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  • “I will dull his mind and he will forget that his is the just cause.”

    Posted by Jonathan on March 25th, 2012 (All posts by )

    Via Martin Kramer. This is a very well done sermon by a Reform rabbi, a political liberal, against Peter Beinart’s argument that we should penalize Israel by boycott because of Israel’s continued control over the area between the Jordan River and the 1949 armistice line.

    Beinart’s Times op-ed is a monument to sloppy reasoning. He ignores the key facts underlying Israel’s reluctant continuing control over Judea and Samaria: that Israel captured the territory in a defensive war to prevent its own destruction and therefore holds it legitimately absent a peace deal, that most Israelis would be happy to return control over the territory to an Arab government in exchange for a reasonable peace deal, and that none of the Arab governments that have controlled the territory has been willing to make such a deal (which is why Israeli public opinion has shifted away from its 1990s accommodationism). The settler issue per se is a red herring, since there is no obvious rationale other than anti-Jewish ethnic cleansing for preventing Jewish settlers from remaining in their homes under Arab rule (as more than one million Arabs live in Israel), and most of the “settlers” are residents of close-in suburbs of Jerusalem that would be incorporated into Israel under any reasonable final deal. (Why is the term apartheid only used to color the perceptions of ignorant people about democratic Israel but never used in connection with the proposed de-Judeization of the West Bank?)

    Beinart strikes me as either a committed leftist or an opportunist who is trying to position himself to make hay from the BDS movement. Perhaps he is both. Regardless of his motives, his arguments are weak.

     

    One Response to ““I will dull his mind and he will forget that his is the just cause.””

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Jonathan: A bit more history. The war you referred to was the “6 Day War” which occurred in June 1967. Later that summer, the Arab dictators du jour meet at Khartoum and adopted resolutions, most famously, the Three Noes: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.

      Their front fell apart after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, when Egypt negotiated a peace treaty with Israel. But, the spirit lives on.

      The creation of the PLO and the recasting of the Arab war against Israel as a “war of national liberation” was instigated by the Soviet Union as a Cold War strategy to use this situation to extend its power. Recall that Egypt and Syria were Soviet clients. It lives on because it serves the interests of Arab regimes, and the UN and the EU keep funding it.