Tuesday, March 27, 2012

James Zogby Beats a Dead Horse

James Zogby, who you may remember as being inconsistent with the truth, has returned to push an agenda in a big way with an article about the Arab Peace Initiative. This follows in the footsteps of Michael Sharnoff who wrote another article with the same subject for the Huffington Post not that long ago. But because this is the Huffington Post, no opportunity to bash Israel will be left unused.

It goes without saying that Dr. Zogby lies about the Arab Peace Initiative, and I see no reason to retread old ground as to why it doesn't work. If you need a refresher, these Huffington Posters explain it pretty well, and so does this cartoon. And remember that all that was before the "Arab Spring," which means that if Israel had accepted the API a solid quarter of the governments that they made real, on the ground concessions with which to make peace would be gone forever. Do you think Dr. Zogby acknowledges the problems with the plan? HA!
"Instead, Israel scoffed at the Initiative and dismissed it, while the Bush Administration under-valued its importance."
Oh right of course. Those eeeevil Westerners wouldn't accept the plan of the peaceful Arabs because they are so eeeeevil. But what really happened was that "Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon even said he would go the Arab League summit to discuss the plan, but he was not invited. The Saudis have also been invited to Jerusalem to discuss their proposal, but they have rejected this idea as well." The Israelis discussed it but found it to be unworkable. Which if you recall is the same excuse the Palestinians always use for every single one of the dozens of peace plans that have been offered to them. One standard for the Jews, one standard for Dr. Zogby's fellow Arabs. How typical.

Let's move to a very ironic statement:
"Like other victims of settler colonialism, the Arabs remained steadfast in maintaining the illegitimacy of the new state that had displaced the indigenous people of Palestine. And so the conflict continued and only intensified, in 1967, when Israel occupied the whole of Palestine."
First of all, the entire Middle East are victims of settler colonialism. Arab settler colonialism. Dr. Zogby is either unaware of his peoples' own history, is intentionally lying, or most likely is thinking "well it doesn't matter because we conquered the Middle East a long time ago." Either way, for an Arab to be calling Arabs the "victims" of colonialism is so ironic and hypocritical it could only appear on a site like this one.

And let's not let this paragraph go by with the obligatory pro-Palestinian pseudohistory. What happened in 1967? The "peaceful" Egyptians did not provoke Israel into another war, all the while licking their collective chops to finish what they started in 1948? No, of course not! The cruel Israelis just occupied some more! That's all.

Of course this means that Dr. Zogby also thinks that Israel exists on "occupied Palestine," which means he doesn't think they have a right to exist. Obviously that's not a very peaceful attitude, but considering that he spends most of his column bashing Israel for not wanting peace, it's downright hypocritical. Which, again, is hardly a new adjective to describe anti-Israel Huffington Post bloggers.

As if that rewrite of history wasn't bad enough, he does it again!
"At that point, the second Intifada erupted. Unlike the first intifada, this was an exceptionally violent uprising and it was met with massive oppression. Given this, it is all the more remarkable that in this context the Arab Heads of State gathered in Beirut to issue their peace initiative."
The paragraph before this is more whining about settlements combined with the trademark Arab talking point that "it became clear to us [and us alone apparently] that Israel wouldn't let us have a state so we started blowing up buses." Dr. Zogby comes as close to defend the mass murder of Israelis (and engineered deaths of Palestinians) in the second Intifada as I have ever seen. Conflicts don't just spontaneous "erupt" like volcanoes, Dr. Zogby. They are started. By people. And in this case, Yasser Arafat never denied that he was the one who started it. Why should he, when he has apologists like you to do so for him?

Finally, Dr. Zogby returns to a job he is actually good at, being a pollster:
"Sure enough, when we have polled on the Arab Peace Initiative across the Arab World we now find that almost three-quarters of all Arabs support a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel."
So on the one hand this is encouraging because it means that the Arabs are finally facing the obvious. However, it's not all roses and white wine, because some key questions must be asked.
-Would this solution mean that Israel remains a Jewish state?
-Would you be willing to normalize relations with Israel?
-Would you support a peace plan that involves a renunciation of the so-called "right" of return?
-Would you be willing to give up Jerusalem? Or 1.1% of the West Bank?
-If the Palestinian state should go to war with Israel for some reason, would you back them up?

The reason why I am skeptical is because of other polls that Dr. Zogby did not feel like sharing, such as the one that shows an overwhelming majority of Palestinians refuse to renounce the "right of return." Not such a peaceful attitude there, do you think? No wonder Dr. Zogby couldn't be bothered to notice.

He concludes with some calls for peace, which is nice, except that he already made it clear that he considers Israel to be formed on "occupied Palestine," and doesn't appear to be changing that point of view. In the end it's just another disingenuous article but aside from the usual haters, I don't think very many people were fooled.

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