Noah Pollak reviews a recent essay by Peter Beinart:
Beinart writes as if none of the tragedies of the past two decades happened, or if they did happen, that Israelis, unique among peoples, may not allow themselves to acquire any fears or resentments or lessons. Even Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s greatest doves, understands what has transpired, telling the Wall Street Journal a few days ago: “I am not surprised that so many Israelis lost their trust when they’re being attacked time after time, time after time.” Lost their trust indeed: the Meretz/Labor peace-process faction held 56 Knesset seats in 1992. Today they have 16. Normally in politics, such a massive shift in public opinion is accompanied by genuine inquiry about why it happened. Beinart is unreflective. It must be because of the settlers, or racism, or AIPAC.
Beinart has thus joined a legion of others in the burgeoning profession of being an Israel Scold. Israel Scolds have adopted a set of condescending attitudes toward Israelis, their recent history, and their political choices, demanding that they never allow the cruelties of reality to undermine their faith in the promise of the progressive vision. The distilled pleading of Beinart is merely a series of demands that Israelis refuse to learn from experience: how dare they allow any hostility to Arabs creep into their politics; how dare they vote for Avigdor Lieberman, a populist who plays to the less-than-perfectly liberal Russian immigrants; how dare they lose faith in the peace process and the liberal hopefulness that animated it. Most important: how dare they upset the comfortable ideological existence of American Jews, whose acceptability to their liberal peers depends in no small degree on their willingness to join in pillorying Israel over the failure of the peace process — a failure, alas, that is not Israel’s but liberalism’s.
Read the whole thing. Pollak is highly effective in explaining the flaws in Beinart’s fashionable argument.
2 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”
There is a certain “fashionable” Antisemitism that is couched in terms of what Pollack describes as the “scold.” These people never stoop to the tired old saws of world domination charges, or political control, or Jewish money men, etc. But…they constantly call into question every decision that Israel takes in defense of its people and land. They hide behind their obfuscation and noncommittal language, and many are fooled into thinking that these criticisms are reasonable, and part of the dialogue that must occur before peace in the Middle East is a reality.
Peace in the Middle East is not, and will never be a reality. The core of Islam is domination, and their fury at the West comes into sharpest focus with Israel. She will have to deal with this for a very long time.
The leftist criticism of Israel is merely the mirror image of their opinion of our country. We are too aggressive in defending ourselves. We are not capable of understanding the subtleties of international amity when we object to a 14 story, $100 million mosque overlooking the WTC site. We are nativists if we object to our country being over run by illiterate peasants who are incapable of functioning in our society excerpt as the most menial laborer. We accepted millions of poor immigrants in the days before the welfare state and when they had traveled thousands of miles from their former homes seeking freedom.
It is all our fault.
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