Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boston Globe on Helen Thomas and her "gift to Israel"

According to someone named Joanna Weiss:
. . . her words, delivered with matter-of-fact coldness, embody an idea that some of Israel’s most fervent supporters have long warned about: the nation’s critics aren’t gunning for its policies so much as its existence.
Can you guess where that's leading?
But Thomas also fits a little too easily into the current contours of the Israel debate, which in itself has served to keep many young Jews from getting engaged. The dialogue has long felt like a “zero-sum game," says Amy Spitalnick, spokeswoman for the pro-Israel lobby J Street: If you don’t support Israel unconditionally, you risk being labeled a hater or a naif.
After an approving citation of Peter Beinart, Spitalnick is quoted again
The existential threat to Israel right now is the lack of a [peace] agreement . . . . Should we not achieve a two-state agreement in the near term, there won’t be a Jewish Democratic Israel to fight for.
Spitalnick, of course, has failed to notice that there are already two states: Israel and the Grand Duchy of Gaza/Hamas. Handing territory over to Mahmoud Abbas to create a third one with a very short half-life probably won't placate the world's Helen Thomases (such as the ones who rule Iran and increasingly Turkey). Some sort of self-rule for the parts of the West Bank where the Arab population actually prevails might help things if people could think in those terms. The demands that the Palestinians must have a "viable state" when they can't come up with a unified and responsible national movement are probably making things worse.

If the J Street-ers actually valued the democracy that currently exists they would not be so eager to change the status quo. There are no easy solutions. One thing is certain, however: the J Street-ers and their cheering section at the Boston Globe are the ones who need to look beyond the easy "contours" of the current debate.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

No comments: