The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Stupid Column of the Week
This week in the Forward, Scott Lasensky expresses strong support for Ariel Sharon's plan to dismantle the Gaza communities. While I don't agree with much of his analysis, his opinion is a legitimate one.
However, toward the end of the piece, Lasensky writes:
Remember the bodyguard from your schoolyard days? The big, tough guy ready to swing fists at any sign of provocation. The role of a bodyguard begins and ends with protection. But a big brother must also keep his ward's best interests at heart. The bodyguard deals only with present, visible dangers, but a big brother also keeps an eye on the horizon.
Stop for a moment and consider this fact. More Israelis - men, women and children - have been killed or injured in the last three years than in any comparable period since Israel's founding. Still, many supporters of Israel inside the Beltway continue to lobby against a more active American role.
Rather than a bodyguard like George W. Bush, what Israel really needs is a friend like Bill Clinton, or even Richard Nixon - American leaders willing to extend whatever Israel needed for its defense, and to put America's military might behind Israel, but at the same time ready to encourage leaders in Jerusalem to take reasoned and responsible risks for peace.
This is just idiotic. Lasensky completely ignores the fact that the Palestinian war began in September 2000, during the Clinton Administration, which responded by refusing to veto a UN Security Council Resolution blaming Israel. Then, 6 weeks before elections in Israel and after Bush's election in the U.S., Clinton forced the Clinton Plan on the Barak government, even though Clinton and Barak were both lame ducks just weeks from their respective departures. Despite the fact that the concessions required under Clinton Plan went much further than Camp David, the attacks on Israelis continued to intensify.
If Israelis were asking for the U.S. to interfere in their sovereign affairs, Lasensky might have a point. But they don't want America to force it to suspend defensive military activity or come up with new peace plans for the sake of pretending a peace process exists.
And in reality, the Bush Administration - with its support for a Palestinian state; its Mitchell Plan, Zinni Plan and Road Map; its April 2002 demand that Israel withdraw from Arab cities that Sharon ultimately accepted, before going back in following yet another series of bombings; its opposition to the fence; its opposition to any settlement activity, even in areas that would be annexed to Israel under the Clinton Plan; and its implied support for the Geneva Accord - has been far from inactive or fully supportive of Israel. Where it differs from Clinton is a recognition that terror is illegitimate and must end.
Perhaps if Yasser Arafat had not been the most frequent guest at the White House during the Clinton Presidency that Lasensky has such nostalgia for - a time when numerous suicide bombings occurred and the PA violated Oslo each and every day - Israel would not be in the situation in which, as erroneously described by Lasensky, "more Israelis - men, women and children - have been killed or injured in the last three years than in any comparable period since Israel's founding."
Not to nitpick, but Lasensky is wrong on that claim too. 6500 Israelis - then 1 percent of its population - were killed in the 1948-49 War of Independence, and almost 3000 in the Yom Kippur War. It may be that more Israeli civilians have been murdered in the last three years than any prior period, though even that is questionable.