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1/4/2009
IT’S JUST A LITTLE STAB IN THE BACK

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.

By: Rick Moran at 11:13 am
20 Responses to “IT’S JUST A LITTLE STAB IN THE BACK”
  1. 1
    Tim Said:
    1:57 pm 

    Rick,

    As you may know, I’m a regular reader of your blog and I’m a democrat.

    I support Israel in this conflict and hope that one day both sides do a lot better in resolving mideast turmoil

    Your side and mine have extremes. Your extreme right and my extreme left. I am hopeful because I know that the man I voted for will not represent the extreme left the way your man, George W. Bush represented the extreme right, ideologically, socially and economically. - (What an utter failure he was, following the right’s puppet-masters to a “t” - total epic fail)

    So - while I don’t support the Israel-bashing, I wholeheartedly believe that Glen Greenwald’s and other’s views will not shape mideast policy after jan 20th.

    So -freak’n relax - OK?

    You just seem so bent on hammering the left any way you can. Jeez! What have we done? It’s not like we’ve destroyed America’s reputation and economy like your side did.

    It’s not like we fell asleep at the switch and almost enabled Hamas to come to power the way your Republican president did.

    You put so much energy into hammering the left. You are so articulate and well- researched, I wish we had more like you on our side. I just have to question where you’re aiming your gun…

    The left’s representation both in congress and soon the whitehouse is moderate. We’ll do the right thing. Chill out.

    Why don’t you put some energy into helping your own party get a clue? I hear they really need one…

    Right now, the left has a far superior resume than the right does… The right’s reputation is basically shit now. They could really use your help…

    I realize there are many liberals who support Israel. And you are doing a little wishful thinking if you believe Pelsoi, Reid, and many other Democratic leaders are “moderates.” I am afraid you will be chagrined at some of the proposals coming from that crew if you consider yourself middle of the road.

    And what I write on my blog is whatever strikes my fancy on a given day. Not that any conservatives listen to what I say anyway - something I’m sure you’ve seen. I have no desire to lead the GOP anywhere. As for conservatives, I will get around to putting my thoughts down I;m sure.

    ed.

  2. 2
    Tim Said:
    2:11 pm 

    P.S. - I’d like to go back in your archives to see what you wrote about these turn of events in 2006:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/26/AR2006012601009.html

  3. 3
    Allen Said:
    3:28 pm 

    You are asking for coherency from the incoherent. The left has been at it longer then the right, but the right is learning. To wit: gaining votes is the truth of a thought.

    The current political platform of some on the left is anti-Israel. Regardless, of the facts on the ground, sticking to the platform prevails. Thus, the convoluted explanations for what is actually happening. To maintain an ideology, in the face of reality, always requires an enormous expenditure of strawmen.

  4. 4
    Nagarajan Sivakumar Said:
    4:02 pm 

    Tim,
    It would be better if you didnt indulge in such banalities. In fact this is exactly what stops a debate from taking shape.

    Let me give you a small example,

    “It’s not like we fell asleep at the switch and almost enabled Hamas to come to power the way your Republican president did.”

    Spoken like a true liberal.

    Let me ask you this Tim. Who the HELL are you as an American to decide who should and should not be the democratically elected leaders of Palestine? I ask this question as a pro Israel supporter.

    What exactly should Bush have done ? Not agree to elections in Palestine until he was sure that Fatah would win ? Since when did the American President have a veto on the election schedule of the Palestinian people ?

    In fact is’nt this exactly what the Islamic world complains about America ? That they are not allowed to choose their real leaders because America supports authoritarian rules like Mubarrak in Egypt and the House of Saud?

    Bush’s decision to allow elections in Palestine was the best thing he did in the region - counter intuitive as it may sound to you. The Palestinians could no longer wallow in their self pity about how America kept forcing Fatah down their collective throats.

    And just because Bush was ok with the elections in Palestine does not automatically mean that Hamas was going to win. The Palestinian people had a choice between Fatah and Hamas. And guess whom they chose ?

    The real problem with liberals like you is that you dont want to face the facts - the fact is this - Palestinians overwhelmingly chose a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel in its charter. no peaceful co-existence. no two state solution. but the destruction of the Jewish state.

    Another fact that liberals are not able to face is that this terrorist organization was actually better at providing some services to the Palestinian people - something that Fatah failed miserably at.

    The election also broke the myth about how Palestinians would not back an extremist religious organization like Hamas and rather choose a secular organization like Fatah.

    So according to you it is a mistake that Bush allowed Palestinians to decide their own fate and their own leaders.

    When Bush convinced Israelis to evacuate all the settlers from Gaza, he was enabling Hamas right ? Or was he helping Fatah?

    Damned if you do. Damned if you dont.

    “George W. Bush represented the extreme right, ideologically, socially and economically. – (What an utter failure he was, following the right’s puppet-masters to a “t” – total epic fail)”

    A. I am no admirer of Bush but if he indeed represented the extreme right socially, there would have been a Federal Marriage Amendment banning gay marriage, the rest of forever.

    If he indeed represented the extreme right socially, he would not have been the President who has done the most good to the continent of Africa - better than any liberal has ever come close to or will have the decency to acknowledge Bush’s record.

    You dont agree with me, listen to Bob Geldof.
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1717934-1,00.html

    B. If Bush was anywhere close to being a conservative economically or idealogically, let alone “extreme” right wing, he would not have presidede over Hank Paulson’s 700 billion dollar bailout - or for that matter the bailout of any other financial company. Or for that matter the bailout of Detroit automakers.

    The first and foremost rule of conservative idealogy is to stand up for yourself and take personal responsibility for your actions, omissions and commisions - it is NOT to go crying to “Mother Government” asking to suck at her tits.

    Here we have conservatives, who have basically called him out for a being a conservative by name only and you come along and say that he is an “extreme idealogue” ?

    C. If Bush was anywhere close to being an idealogue on the Iraq war, he was closer to a liberal hawk, or as it is famously derided now as neo-conservatism. No conservative or right wing idealogue thinks that you go around “promoting democracy”

    In fact the only way that Bush could be considered “extreme” was his unaplogetic stance on tax cuts - he thought that people should keep more of their money instead of sending it to the IRS. We could have a long discussion on why there is nothing “extreme” about this, but i suspect that it would descend into another ugly fight on class warfare. (Those rich fat bastards !!! sucking all our poor saps blood dry !)

    “Right now, the left has a far superior resume than the right does… The right’s reputation is basically shit now. They could really use your help…”

    What exactly is this faaaar “superior” resume’? And if the right’s reputation is shit now, why are you worried.?

    Especially for some one who is certain that the left has “far superior ideas.” Again, please dont bother to go into specific issues - just keep up with the banalities.

    Bush is an extreme right wing idealogue, who enabled Hamas by allowing free elections in Palestine. That’s the script that works, I guess.

  5. 5
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    4:28 pm 

    This could have been avoided if Bush had gotten his stupid secret Fatah coup right. But hey, guess what, it was a complete and utter failure just like everything else.

  6. 6
    SeniorD Said:
    6:00 pm 

    I know this is a stretch for the likes of Glenn Greenwald and others of his Ilk, but the pure and simple reality, as seen from from such sources as MEMRI, whatever coherency the Arabs have at present will disintegrate into sectarian/factional war if Israel ceases to exist. The big losers will be Western countries dependent upon the sea of oil upon which the Middle East floats. The big winners would be a nuclear Iran with China and Russia letting the squabblers kill themselves off then pick up the pieces.

    So, do we really want Hama/Hizb’Allah/PLO winning?

  7. 7
    cdor Said:
    6:21 pm 

    Thanks for the post, Rick. But at some point doesn’t all this intellectualizing just get downright tedious? People sitting in their perfectly safe climatized living rooms claptrapping about what someone else can or cannot do to survive. It would be humorous if I could only laugh out my disgust.

    Hamas, time and time and time again, states explicitly that their primary reason for existence is to exterminate the Jewish State. They act daily upon these statements. They raise their children from birth to continue their maleficence for generations to come.

    Go read Darwin, folks. The time has arrived for Israel to make the existential decision…kill or be killed. They won’t have much longer as that decision will too soon be made for them.

    And if they wait and that dreaded moment comes, you can bet that all those yelping shits with their signs in front of the Israeli embassies will just turn away in silence.

  8. 8
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    9:23 pm 

    Nagarajan

    In fact the only way that Bush could be considered “extreme” was his unaplogetic stance on tax cuts – he thought that people should keep more of their money instead of sending it to the IRS.

    This is a joke. Complete farce. A true conservative would never be comfortable with the level of debt Bush has created. He should raise taxes as much as possible to balance the budget. Make the people pay for everything their leaders are doing. THEN the people would feel the full burden what this man and his party have caused. Then the people will start to figure out what it means to be fiscally conservative. Balance the budget, then cut the junk out, then cut taxes. That’s fiscal conservatism. Something we haven’t seen since there was a budget surplus.

  9. 9
    col.smeag Said:
    11:29 pm 

    Rick,
    I’m a new reader and a current member of the vast right wing conspiracy. I have to say I’m going to be a regular reader here. Now on with the show… Israel can take care of it’s self and they did the same thing there doing to Southern Lebanon about two years ago. They were condemned by the UN that time also. What can yo expect from an organization that included leaders of terrorist nations as annual guest speakers. Our future President will just be keeping his mouth shut for the next four years.

    He doesn’t like to make public statements and has already laid down the law to the press when he threw 2 outlets of his campaign bus for writing negative articles about him.

    I think the sooner conservative just accept the fact that the left is only concerned about 1 thing , and that thing is power, we will start wining elections again. Issues do not matter to them. They could care less about the poor, the needy or the afflicted. They care about votes and Campaign donations.

    Bill Clinton turned his back on Israel in the’90s when he got cozy with former PLO leader Yasser “I need a shave” Arafat. The think Terrorist leaders are great people too, because they are concerned about one thing POWER. FOR EXAMPLE: look at a physically abused woman, people always say why won’t she leave, why does the husband beat her, it’s about power. The woman won’t leave because of the physical power the abuser has over her. In the case of terrorism Israel gave the Palestinians what they said they wanted “LAND” the Gaza strip their own little country. However they don’t know how to run a country all they know how to do is to terrorize what they need out of the world. The leaders of Hamas and the PLO grew up learning this. So every time they don’t get their way it’s back to violence. Wa Wa Wa anyone sticking up for these International Wifer Beaters need counciling.

  10. 10
    cdor Said:
    8:12 am 

    Note to Chuck Tucson: What the heck are you talking about? This post had nothing to do with GW Bush. If you just want to amuse yourself, why don’t you do it privately?

    Here is an article comparing Hamas to the Nazis. As opposed to Chuckey, it actually is pertinent.

    http://tiny.cc/x5FBu

  11. 11
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    11:43 am 

    cdor, thank you for your insight and suggestions. Unfortunately, your associative fallacy trumps my off topic comment while effectively ending all further discussion due to the invocation of Godwin’s Law.

  12. 12
    John Howard Said:
    1:45 pm 

    “It’s not like we fell asleep at the switch and almost enabled Hamas to come to power the way your Republican president did.”

    Yeah, that stuff, said with no irony, is the give-away of some serious self-delusion. Much like the Auschitz commandant in “Sophie’s Choice” who asks, “Honestly, Sophie, do you think I’m a monster?”

  13. 13
    Eddie Said:
    4:34 pm 

    You mention the most important part of all of this for Israel and then explain it away :

    “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.”

    So settlers (who represent less than 10-15% of the Israeli population) can undermine the Israeli rule of law by committing acts of violence against Israeli police, military forces and Israeli and Palestinian civilians?

    Do you consider this an intractable problem for Israel? It cannot be, for Israelis across the political and religious spectrum have begun to lose patience with the antics of the settlers. While the current punishment of the Hamas & Islamic Jihad terrorists obscures the matter for now, in the future, even Bibi (should he be elected as expected) will likely be forced into a confrontation with them, lest they simply flout the rule of law and the interests of the Israeli people at large (and the majority of the myriad of interest and pressure groups within Israel) permanently.

    Israel will always have serious foreign enemies of some sort, and will (hopefully) always have our full support to smite them from the face of the Earth when they raise their weapons and threaten her people. Yet to have such virulent threats from within to their very democracy is perhaps something new, lest I am missing something from Israeli history. It is certainly not something to be dismissed so casually or considered intractable.

    You make some very valid points. My understanding is that the small religious parties to which a lot of the settlers belong and who are the most fanatical about reclaiming all lands supposedly given Israel in the bible are vital in order to form a govt since no one party can get a majority. My understanding is - and I may be wrong - that all Israeli PM’s must bow to this blackmail or no govt is possible. Transgress and they pull out thus bringing down the govt.

    That is what I was talking about - the fact that removing the settlements is extremely dicey and if there is politicak chaos, their enemies may take advantage. I don’t pretend to know the answer. But Greenwald makes it sound as if the Israelis are doing it because they are land hungry - that is not the case.

    ed.

  14. 14
    cdor Said:
    5:16 pm 

    You got me Chuckey. I only wish we were discussing a less serious topic.

  15. 15
    Nagarajan Sivakumar Said:
    11:05 pm 

    “A true conservative would never be comfortable with the level of debt Bush has created. He should raise taxes as much as possible to balance the budget. Make the people pay for everything their leaders are doing. THEN the people would feel the full burden what this man and his party have caused. Then the people will start to figure out what it means to be fiscally conservative. Balance the budget, then cut the junk out, then cut taxes. That’s fiscal conservatism. Something we haven’t seen since there was a budget surplus.”

    Unfortunately Chuck, true conservatives no longer exist in the GOP as a major force. There is one major politician here like Tom Coburn, one person there… and thats about it.

    You only proved my point - there is no way you can call Bush an “extreme idealogue” or extreme right winger.

    I would LOVE to hear what you think of the 700 billion dollar bailout ? Or the automakers bailout ? or the trillion dollar “stimulus” that is going to be passed at the earliest by a Democrat party majority ?

    Who do you think is “paying” for this ? let’s see what your response is.

    Fiscal conservatism does not happen in isolation or because one political party alone insists on it. “Balancing” the budget is not exactly a priority now - the printing press is busy devaluing the dollar.

  16. 16
    VK Said:
    5:38 am 

    Israel is fighting a war on behalf of the rest of the world as surely as it is fighting for it’s own survival. Instead of wasting time on UN resolutions and calls for restraint maybe we should be asking what else Israel needs to finish the job in Lebanon as well as Gaza.

    http://soleslide.blogspot.com

  17. 17
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    2:45 pm 

    I would LOVE to hear what you think of the 700 billion dollar bailout ?

    You mean the no strings attached cash bonanza for the very people who’s horrible decisions caused a great deal of the current nightmare? I’ll just trust that they’ll use all of that money very wisely.

    Or the automakers bailout ?

    You mean the decision to keep afloat companies who’s horrible management and parasitic unions can’t seem to make products that people actually want to buy? I think it’s a great idea. Who needs capitalism!

    or the trillion dollar “stimulus” that is going to be passed at the earliest by a Democrat party majority?

    If you’re gonna throw fake money away, I guess having roads, bridges, dams etc. to show for it is better than nothing. I wonder what my district will do with it’s share of the fake money handout?

    Who do you think is “paying” for this ? let’s see what your response is.

    Bah. My grandkids? Your grandkids? I dunno. Who cares? It doesn’t matter. Let’s just print more money. Deficit spending’s been working out really well for us so far. I was thinking we could start another war or something. That’d be cool. It’s always fun watching other people’s stuff get blown up.

  18. 18
    cdor Said:
    10:03 pm 

    I’m a little confused…sorry. Where are the settlers in Gaza? Didn’t Sharon pull all the settlers out leaving behind multi billion dollar greenhouse businesses that the “palestinians” proceeded to demolish? Eddie, could you please explain how the settler issue relates to this conflict.

    Also, where are those former Jewish “settlers” from Gaza now? Isn’t it true that many are housed in what are essentially refugee camps in Isael?

  19. 19
    Shimshonit Said:
    6:06 am 

    Rick–Thanks for a thought- and fact-driven appraisal of the current situation. Such appraisals are rare these days, and few are the people who actually “get” what goes on here.

    By the way, if it weren’t for settlements full of “extremists” like the one I live in, those poor people getting pounded by Hamas rockets, missiles, and mortars in the South right now would have fewer quiet places to go to seek refuge. Here they have housing, food, busing (bullet-proof, of course), free or reduced rates at the local attractions, and their children are welcomed in our local schools to give them as much a feeling of a normal life as possible until they can return to their homes in the South. The same happened during the war in Lebanon in summer 2006, with northern Israelis seeking solace in the settlements in the West Bank. So much for the idea that Israelis are only safe living within the Green Line.

  20. 20
    Ron Russell Said:
    2:26 pm 

    I’m just a poor redneck conservative, but I do know the value of indian reservations—it sure was and is a good way to keep them down. Just give them a minimum existance and for the most part they will be content. When they do get out of hand sent in the calvary. Hell, we practice this in our big cities, too. Occasionally, the natives get restless and will just throw them another bone. It an old tactic and usually works for the down-trodden masses. They will in turn give us their vote so we can continue to help them–we just have to be careful and not give them too much, if we do then they won’t need us anymore and can help themselves (they might before republicans–that would be terrible). Is the Gaza Strip a indian reservation or a breeding ground for terrorist–who the hell knows!! I only know this for sure, the Israelis had to go in(the rockets you know). Sure they will condemned by almost everyone. You know I don’t think they really concern themselves with that. Who cares what the rest of the world thinks when it comes to self-defense–only liberals (pardon me, progressives).

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