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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Helen Thomas is the reality Peter Beinart denies

Although she's not a young Jew like Peter Beinart - or even an old Jew for that matter, James Taranto argues that Helen Thomas personifies the reality that Peter Beinart denies.
It is impossible to credit the sincerity of Thomas's "heart-felt belief" in "the need for mutual respect and tolerance." As ABC's Ann Compton tells Politico, "Helen has been a columnist for about a decade now and her strong beliefs on the Middle East are well known."

Thomas's long history of truculent anti-Israel statements was documented in 2008 by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. To those of us who've followed Thomas, her statement last month was not the least bit surprising in substance, even if the coarseness of its tone was shocking....

Beinart, a former editor of The New Republic who now writes for TheDailyBeast.com, last month published a portentous essay of nearly 5,000 words in the New York Review of Books titled "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment." To boil down his argument: Support for Israel has become unfashionable among young liberal American Jews, and it's the fault of old Jews.


As he lectures his elders, it does not seem to occur to Beinart that the young liberal American Jews may be the ones who have it wrong--which we suppose is not surprising, since he is one of them. Fortuitously enough, however, Beinart's worldview vis-à-vis Israel faced a real-world test shortly after his essay was published. It was found wanting.

On Friday Beinart published a piece at TheDailyBeast.com in which he urged the so-called Free Gaza movement--the folks behind the efforts to break Israel's blockade--to "take up the cause of an Israeli captive of Hamas":
When the next ship determined to puncture Israel's blockade comes steaming toward the Gaza Strip, Israel should let it through on one condition: Its crew must bring food and supplies not only to the suffering people of Gaza, but to Israeli Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit, who Hamas is holding captive. The activists should deliver the aid with a public demand: Release Shalit immediately, without conditions. . . .
It would put the anti-blockade activists to the test. Their empathy for the people of Gaza is commendable. . . . What is less clear, however, is the activists' empathy for the people of Israel.
Commentary's Jonathan Tobin pointed out in response that "the activists' empathy"--or, rather, their lack thereof--is crystal clear:


"Go back to Auschwitz," say the Turkish "humanitarians." Go back to Poland, says Helen Thomas. Beinart claims to be pro-Israel, and we don't doubt his sincerity. But his determined denial of the nature of Israel's enemies leads us to doubt his grip on reality.


At 8:20 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Peter Beinarts of the world don't appear to grasp that Gaza is merely a cover for opposition to Israel. As far one can tell the latter animates pro-Palestinian supporters far more than concern for the Palestinians does. That has been evident for the last week for any one who cared to see and hear it.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - the other half of John Mearsheimer - Stephen Walt, has now published an article in Foreign Policy calling on the Obama Administration to lead an international flotilla with the US Sixth Fleet to break the blockade of Gaza. Yup, that's the new American foreign policy realism: undermining Israel and strengthening Hamas.

Here: Read it all

What could go wrong indeed


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