Nicholas Kristof pronounces:
President Bush’s problem was that he loved Israel too much. He embraced Israeli leaders even when they responded to provocations by killing more than 1,300 people in Gaza, according to Gaza health officials — in retaliation for shelling that had killed fewer than 30 Israelis since it began in 2001.
This tilted policy was catastrophic for Israelis as well as Palestinians, for it undermined any chance of a peace agreement that is Israel’s best hope for long-term security. Now we’re starting over.
Virtually every word is rubbish. President Bush loved Israel too much? (He wasn’t motivated by his love of America or his understanding of our shared commitment to the war on terror and to check the regional ambitions of Iran and its surrogates?) Well if that’s the case, then so did Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the entire U.S. Senate and nearly all of the U.S. House. (And, for that matter, Egypt and the Czech Republic) All rejected the specious concept of proportionality, all understood Israel’s right of self-defense and all understood that the “peace process” if it is every to be more than an exercise in futility must entail the cessation of terrorist attacks on Israel.
As for that next paragraph, I hadn’t noticed we were on the verge of peace in our time. I hadn’t heard that a viable peace partner for Israel had stepped forward or that Hamas had renounced its intention to destroy Israel. I wasn’t aware that subjecting Israel to a daily torrent of rocket fire brought us closer to peace. And “starting over”? Starting over from what point in the vaunted “peace process” — Camp David, when the Palestinians were offered their own state, contiguous territory, and gobs of American aid?
The rest of Kristof’s column is the predictable gibberish about a freeze in settlements unlocking the prospects for peace and a doable peace deal with Syria. The personal brilliance of Barack Obama and the shuttle diplomacy of that bastion of competence, the U.N. will move the ball down the field. Yes, yes. Of course.
Anyone can choose to live in a fantasyland, but even New York Times columnists can employ some modicum of intellectual honesty and some fidelity to the facts. It appears that neither is required or expected these days.