The PJ Tatler

Highest recommendation: 'What Explains Fashionable Hostility toward Israel?'

In an article today entitled What Explains Fashionable Hostility toward Israel? The New Republic Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Martin Peretz, has written a much-needed, long anticipated take-down of the virulent, ugly, mindless and knee-jerk hostility of The New Yorker‘s editor-in-chief (ah, the psychology of typos; I actually typed idiot-in-chief before making the necessary correction to give him his formal, public title and rather than his title in my subconscious) David Remnick and chief Talk of the Town writer, Hendrik “Rick” Hertzberg, now no more than a tiresome mouthpiece for the President, even as he was for President Clinton when Clinton was credibly accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick, a nursing home director in Arkansas. That was one of Hertzberg’s lowest public moments ever, as he smirked, smiled and joshed his way through a televised interview mocking Ms. Broaddrick, on behalf of the man who was Attorney General of Arkansas at the time of the rape, and who was now in the White House dealing with affairs of state while receiving fellatio under his desk in the Oval Office.  What a multi-tasker the guy was.  These are Hertzberg’s kinds of presidents and kinds of guys.  Of course, his first White House infatuation was as a speechwriter for the former peanut farmer and continuing ant-Israeli goon whose given name has no place on this website.

Peretz, speaking for many, including me, analyzes the current and fast-spreading left-wing American and European hostility to the State of Israel and its courageous prime minister.

I’ll quote a snippet here, but I urge all readers interested in the topic to read this thoughtful, profound and important article.

…Then, there is Rick Hertzberg, who was my student at Harvard. I made him editor of TNR twice. We are friends—I would even say loving friends—but with a deep undercurrent of testy ideological distrust. His hero is Mahatma Gandhi. Mine is George Washington. Maybe there’s the difference in a nutshell, one a nutcase and a pretentious nutcase at that, the other a hard nut.

Rick’s contribution to this controversy is a “Talk of the Town” piece titled “O’Bama vs. Netanyahoo.” Maybe the placement and the headline are a tip-off that this is not serious. But Rick’s frivolity—he is congenitally but congenially frivolous—doesn’t disguise the fact that he is writing about deadly serious matters. One by one, he ticks off the rhetorical contentions between Israel and the Palestinians about which, he basically says, the Palestinians win hands down. I am afraid that the way he examines the first contention is so simple-minded that I’ll have to repeat myself or send Rick back to school…He quotes Netanyahu as saying in his speech to Congress that, in any agreement, “Israel will be ‘required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland.’” So Rick responds on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, “Yes, but the Palestinians have already been required to give up parts of an ancestral Arab homeland.” Actually, the greatest part of Palestine is Jordan, where most Palestinians live. So, in a very real sense, they already have a country, except that it is ruled by an authoritarian monarchy that was imposed on them by the British. That the Arabs of eastern Palestine don’t live under democratic rule is the fault of neither David Ben-Gurion nor Netanyahu. It is a result of a deeply ingrained, political and social structure that, across the huge swath of land from Morocco to Iraq, has been imposed, without a single exception, by dictators. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want Israel to operate or control or, for heaven’s sake, absorb the West Bank. Let the Arabs on the east and west banks of the Jordan River team up and see what they can make of their soon-to-be one country. I don’t think it will be pretty. You do? Good luck.

I also don’t believe that the Arabs of Palestine want to retire this conflict and certainly not in a reasonable way. A reasonable way means no right of return, and it also means that Israel needs, for its own elementary security, for its densest population strip to be wider than ten miles. So it demands with the insistent backing of the citizenry—except some (and only some) of the local Arabs and Remnick’s coterie of friends at Ha’aretz—that border adjustments in its favor be made. Please do remember that Israel also won two wars to turn back invasions of its tiny turf, which many, most Palestinians would deny it. With the Arab world in tumultuous flux, and the tumult now spreading and intensifying in Jordan, it is possible, even likely that the kingdom will be no longer. And then, you will have perhaps 75 percent to 80 percent of historic Palestine under Palestinian control. A civil society it will not be.