Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lara Friedman Vs Excuses (Part 1)

After a period of quiet, Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now has come back swinging with all her might at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, or as she calls him, "Bibi." As typical among left-wingers, she is here to explain why everything is his fault while not exactly coming out and saying that. For example, the Palestinian "intransigence" and "lack of leadership" gets a single sentence before she lays into Netanyahu. I guess her wake up moment when she met with the Arab League didn't last as long as we all thought it might.

As I have said before, I'm not interested in defending Netanyahu and if I were Israeli I wouldn't vote for him. However, like Lara Friedman, I am not, but unlike Lara Friedman I actually care a bout the truth. So let's take a look and see how well she can back up her arguments.

After the first one where she uses the Fifth Great Anti-Zionist Strawman to insist that Netanyahu is making "the two state solution dead," (boring) she says he is making peace harder in a different way:
"Absent even the possibility of a two-state solution, there will be ever-greater conflict and violence, as Palestinians struggle to throw off the yoke of what the entire world will recognize as Israeli oppression....His policies discredit Palestinians who oppose violence and strengthen those who argue that the only language Israelis understand is force."
There is the classic left wing tactic of attempting to speak for "the entire world." Guess what Lara, considering the antipathy the Third World has toward Israel already, if "the entire world" really was bothered by the "occupation," they would have done something about it. Unfortunately for you, and the Palestinians you try and speak for, the world has moved on and left you in the dust.

This argument is also specious. If Netanyahu doesn't give the Palestinians what they want, they'll kill more Jewish people. That's not "advocating for peace," it's mafia style extortion. Nor does it exactly play up the image of the "peaceful" Palestinian that I'm sure Ms. Friedman would love to have us believe. It's also a Catch-22: make peace now or else there will be more violence. But you can't make peace now because as I just admitted the Palestinians have problems preventing it. So...having forced herself into a corner she just blames unspecified "policies" and quickly moves on. This is a pattern that we will continue to see for the rest of the article.

After criticizing Bibi's decisions like the boycott law (without actually specifically saying it), which I see no reason to disagree with her about, she returns to more generalizations as she blames "Bibi" for helping BDS:
"Bibi's policies have fueled such efforts. Israeli policies that send a message, "we are utterly unaccountable for our actions in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem," do more to feed boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS) efforts than any anti-Israel tropes or anti-Semitic calumnies. Support for BDS today is no longer confined to Israel haters, anti-Semites, or far-left-wing activists. As the conviction grows, even among many who love Israel, that Bibi is immune to all other forms of pressure, support for BDS will continue to grow."
Remember, Friedman doesn't mind boycotts of settlements, so once again she is being disingenuous. But as usual, she has no proof to back up her claims. BDS remains the domain of Israel haters and the far left. During Bibi's term, Norman Finkelstein turned against it. I personally think that Friedman likes BDS, or else she wouldn't bother to point out that their goal is to destroy Israel. Instead she takes the path that oooh, it's so scaaary. Let's not forget either that President Obama showed that BDS is hardly the only form of pressure that can be placed on Israel. If it is, AIPAC would be very very happy indeed.

No hard facts? Let's keep going, as she really goes around the bend to blame Netanyahu:
"Israel's relationships with Turkey and Jordan have fallen apart. This in part reflects domestic developments in Turkey and Jordan, but, more importantly, reflects the unsustainability of good relations with Arab/Muslim states while Bibi pursues policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians that no Arab or Muslim leader can defend or ignore."
Sorry Ms. Friedman, but "in part" is not going to fly. This was entire because of domestic developments in Turkey and Jordan. Nothing Israel did changed anything before this recent Turkish crisis which began when Erdogan yelled at Peres and walked off the stage. Do you remember that? The flotillas were entirely a product of Turkey as well. It's not like Israel hadn't been blockading or fighting with Gaza before Netanyahu took office. The difference is that now a more radical Islamic regime is in power in Turkey (though by Middle East standards that isn't saying very much).

It's obvious to anyone who doesn't have the new Bush Derangement Syndrome that Turkey made the decision to swing to the East and away from Israel. I'm happy to criticize Netanyahu when he deserves it, but this time he absolutely does not. Turkey did not start fighting with Israel because of any particular policies toward the Palestinians. Just because Ms. Friedman's life revolves around the chosen victims doesn't mean everyone else's does as well.

As for Jordan, I'm curious what makes her think that the alliance has "fallen apart." In September King Abdullah said that he views Israel as Jordan's key regional ally. But hey, what the hell does he know compared to the expertise of Lara Friedman and Peace Now?

Continued in the next post.

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