Sunday, April 25, 2010

James Traub Reads the Goldstone Report

James Traub at Current Affairs has read the Goldstone report. He deals mostly with the questions of how a democracy defends itself against an enemy accepts no rules, and is even willing - fleetingly - to consider if the rules as they currently stand may not be unreasonable. My reading was far more critical than his, but if his were the accepted wisdom, I could live with it.

Oops! Fixed the link, I hope, and thank you to Silke for noticing.


Anonymous said...

this is the correct link

Anonymous said...

Thank you, SIlke.

Yaacov said...

Oops! Fixed it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've read Traub now and I wonder why he is picking on Tzipi Livni's "going wild" so much that he uses it twice, the second time as the final flourish to round off his piece.
From what I have experienced around the Mediterranean and with Mediterraneans a bit of strutting and posturing is essential, if you don't want to be regarded as a wimp which might lead the opponent into becoming dangerously wreckless.

Northern Europeans might prefer a dose of strong acid when aiming for the same effect.

Or is Traub bothered so much by it because a woman did the strutting? ... or both?

on the whole I'd say a really fair piece would read differently but when it comes to judging pieces on Israel one can't expect too much, n'est-ce pas?

- I especially objected to that "elaborate" argument that if Israel isn't "reported" on that Sri Lanka and Sudan would feel entitled to even more impunity
Always the same mantra the whole world hinges on that one country behaving impeccably ...

and the me infuriating part of it is that they feel so smugly proud of such tunnel visioned thinking

Avigdor said...

Silke, I also found his focus on a singular comment by Livni curious.

I also found it strange that while his conclusions err on the side of vindicating Israel, his actual comments are quite condemnatory, and don't support vindication on their merits.

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about it again
- he was human righting it for the Tamil Tigers and Israel didn't deliver him the example he needed to make a good lobbying point like "when Israel can do it you guys must pony up also".

The scribbling classes always have their own agendas - I have read it carefully because I remember Traub as a good writer but this one is it only when read without letting it sink in. I hope it's tainting job doesn't work on the subconscious.

My take is that these pieces which are not screaming hatred but seem measured and well balanced at first glance in the long run do more harm than those by the screamers by making it acceptable slowly slowly for decent people to think every now and then that a screamer might have a point after all.


Gavin said...

Ditto from me. The pervasive theme of his article is that Israel was guilty as charged and that the laws were wrong. He missed entirely the theme of the Goldstone report, which was one of selecting (tainted) evidence to fit preconceived accusations. He also made a causative link between Israel and Sri Lanka, implying that Israel were partly responsible for the civilan casualties in that war as well. Not a good article in my view, too biased.


Anonymous said...

this is also a very "nice" way of not-slandering but insinuating ever so coyly:

"though it’s worth noting that only one IDF soldier has been found guilty of a crime in connection with Cast Lead—and that for credit card fraud"

and isn't it amazing how I overread it the first time around and it only came back after a good night of sleep.