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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Liberal abandonment of Israel reflects on liberals, not Israel

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Just to remind you once again, I am in Boston and not in Israel. I depart back to Israel on Wednesday.

David Frum's take on Joel Beinart is pretty much on target.
Beinart is for sure right that Jewish liberals have been drifting away from Israel.

That drift reflects badly on those liberals, not on Israel. It’s a drift based on substituting wishful thinking for real analysis.

Matt Groening — who would later create The Simpsons — in his early career drew a cartoon of an older brother and sister urging their younger sibling to step into the dark basement. “Mom left a present for you downstairs.” The kid answers: “The last time you said that, you locked me in the basement for three hours.” They reply: “This time we won’t.”

That’s the same argument now made about the peace process. Yes, the last round of major Israeli concessions back in 1999-2001 invited a spasm of Palestinian terror attacks that killed 800 people. But the next round of concessions will surely work much better!

You can see why Israelis might answer: “No thanks. We’ll build our security fence and develop our economy, and when you Palestinians have an offer for us, we’ll be glad to listen. In the meantime, your problems are your problems.” That’s not a moral decline. That’s the chastening of experience.

But if there’s one thing that defines liberal thinking about the Middle East, it is precisely that it denies that Palestinian actions matter at all — or even that there are such things as Palestinian actions. Only Israel acts, and anything bad that happens in the region is a response to an Israeli action.

Read it all.


At 5:50 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Jewtudes suggests an interesting set of changes in Israel's foreign policy to put the onus for the absence of peace on the Arabs were it belongs and align Israel with Western liberal and democratic values.

More here:

A Foreign Policy Manual For Israel

The author's argument is Israel must make it a precondition for the Arab side to recognize Israel as a Jewish State before any negotiations begin and Israel must insist on direct negotiations with the Arabs. No "proximity talks," no third party intermediaries - simply face to face talks between Israelis and Arabs in the same room as equals.

The Arab side is obviously not ready for this and may never be. That is why Israel must cling to the outlined principles. The Arabs - not Israel - must held responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East. And its about high time Israel turned the diplomatic tables on the Arabs.

At 6:10 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - of course the rightward shift in Zionism in which Orthodox and yes, even some haredi Jews now support it, explains why liberals have abandoned Israel. Not many on the Left want to support a Zionism in which Shas is now a Zionist party! This was some time in coming and I don't believe liberal support of Israel ever returning again to what it once was. In short, its liberals who have estranged themselves from Israel, not the other way around.

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Dear NormanF, I always find it easier to deal with "liberals" by calling them socialists - national socialists.

That way I feel I have the correct perspective on them and can respond in a relevant manner.


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