What’s a little knife thrust between the shoulder blades among friends, huh? After all, it’s not like Israel’s enemies on the left want to plunge the blade up to the hilt, penetrating the heart and killing off the Jewish state. They would prefer someone else deliver the coup de grace. Instead, this is more like a “love thrust” - a little wound just to get Israel’s attention and maybe allow them to bleed a bit before calling 911.
After all, it’s not like the left wants Israel to disappear - “wiped off the map” as that little elf in Tehran so colorfully puts it. They just want Israel to behave as if the left’s silly, stupid pretensions regarding the rules of diplomacy and conflict resolution (such as they are) actually mean something. It would prove that might doesn’t make right, that it is better to receive attacks without response than defend oneself, and that a few dead Jews are a small price to pay for giving it the old college try at the negotiating table with an enemy that wants to barter their very existence.
Israel an ally? For some on the left, they have taken the word as an open invitation to try and undercut the Jewish state’s ability to defend itself as it sees fit. They disagree with Israel’s defense policy so they feel perfectly comfortable in seeking to change it by getting the US government to do their dirty work for them.
(Note that there have been few, if any, calls by Israel’s liberal enemies for the United Nations to stop the fighting. They know full well the utter futility of calling on that body to do anything except fatten their expense accounts with US taxpayer dollars. At that, they are the world’s experts.)
Instead, they harangue their government to cease our support for the Jewish state - or at least “pressure” Israel to lie down and take the barrages of rockets and mortars like a man. The arms we’ve sold to Israel are being misused - in their opinion. In fact, they shouldn’t be used at all but rather dusted off and spit shined so that they can be displayed during parades and such. Deterrence, don’t you know.
The fact that Israel is fighting a war against an implacable enemy who hides behind women and children, hoping and praying for their deaths so that the world can build up enough fake outrage to pressure Israel to pull back is inconsequential to these jamokes. But when the Palestinians have friends like Matthew Yglesias, what do they need the world for?
All throughout the “peace process” years — through the good ones and through the bad ones — Israel continued expanding both the geographical footprint of its settlements and the population living upon them. For most of this time, Israel has often appeared unwilling to enforce domestic Israeli law on the settler population, to say nothing of abiding by international law or agreements made. And while Israel has stated a desire to leave the Gaza Palestinians alone in their tiny, overcrowded, economically unviable enclave, the “disengagement” from Gaza has never entailed letting Palestinians control their borders or exercise meaningful sovereignty over the area. The proposal has basically been that if Palestinians cease violence against Israel, then the Gaza Strip will be treated like an Indian reservation. Israel’s policy objectives in the West Bank appear to be first seizing the choice bits of it, and then withdrawing behind a wall with the residual West Bank treating like post-”disengagement” Gaza.
Is there an award for “Sophistry above and beyond the call of Reason?” Yglesias would certainly be in the running although Ezra Klein would give him a run for his money. Rarely do you find such extraordinary self delusion, exaggeration, and basic misunderstanding of Israel’s domestic political situation.
Israel’s policy on the settlements is extraordinarily complex and a political minefield that could blow up and not only oust the current government but make any kind of stable government in Israel impossible. Witness what happened in Hebron last month when Israel tried to enforce provisions in an agreement that divided the city into a Palestinian and Jewish sections.
The facts are a little more complicated than Yglesias infers which either proves his ignorance or a perfidious desire to misinform his readers. And judging by his belief that Gazans live in an economically “unviable” area, one can only conclude that Yglesias wishes to expand the two state solution’s recognized borders - a novel approach to peacemaking if you’re interested in the destruction of the Jewish state.
I guess that’s one way to make peace.
As for Gaza being an “indian reservation” that is up to Hamas. Perhaps the idea of living in peace with their neighbor who then would have no need for roadblocks, walls, nor interfere in Hamas’s desire for “meaningful sovereignty” which might eventually lead to a viable economic state.
But Hamas has said - and proved it time and again with their actions - that they don’t want a viable economic state or meaningful sovereignty, or even the prospect of living on an Indian reservation. They want the Jews gone and Israel occupied by them. Such an attitude makes any Israeli violations of agreements regarding the settlements a non sequitor. Using the settlements as a club, Hamas and their friends in the United States wish to negotiate the question of whether Israel has a right to exist. Why any state should be forced to do that is beyond me - an incredible condition to force upon a sovereign country.
The illegal outposts set down by radical Israelis who believe the Bible gives them the right to the land (and which George Bush has demanded the Israeli government remove) are not fueling the violence in Gaza. They are an excuse and not the proximate cause of the rocket barrages. It is pure sophistry to infer that anything except a virulent, nauseating strain of anti-Semitism is what keeps the Palestnians at war with Israel. They hate the Jews because they are Jews and any other greivance they have is pure gravy - sauce for the goose. And their single, animating, national ambition is to kill as many as they can while hoping that someone can come along and kick the Jews out of Israel for them.
This appears not to be complicated enough for Israel’s enemies on the left as there just isn’t enough nuance for their tastes. No good international conflict is possible unless there are “root causes” and “underlying dichotomies” to sink one’s teeth into. The idea that they have nothing to do with the matter at hand is of no consequence. When things are too simple, it is best to try to complicate them by raising straw man arguements or, better yet, just make sh*t up as Yglesias does with his “Indian reservation” analogy.
Yes, it really is quite simple. And so is the idea of an ally standing behind another when they are attacked. I realize that this too, is beyond their ken and they would rather subvert that ally by having us betray them in their hour of need by undermining what the Israelis believe is necessary to protect themselves. Hell, the left has done it before so why not polish up that knife and ready it for when Israel’s back is turned.
At this distance, they can’t miss.