Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Still Alive

I'm making a note here, huge success....

Work is very interesting, but a lot of, well, work. It's quite the time consumer. But I am still around, and I even (occasionally) am able to keep an eye on the news.

On Alas, a Blog, I wrote what I think was a pretty solid comment detailing less my views on the Gaza flotilla incident than my views on the best reaction to the incident. One of the things I said was that even amongst defenders of the legality or justifiability of the Israeli reaction to the blockade, you can find very few defenders of its wisdom. It would have been great to able to cite to Alan Dershowitz to back that assertion up, but unfortunately I hadn't seen this column yet. Oh well.

Meanwhile, I absolutely agree that the efforts of some Republicans, here Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), to turn this into a political issue is incredibly damaging to the notion that support for Israel ought to be bipartisan. By constructing partisan divides where none truly exist, McCain is only enforcing the idea that Republican equals pro-Israel and Democrat equals anti-Israel -- possibly good politics, but bad for the state of Israel in a context where image often becomes reality.


N. Friedman said...

Not being a Republican and having not voted for McCain, I still think one needs to take a sharp look at Obama and ask what planet he is on. Bush II, for all his defects - and they were many -, would have stood shoulder to shoulder with the Israelis. Obama cannot quite do that. In fact, he acts as the lawyer for Israel's foes.

He sees this as a time to force Israel to change its policy on Gaza, letting his view slip into the New York Times. In other words, Obama will create a triumph for the Hamas.

Maybe the Israelis should change policy. But, to do so as a response to Israel's reaction to a flotilla in which the leaders of the flotilla publicly associated their voyage with barbarism, shouting "Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud Jaysh Muhammed Safayood" (translated: "Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return"), referring to the destruction of Jewry in Arabia, is monstrously wrong, a bankrupt policy and says of the Obama administration that it is despicable.

joe said...

The other side's lawyer sends Israel billions in aid? But David doesn't want a lengthy argument on that point, so I'll drop it.

The alternative to "there becomes a 'pro-Israel' and an 'anti-Israel' party" is "Republicans accuse Democrats of being soft on terror and Democrats fall over themselves to prove Republicans wrong by giving them exactly what they want." So, basically, no-strings aid, no criticism, and maybe someday even explicit support for settlement expansion.

N. Friedman said...


I expect the US to support its allies including Israel, especially those in a fight with that eliminationist, genocide desiring party of thugs called Hamas. Apart from the obvious hypocrisy that the US has done exactly the same thing, morally speaking, as the Israelis have done - killing off large numbers of civilians, on a scale that, by Israeli standards, is embarrassingly poor in an effort to find contraband and to kill actual Jihadists and their leaders -, the evidence from the US is that Biden sides with the Israelis as do large portions of Congress and, most likely, most Americans. It would help if Obama himself would make clear that his administration stands with the Israelis rather than using the occasion to give a big victory to Hamas.

That, of course, is apart from questioning the tactics used by the Israelis. That is always something that is open to discussion. However, thus far, the Israelis seem to have done pretty well showing that they were not at fault, at least by any normal standard of understanding fault.

As for the mention of aid, I recall that the US is giving more aid this year than it gives to Israel. However, it all depends on what you call aid, I suppose. Perhaps, you have heard about the aid going just now to Greece and the EU. It is on an order of magnitude higher than what is given to Israel.

End of debate because I do not wish to tick David off.

joe said...

I should add that the second paragraph of my last post is not prescriptive (and was a response to the original post, not to N.). It is predictive; I don't think the Republican browbeating will make Democrats turn "left" on Israel, so much as it will make them cave to Republican demands -- a pretty common foreign policy dynamic.

Which is bad for Israel in the long run, but not in the same way an actual partisan divide could be.