you write? And I said, Well, I don't know. I can't I guess so. Um, and he said, Well, why don't you write something about people, you know, moving to Israel and people on the one year program or something. So I thought that from sweeping the floor, he's offering me to write well, before I wrote the first word, I went for Shabbat to spend time with an Israeli novelists, family, the Israeli novelist was a friend of my parents, and I went to spend Shabbat at their house. And I said very excitedly. I'm gonna write an article for the Jerusalem Post. And he said, and this isn't not only an Israeli novelist, but he had a weekly column in mind. And he said to me, how much are they paying you for it? And I said, hang me for I don't know, I'd pay them. And he said, No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no bad, bad. Bad. Never say that. Never mean it. A writer writes for money, okay. And, and then I submitted the article. And the editor came back and he said, Well, this is fine, grammatically. But like there are no quotes in here. There's nothing was like it was completely wrong for a newspaper. Okay. It was like a college paper. And thanks to his guidance, he kind of showed me how I should have written and that was the first time but that wasn't when I really started working there. My real break into the Jerusalem Post was as dear Ruthie, the advice columnist, and that I did because I begged for a few years I actually begged and no one took me seriously because I thought the Jerusalem Post is like 90% archaeology and 10% Holocaust and who wants to read the damn thing? So I said, you know, you need you need stuff like

ami kaufman 34:50

spice it up.

Ruthie Blum 34:51

I got an advice column all papers of advice columns, and even the Hebrew papers had them you know and things so that I can Being told no until some new management came in and told the editor, we need to spice it up. And at that moment I asked again, and somehow I got a lot. And that's how I became dear Ruthie, that was my entrance into some posts, I call it journalism. Exactly. It was people enjoy that. I loved it. I loved it. And that was, but that was my first weekly column and in Jerusalem.

ami kaufman 35:24

And, okay, so the rest is history. I mean, you then you start giving, you've been writing for the recent post

Ruthie Blum 35:30

editor. That's right, and you know, things. But But I'll tell you even that my real career there happened after I got divorced, after I got divorced. And then I needed a real job, and real, you know, proper salary and not this freelance stuff. And as it happened, at the Jerusalem Post, somebody was leaving, leaving a department and I was offered the editorship of that department. And that's how that started, and then other concerts and stuff like that.

ami kaufman 36:03

So let me ask you, um, cuz I usually ask, you know, I asked this question, the similar question of all the guests on the podcast, and it kind of usually in the past episodes, I only did it, you know, towards the end, and maybe it's because they're more, you know, they're Palestinians and on the left, so I kind of want to cut to the chase already with you. And, and here's the question that I asked everybody, we, you know, this This podcast is about talking about everyone between the river and the sea. And if there are about between 12 to 13 million people living between the river and the sea, most experts say it's about 5050, between Jews and non Jews. If I gave you it's a double kind of question. If I asked you, Ruthie. If you if I gave you a magic wand or a wish, and you can have your wish, and right away, it happens tomorrow. What would you want this region to look like between the river and the sea? one entity, two entities, no entities, whatever you whatever you wish, What's your dream? And the second part of the question is, you know, putting on your expert hat, your journalism hat and saying what you believe, is really going to happen? what's what's in the future for the next 2030 4050 years? Whatever you think?

Ruthie Blum 37:24

Okay. Well, my fantasy is that the Palestinian Authority and Gaza I mean, you could say Ramallah and Gaza. I mean, they're all part of the Palestinian Authority supposedly, would reform in other words, that the Palestinian people without their leaders and opt for a more reformed society, if they had taken all the billions that they have received over the years for various project, and I mean, every single Palestinian could have had a villa with a swimming pool by now. My my fantasy is that they will ask those leaders reform, and then in five minutes, we can figure out the land division

ami kaufman 38:15

that we want, we want it you want a division, you want to

Ruthie Blum 38:19

what I'm saying is, if if what we need is a land division, if that's if that's the only way that they can have an independent state, and we can have a Jewish state that's recognized, etc, etc, I would not be averse to making territorial. I don't even want to call them concessions. I would say them compromises on both sides, if you want to say peace, if there were peace, because you're asking me about a fantasy now. Because in in, when there's actual peace and people's want to figure it out, they can. Um, that's my favorite way. I

ami kaufman 38:57

don't want I don't want to I don't want to put let me let me let me I'm going to put words in your mouth though and telling me if I'm doing right, okay. So Ruth is fantasy is if she had a magic wand tomorrow. And you know, there were no more hostilities, and the GA was fine, whatever. Tomorrow, the land would be divided between the two peoples two states.

Ruthie Blum 39:22

Could be Yeah, let's put it this way. I don't, I wouldn't rule that out. The reason I have ruled that out so much is because of the enmity. Okay. Therefore, if there were no enmity, which is the fantasy, and I don't see that happening anytime in my lifetime,

ami kaufman 39:37

I'm asking about fantasy, fantasy and

Ruthie Blum 39:40

fantasy is that we could have two states, because at that point, we would not be at war, we would not have a fear of, let's say, our airspace being invaded by hostile forces. If we had a border like the US and Canada, then there wouldn't be a problem. Okay. That's what that's what Basically,

ami kaufman 40:01

your fantasy is two states, which would mean eventually, you know, it would mean settlers having to be removed.

Ruthie Blum 40:07

No, not necessarily. No, not necessarily. I don't think that because I think if you have a peace deal, you could have Palestinians living in Israel and Israelis living in Palestine. I don't see why I that I listen, I have dual citizenship right. I live in Israel and I have American citizenship. I could have there are people who also who don't I know, someone married to an Israeli and she never took Israeli citizenship, and she has finished in a citizenship. You don't have to have citizenship of the place where you live. If you want to, you can apply for it like anybody else anywhere. That's the fantasy. In reality, you have to how do I envision it? Well, one thing I envision one thing I do see is that the fantasy is not as far off as I thought it might be given the forging of ties in the region. And all along, I have to say that that that dream of Nittany owls, is that what you have to do that the Palestinian Israeli conflict is not the core, it's not the end all and be all of this region. Iran is the biggest threat. The division is not Israel Palestine. And it's not even necessarily Muslim Jews or Muslim or or you know, that at the moment, what we see is a huge split in Sunni, Shiite, that also, that also could change. But what you do see is a move towards the west, on the part of some of the part right now, the Gulf states, and that is because of a common enemy, Iran. In my other fantasy Iran, also, we'll revert to previous days when it went I did not ask you about your own fantasy.

ami kaufman 41:55

Okay, let me let me go back. Wait a minute. Let me go back to what you were talking about. And then the Trump Kushner move here? Because I'm, you see that as as even maybe you said moving it towards your fantasy? I mean, what exactly is that process that that more Arab states will make peace with Israel? And then when all the states have made peace with Israel, all the 20 something hours has made peace with Israel, then the Palestinians will be the last and then they what they agree to what what happens?

Ruthie Blum 42:28

No, no. See, that depends. The hope is that then at that point, they will see that there is no point they're already seeing this, you know, what's happening to them is, they're freaking out. Recently, the Arab League, they, you know, stormed out of the Arab League session, because they feel that the Arabs are betraying them. And basically, that the truth is that most of the Arab states never really cared about the Palestinians. And on the contrary, Palestinians and Arab countries are often the dregs of society treated as the dregs of society. I don't mean their drugs, I mean, treated as the dregs of society, and the Arabs are paying lip service to them. And now that game is up. And I one of two things, either the pressure on the Palestinians, when I say the Palestinians, you know, it's hard to use this to say the Palestinians, because there are there's the leadership in Ramallah, the leadership in Gaza, and then there are the people in both places. And, you know, it's hard to know what the sentence the true sentiment of the majority in those places, is, we do know that in the Palestinian Authority that the many people consider the PA, corrupt, useless, they hate a boss. On the other hand, he's been in power for year after year after year after year. We know that Hamas is a terrorist organization that is endangering its own people not only subjugating its own people, but also endangering it by entering into these ridiculous wars with Israel. So and to top it all off stealing all the money meant for people meant for rehabilitating those places and the people and that route or not.

ami kaufman 44:21

If you're if you're a fantasy, if hopefully this process maybe leads to a fantasy of a vision of land, maybe we can get into this negotiation process of you know, concessions on either side. How do you see the settlement enterprise helping that if people keep settling and building especially in areas which would make it difficult?

Ruthie Blum 44:42

Because I don't because I think that's a non issue because I don't think the settlements are the obstacle and I never did and that's why i don't i don't think that's an obstacle the obstacle here is ideological. It is not the obstacle is not whether they build some settlements, okay, because you know what the actual Also the abs are illegally building all I don't mean Yeah, the Palestinian Arabs are illegally building all over the place, including an area see where they're not supposed, according to the Oslo Accords, not supposed to. This is not an issue of building more buildings and apartments. And it's not even an issue of land all together. But certainly the settlements I don't see as an obstacle of any kind. I think that's a that's a fallacy. And therefore, I think it doesn't matter if they're building and building what matters. What

ami kaufman 45:31

matters. It matters to a Palestinian, I mean,

Ruthie Blum 45:34

I think that if he

ami kaufman 45:35

wants to go from Ramallah, if he wants to go from Ramallah, to Bethlehem, which should take him 20 minutes, but it's going to take him three hours because of this. I mean, if you look at the map that's going to be drawn in this, it doesn't look like right, what does it look?

Ruthie Blum 45:49

Okay, but that map is not final since nobody, since it's not happening yet. It's not happening. Okay. It's not happening with Israel. It's not happening. First of all, Israel is going to extend sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, which to call the West Bank and the Jordan Valley Valley. And Israel agreed. nataniel agreed. Do you

ami kaufman 46:11

want that? To be? Do once I

Ruthie Blum 46:14

do want is I do I do. Um, but

ami kaufman 46:18

here's what I don't get. How does how does sovereignty in the West Bank or God in some areas, you call it? Yeah. How does that work towards your fantasy of dividing up the country?

Ruthie Blum 46:28

Because, again, because my vision doesn't have anything to do with specific land, I do believe that Israel has a right to that land historically. All right. I do believe they have a right to that. And historically, no, not historically, not. Not biblically. Because I because they, they were created in 1967. That's why that's why because that has that 19 sostenible.

ami kaufman 46:54

Those people have been living there in those cities and yaffa. And aka and notice

Ruthie Blum 47:02

that you're not talking about Yeah, just fine. Hi, fine. Now you're talking about the West Bank. So I

ami kaufman 47:09

want to I want to zoom back. I want this is a very important question for me. Okay. There are, there are various people in this land between the river and the sea, right? All of them have a certain connection to this

Ruthie Blum 47:22

land. Okay.

ami kaufman 47:24

The Jews have a connection to this land very, very strong connection. And Palestinians. And if you don't want to call them Palestinians, I disagree with that. But but the non Jews or Arabs who have been living here for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, maybe maybe their roots go back, just have a very, do you agree that they also have a very strong connection to this land?

Ruthie Blum 47:46

Let me put it this way. I agree. Otherwise? I agree that yes, but you know, again, I don't think that that is the root of the conflict, you keep bringing it back to the land. And I don't think it has anything to do with the land, I think it has to do with a mind frame, and enmity. And if you change the mind frame, and the enmity, then you can figure out borders and things like that. I think that that comes first.

ami kaufman 48:17

Well, I think that what what I feel you're saying, I think that what I feel you're saying is like if we go back farther, and we go back to Jews go back farther, therefore they have more of a right. It just, it just feels like

Ruthie Blum 48:30

okay, but let's say let's say we leave that off, okay, because I'm not one of these biblical land of Israel people. Right? I'm not religious. And that's not my thing. And by the way, as somebody who moved to another country, it's a little hard for me to say, Oh, my god, that was the land of my father's that would mean either, that I should be going back to New York and weeping at the foot of my building where I grew up, or go to Galicia, where, you know, in other words, my attitude towards the land and tug towards the land is different from many of my fellow right wingers. I do however, agree with them, that on the issue of the root of the conflict not being about the land, I don't think it is. And therefore, I think that once I believe that once the Palestinians make their peace with Israel as a Jewish state here in five minutes, we can figure it out. That's what I believe in. Therefore, you're pressing me on Yeah, but the map and how will those people get to those people that I believe could be settled really quickly? You know, it's a little bit like saying, you know, you finally, you were buying an apartment and you finally agreed on the price and you agreed on the terms and you agreed on when the tenants are going move in and those are going to move on you agree on every everything. And but there's one water faucet, that's not pretty and you don't like you'd laugh. It's like really over a faucet that costs 10 shekels. That's silly. So that's my view of this conflict, that the settling those issues will take five minutes. Okay.

ami kaufman 50:25

I understand that we differ on the set on the on the issues of the conflict. We're not going to agree on that. But maybe I mean, I don't know if I can convince you on this, because I think that if things keep going this way.

Ruthie Blum 50:34


ami kaufman 50:36

I mean, it just seems like there's what right now it's a one state reality. It's been like that since 1967. And it's turning into a one state outcome reality that's going to last. And we just have to decide what kind of one state it's going to be. It's either going to be an apartheid state or one state for all.

Ruthie Blum 50:56

Look, I disagree that it's got to be one state. And I certainly don't agree and never did, that. It's anything like an apartheid state in any way, shape or form. I do believe that it's not finished yet. And that, considering the progress that's being made right now in the Middle East, thanks to Iran, actually, that more thanks to Iran, even then to Trump, I believe that, that there's been more movement than I would have hoped to see, by this point, and therefore, I'm optimistic about it. And I also really think, I believe that there are more Palestinians than we know, who actually are sick and tired of this, and that are not ideologues. You know, the reason I believe that is that I think most people, including Jews, in Israel, and outside of Israel, are not ideologues, if you talk to a lot of people, you're lucky if they even know who ideology if they if they even know what it is, or they knew know who their leaders are, it's actually quite incredible. There's more ignorance than ideology. And therefore, I think that Palestinians, like Israelis are more worried about the things we all are, which is living in a nice place with their families, putting food on the table, you know, not having to get through every day panicking over their livelihoods and things like that. And that's why I think that we we, that there is movement, how long it'll take? I don't know. I don't know.

ami kaufman 52:39

I wish I could I wish I could share your optimism on that. Ruthie, um, you mentioned you mentioned just you mentioned Trump again, now. I was wondering what what is what does your father think about Trump?

Ruthie Blum 52:49

Well, you know, it's interesting, you should ask me about my father because my, at the moment, there have been times politically where my father and I have totally disagreed. For example, on disengagement, I was totally against it, he was for it. Things like that. Right now, my father, my father actually loves Trump. Okay, he has a, he's very enthusiastic about Trump. And he believes that Trump's vulgarity in his tweets and his style that I find often cringe worthy, as one does when you support when you support someone, you're much more liable to cringe than when it happens on the other side, because when it's the other side, you say, Fine, you know, let them make idiots of that have them do his duties, whose tax issues make you cringe? Now, you know, I had a feeling you're gonna ask me about that. And actually, I'm really not an expert on taxes. I know what my father was. My father has said all along that you know, the rich pay more taxes than anybody else, and etc, etc. I'm not going to go into something I really don't understand enough about that. I will say one thing about tax about taxation. Aside from the fact that America has a very enraging tax system, it really does. I mean, if you're an American citizen here and you, you, you have to, it doesn't matter if you've lived in is anywhere for millions of years, you still have to file us taxes. No other country does that it's very enraging. But one thing I will say is that everybody in America and Israel might know is does anything he can to avoid paying taxes. Most people try to do it legally. Many people do it illegally. But but the the search for for loopholes is and certainly among rich people that we know. Okay. Now, I myself have been audited by the Israeli tax authorities three times. And you know, so it's like, my feeling is that whatever, it's unclear to me, if he isn't as big a billionaire as he claims then he shouldn't have been paying that many taxes. Anything oh so much, so much in tax money. How is it that four years ago when he was elected before that, where were they then my feeling is like with Netanyahu and with Olmert and everybody else, the process to catch people avoiding taxation by the IRS was already in place. So let that go at the moment. And by the way, that brings me back to what I said too, about hypocrisy on both sides. If this were Biden, let's say Biden were president right now. And this scandal came up in a right wing newspaper. All the left would say, No, no, no, they would argue and the right wing would say he's not fit to be president because of his tax evasion. And maybe, if maybe if Biden was was a guy who said that he's the most amazing businessman in the world, who wrote the art of the deal, and was on the apprentice for a decade and said, amazing person. He hasn't boasted that. But actually, Biden shows that if you look at the records, Biden paid a whole lot of extra No, I wasn't saying that Biden didn't. What I'm saying is that if the if the tables were turned, we wouldn't be saying that look, it's it's like what we do that this stuff about his taxes. The reason it doesn't affect me as a voter. I mean, the reason it doesn't affect me is that, but

ami kaufman 56:26

let me I'll turn the tables on you now. I'll turn the tables on Trump. If the tables were, were on if Biden was Prime Minister, excuse me, a president during the Coronavirus and 200,000 people had died. Old republicans be doing

Ruthie Blum 56:40

Oh, they would say he'd killed that he killed all those people, and that he killed the economy. That's exactly my point. Which is why I know that that's what would happen. Because as I said, anytime when Obama was when Obama was president, and I was fiercely opposed to Obama, I was also fiercely opposed to my fellow right wingers, constantly harping on whether he was born in the United States, the whole birther thing, the whole, all the attacks on Obama that did not have to do with the fact that he was a solid Lynskey follower, and that his policies were ones that I opposed. I got enraged by that stuff. I also hated of the ridicule of Hillary Clinton for her, her pantsuits. I hate that stuff. I won't participate in it, and I won't. And if and when Biden wins the election, which is looking more and more likely, even though I want Trump to win, I'm also I'm aware of the fact that Biden you think Trump has been you think Trump

ami kaufman 57:46

has been good for America, the Americans are better. Four years ago,

Ruthie Blum 57:51

I hadn't hit I honestly think if Corona hadn't hit yes, Americans were much better off than they were. And I think that he's done great things for America and in foreign policy, Corona screwed. Every leader in the world, practically every leader in the world, it's bad timing, not every leader is up for election. I know that Corona made this whole process soui generous, and but I agree with you that if Biden were president, and if he becomes president in six weeks, or however, whenever that is, if he becomes president. He's a man. And I said, heaven forbid, if he becomes president. And if in January when he's inaugurated, and if by next March, if coronas still around. I know that all the republicans will suddenly start accusing him of being at fault for it, and he'll say, no, it started under. I know, that'll happen. And you're right. And I don't like I don't like when both sides do.

ami kaufman 58:50

Right. Why? Why do you Why do you think most Jews vote for democrats?

Ruthie Blum 58:55

Well, my father actually wrote a whole book about that. called the wire choose liberals. And basically, his conclusion I you know, it's really hard to, to sum up a whole book, you know, in a sentence, okay. But basically, that the Jews religion has become liberalism. That that Not, not Judaism. It's become, for example, the whole misconception or what I would consider a misconception of the concept of tikkun olam making the world a better place. And, and they always have been, Joseph, oh, listen, that is that new. That's not American. It's an American phenomenon. It's all it's true in all countries. Today, the only Jews who are on the right are Orthodox Jews, not only because I'm not orthodox, and I'm on the right, but I'm a minority. Okay. I'm not an example. Not a good example. Anyway, there are

ami kaufman 59:57

you talking about in the States or the state Cuz I mean like in the UK, the UK like that. I mean,

Ruthie Blum 1:00:03

well in the UK There are also many liberal Jews, I mean Jews who are, let's say real traditional Jews, and not necessarily orthodox again, but who's um, you know, who are more conservative are fewer than liberals if you I don't like the Israeli context because you know, as I always tell Americans The reason I use left and right is because liberal sounds like the old Likud and and conservative sounds like conservative Judaism, so I like to use left and right. But Jews are Democrats because Jews for one thing, as my father once told me a long time ago, when I asked him how he could possibly have been on the left, and in the Democratic Party all those years ago, he said, up until Reagan, when the republicans were never friendly to Jews, and up until Ronald Reagan, his view was when in doubt, it you know, if all things are equally bad, you go with the Democrat, not the Republican, let's put it that way. And that was his serious philosophy at the time when he voted for Carter and I voted for Ford because his idea was, however bad. Carter is still better for the Jews, he then changed his mind for your slave. So

ami kaufman 1:01:30

so just, we're gonna we're gonna wrap it up pretty soon. I want to I want to go back to just finish up with with with Netanyahu. Okay. Um, our fear?

Ruthie Blum 1:01:43

Oh, I bet. Maybe, maybe we're gonna say, Oh,

ami kaufman 1:01:47

you know what? Yeah, actually, you could you could you could kind of, you could insert that into your into your answer about terminals? Because the question was going to be, what do you think is his his The reasons for for his longevity, for ruling so long here?

Ruthie Blum 1:02:01

Well, ah, the reason he's been Prime Minister, so long really has to do the it's a mixture of factors. One, of course, is he's a brilliant politician. And that sometimes has negative connotations, of course, because that what that means is he knows how to manipulate the system brilliantly. Especially in our particular form of parliamentary system. You need to be wheeling and dealing and deals and into internal strife. It's different from in America and America, they have that on the local more local level on the state level, but federally, you know, you have an election, and there's the Electoral College, and there's the popular vote, and that's it here. You know, there's all those that coalition building, etc, etc. So he's brilliant at that. But, but if you're asking me what the reason for his popularity or how it is that no matter what happens, somehow he remains on top. Is because he people have called him a magician, he always pulls a rabbit out of his head. I think it's more skill. So if you use the recent case, and exactly as an example, while Coronavirus is spreading, and people are furious at him both, you know, for the economy being destroyed, and for people being dying, dying for people dying, and you can't tell who's on which side of this issue, because everybody's screaming. He was signing, he signed the Abraham accords. And that's, that's an example of who Netanyahu is. He is also he's also handling, let's say military operations, into Syria against Iranian forces. Now, you could be against that. But basically, I think the majority of the Israeli public is lean leans conservative, and that way means to the right or center right, and not to the left.

ami kaufman 1:04:03

And what's what's something What's something that you don't like about Antonio,

Ruthie Blum 1:04:07

his character? Meaning, I always find that the greatest politicians I mean, the greatest historical ones as well. Hat has to have a kind of thick skin they have to be able to they have to be megillah maniacal to some degree. You know, people have compared Nintendo to Churchill, I think there are a lot of similarities. Churchill was a big shit on the Nintendo was not a drunk on the other, which I think Churchill was. You know, people say that his for example, if you talk about nataniel, his wife Sandra, she's the one that drinks the pink champagne. So she yes she sips pink champagne. If you talk a lot of people have at a time him for you know how his wife behaves, how his son behaves. But you know, Abraham Lincoln had a crazy psychotic wife who was a great embarrassment and all this.

ami kaufman 1:05:10

I think that please don't tell me you're compared to anything else, Abraham Lincoln, please. Um,

Ruthie Blum 1:05:15

well, I'm allowed to compare him in the sense, in the sense that if a great leader like Abraham Lincoln, was criticized for similar things, that's that context I feel that I make. Now as for us for term length, I will say one thing, because I'm somebody who, on the one hand has repeatedly voted for nataniel as the head of recouped, okay, now, the question is, let's suppose, in the middle of all these demonstrations against him outside his residence in Jerusalem every Saturday night, let's say he came out one day and said, okay, you're right, I'm resigning, then what, then what then who would be our Prime Minister? We'd have to have elections, wouldn't we? Because it wouldn't automatically, I don't believe that it would automatically fall into the hands of Benny guns. Who is it's true, he's alternate prime Premier, but I don't think that that would wash with the public. It's not, that's not as part of the coalition deal. So what would happen is we'd have elections. So what I want to ask and what I've been suggesting all along, is that why don't we just go to election? And the answer, we don't want to elections because we're in the middle of a chronic race. So I said, but obviously won elections because you want to vote him out. But no, you don't want to vote him out. They want to, they want him to leave because they don't know how to vote him out. Because they've been unable to, to do so. You see.

ami kaufman 1:06:48

Now I've actually been I've actually been rethinking the whole idea of elections. I mean, I was also very anti elections. Come now you know what, anything that gets us out of this mess

Ruthie Blum 1:06:58

will get us out of this mess because some people believe that what's going to happen is we'll have the same impacts. I don't think that's necessarily true this time around. I think we might not have the same impasse. I don't know of course, but I don't think so. Because but but I will say if you if you're so against elections, and what is the point because Netanyahu Let's face it, if only if the sky falls will Netanyahu resign that's my feeling. Do you do at least agree with me on that?

ami kaufman 1:07:25


Ruthie Blum 1:07:27

we can agree that the likelihood of that happening is so slim. That it's incredible. Okay, so because that slim and because there are many people who don't want him to resign and still even in the in his slipping in the polls, he's still the biggest party in the country.

ami kaufman 1:07:48

Isn't that a bad characteristic as well when you say his character isn't that bad characteristic? Wouldn't you want him to you know, if you like term limits, if you're not happy with the way things are going with Coronavirus, if you think his resignation, you know, wouldn't you want him you know, wouldn't be a

Ruthie Blum 1:08:03

prime minister, no one character

ami kaufman 1:08:06

to have a good premise or with a good character. So you know what, my time is up

Ruthie Blum 1:08:11

now because well, I would feel that way if I felt that what he was doing warranted his saying his time was up. Okay, that's now the better scaling

ami kaufman 1:08:24

of the Coronavirus

Ruthie Blum 1:08:24

No, because I don't consider the Coronavirus. I told you in the beginning. I haven't not to believe that any politician would be able to handle this because nobody agrees and the doctors don't agree nobody's agreeing on this. And therefore I you know, my feeling was we should have just left the economy open. And anyone who was afraid to get sick should have stayed home. I honestly All right, all

ami kaufman 1:08:44

right. We're not gonna go back.

Ruthie Blum 1:08:45

We're not gonna go back to no Coronavirus is not on my list of why to vote or not to vote for nothing out for me. foreign policy is key and the economy is key and I don't blame him for the Coronavirus economy so

ami kaufman 1:08:59

we're gonna end we're gonna end on that because I like I think I agree that foreign policy is very important, but I also think a leader a leader should have to know how to deal with once in a lifetime crisis is like pandemics and if they can't do that they're not worthy. But you know what?

Ruthie Blum 1:09:15

We can agree to disagree anyone

ami kaufman 1:09:17

if there's anyone I love to disagree with everything that you say Ruthie it is you I mean I completely disagree. This fun, disagree with you. And on that note I want to thank you, thank you so much for spending this hour with me

Ruthie Blum 1:09:33

and a great pleasure army as usual. And if we can do it again sometime.

ami kaufman 1:09:39

Okay, bye bye, Ruby. I amI and that was Ruthie bloom. If you liked this episode, please share it with your family and friends. share it on social media, leave a comment on the site here on substack or leave a review on the podcast app of your choice. Thanks so much. for taking the time to listen. See you soon. Bye bye