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8/22/2011
Egypt’s Venom Toward Israel

My latest at FPM is up and its about the Egypt-Israel diplomatic row over the border incident last Thursday where 5 Egyptian policemen were killed by the IDF as the Israelis were in hot pursuit of Hamas terrorists who killed 8 civilians near Eliat. The subsequent rocket attacks by Hamas and air strikes by Israel in Gaza is also discussed.

A sample:

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said on Friday, “The border with Egypt is no longer a peaceful border and we need to change the way we treat it.” Egypt denies claims that the terrorists infiltrated into Israel from the Sinai, and also scoffs at the notion that the border security has weakened in the region since the fall of Mubarak. Israel thinks that the Egyptian army doesn’t see guarding the border with Israel as a top priority anymore. Indeed, attacks on the gas pipeline that supplies Israel and Jordan proves the Israeli’s point. No doubt, the government will be forced to address this additional threat to Israel by beefing up security along the 250 mile-long border.

The deaths of the Egyptian policemen who engaged Israeli forces in hot pursuit of the terrorists has angered the Egyptian people and government. The Egyptian government threatened to recall its ambassador to Israel if the Israelis didn’t apologize for the killings. Late Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a formal statement saying, “Israel is sorry for the deaths of Egyptian policemen during the attack along the Egyptian-Israeli border,” while a foreign ministry spokesman said in another statement that “Israel expresses deep regret” over the incident. Barak also called for a joint investigation of the incident with the Egyptian military.

The Egyptian cabinet refused to accept the apologies because it was “not in keeping with the magnitude of the incident and the state of Egyptian anger toward Israeli actions.”  But even though it appears Israel’s statements of regret was rejected, there are conflicting reports whether or not the Egyptian ambassador has been recalled. The Israelis claim they have received no information from the Egyptian government that any kind of rupture was imminent.

A statement issued after a second cabinet meeting on Saturday was much more provocative, saying in part, “Egyptian blood is not cheap and the government will not accept that Egyptian blood gets shed for nothing.”

The incident provided a ready pretext for venomous street demonstrations, as thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Israeli embassy. In an incident illustrative of the Egyptian military’s changed attitude toward Israel since the fall of Mubarak, a young man climbed to the roof of the Israeli embassy, tore down the Star of David flag and hoisted an Egyptian standard. The act electrified the crowd of demonstrators and, soon thereafter, the entire Arab world, as the news was spread via Twitter and other social media. The incident occurred despite hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police watching the demonstrators and supposedly guarding the embassy.

As the crowd cheered the act and fireworks went off, the symbolism could not be ignored; the Egyptian people, having thrown off the despotic yoke of the Mubarak regime, felt free to give full voice to their anti-Semitic sentiments without fear of repercussions. The burning of Israeli flags, the protesting in front of the embassy, and outward shows of animosity to the Jewish state, were unheard of in Mubarak’s time. And the military government, cognizant of deep-seated Egyptian Jew-hatred and what was seen as the weakness of the Mubarak regime in not being more hostile to Israel or the United States, feels obliged to allow the outward manifestations of this sentiment.

By: Rick Moran at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

6/6/2011
BESEIGING THE ISRAELI BORDER: A SYRIAN PRODUCTION

The story that has emerged following a day of violence along the border near the Golan Heights is one that fingers Syrian President Bashir Assad as the culprit in inciting the protestors to rush the Israeli border and give the IDF little choice in their course of action.

The evidence, as I point out in my FrontPage.com article, is overwhelming:

There is no independent corroboration of the number of casualties. The state-run news agency SANA, a propaganda organ wholly owned and operated by the Syrian government, reported that 20 protesters were killed and 350 wounded, quoting a doctor working at the state-run local hospital. One Israeli government official was quoted as saying, “Damascus has a track record of not being precise with its data.”

The same official pointed out that President Assad has good reason to engineer a confrontation between the IDF and protesters while inciting violence that was sure to gain worldwide headlines. “One can only suppose that there was a decision taken in Syria to exploit the situation to change the subject from what is going on inside Syria,” he said.

[...]

As the violence escalates in Syria, President Assad appears to be striking out blindly in a desperate effort to deflect attention from a crackdown that human rights activists estimate conservatively has cost the lives of over 1,100 Syrian civilians. A major opposition website in Syria claimed that “Naksa protesters were poor farmers who were paid $1,000 by the Syrian regime to come to the border.” The group also claimed that the Syrian government promised $10,000 to the families of anyone killed.

The bused demonstrators, paid agitators, and the Syrian police and soldiers who stood by as the rioters made their way back and forth across the Syrian border make it clear that the protests near the Golan were a Syrian production from start to finish — the planned incitement of violence against the IDF designed to relieve pressure on the Syrian regime which is beginning to buckle under the weight of protests against it. No doubt, the Palestinians went along with this Kubuki dance in order to garner worldwide sympathy for their cause in the lead up to an effort at the United Nations this fall to gain recognition for an independent Palestinian state.

Strangely, the border with Lebanon was quiet as the usually Syrian-friendly Lebanese army prevented protestors from marching to the border. But later in the day, a delegation from Iran toured the border area, reminding us of who is really calling the shots now in Lebanon.

Expect more of these border confrontations, more Palestinian dead bodies that the PA leadership can parade in front of the world as evidence of Israel’s evil intent. The cynical sacrifice of the innocent by the PA will continue - after all, it’s not the leaders who are getting shot at.

At the same time, Israel must continue to act with as much restraint as is consistent with their security and their morality. We still don’t know the facts of what went on at the border where Palestinians were killed, but the measures Israel took prior to the events seemed reasonable:

When the protesters attempted to cut through barbed wire on the Syrian side of the border near Majdal Shams, the IDF shouted warnings in Arabic via loudspeaker, announcing that anyone who tried to cross the frontier into Israel would “endanger their lives.” Israeli soldiers then fired their guns in the air trying to dissuade the infiltrators from advancing further. Finally, after protesters tried to cut through the last barrier, IDF snipers fired at the protesters’ lower bodies, the IDF reported.

Anyone who can’t see the difference between the behavior of the IDF and the terror in the night given the Vogel family by terrorists needs a serious mental examination. And yet, Palestinian apologists are making that ridiculous comparison today.

This blog post first appeared on The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 9:01 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

6/7/2009
THE OUTING OF PUBLIUS AND THE COMFORT OF ANONYMITY

Someday, someone is going to make a million by writing a book on what so far is largely unwritten; the rules and etiquette of blogging.

When that happens, we won’t have internet ignorant philistines like Ed Whelan running around destroying the anonymity of bloggers who choose to remain unknown. Or maybe we will, if they prove as unable to control their anger as Mr. Whelan has demonstrated.

Whelan, a legal writer of some repute whose stuff has appeared just about everywhere one would expect from a brilliant legal mind, but is perhaps best known for writing Bench Memos at NRO, became annoyed with Publius of Obsidian Wings for some of the cracks the blogger made about Whelan’s analysis of Sotomayer’s remarks about judicial policy making.

Responding point by point to Publius’s piquing of Whelan’s demonstrably thin skin, the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center couldn’t leave it at that. Instead, he decided to act rather unethically and dig unto Publius’s personal life in order to discover who this mosquito nibbling on his backside might be.

Sounding for all the world as if he had solved the mystery of Area 51, Whelan wrote triumphantly:

I’ve been reliably informed that publius is in fact the pseudonym of law professor John F. Blevins of the South Texas College of Law. I e-mailed Blevins to ask him to confirm or deny that he is publius, and I copied the e-mail to the separate e-mail address, under the pseudonym “Edward Winkleman,” that publius used to respond to my initial private complaints about his reckless blogging. In response, I received from “Edward Winkleman” an e-mail stating that he is “not commenting on [his] identity” and that he writes under a pseudonym “[f]or a variety of private, family, and professional reasons.” I’m guessing that those reasons include that friends, family members, and his professional colleagues would be surprised by the poor quality and substance of his blogging.

I am very happy Ed has enjoyed his Captain Queeg moment and solved the mystery of the missing strawberries. Such sleuthing no doubt builds up an appetite to which Whelan might consider eating the plate of slightly overdone crow that is sitting in front of him.

And since Publius’s opinion differs from Whelan’s on Sotomayor’s beliefs regarding judicial activism, the only obvious explanation for his anonymity is that he is trying to keep his family and colleagues in the dark about the “poor quality and substance of his blogging.”

Could it be something else? Publius explains:

As I told Ed (to no avail), I have blogged under a pseudonym largely for private and professional reasons. Professionally, I’ve heard that pre-tenure blogging (particularly on politics) can cause problems. And before that, I was a lawyer with real clients. I also believe that the classroom should be as nonpolitical as possible – and I don’t want conservative students to feel uncomfortable before they take a single class based on my posts. So I don’t tell them about this blog. Also, I write and research on telecom policy – and I consider blogging and academic research separate endeavors. This, frankly, is a hobby.

Privately, I don’t write under my own name for family reasons. I’m from a conservative Southern family – and there are certain family members who I’d prefer not to know about this blog (thanks Ed). Also, I have family members who are well known in my home state who have had political jobs with Republicans, and I don’t want my posts to jeopardize anything for them (thanks again).

All of these things I would have told Ed, if he had asked. Instead, I told him that I have family and professional reasons for not publishing under my own name, and he wrote back and called me an “idiot” and a “coward.”

Whelan obviously doesn’t get out much. Or read the news. He is certainly an ignoramus about blogging if he hasn’t read about the dozens of cases of people who have lost jobs, been stalked and threatened, or forced to give up writing by employers all due to their passion for blogging.

My own case is instructive, although not for the reasons cited above. For the first 7 months this blog was in existence, I used the nom de blog” Superhawk” as a handle. The reasons was simple; being the brother of a national journalist known to most in the blogging community, I wanted to establish myself as a writer/blogger before coming out. I had always intended to write under my own name eventually. But I wanted to assure myself - quite understandably, I believe - that any success I enjoyed was due to my own efforts.

The irony, as it turned out, was that my own brother outed me on the Hugh Hewitt Show. He did it at almost the exact moment I was thinking of coming out of the anonymity closet anyway so it actually worked out pretty well.

The point is, there are a lot of good reasons for bloggers to remain anonymous and Ed Whalen has no right to decide differently just because he got steamed about someone’s response to his analysis. Did Publius commit a crime? Was he slandering Whalen? If not, Whalen’s fit of personal pique looks low, tawdry, childish, and vengeful. The closest Publius got to getting personal with Whelan was in calling him a “know-nothing demagogue.” And this was after making the point that Whelan knew better and was simply pandering to conservative sensibilities.

Holy Jesus, Ed. I’ve got pretty thin skin myself but it would take a helluva lot more than that to set me off. Questioning my integrity will do the trick as will trying to tell me what to write on my own site. And if you plan on commenting on this or any other post without reading what I’ve written and instead, substitute what you think I wrote or make the same points I made in the post and try and convince me I didn’t make them, you might as well be prepared for some skin flaying because that is my number one pet peeve.

But a “know-nothing demagogue?” In the rarefied atmosphere you inhabit at NRO and other elite bastions of opinion, them’s might be fightin’ words, but in the blogosphere, that’s almost a compliment. To point out that almost any blogger has experienced much, much worse (and dished it out accordingly) would be to mention the obvious to anyone who has spent more than an hour reading blogs.

So, through Whelan’s towering ignorance, he has outed someone for no good reason save his own sense of payback with still unknown consequences to a man he doesn’t know, who never did him any personal harm, and couldn’t affect his reputation one way or another even if that was his intent.

Yeah - way to go Ed.

The question of anonymity of bloggers is, I think, something to be settled by each individual blogger for the reasons I gave above. But what about anonymous commenters? Should they be granted the same comforting cloak that a blogging pseudonym brings?

There are so many sneering, snarky, ignorant, racist-bigots-haters out there in Blog Commentville - many more proportionately than actual bloggers - that I find it disgusting that these reprobates don’t have the guts to use their real names when chastising me or anyone else. If they want anonymity, they should start their own blogs. Their poison is spread to a far wider audience than they deserve as they glom onto sites with large traffic and where like minded anonymous trolls gather to cheer on each other’s putrid rants.

Even in the free wheeling atmosphere that blogs inhabit, if one were to attack fellow bloggers using the language and insults hurled by these anonymous commenters, they would never get the kind of attention they get on larger blogs. Hence, many bloggers are contemplating outlawing anonymous commenters altogether. Most publishing platforms today give the blogger the option of forcing their readers to register if they wish to comment, the registration being activated only when a link to a valid email address is sent.

While this stops the most rabid of trolls, it can’t stop anonymous commenters from fouling a site. The only option for the blogger is to ban the IP and name of the transgressor - a sometimes fruitless exercise as it is relatively easy to establish a new IP, get a new email address, and change one’s handle. In the end, one has the choice of banning comments altogether or simply deleting the objectionable ones.

If Publius had been a commenter at some blog attacking Whelan personally, or spreading lies about him, or simply calling him names, I would not be very sympathetic. But the blogger - one of the few left of center bloggers I find reasonable and thoughtful - gave what most bloggers would consider a mild rebuke to Whelan’s analysis and was outed for his trouble.

I would recommend that Mr. Whelan familiarize himself with blogs and the nature of the beast before going off half cocked and making himself appear a vengeful, spiteful, small minded man. I lost far more respect for Whelan through his outing of Hilzoy than anything the blogger has written about him.

What does that tell you, Mr. Whelan?

EMBARRASSING UPDATE

I stupidly wrote “Hilzoy” was the blogger outed when the actual victim was “Publius.” No excuse, just carelessness.

By: Rick Moran at 9:45 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (54)

1/9/2009
TALKING WITH HAMAS

Word has leaked out that the new Obama Administration will likely open a channel of communications of some kind with Hamas. There is no word whether they plan on opening a dialogue with American Nazis, Kluxers, skin heads, or other groups in the US who also wish to kill all the Jews but I’m sure they will eventually get around to it.

After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Or, what’s good for Jew haters in Gaza should be fine for the Jew haters here.

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush’s ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.

The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency’s ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

The Guardian has spoken to three ­people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp. There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive. A tested course would be to start ­contacts through Hamas and the US intelligence services, similar to the secret process through which the US engaged with the PLO in the 1970s. Israel did not become aware of the contacts until much later.

Perhaps the Obama Administration could set up some kind of cabinet level “Czar” like they have for the War on Drugs or the auto industry. Sort of like Obama’s Personal Ambassador to the Anti-Semites of the world. Not only could we have outreach programs here in the states for our very own homegrown Jew haters, but think of the possibilities abroad. There’s Iran, of course. They’re at the top of the list. Then we have Fatah, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbullah, the old war horses at the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (include the PFLP-General Command and Syrian toady Ahmad Jibril in that mix), and several other Palestinian organizations.

This Jew Hater’ Czar’s portfolio would be quite extensive. You’d also have the Wahabbis in Saudi Arabia, the Taliban, al-Qaeda (and their numerous offshoots), as well as several far left groups here and in Europe.

The point being, if you’re going to talk with a group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of all Jews, why stop with Hamas? I’m sure the American Nazis will feel slighted if you talk to foreigners and not engage them in the dialogue of “Hope and Change.”

I can certainly understand Obama’s reluctance to talk with the Kluxers but really now, is he the type of president who is going to show favoritism toward one Jew hating group at the expense of another? Or perhaps Obama has some secret plans to talk to al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood? I’d hate to have them thinking that their Jew hatred isn’t as pure as that exhibited by a bunch of yahoos dressed up in sheets.

A word of caution for Obama before he embarks on this historic quest to try and “understand” the world’s Jew hatred - epitomized by the fanatics in Hamas; it is best you open your mind to a new vocabulary. Otherwise, we will talk right past each other which would defeat the purpose of this exercise in “peacemaking.”

When anti-Semites talk about “Jews” and “ovens” in the same sentence, they are not inviting the Israelis to take part in a Betty Crocker Bake-Off. And if Hamas happens to mention “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” they are not asking Israel to dialogue about their college experiences with comparative lit courses.

And when they scream “Death to the Jews!” at the top of their voices they mean, well, “Death to the Jews.” The Administration’s first impulse will be dismiss such threats as mere rhetorical flourishes - kind of like when Obama says that he will “heal the oceans” and such. Obama doesn’t really believe he can “heal” the seas - at least not now. He’s going to have enough trouble healing a much smaller and less significant target; the economy. So it is understandable when Hamas and other Jew haters raise their voices about killing all the Jews, he might get the idea that they’re just funnin’ around and not really all that serious about it.

So talking to Hamas is an excellent idea - if you’re an anti-Semite. Granting legitimacy to Jew haters is certainly one way to bring peace to the Middle East. It will hasten the day when the the cartographers of the world will realize full employment as the words of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad are finally made flesh and Israel is “wiped off the map.”

The only question is what are the map makers going to put in that small little white space where the word “Israel” used to be?

By: Rick Moran at 9:38 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (35)

1/7/2009
TERRORIST JEWS HALT THEIR BABY KILLING TO ALLOW HUMANITARIAN RELIEF OF THEIR ENEMIES

Isn’t this just like a terrorist? It’s not enough that they bomb and strafe orphanages and nurseries while mistaking a Happy-Go-Lucky Hamas fireworks show at a UN built school for a mortar pit. (Couldn’t they see those tubes were for firing off celebratory fireworks and not deadly mortars aimed at Israeli soldiers?)

The outrage of taking out this fireworks display was compounded when explosives meant only for display stored in the school were accidentally set off by the well meaning, but ill-trained Hamas fireworks technicians. Not only were several dozen innocent civilians killed but the annual “Salute to UN Anti-Semitism” festival had to be cancelled.

A pity, that.

Now those sneaky Jews have invented a new terrorist technique; the “Humanitarian Relief Attack” where trucks loaded with food and medicine are actually allowed into Gaza.

Is there no end to their perfidy? Have they no shame? I sense a trap:

Israel briefly paused its military operations in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday and said it planned to do so for three hours each day to allow for deliveries of humanitarian aid, as the Israeli cabinet met to consider how to respond to an Egyptian proposal for a more lasting ceasefire.

Military officials said operations would stop for three hours, between 1 pm and 4 pm local time each day, to give besieged Gaza residents an opportunity to emerge from their homes to seek food, fuel and other emergency supplies. Israel has allowed some aid deliveries since it began airstrikes Dec. 27 but relief workers said they have been unable to reach much of the population because of heavy fighting.

The opening of “humanitarian corridors” each day is meant to relieve a situation that international aid agencies say has reached crisis proportions.

We all know that if the shoe was on the other foot, those humanity loving jihadists from Hamas would bow to world opinion and allow relief supplies to their enemies. Allah be praised, the freedom fighters would no doubt show their softer side under such circumstances - such as when they kindly sharpen the blades of their knives before lopping off the heads of infidels.

In fact, Hamas has been dying to show the world their feminine side. Here’s Hamas spokesman Mahmoud Az-Zahar gushing about “victory” and how to show some good lovin’ to the Israelis:

The Hamas leader called to murder Israelis and Jews worldwide, including children. “The Israelis have sentenced their children to death… They have legitimized the killing of their people all over the world,” he said. Hamas’ platform calls for all Jews to convert to Islam or be killed, based on an Islamic saying (Hadith), and the group has not refrained from targeting children in the past.

Hamas will destroy synagogues and Jewish schools as well, Zahar said, just as Israel destroyed mosques in Gaza. Israel bombed several mosques used to store rockets and ammunition.

Zahar suggested Hamas was prepared to seek a ceasefire, saying Hamas would discuss “whatever is good for our people.” He issued a list of demands, saying any ceasefire must include a complete end to IDF counterterrorism activities, Hamas control of the Gaza coast and the opening of Israeli crossings.

There, you see? All Hamas wants is for the Israelis to stop picking on them. No need for “counterterrorism activities” when there’s no terrorism to counter. What’s a few suicide bombers among friends?

And the gentle care Hamas wants to take with Israeli children is touching, isn’t it? Almost makes me want to go hug Glenn Greenwald and tell him how sorry I am for ever having doubted his brilliance.

I think we should start showing a little more understanding and empathy toward these Hamas folks. There’s obviously been a great big misunderstanding. They are actually a very creative people with a hidden talent for putting on dramatic shows:

One more thing, speaking of pornography — we’ve all seen endless pictures of dead Palestinian children now. It’s a terrible, ghastly, horrible thing, the deaths of children, and for the parents it doesn’t matter if they were killed by accident or by mistake. But ask yourselves this: Why are these pictures so omnipresent? I’ll tell you why, again from firsthand, and repeated, experience: Hamas (and the Aksa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad, the whole bunch) prevents the burial, or even preparation of the bodies for burial, until the bodies are used as props in the Palestinian Passion Play. Once, in Khan Younis, I actually saw gunmen unwrap a shrouded body, carry it a hundred yards and position it atop a pile of rubble — and then wait a half-hour until photographers showed. It was one of the more horrible things I’ve seen in my life. And it’s typical of Hamas. If reporters would probe deeper, they’d learn the awful truth of Hamas. But Palestinian moral failings are not of great interest to many people.

Perhaps we should urge NBC to hire these guys in their show development department. With that kind of eye for the dramatic, they could bring the network several top ten series I’m sure.

Meanwhile, the terrorist Jews continue their unprovoked, unreasonable, and rather boring attacks on the tunnels that Hamas plays hide and go seek in, the buildings where Hamas leaders hold coffee klatches and knitting bees, and the military installations where the militants play cowboys and indians.

At least that’s the impression we get from the media. And the media wouldn’t supress information or make a lot of sh*t up just to make the evil Jews look bad now, would they?

By: Rick Moran at 8:35 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (24)

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 | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (20)