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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Why no 'tough love' for 'Palestinians'?

Bret Stephens points out yet another Liberal double-standard: 'Tough love' for Israel - real love for 'Palestinians.' For those who don't have access to the Wall Street Journal, you can also find the full article here. Why is it that Liberals insist that Israel needs 'tough love' for them, but support for the 'Palestinians' is knee jerk and absolute?
Part of the reason surely has to be intellectual confusion, an inability to grasp the difference between national "liberation" and genuine freedom. Ho Chi Minh was not a "freedom fighter," and neither was Yasser Arafat. How many times does the world have to go through this drill for liberals to get the point?

There's also a psychology at work. Harvard's Ruth Wisse calls it "moral solipsism"—obsessive regard for your own moral performance; complete indifference to the performance of those who wish you ill.

Finally there's the fact that liberalism has become a politics of easy targets. Liberals have no trouble taking stands against abstinence educators, Prop 8 supporters or members of the tea party. But when it comes to genuine bigots and religious fanatics—and Hamas has few equals in those categories—liberals have a way of discovering their capacity for cultural nuance and political pragmatism.

Today, by contrast, the task of defending Israel is hard. It's hard because defenders must eschew cliches about "the powerful" and "the powerless." It is hard because it goes against prevailing ideological fashions. And it's hard because it requires an appreciation that the choice of evils that endlessly confronts Israeli policy makers is not something they can simply wash their hands of by "ending the occupation." They tried that before—in Gaza.

Is there a liberalism that is capable of recognizing this? Or are we again at the stage where it has been consumed by its instinct for fellow-traveling? In 1968, Eric Hoffer wrote: "I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us." By "us," he meant liberals, too, and maybe most of all.
I suspect Stephens wanted to write the article without mentioning the word 'anti-Semitism.' So I will mention it, because it's as much a factor as anything else. Yes, even for Jewish Liberals.


At 10:07 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - yes it is. I invite you to go look at Mondoweiss.

Its there in abundance, beginning with of all things, a defense of Helen Thomas! Jewish liberals like Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz appear to have made their choice.

The rest of us don't have to go along with it.

At 10:15 PM, Blogger nomatter said...

No tough love for the Palestinians because the powers that be are lying sacks of crap.

Remember that Abbas sanctioned poster which shows all of Israel, Palestine? The last occupier of the oval office did nothing to admonish Abbas for it.

The issue of Palestinian statehood is NOT ABOUT THE PALESTINIANS but about the Jews!!!

Wonder why there is a fight over Jerusalem?? Wonder why most of the world doubts Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel?

Whose lap can we throw that into? Obama??

In all of this whine fest as to who really treats Israel better is hyper hypocritical. It is all about ideology not about honor and truth. Politics as usual until you need someone.

Indeed, Obama is an openly hostile antisemite but no one dare tell me Israel did not get the ax from George W. Furthermore, the whole of the Republican party ALLOWED HIM TO GET AWAY WITH doing it! To say otherwise is completely disingenuous. (not saying there was no decent but not any in the open and most surely not a drop in the conservative media by any famous conservative writers or talking heads.)

Our friends sign the embassy act. Our friends send representatives of their administration to the anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Our friends do not admonish us in public that we humiliate the Palestinians with our occupation and that when we give them their state it will be viable, contiguous and not resemble swiss cheese. A friend would never call Abbas a man of peace knowing Abbas is a denier of the Holocaust. A friend would never turn a blind eye to a US trained military who marches to the NAZI GOOSESTEP, after all!!! Lastly, our friends would never ever appoint 3 entities who hate Israel and call it a quartet for peace.


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