Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Henry Siegman Makes No Sense

The so-called "peace process" is under way again, sort of, and with we find the never ending finger pointing on the part of the Huffington Post bloggers stable. To start us off this time around is Henry Siegman, who you may remember as the author of a one-sided "deceptions" article, and this time around is not any different. As we will demonstrate, Mr. Siegman uses sophistry to try and justify decidedly anti-peace actions on the part of the Palestinians. The whole thing is a hit piece on Israel and America for not being anti-Israel enough to suit Mr. Siegman. After using the well worn talking point that "this whole thing is just a cover for more settlements," he really sticks his neck out:
"From its outset the goal of this project has been to subvert Palestinian statehood, a goal from which Israel is but a hair's breadth away. By insisting that Palestinians return to this empty exercise, and by continuing to block attempted interventions by other parties, including the UN and its various agencies, the U.S. has in effect been collaborating with Prime Minister Netanyahu's goal of "politicide"--the violent termination of Palestinian national political existence."
Um, okay. That's quite the claim. See, "this project" has been going back at least 20 years, so does Mr. Siegman expect us to believe that everything Israel has done in that time has been against Palestinian statehood? They created the PA, withdrew from Area C and Gaza and granted the PLO legitimacy all for the cause of keeping the Palestinians disenfranchised and occupied? Perhaps if Mr. Siegman would like to back this up with some kind of evidence, but even the "hard right" Netanyahu has endorsed "two states for two peoples." His peace loving Palestinians have yet to do so.

I'm not sure where this charge of "politicide" came from, but it's a bad sign for one's argument when you have to make up a word to support it. Would Mr. Siegman like to explain what Israel would have to gain by the destruction of Palestinian political existence? After all, the Palestinians would remain there and so they would be right back where they started in 1988. How exactly could Israel do that even if they wanted to? And what has Israel done to earn this charge that they are doing it "violently?" Finally, have the Palestinians anything to brag about in terms of moving the process along? Oh yeah, no they don't.

This is becoming a very common tactic, at least among the Huffington Post blogosphere. Make an incredibly charged claim and then fail to back it up. In this case, by moving on to something else. Now like the true "America firster" that all critics of Israel are, Mr. Siegman demands that American power be marginalized. Huzzah!
"The only remaining hope for the achievement of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict now depends entirely on the international community's readiness to sweep aside America's claim to a monopoly over Middle East peace making...and to intervene vigorously in order to seek to alter the peace process' disastrous trajectory."
A good idea in theory but unfortunately for Arabists like Mr. Siegman, that's not going to mean a major change in policies. The Quartet powers (of which we are one) don't care so much about settlements, but they do care about radical groups like Hamas and aren't willing to ignore them like Mr. Siegman does in this article. As Aaron David Miller pointed out in his book, there simply aren't any organizations with both the power and the desire to hammer out a Middle East peace. Mr. Siegman and his Arab friends can either deal with that (not likely) or continue to whine about it and never get anywhere. I'm predicting the latter.

Mr. Siegman then quotes a couple of European leaders criticizing Israel over settlements and other issues, as if to say that should this mythical "international community" get more involved the settlements would magically disappear and all Palestinian demands would be met with a click of the fingers. At this point he pulls out the mind reading powers:
"[MajorEuropean, Latin American and Asian countries to defer any longer to the U.S. on this issue, and their readiness to expose what they long knew but were reluctant to express: that Netanyahu's declared commitment to a two-state solution has been a lie."
Really. Is that so. I'm not sure at what point Mr. Siegman was elected spokesperson for two thirds of the world, so that he might speak in their name, but congratulations for him are in order. Of course, it could be that the people he cited criticized settlements for their own political reasons. But he certainly can't imagine that they might be critical of settlements but supportive of Israel in general. You know, how all of our friendly anti-Zionists pretend to be?

Don't get me wrong. It is perfectly possible that all of these countries not only think that Netanyahu is not committed to a two-state solution and that for some reason they aren't willing to express that in public. After all, we did see Sarkozy refer to Netanyahu as a liar. But for me to believe a claim this big, you need to have proof. Something. Anything. It's too big for me to take it at simply face value, and it's not even that I don't want to hear it. I don't particularly care about how the international community perceives Netanyahu, seeing as how he can always be voted out of office. But given Mr. Siegman's history of wishful thinking passed off as facts, he needs something better than that.

As before, his article is incredibly long so I'm going to break it into another section. Stay tuned for it to come in tomorrow.


  1. Something interesting I noticed, I try to put this link:
    Report of Mossad agents posing as CIA spies 'absolute nonsense'

    In the comments here:

    It will not go thru, try it.

    1. One person saw it removed:


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