Commentary Magazine


Blaming Bibi

Peter Beinart seems to have decided to pick up where Soros Street left off. Maybe with Soros Street in rubble, Beinart fancies himself as the leader of the “Israel is responsible for all bad things” movement. Perhaps he is miffed that Time magazine got all the attention for suggesting Jews just care about money. But he was out with another rant, claiming the refusal to extend the moratorium means Israel isn’t serious about peace. Problem: not even the Obami take this position. And, by the way, Abbas has not walked out.

Like most every other garden-variety Israel-basher, Beinart insists “the problem — or at least a crucial problem — is settlements.” But, George Bush managed to encourage negotiations, as Rick pointed out, with a common-sense compromise. (Israel could build “up” and “in” but not “out.”) Could it be that the problem now is the obsessive focus on the issue by Obama and the left? And maybe that the bigger problem is the 60 years of Palestinian rejectionism?

It is getting harder to cast Israel in the role of the villain, given that Abbas has made it clear he will not — or won’t be allowed to by the Arab League, which now has him on a short leash — recognize Israel as the Jewish state. So Beinart just ignores that inconvenient fact. He is quite peeved to find out there is no market in American Jewry for blaming Israel for everything. He concludes: “To be labeled a champion of peace by the American Jewish establishment, it turns out, a prime minister of Israel only really has to do one thing: be prime minister of Israel.” Actually, the only thing an Israeli prime minister has to do to be excoriated by the left is to be the prime minister of Israel.