Thursday, June 10, 2010

Can Tony Judt Talk About Israel Without Lies?

According to the evidence of "Talking about Israel, Without the Clichés," no. Here are his major lies, debunked.

  • Israel's claim that there is a campaign to delegitimize it is propaganda by the Netanyahu government.

    Has Prof. Judt heard of Mahmoud "Israel is a stinking corpse" Ahmadinejad and his efforts to get nuclear weapons to turn this into reality? Of Hamas's demand not just that the state of Israel be destroyed (a point of agreement with the director of the Remarque Institute at New York University) but that all Jews in the world, including half of Tony Judt, be slaughtered?

  • Israel is a democracy, but one that should make you think of the "popular democracies" of Communist Eastern Europe.

    Is the professor serious? Israel routinely changes governments in free and fair elections, unlike every single Arab regime.

  • Hamas came to power in Gaza in democratic elections.

    Hamas won a plurality in local elections in Gaza and then overthrew the Palestinian Authority in a bloody coup.

  • Israel enjoyed "easy" military victories in its early years that have given it the "pathological habit" of always resorting to force.

    In the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, 6,000 Jews, 1% of the total Jewish population, were killed. In the Six-Day War, 776 Israeli soldiers were killed. No Israeli, whatever his or her political opinions, views any of the wars as "easy." Judt is implying, not so subtly, that the Israelis are bloodthirsty.

  • "Sooner or later Israel (or someone) will have to talk to Hamas," because this is what always happens with terrorist groups: they end up being legitimized and given a seat at the table.

    Really? What about Al Qaeda? What about the Chechen terrorists in Russia? What about the PKK in Turkey? What about the Real IRA in Northern Ireland?

  • "Since 1967 it has been Israel that has missed most opportunities." The PLO's "negationism" was a factor until "the early 1980s."

    Judt must have been in a coma in 2000, when Arafat rejected the Israeli-American offer of a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and launched a terrorist "war" instead.

  • "Terrorism is the weapon of the weak."

    I thought Judt's mission was to avoid clichés.

  • "An overwhelming majority of congressmen roll over for every pro-Israel motion" because of "the Israel lobby."

    No, Congress supports Israel ("roll over" implies that Israel has some secret way of controlling the United States... a thought that even Judt rejects as anti-Semitic). And it does so because the overwhelming majority of Americans support Israel rather than the Palestinians. Enemies of Israel like Judt are loath to admit this fact, and so it has now become fashionable for them to mouth another of Judt's lies...

  • "Israel is now America’s greatest strategic liability in the Middle East and Central Asia."

    So if Israel disappeared, the Iraqi insurgents and the Taliban would lay down their arms and become big donors to President Obama? How can a supposedly serious person write such flapdoodle?

  • Zionism today should be rejected because it "presses territorial claims, religious exclusivity and political extremism."

    Actually, there is broad consensus in Israeli politics, including in Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud Party, on a two-state solution that would require Israel to give up most of the West Bank. If Israel has other "territorial claims," for example to Jerusalem, why are these inherently more contemptible than the Palestinians' absolute "territorial claim" to all of Israel? As for "religious exclusivity," Israel is the only state in the Middle East to allow freedom of religion, and as for "political extremism," this is no more problematic in Israel than in any other democracy. Whoops, I mean "democracy." Mustn't deny the "professor" his precious scare quotes.

  • "Criticism of Israel ... is not predominantly motivated by anti-Semitism. The same is true of contemporary anti-Zionism." Anti-Semitic criticism of Israel is a historical relic of the Soviet Union.

    The alleged history professor has obviously failed to read the Hamas Covenant, watch Palestinian Authority TV, listen to Saudi and Syrian statements, read the Egyptian press, or attend the many anti-Israel rallies in his beloved Europe that demand that "Jews" be driven out of Palestine.

And let us all say in unison, along with the shade of George Orwell: "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool."


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