Monday, February 14, 2011

Lawrence Davidson And "Zionist Lobbies"

Kathleen Wells has dug deep and found the Huffington Post's latest anti-Israel academic to interview: Professor Lawrence Davidson of of West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Never heard of him? Neither have I but according to Ms. Wells he is "an outspoken and unflinching critic of the U.S. alliance with Israel and the Zionists' treatment of the Palestinian people." So, you know, just another objective observer with no political agenda at all. Let's fisk the article briefly. Before it even begins, we have this paragraph as the very first thing you read:
"Lawrence Davidson says, "Keep your eye on the language: When South Africa assigned rights according to race they called it apartheid. When Israel assigns rights according to religion they call it the only democracy in the Middle East."
Though the headline of the article is "discussing Egypt, the U.S., and Israel," the whole thing is one long Israel-bashing, in short. After speaking about the Egyptian riots, Prof Davidson has this to say about Israel's system of alliances:
"They have never sought any meaningful compromises with their neighbors. Their only "friends" in the region are dictators who cooperate with Israel because they fear it and because the Americans pay them to do so. This is not a good basis for long term security."
First of all, I think Turkey would be pretty upset to be called a "dictatorship," and then they would probably place a call to President Obama demanding to know where all the money they should have been receiving has gone. But yes, it's true, the two Arab states that have made peace with Israel are dictatorships and they do receive money from America. But of course, practically all the other Arab states are also dictatorships and at least four (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq) also receive money from America. So I'm not sure where the connection is. And out of two pseudo-democracies near Israel (Lebanon and Turkey, as Prof Davidson agrees) she has made peace with one of them. The other is a proxy of Syria, which in turn is a proxy of Iran. So there you go.

Prof Davidson accuses Israel of being entirely responsible for all the turmoil in the region, including the fact that there are so many enemies on its borders. But before we get the false impression that he's merely critical of Israel's policies, he levels the usual ethereal standard to try and prove that Israel is not a democracy:
"Real democracy includes a realistic level of equity under the law for all citizens. That is completely lacking in Israel where 20 percent of the population (the Israeli Arabs) are systematically discriminated against. So when Israeli leaders claim that their country is a democracy, they are simply saying that the Israeli Arabs can cast a vote. But that vote will never be able to change the inherently discriminatory system. So the vote is meaningless. The game is rigged."
Oh, isn't that convenient. So even though Israel is democratic in every way, because Prof Davidson says their system is undemocratic it (a) therefore must be and (b) all the hard work they have done to build a democracy "doesn't count." The best part is that in his very next paragraph he declares that "Turkey is a viable democracy," and "Lebanon is, in fact, more democratic than it ever was." There is all kinds of discrimination in Turkey and in Lebanon as well, but Prof Davidson, like every classic hypocrite before him, is willing to look the other way. What else can we conclude except that he is motivated by something beyond simply searching for democracy in the Middle East?

Click below to continue. The best is yet to come.

Next up we have the classic "criticize Israel not for what they have done, nor even for what they will do, but for what they might do at some point in the future:"
"As to stability, well perhaps Israel is too stable. There are definite signs that the country is flirting with fascism. The present Knesset is passing laws that could destroy much of the Israeli left. That is not the kind of stability that is healthy for a supposed democratic country."
Got that, Israel? You aren't allowed to even propose certain laws in Parliament or else Prof Davidson will call you fascists! And no, I don't see any irony there and so neither should you!

The best part is that at the end Ms. Wells asks Professor Davidson if he thinks Israel is an asset or a liability to America. He thinks that Israel is a liability (no surprise there), and he also thinks that America and Israel work too closely together. Again, no problem. But then he goes just a little bit further:
"And that is so because the Gulf Arabs chose not to use oil as a weapon to influence our policy. That leaves the field of Middle East interests (apart from oil) wide open to Zionist lobby pressure and manipulation. So the tail (Israel) is definitely wagging the dog (U.S.) in this regard."
The first sentence is definitely not true. As for the second, gee where have we heard that before? But Professor Davidson isn't done. No sir:
"So is Israel an asset or a liability? Well, it is an asset to most of the representatives and senators in the Congress who get so much money and electoral support from Zionist-oriented lobbies and their members....And what the members of Congress and those running the political parties are into is winning elections here in America. Lobby money greases that process."
So America hurts itself by staying friends with Israel because "Zionists" manipulate Congress with their money. Does Ms. Wells have anything to say in response to this? Nope. Accusations of this sort are taken for granted on the Huffington Post. Probably because they are so common.

1 comment:

  1. Its funny the anti-Zios ALWAYS lecture Israel on its supposed democratic shortcomings but they remain silent about the wholesale deprivation of political and human rights in every Arab country in Iran. Don't expect Lawrence Davidson and ilk to take note of the fact that martial law has just been declared in Egypt. Its rather convenient Egypt is now off the front pages now that Tahrir Square appears to be emptying of protesters. We've been regaled by the anti-Zios that Egypt would would prove to be a new era in Middle East politics. Not quite with the army takeover in that country. And yeah - the short-circuiting of democracy there is all Israel's fault!

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