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What Israel’s Intellectual Critics Have in Common With Idiots Like Roseanne Barr

Matthew Yglesias writes in the American Prospect today about how sad it all is that American politicians and Israel’s feckless knee-jerk backers in this country are too weak to beat the Jewish State into submission when it comes to making more concessions to the Palestinians. Quoting Aaron David Miller’s column about the same subject in Newsweek, Yglesias takes up the familiar theme that the outline of a peace settlement is well known (back to Taba) and that all it will take to get back there is “ruffling” some Israeli feathers and giving Israel some of the “tough love” that Jimmy Carter dished out.

Missing from this analysis is, as usual, any connection with the reality of the other side of the equation: the Palestinians who stand by Hamas and their terror campaign. This blind faith in the peace process is almost religious in nature. All objective facts that might disprove its thesis are ignored.

Similarly foolish is Juan Cole’s latest post at Salon, most of which is taken up with attacks on neoconservatives. This is familiar stuff and hardly convincing but what is particularly interesting is his contention that the neocons killed the Middle East peace process:

A two-state solution was not far from being concluded in 2000, but negotiations were abruptly discontinued by the government of Ariel Sharon in spring of 2001 with the encouragement of the Bush administration. (It is not true that the Palestinian side had ceased negotiating, or “walked away,” from the Clinton plan, nor is it true that the Israelis had as yet formalized a specific offer in writing.) … As a result of the deliberate destruction of the peace process by the Israeli right and by Hamas, a two-state solution seems increasingly unlikely. This tragic impasse, one phase of which is now playing out with sanguinary relentlessness, was avoidable but for the baneful influence of the neoconservatives and their right-wing allies in the U.S. and Israel.

This is nonsense. Neoconservative critics of the Oslo fiasco in the 1990s were doing no more than stating the obvious when they pointed out that Yasser Arafat and Fatah were educating their people for war, and had no intention of ever living in peace with Israel. Cole’s revisionism (echoes of Robert Malley) notwithstanding, Arafat’s decision to walk away from Ehud Barak’s breathtaking concessions at Camp David and Taba proved this conclusively. Oslo was dead as a doornail before George W. Bush arrived in the White House or Ariel Sharon took up residence in the prime minister’s office.

The notion that American pressure on Israel to do things that will persuade the Palestinian terrorists to stop behaving in a beastly fashion will do anything but encourage further depredations is farcical.

And speaking of farce, the New York Post reports today on its “Page Six” gossip column that former TV star Roseanne Barr thinks “Israel is a Nazi state.”

A look at Roseanne’s blog in which her wildly incoherent and inconsistent rants are available for public view isn’t noteworthy because she says vile and foolish things about Israel. Who would expect anything else? But what is interesting is despite her obsessive need to bash the Jewish State and fit the conflict into her loopy neo-Marxist view of the world, she is thoroughly ignorant of the basic fact that the current fighting was precipitated by years of Hamas missile attacks on Israel.

She tells us:

“I told my son “I am not pro palestinian at all, but pro-peace”. He said : “who is getting bombed”? I answered: “the palestinians”.
“who is bombing them?” he asked, and I answered: “the israeli’s”.
“Okay, mom, I get it now”. he said. “You are on the side of the people who are being bombed, and not the side of the ones doing the bombing”.
“yes” i said.

This is pretty pathetic stuff. But when you think about it, it isn’t a heckuva lot dumber than the high-flown rhetoric of Yglesias and Cole. For all of their sophistication, they are just as out of touch with the reality of what has happened in Gaza’s Hamasistan as poor dumb Roseanne.


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