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Sunday, December 09, 2007

When you have no response, ignore the question

Daniel Levy is a British Jew who was a member of Shlomo Ben Ami's Taba negotiating team in January 2001. Levy, whose raison d'etre seems to be the defense of the Taba sellout, has starred on this blog before. The day after the Annapolis gang rape, Levy debated National Review Online's David Frum on whether what went on in Taba can be of assistance to the 'Annapolis process.' That debate is online here and on my blog here (warning - it's about forty minutes long). I should hasten to add that I do not agree with much of what Frum says either, but at least he is rational where, as we shall see, Levy is not.

Noah Pollak wrote a review of that debate in which he attacked Levy for a number of historical inaccuracies. Levy attempted to use the Mitchell Commission report to absolve Yasser Arafat from responsibility for planning the intifada. Pollak debunks that one. Pollak concludes:
... it is disingenuous to declare that the Mitchell Commission absolved Yasser Arafat of involvement in starting the intifada. By the commission’s own admission, it was neither within its purview nor its competence to render such a judgment. It is also important to note that the MC was convened at the very beginning of the intifada, before the voluminous and incontrovertible evidence of Arafat’s complicity in the terror war had been exposed, making Levy’s portrayal of the Mitchell Commission as the definitive exculpation of Arafat all the more implausible. Anyone wishing to look into this material can start with the massive and unrefuted report of the Israeli government on exactly this subject from May, 2002; a lengthy, two-part investigation in 2002 by the German paper Die Zeit (see here and here ); a 2003 study by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; David Samuels’s exhaustive 2005 Atlantic magazine cover story, in which Palestinians who worked intimately with Arafat during both the first and second intifadas are quoted explaining, in detail, Arafat’s involvement in choreographing Palestinian rioting and terrorism; and another in-depth reported analysis, this one by the Jerusalem Post’s highly-respected Palestinian affairs reporter, Khaled Abu Toameh.
Second, Levy comes up with a piece of historical revisionism that attempts to turn the three no's of Khartoum into an opening ploy in negotiations. As Pollak points out:
Why would Egypt and Syria have needed to join an “opening ploy in a negotiation” — by way of the Three No’s, no less — when Israel had already offered those states their territory back? The reason, of course, is that Egypt and Syria wished to continue attempting to destroy the state of Israel, which they again tried in 1973. But in Levy’s telling, Israel apparently didn’t catch on to the nuances of the signals emanating from Khartoum, which the Israeli government should have understood to mean that the Arabs wished to open negotiations. If only Daniel Levy had been around back then to explain all of this!
If only....

Pollak then takes Levy apart for - incredibly - attempting to suggest that Israel was responsible for the outbreak of the Six Day War.
Levy’s treatment of the Six Day War is equally bizarre, as revealed in the following exchange, after Frum mentioned that the Arab states started the war:

Levy: Wait wait, so wait, the Arab states started the war in ‘67, David?

Frum: They provoked it.

Levy: I kind of remember a preemptive Israeli strike, maybe I’m wrong.

Frum: They provoked it by violating the terms of the armistice of 1956.

Levy: But there was a preemptive strike by Israel.

Frum: Yes, there was a first strike by Israel, after the Egyptians violate the armistice that ended the conflict, the hostilities in 1956, you know this.

Levy: But you also know who started the war.

Frum: Yes, because there was a direct threat to the existence of the state. When you violate an armistice, that starts the clock toward a conflict.

Levy: [Angrily] But when you violate international law every day, that’s fine. When you put a civilian settler population in occupied territory, that’s fine.

Levy has lost control of his intellectual faculties here.


It feels ridiculous to even be writing a defense of Israel’s preemptive strike against Egypt in 1967. The only people who insist that Israel started the Six Day War are crackpots and unhinged anti-Zionists. And Daniel Levy.
Frum and Pollak are correct of course. While Israel did launch a preemptive air strike on the Egyptian air force - destroying it on the ground - it was Egypt that committed the first bellicose act: closing the Straits of Tiran. That was clearly an act of war! As to Jordan and Syria, each of them attacked Israel first (and in Jordan's case it was after Israel had begged King Hussein to stay out of the war!). So yes, Levy's claim that Israel was responsible is preposterous.

Pollak also takes Levy to task for his claim that 'Palestinian' suicide bombings were provoked by Israel:
Levy lectures:
In 1994 there is the attack [by Baruch Goldstein on February 25th, 1994] at the Hebron tomb of the patriarchs. Until that moment there has been no Palestinian use of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. … That’s when the suicide bombings first started. There is a hiatus, the suicide bombings end. Israel during the period of quiet then assassinates admittedly a terrorist, the guy known as The Engineer, in Gaza. Then you have a spate of suicide bombings. The suicide bombings during the current intifada don’t begin in September 2000, they begin several months after the intifada started. When do they begin? They begin after Israel carried out assassination policies, targeted killings, so again, I just think that if you see this outside of a historical context, you can’t understand it.
This is not historical context — it is historical fabrication. The first suicide bombing against Israeli civilians happened on April 16, 1993, at the Mehola Junction, almost a full year before Baruch Goldstein’s atrocity in Hebron. The Engineer was killed on January 5th, 1996, and in that three-year period, not including the Mehola attack, there were seven Hamas suicide bombings that killed 58 Israeli civilians, and one Islamic Jihad bombing that killed 21 Israeli civilians — 79 Israelis total. The very reason The Engineer was killed by the Shabak was because of his involvement in the Hamas bombings that occurred exactly during the period in which Levy claims there was a “hiatus” in attacks.

His telling of the second intifada is as equally twisted. According Levy, suicide bombings commenced in response to Israel’s targeted killings of Palestinians, a cause and effect proposition. But suicide bombings in the second intifada didn’t begin “several months” after the intifada started — they began exactly in the opening weeks of the intifada. There were Islamic Jihad and Hamas bombings on October 26, November 2, 20, and 26, and on December 22, 2000. Meanwhile, the first Palestinian terrorist killed in a targeted killing was Hussein Abayat, who in the weeks before he was killed by the IDF had perpetrated the shooting murders of three Israelis and the critical wounding of another. Abayat was killed on November 9, two weeks after the first suicide bombing of the intifada. Whoops.
And Levy's response to all this? Don't blink or you'll miss it:

The NRO stable also boasts David Frum who I debated here and Noah Pollak (previously at the AEI.) Pollak is Deputy Editor of “Azure,” a publication of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem where, guess who, none other than Yossi Klein Halevi, TNR’s Israel correspondent, is a senior fellow. The Shalem Center has been identified with Benjamin Netanyahu, while Natan Sharansky, (Bush’s favorite author) heads Shalem’s Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies. Yes, that Adelson, Sheldon – the principal funder of Freedom’s Watch. (Shalem also lists Weekly Standard Editor, Bill Kristol among its board members and Giuliani advisor, Martin Kramer on its staff.)

There is no conspiracy here, just the cozy camaraderie of Likud-land. And we haven’t even mentioned TNR’s Marty Peretz yet. Read Eric Alterman in The American Prospect on the effect Marty Peretz’s leadership had on TNR and its foreign policy positions.
Note how Levy deals specifically with Pollak's claims.... /sarc

By the way, in the suicide bombing segment, Levy has the gall to compare the Irgun to 'Palestinian' suicide bombers. The Irgun did not randomly target civilians. For example, here's an account of the most famous Irgun operation of all: The destruction of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem (home of the British military headquarters). By the way, note the duplicitous behavior of the Haganah (which later became the IDF and the government) in the account.

As I noted the last time I discussed one of his articles, Levy is in favor of a 'solution' to be imposed by the 'Quartet' and a unilateral expulsion of Jews from Judea and Samaria in the absence of an 'agreement.' I have discussed at length in the past the cynicism that underlies 'unilateral withdrawal' plans. Noah Pollak is to be commended for taking the time to research Levy's historical revisionism. It's a pity that Pollak's response is nowhere near as likely to get as much attention as Levy's falsehoods, which have been picked up by the New York Times.

One other thing I should note. Levy attempts to claim that a deal with the 'Palestinians' is at hand. In Levy's deal, Israel will keep 78% of the land to the west of the Jordan River - the exact percentage of that land it had on June 4, 1967 - and swap land that is currently within the 'green line' in exchange for land that is over the 'green line' that is heavily populated with Israeli Jews. A lot of Israelis would take this deal (and Frum says that he would). I would not take it, because I believe that the morning after it was implemented Jerusalem and Tel Aviv would be rocketed and a commercial jet taking off or landing at Ben Gurion would be shot down. But that's all beside the point, because what Levy claims is being offered is not even on the table. Levy 'forgets' the 'Palestinian' demands on two other issues: the demand for the division of Jerusalem and more specifically for the control of the Temple Mount, and the demand for the 'right of return' of 'Palestinian refugees' to the homes that their grandparents and great-grandparents abandoned at the behest of the Arab countries sixty years ago. There is no indication that the 'Palestinians' are willing to compromise on those demands. And by the way, there is also no indication that the 'Palestinians' are willing to seriously discuss any kind of land swap. They have rejected the idea time and time again.

Read the whole thing.


At 1:44 AM, Blogger Nannette said...

It's Daniel Levy's father, Lord Levy, who was one of Tony Bliar's friends and financiers (he paid for his title). His father still has a dark cloud over his head, when he was accused of the cash-for-peerages scandal). Obviously the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Daniel Levy is a revisionist schmuck who knows nothing about Israel, and is just parrotting the left-wing, Palestinian version of Israel's history.

He should be jailed for his treachery.

At 3:50 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

While I would agree with Frum ideologically, he doesn' quite live up to his name.
Unless I am mistaken, his wife Crittendon is glaat shiksa.
There is no better taest of Jewish loyalty than inmarrying. Blame his parents, nevertheless he chose that path

At 4:09 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Daniel Levy is a kapo scumbag.
In fact if I had a time machine I'd take hime to a camp and trade him for a tzaddik.
as a matter of fact I'd push him and his blood brother adam shapiro in.

At 4:22 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

"has the gall to compare the Irgun to 'Palestinian' suicide bombers"

Hopefully , if there are more suicide bombers, kapos like levy, shapiro, oppenhiemer etal, and not Jewish Jews will be the victims.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He should be jailed for his treachery.

Ever since Rabin and Oslo, I have said that we need a modern day Madame Defarge.

As ugly a character as Dickens portrayed her, she served a necessary function.

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