Monday, November 8, 2010

Henry Siegman's One-Sided "Deceptions" (Part 2)

Continuing with my analysis of the now clearly biased and misleading article "Peace Will Not Be Achieved By Deception." Having endorsed a double standard in which he sees Israel freezing settlements as not a concession but Palestinian recognition of Israel as one, Siegman continues with his misappropriation of history.
"Unsurprisingly, his statement has not put an end to the calumny peddled by Ehud Barak and other Israeli leaders that Yasir Arafat's real intention all along had been to salami-slice Israel's territory until it is eliminated...."
Now as I quoted in part one of this fisking, Arafat did say that they intended to create a Palestinian state in place of Israel, and his phase plan is well know. Again this is a classic case of a Palestinian supporter not wanting to acknowledge the truth about Arafat and instead simply denying it, as if that would make the ugly truth go away. But it is toward the middle of his column that he makes a truly absurd statement:
"Equally misleading has been Netanyahu's repeated declarations that a peace accord depends on Palestinians matching Israel's "painful concessions" with their own painful concessions. In fact, no one has ever asked Israel to make any concession to the Palestinians -- whether territory, water resources, Jerusalem or sovereignty. All of these concessions are to be made on the Palestinian side of the 1967 border. No concessions were asked of Israel on its side of that border."
 Now I don't know why Mr. Siegman is ignoring the facts of this conflict or if he is intentionally being obtuse, but he is forgetting that what happens on one "side" of the border also affects what happens on the other "side." To take one example, Israel withdrew its settlers from Gaza. Whether or not you consider that to be a concession is debatable, but was unquestionably painful for the settlers and Israel in general. Now in Mr. Siegman's view that would not "count" because it is a concession that happens on the other side of the "border." But when Israel left Gaza the Gazans immediately started attacking the Israelis on "their" side of the fence, thus putting thousands of people at risk. Is Mr. Siegman just not aware of that?

Thus Mr. Siegman indicates his ignorance of the nature of these negotiations. What happens in the West Bank will affect people in Israel. For instance, removing Israeli checkpoints is considered by most people to be a concession. But Israel doing so would mean putting its soldiers and civilians at heightened risk for attack. It will also mean absorbing deadly violence like this one to keep the negotiations on track. That's about as painful a concession as you can get. Quite frankly, it is very insulting that Mr. Siegman brushes off this very real aspect of the situation in the Middle East in favor of scoring points to defend his thesis. He doesn't consider Israel's concessions to be "painful," and thus they are not. How open minded of him.

Click below the break to read the next section, in which Mr. Siegman shows his true colors; he believes that Israel should just give the Palestinians everything they want for free.

"Netanyahu's offer of painful Israeli concessions is a deception. Unless, of course, Netanyahu meant to apply the term "painful concessions" to his willingness to return to Palestinians a part of their own territory, all of which -- up to the 1967 border -- is universally recognized as being under Israeli occupation, and therefore subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention's strictures that absolutely forbid the transfer of the occupying power's population to those territories."
 Ah, yes. It took practically the entire article but here come the Palsbara talking points. Unfortunately for Mr. Siegman, not Obama nor the Quartet consider the entire West Bank to be "Palestinian territory" that must be "returned" in its entirety to the PA. The Palestinians and their more devoted supporters are literally the only ones who believe that they are entitled to everything they want and should not have to give anything in return. If that is the way that Mr. Siegman is approaching this conflict it is no wonder that he is so blindly devoted to a particular point of view. Yet at the same time he lectures others, including Israeli journalists and politicians, about using "deception" to hide the truth.

Of course, Mr. Siegman's misuse of the Fourth GC's is not unusual, yet hardly worth mentioning. Still, I document it as yet another example of Palsbara talking points in his article.
"If that is what he meant, what Netanyahu was telling Abbas is that Israel expects to be rewarded for returning some of the territory it unlawfully confiscated from the Palestinians by having Palestinians concede their right to the balance of their territory that Israel helped itself to."
 As I said before, there is more to this situation than just land changing hands. It is typical of the Palestinians and their supporters to portray the conflict as solely about land (or "human rights"), and so it is no surprise to see Mr. Siegman doing the same. However, what he is forgetting is that once that territory changes hands, what happens next?

Israel and its leaders are not going to forget that the last time they "returned the territory they unlawfully confiscated" they were rewarded not by peace or good will but by thousands of rocket attacks. And so they are not going to do the same thing again and again and again. But Mr. Siegman isn't aware or is too dishonest to mention this very real problem with simply handing over to the Palestinians want they think is theirs. Quite frankly, it's very pathetic that a man as well educated about the Middle East should fall for such a simplistic view of the world as the Palestinian narrative. But it is in his last paragraph that he really pulls it out:
"By getting the U.S. and the Quartet to applaud this offer, Netanyahu can fairly be said to have done for peace diplomacy what Bernard Madoff has done for the investment industry."
 Oh. Of course. Netanyahu is such a tricky devil that he has deceived the entire world into believing what is just so darn obvious to Mr. Siegman and the Palestinians! Why can't everybody else see what is so clearly obvious? Could it be that the Palestinian narrative is not the ultimate truth, and that not everyone is willing to overlook what Mr. Siegman is willing to ignore? Nope! The only possible explanation is that Netanyahu is some kind of master deceiver!

Now, I hate to bring the whole Jew-angle into this, but I cannot help but wonder if it is a coincidence that Mr. Siegman chose a fellow Jew with which to compare Netanyahu? Not to mention the rather common trope of Jews tricking the world for their own personal gain? No matter which way you want to slice it, this article is a sham of an "analysis" regarding the state of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But it is nothing unusual for the Huffington Post or for Mr. Siegman.

1 comment:

  1. Henry Siegman falsifies history. Israel was attacked by Jordan in the Six Day War and took Jerusalem and Yesha as an act of self-defense. There was never a Palestinian sovereign in the territory at that time and Israel has a valid lawful claim to it - something he omits from his column. And nothing in international law requires Israel to return the entire territory in exchange for peace and no Israeli government of the Left or Right has proposed it. But one can't expect Siegman to tell the truth about Israel's position on peace and the rest of his "analysis" leaves a great deal to be desired.


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