Dienstag, April 27, 2010

And The Oppressed Should Thank His Oppressor...

This by Gideon Rachman in today's FT is, in a word, despicable.

He ends his arguments for Israel's more or less force acceptance of a peace treaty from without by saying:

Israelis may fear and even detest Mr. Obama - but the American President is actually doing them a favor.

What Israel is facing is not that the world is turning against it, but much more that the sort of trans-nationalist sentiment that empowers groups like Human Rights Watch to show appalling bias against Israel has now moved into the White House.

In other words, Israel no longer has a friend in the United States, not with this current administration.

The arguments that Rachman brings are pernicious:

First of all, there is no parallel between the Irish conflict and Israel's situation: the British in Northern Ireland did not face opponents who were proudly disclaiming that they wanted to eliminate the British, physically, from the face of Northern Ireland (if anything, the most radical of the Irish left wanted the British to remain to be as oppressed as they felt themselves to be, as revenge for the decades of repression). The Palestinians continue to make no secret of their ultimate goal: the elimination of the State of Israel. The problems in Northern Ireland were first and foremost demands for redistribution of power (and wealth): the problem in Israel goes far beyond that.

Second, there is an implicit assumption that it is all Israel's fault. It is never the Palestinians that need to get their house in order, never the Palestinians who need to change their policies: it is always Israel which is called on to make concessions, each and every one aimed at weakening Israel.

Mr. Rachman seems to feel that it is always Israel's fault that the Palestinians fail. In the analogy he uses, where the Palestinians negotiate on how to divide a pizza and Israel keeps on eating parts, he fails to understand that the onus lies on the Palestinians. If they do not want the pizza to become smaller, then they need to negotiate in earnest, rather than what they have done to date. Why should Israel give up the West Bank after they saw what happened to Gaza?

Rather, Mr. Rachman wants Israel to be maneuvered into a corner where it no longer has any choices, made into a pariah state, which, according to Mr. Rachman, would be a good place for Israel to be, so that it must accede to the demands that the "international community", aka the trans-nationalists who never met a bad Palestinian and truly believe that the only thing standing in the way of the millennium is, to use the phrase of the French ambassador to London, that shitty little country.

Sorry: just why, please, should Israel do this? The Israeli state and economy is virtually the only success story in the Middle East, and they've done despite of the Palestinians, not by exploiting them. But support is apparently growing for some sort of Middle East Peace Plan from the Obama Administration that is forced upon Israel for their own good, regardless of whether it is actually good for them or not (guess Mr. Obama is trying to justify that Nobel he got...).

Hence those about to be oppressed should thank their oppressor, he's just doing them a favor.

Ye gods.

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