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Breaking the Monopoly of the Mainstream (Conservative) Media

November 23rd, 2012 - 5:57 am

Caroline Glick, a senior editor at the Jerusalem Post and now the director of a new Israel defense project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, blasts the mainstream conservative media for silencing critics of the so-called peace process:

Leading voices like former Jerusalem Post editor and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Bret Stephens, Commentary editors Norman Podhoretz and Neil Kozodoy, commentator Charles Krauthammer and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol not only lined up to support the dangerous planned withdrawal. They barred all voices of opposition from the pages of their publications.

To greater and lesser degrees, their shunning of voices that warned against the Gaza withdrawal continues to this day.

So, too, with the exception of the Zionist Organization of America, every major American Jewish organization supported the withdrawal.

Like the editors of Commentary, the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal, they barred voices of opposition from speaking to their groups.

All commentators who warned of the strategic calamity that would befall Israel in the aftermath of a withdrawal from Gaza were marginalized and demonized as extremists.

As Ms. Glick observes, the estimable Bret Stephens acknowledged on Tuesday that he was wrong to back the Gaza pullout. So did some other apologists for Ariel Sharon’s great blunder. That’s cold comfort, she explains, because the mainstream conservative media remains wrapped in illusions and implacably hostile to voices that challenge its illusions — notably the great illusion that “Muslim democracy” will solve the region’s problems. In fairness to Stephens, I should point out that his re-thinking is deep; he gave a tough and somber address to the Restoration Weekend last week, warning that Israel no longer can adjust its policies to the squeamishness of so-called world opinion.

There’s no negotiating with Hamas, Ms. Glick argues:

The other choice is to destroy Hamas. To accomplish this Israel will need to invade Gaza and remain in place. It will have to kill or imprison thousands of terrorists, send thousands more packing for Sinai, and then spend years patrolling the streets of Gaza and arresting terrorists just as it does today in Judea and Samaria.

Whereas the first option is impossible, the latter option is not currently viable. It isn’t viable because not enough people making the argument have the opportunity to publish their thoughts in leading publications. Most of those who might have the courage to voice this view fear that if they do, they will be denied an audience, or discredited as warmongers or extremists.

So they remain silent or impotently say that Israel shouldn’t agree to a cease-fire without mentioning what Israel’s other option is.

The millions of Israelis who opposed the withdrawal from Gaza do not seek personal vindication for being right. They didn’t warn against the withdrawal to advance their careers or make their lives easier. Indeed, their careers were uniformly harmed.

They did it because they were patriots. They felt it was their duty to warn their countrymen of the danger, hoping to avert the disaster we now face. They should be listened to now. And their voices should be empowered by those who shunned them, because only by listening to them will we develop the arguments and the legitimacy to do what needs to be done and stop fighting to lose, again and again and again.

The usual suspects cited by Caroline Glick cheered the so-called “Arab Spring” and supported the Obama administration’s betrayal of its leading Arab ally, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. A few wise old voices — notably that of Henry Kissinger — protested in vain. Now we have an Islamist dictatorship allied to Hamas. And the mainstream conservative media still can’t admit that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi ran a transparent protection racket in connivance with Hamas. We still read everywhere that Morsi played a “positive” or “responsible” role, even after he assumed new dictatorial powers yesterday in what Egyptian democrats denounce as a coup.

The mainstream conservative media is too busy explaining why Barack Obama’s re-election had nothing to do with its own mistakes (it was Hurricane Sandy, Charles Krauthammer told the Restoration Weekend conference last Saturday night — just keep doing what we’re doing and we’ll win next time).

I have never met an Israeli who bought into the delusion of Muslim democracy. We should pay more attention to voices like Caroline Glick and less to the ideologues who got it wrong time after time. Ms. Glick, a former Israeli army officer, lives near Jerusalem and votes in Israeli elections. I live in the United States. She has a great deal more right to recommend risky and costly military solutions to Israel than do I. I don’t know whether she is right that Israel needs to invade Gaza and root out the terrorists, but I am sure that the arrogance and ideological uniformity of the mainstream conservative media is a big part of the problem.

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