A professor friend of mine recently told me a fascinating anecdote. He was recruited to a group of American, Arab and Israeli professors who convene once a year and talk about various aspect of how bad Israel is. (There may be other subjects on the agenda too, but he showed me enough of the material to demonstrate this is no Zionist meeting). Once there it so happened he found himself in an intense and prolonged intellectual exchange with the most prominent of the Arabs, a man who has and may again hold cabinet-level positions in his country.
Afterwords the Arab complained to the head of the Israeli delegation: How is it that I've been meeting you people for 15 years, and until now no-one has ever been able to explain to me why it's so important to the Jews to have their own country?
The answer of course is that my friend is the first centrist Israeli he has ever met. The Israelis who have been participating in the meetings all those years are all bleeding heart Lefties, whose purpose is to agree that Israel does mostly bad things, in the hope they, the Lefties, will be accepted as different. Along the way, they confirm for their Arab interlocutors that the Israelis are beyond the pale and must be confronted.
I often blog about the more obvious of those Israelis. So here's one you've never heard of - indeed, most Israelis have never heard of her, either. Her name is Neri Livneh, her qualifications are that she writes a regular column about fluffy things, about which she is quite opinionated. If you argue that those aren't qualifications, they're a job description, and that qualifications are the reasons she's got the job, not the other way around, all I'll be able to do is shrug my shoulders. Sorry. The thing is, her column is in Haaretz, who translates it into English and puts it online, a service they'd never offer to my friend with the real qualifications but the "wrong" ideas.
Over the weekend Ms. Livneh pontificated on the murder of the Fogel family at Itamar (they got about one sentence of her column). Feel free to read the whole thing and argue with me if you disagree: what I think she's saying is that Israelis are much worse than Palestinians, much bloodier, more wantonly violent, far less moral. She seems to think that cutting down olive trees (undoubtedly a despicable act) is far worse than cutting down children if they're settler children, and that anything the Palestinians do that appears immoral is only a response to Israel's far greater crimes. She adds the interesting slant that the Israeli legal system is complicit in this dynamic, in that it knows "Palestinians have no souls", and by way of proof she tells of a recent case where some Jewish teenagers were indicted for manslaughter, even though she - Neri Livneh - knows that they slaughtered an innocent young Arab in cold blood and with no provocation. If the court says otherwise, that's proof the court is evil, as Israelis always are when facing Palestinians.