Sunday, January 06, 2013

Jonathan Freedland Cheats

Jonathan Freedland doesn't like right-wing Israelis or their parties.

It's his right, although he himself is left.

But in his criticsm, he cheats.

Here's part of what he wrote about Naftali Bennet:

In a 2010 TV debate he dismissed a Palestinian member of the Knesset in these terms: "When you were still climbing trees, we had a Jewish state here… We were here long before you."
Any Jew knows those words.

They were first said in ... the Parliament of England.
Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.
The speaker was Benjamin Disraeli.

[Disraeli was responding to an opponent in Parliament. A similar statement is attributed to U.S. Senator Judah P. Benjamin, in reply to another senator: “The gentleman will please remember that when his half-civilized ancestors were hunting wild boar in the forests of Silesia, mine were the princes of the earth.”]

So, Mr. Freedland, what was good for a British MP and Prime Minister of your country is now somehow not so good?

I wonder if the words of Disraeli's opponent could be, somehow, applicable to you:

He possesses all the necessary requisites of perfidy, selfishness, depravity, want of principle, etc.,..there are, as in every other people, some of the lowest and most disgusting grade of moral turpitude...

And a word to Freedland's explanation of the phenomenon of a "lurch to the right" -

Why is this happening? The conventional explanation for recent rightwing electoral success has been a loss of faith by the Israeli public in the peace platform that once defined the left. The failure of the Camp David talks of 2000 and the response to the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza – a steady stream of Hamas rockets aimed at Israeli towns – discredited the very idea of land for peace. "We give them land, they give us war," was the bitter Israeli joke...[but] the blame can be shared evenly between the Israeli centre-left, Palestinian leaders and the international community...Israel's centre-left has failed to advance a vision of a modern, democratic country – ...The centre-left created a vacuum and the nationalist right filled it.
Mr. Freedland, you, too, are part of that morass.  The Pals. are never adequately criticised or held up to take responsibility.  You and your ilk pooh-pooh their infractions and violations of the peace negotiations but pound down on Israel, vilifying the country, its leaders and the situation - political, military and economic - which results from the Pals.


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