I've been having less and less time for blogging, as you may have noticed, and decided not to get into the story of the new book about Israeli-South African collaboration in the 1970s. I haven't read the book, I have no doubt that particular chapter of Israel's history is not its most glorious, I doubt Israel was less cynical than France, the UK or the USA, and I'm not convinced today's critics come to the discussion with clean hands. Realpolitik is often an ugly thing to observe, but one of the finest things about Zionism is that it enabled the Jews to engage in it as a nation, rather than be shoved around by others with realpolitik reasons not to come to our aid. That's what having power means, and it's definitely better to have it than not to have it. Ask the Darfuri.
The folks at CiFWatch however have been working hard on the matter, as you can see here, here and here, and apparently with more to come. I like the way they're going at it: by carefully and precisely reading the documents. When I was younger I once wrote a doctoral thesis, which contained an entire chapter about the art of figuring out what documents really say, not what folks carelessly say they say; it was eventually published in one of those books over on the left of the blog. A careful reading of documents, it turns out, often results with a different understanding than a careless one.