Friday, February 18, 2011

Lara Friedman: Nothing New To Say

You would really think that the Huffington Post has run out of anti-Israel organizations from which to draw Huffington Post bloggers. They've got Electronic Intifada, Americans Against the Wall, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, J Street, the BDS movement, and on and on and on. But apparently no, they needed one more. And who else to bring in but Peace Now, in the form of Lara Friedman, who has written two articles in the past three days (both anti-Israel, of course). The first one is an attack on David Harris, which you can check out if you'd like to, but I'm more interested in the second.

This article is your very standard boilerplate anti-occupation piece. Like all the others, it demands that Israel "cease its addiction to occupation and settlements," as if nothing bad would ever happen should Israel unilaterally pull out like they did in Gaza. Ms. Friedman is smart enough to tie in her article to the events happening in Egypt, but just like all the other Huffington Post bloggers before her, also demonstrates that no recent developments before or since would have changed her mind about this issue. She waves away Israel's worries that the West Bank might become another launching pad for terrorism with this paragraph:
"The occupation grew more entrenched with each passing year. Its champions -- in Israel and the U.S. -- doggedly defended it as necessary for Israel's security and insisted it could be sustained in perpetuity.
They were wrong. They are still wrong."
...That's it. And I can understand about the second part, but I don't see the first. Israel has ended the occupation of Gaza, and Gaza has become more dangerous, not less. And yes, I'm sure Ms. Friedman would have an excuse for that as well, but I don't see how saying "they're wrong," is a particularly convincing argument. All three governments (Israel, the PA, and America) appear to recognize that should Israel leave there will be a power vacuum which will lead to (a) more infighting between the Palestinians and (b) more violence toward Israel. Which isn't good for anyone. But of course Ms. Friedman lives in America where she doesn't need to deal with the consequences of her beliefs should they be put into action. Like I said, this article doesn't contain anything we haven't seen before. But I did want to share this paragraph as well:
"The absence of accountable governments in the Middle East these past decades has allowed Israel to operate under the delusion that its policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians need not have any bearing on its relations with its neighbors. These governments, in effect, acted as enablers as Israel's self-destructive addiction to occupation and settlements deepened."
I hate to be the one to break this to Ms. Friedman, but the Arab countries don't care about the Palestinians. They never have. Let's not kid ourselves here. If they cared they would grant them citizenship and let them leave the refugee camps to which they are confined. Or at the very least give some of those trillions of petrodollars to UNRWA. To paraphrase Yaacov Lozowick "The Palestinians were a club with which to threaten Israel. Having been cast aside, they were found to be useful again."  Nor does Israel's policies toward the Palestinians necessarily need to affect their relationship with other nations. Egypt and Jordan both made peace with Israel while it was occupying the WB and Gaza, let us not forget.

The truth is that "The Occupation" is a convenient excuse both for the Arab nations and Israel's enemies not to make peace with Israel and to explain their tunnel vision toward it. Like I have said before: It takes two to tango. Egypt and Jordan found that when they were ready for peace with Israel, Israel was ready for peace with them. The days of unilateral action are over. Ms. Friedman better get used to it.

1 comment:

  1. The Arabs' anti-Semitism is not driven by this or that Israeli policy; it is driven by hatred of the Jews and for Israel's existence.

    If Israel ever ended its "occupation" of Yesha, the Arabs would discover some other excuse to hate the Jews and Israel.

    Of that truth Lara Friedman remains abysmally ignorant.


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