Monday, August 27, 2018

Martin Peretz Falls Victim to Fake News

Martin Peretz, former editor of The New Republic for 35 years, has an opinion concerning Israel's newest legislation brouhaha, the Nation State Law, and he published it in the New York Times.

To his thinking, the "West Bank Model Is a Failure And Israel’s new nation-state law will import those failures into Israel itself".

Israel, as he describes, is

a state whose symbols are Jewish; whose holidays and calendar come from the Jewish tradition; whose gates are always open to any Jew seeking refuge or a new home; whose government is accountable to an elected parliament; whose administration operates within the bounds of law; whose free market grows and brings in more people from more diverse backgrounds to participate in its activities; and whose people are entitled to the minimum civil and legal protections of a modern free society regardless of their religion or ethnicity.

I can see that but his next paragraph reads that the new nation-state law is



Well, he makes an error - and there's no better place to make an error than on the pages of the New York Times - writing that the law

says that “development of Jewish settlement” is a “national value” — settlement including in the West Bank. 

Does it?


It does not. 

Section 7 reads: "The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development."

To be fair to Peretz, an earlier draft of the bill was more limiting by expressly restricting that activity to promoting

Jewish settlement within its [the State's] boundaries

But that would have included at least all of the post-1967 neighborhoods in Jerusalem. I trust, however, that Peretz does not consider Ramat Eshkol, Gilo, Ha Homa, etc. as "settlements". 

Yet to be very fair to Israel and Zionism, the League of Nations Mandate decision charging Great Britain with reconstituting the Jewish national home in a Palestine after removing the territory of Transjordan (see Article 25) does includes, in Article 6, this very forthright and clear statement of support for Jewish 'settlement' throughout the Land of Israel west of the Jordan River:

"The Administration of Palestine...shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes."

Peretz and Arabs may gnash their teeth but "settlement", or actually resettlement, is an internationally-recognized and confirmed right of the Jews.  Close settlement, to be exact.

And he continues to mislead:

Why not change this clause to exclude the hyper-controversial West Bank settlement project? 

Mr. Peretz, it isn't there. It is not in the text.

He continues further:

the inclusion of the West Bank settlements points to what the law truly represents: A small minority is trying to make Israeli society as a whole resemble the model of Israeli government in the territories.

"West Bank" isn't there.  And settlement takes place in the Negev and the Galilee as well.

And as regards numbers, he asserts

in the West Bank the Jewish population, even after 50 years of settlement, still doesn’t reach 15 percent. The “West Bank model” may or may not be Jewish, but if it is Jewish, it certainly isn’t on account of demographics.

One other point irks him and that he fears Israel's continued presence in Judea and Samaria is inimical to the state of Israel.  As he explains:

The present law — accidentally or not, and probably not — will import the West Bank model into Israel. That will be a catastrophe.

Mr. Peretz, the "model" is what Jews have always been doing: settling in the Land of Israel -
Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess. - Numbers 33:53   (  וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּם אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וִישַׁבְתֶּם-בָּהּ... וְהִתְנַחַלְתֶּם אֶת-הָאָרֶץ )

Of course, Mr. Peretz can claim that he knows the real intentions even if the words he claims are there simply aren't.

But intent has to be proven.  Peretz hasn't done that.


Here is the comment I got into the comments' section at the NYT.


1 comment:

Batya said...

This post is included in  Carnival Time, Late Summer Blog Roundup. I hope you like the company. Enjoy.