Thursday, October 14, 2010

That Pesky Jewish State

Michael Oren, my favorite Jewish diplomat since Columbus, has an op-ed in the New York Times explaining why Israel needs to be openly recognized for what it is. It's titled An End to Israel's Invisibility.
The core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the refusal to recognize Jews as a people, indigenous to the region and endowed with the right to self-government. Criticism of Israeli policies often serves to obscure this fact, and peace continues to elude us. By urging the Palestinians to recognize us as their permanent and legitimate neighbors, Prime Minister Netanyahu is pointing the way out of the current impasse: he is identifying the only path to co-existence.
Meanwhile, over at Haaretz, Ari Shavit has a column on the same theme,where he offers seven (7) reasons why Israel needs to be recognized as the Jewish State:
Seventh reason: We will calm down. The basic desire of Jewish Israelis is the desire for a home. Explicit recognition that Israel is the Jewish people's home will strengthen our willingness to take risks and leave the territories. Only recognition of the Jewish national home will make it possible to quickly and peacefully establish the Palestinian national home.
Neither of these men are particularly right-wing. Oren is perhaps right of center, mostly center, and Shavit is all over the map but always from the left.


Michael W. said...

My American high school class was in Jerusalem, Israel in Jan. 2007 for talks with 3 speakers from across the Israeli political spectrum (and other stuff during the 4 weeks we were there). Oren was the "centrist" speaker and he described himself (if I remember correctly) as "right of center". So Yaacov is correct in his description of Oren's position in the spectrum.

Sylvia said...

"Only recognition of the Jewish national home will make it possible to quickly and peacefully establish the Palestinian national home"
Why? What keeps the Palestinians from proclaiming a Palestinian state at the UN? Muslims have so far acquired 57 homes (that's fifty seven states and counting) without ever asking anyone's permission.

I think both Michael Oren and Ari Shavit - and anyone else who, from the right or from the left, feels concerned with the conflict - should read Sir Martin Gilbert's latest book, "In Ishmael's House" That'll give them some of the the basics they sorely lack.

Neither the demand for a construction freeze - laughable when you live in the Middle East) nor the request to be recognized as a Je3wish State - laughable when you know what Islam is about - are serious propositions.

Anonymous said...

here's another one who apparently shares your, mine and according to you Frantz Fanon's insight

Besides that Gerecht makes me feel that there are still academics worthy of respect and admiration


Muslims should never be treated as children, which is a debilitating disposition found widely now on the American Left. (President Obama has not helped.)

Sylvia said...

Well I hate to disappoint you, Silke. But except for that statement you quoted - with which I agree wholeheartedly, I wasn't too impressed by Reuel Gerecht - and I was even less impressed by Jeffrey Goldberg's reading comprehension ability. I thought they responded to what they expected her to be saying, not to what she was actually saying.

So I looked for a response on Pamela Geller's website, and indeed there was one by Robert Spencer addressing that very Goldberg-Gerecht aerticle.
Judge for yourself:

Rabbi Tony Jutner said...

Sorry, these are all lies. Arthur Koestler and Shlomo Sand proved that the Jewish people actually dont have a historical claim to Palestine

Bryan said...

Rav Jutner! We missed you.

Anonymous said...

you don't disappoint me

in the recent spat about Bill O'Reilly daring to say that Muslims were the perpetrators of 9/11 I thought for a while and came down on O'Reilly's side. No matter how much my ears dislike Bill O'Reilly, If "they" en masse can't face up to their co-religionists' deeds then not saying it that way gives them every support needed that it is none of their business. I think "collective guilt" is stupid but "collective responsibility" is a feeling that should be enhanced.

As to Pamela Geller (I read the NYT-profile) there seems to be a struggle going on between her and LittleGreenFootball, where she is said to have commented before, about who is the opinion leader and curiously enough yesterday I saw that LGF seems to throw his weight around in the ongoing discussion about the British EDL i.e. is the EDL's claim correct that there is a core that is not racist/xenophobic or are they using their pro-Israel attitude to hide that they are Nazis reborn. (The EDL is said to have come into being spontaneously after the coffins of soldiers were "greeted" with abuse and that it's first activists were soccier fans including hooligans - they have grown from zero to 35.000 with no pre-prepared structure in place, so I expect them to have huge organizational difficulties i.e. will they succumb to the hooligans in their midst (it seems to me that the German left to this day hasn't managed to discipline what the media call Antifa) including the Swastika-tattooed or will they manage to come out on the non-street-fighting-event side).

I have stopped visiting LGF years ago after they published approvingly a Kofi Annan cartoon that looked way too reminiscent of bad ol' times to me.

I didn't dig Gerecht's going all teary eyed over suffering pilgrims - humans in masses can display any mood a skilled one (individual or organisation) wants them to display. It says nothing about the wink-wink ... we know, we know conversations which are or are not part of daily life.


Sylvia said...

He is ridiculous. So she may have commented on his websaite in the wake of 9/11. But did he give her the style? Did he give her the commitment? The passion?
She says a lot of things I don't agree with (or rather it's the manner she says them that I do not agree with). But Pamela Geller is a woman of valor. No doubt about that.

Barry Meislin said...

Sorry, these are all lies.

Sorry indeed.

As for Arthur Koestler, here's a quote to suck on:

...self-hatred is the Jewish form of patriotism....

Not that I'd take Koestler's word for it necessarily, but he was quite perceptive (and in a position to know).... and the perception is all too frequently gloriously borne out.


As for Gerecht, he is a man to be taken with utmost seriousness. Unfortunately, J. Goldberg is not (even if one might like to).

Anonymous said...

I take Gerecht seriously that's why him getting all sentimental over pilgrims and taking their behaviour as proof for something struck me as odd.

He has a piece on the same theme in the TNR "The Bill O'Reilly Fallacy" -

I haven't read it yet but I have seen the O'Reilly clip and having grown up with people going through all kinds of stages of waking up from having been in all states of collusion with unimagineable horror I insist that I know a bit about "I didn't do anything"-mind-sets. In the end I took to trusting only those who have the moral fibre to accept common responsibility. Whoever hemmed and hawed exposed on closer scrutiny loony, reprehensible and/or heinous excuses.