Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hey, Who Ever Punishes a Pundit

Yossi Klein-Halevi notes:-

The Goldstone report may well mark the end of Israel's limited wars against terrorist groups. Israel cannot afford to continue to be drawn into mini-wars against terrorists hiding behind their own civilians to attack Israeli civilians, given that each such conflict inexorably draws the Jewish state one step closer toward pariah status. Limited victories on the battlefield are being turned into major defeats in the arena of world opinion.

That untenable situation may well leave Israel no choice but to return to the post-1967 policy of preventing altogether the presence of terror enclaves on its borders...

...If attacks do intensify – as they have in recent days – and the quiet achieved by the Gaza offensive is forfeited...And Israelis' [sic!] operative conclusions will likely lead to a less restrained response next time – the oppposite result Judge Richard Goldstone sought to achieve in his attempt to deny Israel the right to self-defense.

Benny Morris published a book which detailed the chronology of the early 1950s and the struggle against the fedayeen and just as his "new history" collapsed and with drastic results for peace, this new military dead-end will also be problematic.

As Daniel Pipes wrote:

Israel's leading revisionist historian returns to the archives and argues that Israel was ultimately the party most responsible for keeping the Arab-Israeli conflict going right after the 1948 war. With their eyes on gaining more Arab territory, Israeli leaders did not take advantage of the peace offers coming from Jordan and Syria.

Most important, according to Morris, Israelis misinterpreted the many thousands of Arab infiltrators each year into their country, turning simple refugees trying to reclaim their houses and farmers working their fields into politically motivated enemies...

...Like revisionist historians reviewing Soviet-U.S. relations, Morris is determined to show, against all experience and commonsense, that the democratic and liberal country is the one that initiated, maintained, and benefited from conflicts. Let's just say that if David Ben-Gurion was, in Morris' description, a "virtuoso manipulator of facts," then Morris has established himself as a virtuoso manipulator of archival records.

Of course, all those that supported disengagement (see here and here) should be beating their chests or hiding in a confessional booth somewhere but, hey, no one really punished a pundit.

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