Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's time to kick liberal butt

One of the most irritating liberals is a Jewish liberal, who is using his Jewishness as a shield and a reason to wage war against the state of Israel. The latest example of an anti-Israeli Jewish liberal is Peter Beinart. His latest article "Why Israel has to do better" compelled me to spend my invaluable time to smack him. I don't assume this will change his mind, but at the very least it will amuse my readers.

Pete starts his letter with a whine that the evil right-wingers have the temerity to complain that he does not "spend enough time discussing the nastiness of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and extremist Muslims in general." In other words, Pete is like a scholar who spends the entire duration of WW2 criticizing the British and the Americans for their brutal conduct of the military campaign against Hitler, and for not trying to find peaceful non-violent ways to pacify Germany. What would also upset Pete is that the Allies are reluctant to engage with non-military wing of the National-Socialist Party - the rank-n-file activists who are running German schools and hospitals - and instead Churchill and FDR bomb the hell out of occupied Europe - which understandably turns the German people against world peace and into the hands of Hitler.

Of course, Pete is convinced that his main task to "plea for American Jewish organizations to take sides in Israel’s domestic struggle between democrats and authoritarians, and thus help save liberal Zionism in the United States." It's unfortunate that Peter never explains who is the evil authoritarian in Israel (may I mention certain Arab parties instead - both in Israel and the rest of the Middle East?) - but he spends not inordinate amount of time calling them names. For example, his real anger is directed towards "settlers" - the Jews that have the temerity to live amongst the Arabs in Judea and Samaria (so-called Western Bank of the river Jordan), and Avigdor Lieberman. His hatred against Lieberman is mostly due to the fact that Lieberman decided to emulate "moderate" Moslem leaders and equated the rights of Arabs in Israel with the rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria. If no Jews can be allowed to live in Judea and Samaria - then no Arabs should be allowed to live in Israel - a pretty common-sensical and fair point of view. Of course, Pete is a liberal, so he cannot imagine that Arabs could be treated with same amount of respect as Jews - and he is shocked that another Jew would have the temerity to propose this!

According to Pete, "The harsh truth is that settlers—including fanatical settlers—are now so entrenched in the Israeli bureaucracy that the process of planning, funding and building settlements occurs irrespective of whether the Palestinians are naughty or nice." It's unfortunate that Pete never comes around to explain when exactly "Palestinian" Arabs were nice, and why exactly he agrees with a racist policy of Juden-free "Palestine" - it's just one of those "compromises" that cannot be questioned by liberals.

At some point, Pete is forced to concede that "To some degree, it is true that the misdeeds of Israel’s foes have pushed Israelis to the right. That certainly happened after Yasir Arafat’s failure to respond courageously to Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David in June 2000 and his (much better) one at Taba in January 2001." No shit, Sherlock! It's somewhat unfortunate that Pete forgets to mention a terrorist war that was waged by the Arabs since the Oslo accords, and that the entire history of peace negotiations with PLO, Hamas and the like proved that the Moslems has absolutely no interest in making peace with Israel. In case anyone is wondering, the best description of the current situation is aptly described by another liberal (yet mostly sane) activist, Alan Dershowitz:

I spoke at [the University of California at] Irvine about a year ago... You could see that there were three groups in the audience. A group on my left that were wearing blue and white, some of them were wearing kippot, some of them were waving an Israeli flag. There was a group on my right that were wearing Palestinian garb, anti-Israel shirts, and a very large group in the middle.

So I started off by saying, “How many of you identify yourselves as pro-Israel,” hands went up. “How many would identify yourselves as pro-Palestine,” hands went up. “I want to ask the pro-Israel people, how many of you accept a Palestinian state, a non-terrorist state, a demilitarized state living side by side in peace with Israel.” Every hand went up. I said, “I want to now turn to the pro-Palestinians. How many of you would accept a non-settlement, non-expansionist, peaceful state living side by side.” There was some mumbling, some discussion, but not a single hand went up.

Indeed, the story that Alan tells us pretty much shuts down any discussion on what Israel should do to appease the other side. There is no point in appeasement when the Arabs simply want to destroy Israel. Everything that Pete can think of is pretty much irrelevant - unless Pete becomes serious about peace, and decides to invest some of his time in trying to persuade the Arabs that Jews have a right to their own state. Everything else is pretty much useless and won't move the peace process even one inch. But Pete is in business of blaming the Jews  - which is what pays his bills, so don't expect him to notice the elephant in the store.

As Pete says in his article, "The West Bank now features Palestinian leaders who are far more sincere about non-violence, and about the kind of two-state solution that Arafat did not grasp. And yet Israel has not responded with any meaningful halt in settlement growth." Indeed, the "Palestinian leaders" were always sincere about non-violence, and about their attitude towards the Jewish state - anyone can read the charters of PLO and Hamas. And indeed Israel should respond with a meaningful increase in "settlement growth" - just so that those "leaders" understand that Israelis are no longer willing to close their eyes to the nature of those "moderate Arab leaders". Just to make sure that my article is read in a proper context - during latest US visit to Israel, the Palestinian administration named a square after one of its homicidal terrorists. Indeed, if anything that proved once again that the "Palestinian leaders" are very open about their views - but for some reason Pete is not willing to believe their words and deeds. Why should the facts interfere with his theory that it's Jewish fault there is no peace in the Middle East?
Pete's article continues to attack Israel for the "settlements":
So in the West Bank, at least, it’s hard to see how Arafat’s failures justify Israel’s continued encroachment onto Palestinian land—an encroachment that makes it ever harder to create a Palestinian state without provoking an Israeli civil war.

What Pete is ignoring here is that there is no clear definition of "palestinian lands" - and there is of course no reason for Israeli government to declare any lands as territories inaccessible to Jews. After all, you are not a racist, are you, Pete? Even the Jews are human being, with inherent human rights - do you remember this, Pete?

Pete is even insane enough to demand Israel to negotiate with Hamas - and he is willing to hint that the missile attacks against Israeli civilians are somewhat due to the actions of Israel: comes to Gaza, many Israelis have, understandably, been enraged by Hamas rocket fire. But the critics of my essay describe that rocket fire as if it is completely independent of Israeli policy. Let me be clear: I detest Hamas, as much for what it does to Palestinians as for what it does to Israelis. Fifteen years ago, the organization blew up a Jerusalem bus carrying a friend of mine, so I’m not inclined toward sympathy [notice how Peter uses the death of his friend as a shield - which is a liberal version of "How can anyone call me a racist if I have a black friend".]

So, if you understand that Hamas loudly and publicly proclaims that its goal is destruction of Israel and murder of all Jews - what is the issue here then? Hamas' hatred for Israel is unconditional, and it does not depend on the actions of Israel. And yet, Pete remains unconvinced - there must be some trick to make those Hamas activists love Israel and the Jews...

Still, there was another path open to Israel and the U.S. after Hamas won the 2005 Palestinian elections. It was to support a Palestinian unity government that included Hamas and Fatah, committed itself to a cease-fire with Israel, and fudged the question of Israel’s right to exist by, for instance, endorsing the 2002 Arab League proposal that offered recognition in return for Israel’s withdrawal to 1967 borders [It also required ethnic cleansing of all Jews from Judea, Samaria and Gaza and the right of "return" to Israel of all relatives of Palestinian Arabs]. Such a unity government was possible: the Saudis actually brokered one in February 2007. Israel and the U.S. could have responded to it the way the U.S. responds to the Lebanese government that includes Hezbollah: We could have dealt with the non-Hamas ministers.
And there you got it - the solution was to aid and abet the union of two warring terrorist groups committed to the destruction of Israel. Somehow, if Hamas and PLO unite (against common enemy, I presume) - it would make Middle East much more peaceful. How exactly this is supposed to work is left untold by Pete. One historic analogy though stands out in my mind - the peace treaty between Nazi Germany and Soviet Union in 1939 - which allowed Western Democracies to reach moderates in both Hitler's Nazi Party and Stalin's Communist Party and prevent World War 2. That's at least what Pete is pushing for - and I can only assume that he would be delighted if Hamas, PLO, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Lybia start cooperating - that would be the solution to all Middle Eastern problems. Am I right, Pete?

But as Pete correctly notes - his grand scheme for the Middle East peace was not meant to be. "Instead, Washington and Jerusalem dogmatically insisted that Hamas be blackballed unless it accepted all past peace agreements, a standard that Netanyahu’s own government would fail." Well, it would be a nice start for Hamas to recognize the right of Israel to exist - but even that is too dogmatic for Pete. After all, Israel is a Jewish state, so it better get used to its position of a world pariah and instead rejoice that the its most committed enemies are now united.

Pete is also visibly upset that Israel does not trade with Hamas-controlled Gaza (after all, it's racist when a Jew refuses to sell food to his would-be murderers):

...after Hamas routed Fatah militarily, Israel slapped a brutal embargo on Gaza, one that has left its population overwhelmingly dependent on food aid, and which Israel did not substantially lift even when Hamas (mostly) abided by a cease-fire for much of 2008. None of this justifies rocket attacks on Sderot. But it does suggest that if Hamas attacks have hardened Israeli public opinion, some of the blame lies with Israel’s own leaders, who did not seriously pursue political—as opposed to military—solutions after the Palestinians did what the Bush administration had been demanding they do: hold a free election.

Well, I can only respond that Israel is (mostly) peaceful when it comes to Hamas and it provides necessary means (mostly) to Gazan population to live (mostly) rich and health lives. Why is Pete upset at Israel's (mostly) reasonable policy towards Hamas?

And as one would expect, Pete is very frightened of Avigdor Lieberman - a man who is a mirror image of "moderate Palestinian leaders" that Pete is so enamored with.
Finally, it’s hard to see how the misdeeds of Hamas, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmedinejad or anyone else in the Muslim world explain—let alone justify—Avigdor Lieberman’s campaign to delegitimize and disenfranchise Israeli Arabs, the vast majority of whom don’t support either Hezbollah or Hamas, and simply wish to be equal citizens of Israel.

To put it mildly, Pete's insistence on demonizing Lieberman and the Jews who live in Judea-Samaria is quite perplexing. Why is he trying to delegitimize and disenfranchise Palestinians Jews, the vast majority of whom don't support extermination of all Moslems (a mirror image of Hezbollah and Hamas) and simply wish to be equal citizens of future "Palestinian" state? His next passage is quite telling:
Settler fanaticism is a cancer that has grown from within Israel; you can’t blame it on Ahmedinejad. Nor are Iran’s mullahs responsible for the fact that ultra-Orthodox Jews, who burn Christian holy books and assault women who try to pray at the Western Wall, have virtually taken over the city of Jerusalem. Their contempt for liberal values would have been problem enough had not the Israeli government bribed them with housing in the West Bank, thus joining their zealotry to the settlement enterprise. This too cannot be blamed on Hassan Nasrallah.
Indeed, it would be interesting to compare the fanaticism of ultra-Orthodox Jews versus fanaticism of average moderate Moslem Arabs in Israel, as well as Judea and Samaria. Is it not fair to say that Moslem fanaticism is a far more dangerous cancer that has grown from within the entire Middle East - and it cannot be blamed on the Jews. And if a moderate Moslem is more extreme than an extreme fanatical ultra-Orthodox Jew - then why does Pete clearly favors and promotes the moslem moderates slash fanatics?

Pete's answer to this obvious question is quite chilling....
Leon, Jeff, Jon, Jamie, David and I are all Jews. In some sense, therefore, Israel’s crimes—unlike those of Hamas or Ahmedinejad—are committed in our name. We have a special obligation to expose and confront them. And we have a special obligation not to use the crimes of Israel’s enemies to excuse behavior that dishonors a Jewish state, and the Jewish ethical tradition that we all consider precious.
I am sure I am speaking on behalf of millions people when I say - Pete, you are no Jew, and Israel is not, repeat not, acting in your name in any way imaginable. Your only obligation is to be a honest decent human being - and it is far more important mission that pretending that somehow you are the judge of everything Jewish and Israeli. Don't try to assume too many responsibilities, don't attempt to THE JEW, give up the Jesus-complex - just be a man, and stop attacking Israel - a tiny state under attack by millions of savages. Nothing happening in the Middle East is about you, Pete and your pathetic attempts to show yourself as a Jewish conscience. Stop whining and protecting the enemies, Pete - stop it, it's morally wrong. There are a billion moslems in this world, and a huge number of them hate all Jews.Why don't you care for Israel as much as any moderate Moslem cares for Arabs? There is something inherently masochistic in your claims that your first criticism must always target the tiny Jewish state because you are a Jew. Grow up, Pete. We are talking about a real world and actions have consequences.


Gorges Smythe said...

Maybe if he'd study the scriptures a little more, he'd learn exactly what fire he's playing with.

Hyphenated American said...

"And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you."

And yet, even the scripture could not think of a Jew who says he is obliged to curse the Jewish state because he is himself a Jew. No one could even imagine such a obsenity!

Anonymous said...

I do not understand this streak of self-loathing that seems to run through liberals of all stripes and religions...