Bev’s best of this week’s Zionism op-eds
OPINION AND ANALYSIS
Week Ending 28 October 2014
1. Winning the media war
There is no such thing as ‘fighting fair’ in this war of words and images. Experience has taught me that expressing empathy for the other, accepting responsibility for mistakes on our side, and acknowledging legitimate concerns by the other side, is abused to paint Israel in the darkest colours of evil. The word ‘sorry’ will be used to admit culpability; the word ‘mistake’ to convey evil intentions; the words ‘we are not sure’ to mean that we are sure of the opposite.
2. In defence of Zionism
Zionism emerged in the best century for Jews in a long time, certainly better than what came after it; it cannot be just a reaction to anti-Semitism. The conclusion was that if liberty is anchored in democracy, which is anchored in national identity, then the way to make people free was a democratic nation state. Zionism was the application of this to the Jews. It’s that simple; it’s the application of the universal right to self-determination, even before the notion was popularised by Woodrow Wilson.
3. Left wing screams apartheid over new security edict for Palestinian labourers
The program requires Palestinian workers from the West Bank to head home at night through the same IDF manned passageway through which they entered; this new edict makes the use of Israeli buses cumbersome.
4. Irish diplomat: It’s all about the settlements
The greatest threat to real lasting peace is the Israeli settlements policy. It is nothing less than a deliberate, steadily unrolling policy, which is destroying systematically the very do-ability of that one remaining solution scenario.
5. Letters from America: Why a Palestinian state is essential
Obama and Netanyahu need each other when it comes to their legacies and the unfinished business of a resolution of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and the related Arab-Israeli conflict. That is the easy part. The challenging dynamic is how to bring that agreement about when they have staked out very different positions to address those conflicts.
6. Recognising a Palestinian state now will thwart hopes for peace
The Palestinian state doesn’t exist yet and the only structures in place that may resemble a functioning state are controlled by the internationally designated terrorist group Hamas. Nonetheless many countries have “recognised” a Palestinian state through formal declarations, and groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization have been granted observer status at the UN general assembly. Europe had been resisting until now the urge to recognise an entity that doesn’t exist in real terms. Unfortunately some Europeans are today indulging in a “recognition now” policy.
7. Will Israel’s territorial concessions bring peace?
On a trip to the United States this past week during which he met with Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, Israel’s Defence Minister Yaalon spoke with The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth about the threat he sees from Iran, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Excerpts:
8. Don’t play politics with genocide
The subjection of Israel to the most inflammatory of rhetoric has over recent months been met with astounding silence. Iran’s supposedly moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, accused Israel of a “huge genocide” in Gaza – this from the leader of a government enabling bloodshed in Syria that has claimed far more Arab life in three years than Israel has in sixty-six. Not given pause by the absence of gas chambers or crematoria, Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Israel has “surpassed Hitler in barbarism.”
9. Iran remains the threat in the Middle East
The emergence of the Islamic State (IS) on the battlefields of the civil war in Syria, and its subsequent spectacular successes in conquering parts of Syria and Iraq, have grabbed international attention. The gruesome pictures of IS’s barbaric beheadings supplied to the international media has only added to its notoriety. The Islamic State’s quest to establish a new bloody Caliphate became a cause célèbre. Many pundits have decided that the Islamic State is fundamentally changing the Middle East and they grope for new strategies to meet the challenge. In reality, however, the novelty of the Islamic State, as well as the magnitude of the threat it poses, are greatly exaggerated.