Commentary Magazine


Contentions

We’re All Palestinians Now

Yesterday the New York Times, pretending that the Israel/Palestine situation is some kind of symmetrical game of Dare, suggested that Condoleezza Rice make more quasi-symbolic concessions to Palestinian negotiators. If they only knew.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly said in Annapolis this week that her childhood in the segregated South had helped her to understand the suffering on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I know what its like to hear that you can’t use a certain road or pass through a checkpoint because you are a Palestinian. I know what it is like to feel discriminated against and powerless,” Rice told a closed meeting of Arab and Israeli representatives, according to the Dutch representative at the summit, Franz Timmermans.

I don’t know about Israeli/Palestinian cooperation, but I suspect the Secretary of State has succeeded in uniting Jews and American blacks. Both groups should be outraged, as she’s managed to compare the former to old Dixie racists and the latter to homicidal terrorists. It seems no just cause is safe from association by guilt. One thinks of Jimmy Carter’s campaign to equate Palestinians with the victims of South African apartheid. Now, Rice has (inadvertently, no doubt) harmed the good name of America’s civil rights movement.

Well, how’s this for symmetry? Condoleezza Rice thinks she knows what it’s like to be Palestinian? Some Palestinians claim they know what it’s like to be black. This hateful 2006 cartoon is from al-Quds, a major Palestinian newspaper, and there’s a good deal of similarly vile sentiment in the paper’s stories. We know Secretary Rice offended blacks and Jews. I’m not so sure the recipients of her sympathy welcomed the comparison either.


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