2/3/11

Israel Good, Egypt Bad and the Complicated Middle East

There is one ultra-right wing nationalist Zionist theme song whose refrain is that Israel is never wrong:
They warned us. The geniuses at Peace Now warned us. The brilliant diplomats warned us. The think tanks warned us. Even the Arab dictators warned us. For decades now, they have been warning us that if you want "peace in the Middle East," just fix the Palestinian problem. A recent variation on this theme has been: Just get the Jews to stop building apartments in East Jerusalem and Efrat. Yes, if all those Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would only "freeze" their construction, then, finally, Palestinian leaders might come to the table and peace might break out...(David Suissa, Founder, OLAM magazine, "Israel's Never Looked So Good," Huffington Post, hat tip to Mimi)
And we would agree with that part of the refrain except nobody literate and educated about the region says that.

And that reminds us that Tom Friedman always says something like that, to wit to prove the matter, what he says in the Times yesterday (B.E., Before Egypt. A.E., After Egypt, by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN):
Today, I believe President Obama should put his own peace plan on the table, bridging the Israeli and Palestinian positions, and demand that the two sides negotiate on it without any preconditions. It is vital for Israel’s future — at a time when there is already a global campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state — that it disentangle itself from the Arabs’ story as much as possible. There is a huge storm coming, Israel. Get out of the way.
No doubt the presence of an actual democracy in the region is galling to the totalitarian Arab states. And the politics of the area are complex and irreducible to simple formulas.

That does not stop nationalist Jews or assimilationist Jews from making overly simplistic proclamations about this and that in the region.

Because it's all just opinion and rhetoric at this level, nobody cares what the pundits right or left pontificate.

1 comment:

tzvee said...

I accidentally deleted this comment so I retrieved it from email and am posting:

Richard has left a new comment on your post "Israel Good, Egypt Bad and the Complicated Middle ...":

There is no difference between Zionist aspirations and the aspirations of any group of people seeking a right to self determination, be it the Greeks, the Armenians, the Kurds, or even the Arabs. By the way Zionism and Arab Nationalism started on or about the same time - the late nineteenth century.

The only difference when it comes to Zionism is that the rest of the world (more recently the Arab world) for some reason does not believe that Jews should have that right. As some level it must violate their preconceived notion that Jews should suffer a permanent fate of being a stateless minority at the mercy of a hostile majority. The one thing that Zionism proved is that the Diaspora need not be a permanent condition.

Israel is doing exactly what it should being doing: ignoring the rest of the world on this.