Response to NYT "Israel Without Cliches"
Yet another ridiculous narrow minded op-ed from the NYT about Israel.
1. "Israel belies the comfortable American cliché that “democracies don’t make war."
I love the way people make statements without any evidence to back them up. First of all, the phrase is not "democracies don't make war." It is, "Democracies don't go to war AGAINST ANOTHER DEMOCRACY."
Here is a great argument both for and against this phrase.
In any case, in the latter half of the 20th century to the present, democracies do not generally fight wars with other democracies. If you like, you can even say "AMERICA belies the comfortable cliche that democracies don't make war." 'Cause, look at our war budget.
2. "Unsurprisingly, the state has acquired pathological habits. Of these, the most damaging is its habitual resort to force."
Why do you think Israel resorts so often to force? Did you offer any explanation? No. Well here is one.
Israel has fought several wars in which it was out numbered, out gunned, and their enemies wanted nothing less than total destruction of their nation. They are fighting Islamic oriented states whose social and political thinking may as well be 1,000 years in the past, in terms of modern democracies. And these nations, and people, respect NOTHING except force. Israel has NO CHOICE but to appear frightening and powerful. This image is the only thing keeping it alive. Your op-ed even says,
"Israel is not responsible for the fact that many of its near neighbors long denied its right to exist. The sense of siege should not be underestimated when we try to understand the delusional quality of many Israeli pronouncements."
I have news for you. Israel's pronouncement of it's right to exist is not "delusional." It's military/force policies exist because any apparent weakness will give it's enemies a reason to attack it. AGAIN. There are multiple examples of this throughout Israel's 62 year history.
3. "As American officials privately acknowledge, sooner or later Israel (or someone) will have to talk to Hamas."
You're wrong. Because there is no 'sooner or later, HAMAS will have to talk to ISRAEL.'
And that is the truth of the situation. HAMAS seeks the destruction of Israel, not peace with it. PERIOD. How do you talk to that? (I have yet to receive an answer to that question, from anyone.) Hamas is under no obligation to ever end it's vigilance against Israel. Therefore, Israel can't talk to Hamas if they aren't even listening.
4. About the phrase, "Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
"But since 1967 it has been Israel that has missed most opportunities: a 40-year occupation (against the advice of its own elder statesmen); three catastrophic invasions of Lebanon; an invasion and blockade of Gaza in the teeth of world opinion; and now a botched attack on civilians in international waters. Palestinians would be hard put to match such cumulative blunders."
All of the above 'missed opportunities' by Israel was Israel acting in SELF DEFENSE.
And yet, and yet...you don't mention the Palestinian's REQUIREMENTS for peace, that Israel has missed opportunities with so often.
The major one of these is, "the Right of Return." This means, any Palestinian Arab with a claim to land that they were kicked out of can return and live in Israel.
That's like offering Texas to the Mexicans. The Arabs would immigrate by the millions, disrupting the demographics of this Democracy, making it no longer Jewish.
Meanwhile, 2 things:
A. Israel asked all of its Arab citizens NOT TO LEAVE during the war of 1948. It was the ARAB COUNTRIES who told their fellow Arab's to vacate or be killed by the Israeli's. This problem was started by propaganda, and is continued by propaganda, which has no basis in reality.
B. Don't you know that hundreds of thousands of Jews were KICKED OUT OF Arab countries from Iran to Syria and will NEVER BE LET BACK IN? So why does Israel have the burden of repatriating citizens that left OF THEIR OWN VOLITION?
5. "But Palestinians face the same conundrum as every other oppressed people: all they have with which to oppose an established state with a monopoly of power is rejection and protest"
Or, they could try negotiating openly with America as the mediator to legitimize Palestinian claims and demands. Oh, except for the fact that, anyone who collaborates with Israel is demonized as worse than an Israeli/Jew. So, there is no real chance for peace, because of the abiding social/cultural phenomenon among Arabs that Israel is the devil, and anyone caught thinking differently is simply tortured and killed.
p.s. since when is 'rejection and protest' characterized as suicide bombings?
6. "We should beware the excessive invocation of “anti-Semitism.” A younger generation in the United States, not to mention worldwide, is growing skeptical."
Thankfully, most of us in America have not had much experience with anti-semitism, or Jew hating (unless you are in the deep south.) However, hatred of Jews blatantly exists, as shown by Internet commenters, biased media reporting, and anti-zionist movements.
Our catch phrase is , "Never Forget." Never forget the lessons of WW2. That another Holocaust is right around the corner. That Sudan and Darfur can happen to anyone, at any time. The only way to fight against this is constant vigilince, and to project strength. Perhaps if the minorities in sudan and Darfur had their own powerful nation state, their genocide would not have happened.
I am well aware that most of the world hates Jews. And saying that over and over again is meant to remind us of that, not delegitimize its validity. Excuse us for being hated.
7. "Along with the oil sheikdoms, Israel is now America’s greatest strategic liability in the Middle East and Central Asia. Thanks to Israel, we are in serious danger of “losing” Turkey: a Muslim democracy, offended at its treatment by the European Union, that is the pivotal actor in Near-Eastern and Central Asian affairs."
I don't know if Turkey is really that big an 'ally' of the U.S. They certainly jumped at the chance to appease their Muslim citizens by severing ties with Israel. And they are certainly headed towards Sharia law, which would end any really alliance with any non-muslim country.
In any case, this op-ed was full of glaring errors and misconceptions, as ANY NYT article would be. Israel is a Democracy under siege ever since it's inception, and nothing about that has changed. No op-ed that does not take that into consideration is worth the Internet bandwidth that is used to write it on.