Friday, December 08, 2006

Baker Report "antisemitic" and Jimmy Carter is trashed: the battle is joined

David Seaton's News Links
The selection of neocon blogs from the Los Angeles Times below is a good sample of how this battle over Baker-Hamilton and Israel's influence on US policy is going to shape up. Most of the classic points are here, beginning with blanket charges of anti-Semitism, references to "Islamofascism" and of course "Munich" and Neville Chamberlain. Also in the LA Times is a brave piece by Jimmy Carter, certainly America's most underrated president, defending himself against the, by now, inevitable charges of antisemitism, where he says:
"Book reviews in the mainstream media have been written mostly by representatives of Jewish organizations who would be unlikely to visit the occupied territories, and their primary criticism is that the book is anti-Israel. Two members of Congress have been publicly critical. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for instance, issued a statement (before the book was published) saying that "he does not speak for the Democratic Party on Israel." Some reviews posted on call me "anti-Semitic," and others accuse the book of "lies" and "distortions." A former Carter Center fellow has taken issue with it, and Alan Dershowitz called the book's title "indecent."(...) The book describes the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine's citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank. An enormous imprisonment wall is now under construction, snaking through what is left of Palestine to encompass more and more land for Israeli settlers. In many ways, this is more oppressive than what blacks lived under in South Africa during apartheid. I have made it clear that the motivation is not racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize choice sites in Palestine, and then to forcefully suppress any objections from the displaced citizens. Obviously, I condemn any acts of terrorism or violence against innocent civilians, and I present information about the terrible casualties on both sides. The ultimate purpose of my book is to present facts about the Middle East that are largely unknown in America, to precipitate discussion and to help restart peace talks (now absent for six years) that can lead to permanent peace for Israel and its neighbors. Another hope is that Jews and other Americans who share this same goal might be motivated to express their views, even publicly, and perhaps in concert. I would be glad to help with that effort. "
A selection of neocon bloggers from the Los Angeles Times

Roger Simon:

Is James Baker the biggest American anti-Semite since Father Coughlin[?]

Charles Johnson:

All these recommendations stem from a basis of complete fantasy, in which Israel's Arab neighbors are genuinely interested in peace and all we have to do to get it is ask them the right way.

Michael Brandon McClellan:

The report is thus simultaneously both unoriginal and ridiculous.

David Horowitz:

The news is sickening to every decent soul except to the Islamic Nazis and their friends in the international left and the delusional folk who think that if America leaves Iraq the terrorists will leave too (Speaker Pelosi actually made that precise comment this October). Talking to the Hitler in Teheran and the Arab Mussolini in Damascus makes perfect sense to the contemporary Chamberlains -- Baker, Hamilton (he of the capitulate to the Sandinistas crowd). I never thought I would live to see a day when the last years of the Thirties would be repeated, let alone by Americans. But there it is.

Hugh Hewitt:

Of the 43 "former officials and experts" consulted --including Mark Danner of the New York Review of Books, Thomas Friedman, Leslie Gelb, Sandy Berger, Anthony Lake, Ken Pollack, Thomas Ricks, and George Will-- the ISG did not find it necessary to talk with, say, Victor Davis Hanson, Lawrence Wright, Robert Kaplan, Mark Steyn, Michael Ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerecht, or Christopher Hitchens. The ISG did talk with Bill Kristol. I wonder how long that sit down lasted?

The report combines an almost limitless condescension towards the "Iraqi sovereign government," even going so far as to lay out a timetable for its exact legislative program for the next six months, with a cavalier indifference to the Syrian death squads operating in Lebanon, and the certain nature ofDS the Iranian regime --still, on this very day, hosting the anti-Holocaust conference.

It is a wonder, this bit of appeasement virtuosity, and I think it will gain for its authors all the lasting fame that has attached itself to the name Samuel Hoare, and his brainchild, the Hoare-Laval Agreement.

This battle is going to be the most fierce and wrenching in the United States since the anti-slavery debates of the 1850s. It is absolutely essential that it take place, the air must be cleared. What is so tragic is that this debate about Israel's and its lobby's influence on American policy could only take place in the context of of America's huge failure in Iraq. DS


Artemis said...

cationspThere is so much pro-Israeli flotsam in the media water that it is almost impossible to swim.

To see an alternative view, read Meron Benvuniste's book, "Sacred Landscape" -- Benvuniste is an Israeli who toured Israel with his geologist father charged by Ben Gurion with the task of Israelifying Arab villages then recently vacated by ethnic cleansing.

Or for an easier and more current account, access

to hear from Bishop Rais, the Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem. Yes, there are Christian Palestinians -- suffering the depredations that Jimmy Carter describes.

Let us educate ourselves and break the hold that fear of another Holocaust holds over us all.

The Palestinians are a democratic people living and stuggling under the yoke of an occupying predator.

They deserve our unbiased help.

Ian Clark

ira said...

"An occupying predator"

That really encompasses the Arab-Israeli conflict...except that the predator is Israel's neighbours. The occupation is horrible and tragic, and I will fight for it to end as soon as possible. You are stuck in the mindset that Israel wants to occupy Palestinian land. Carter points out himself that it's really only factional minorities of the Israeli government. Get a clue on the situation, the Palestinians could have had a state 50+ years ago. The other Arab countries prevented it from happening. Let's hope there's a Palestinian state sometime in the near future so all the bloodshed can end. But calling Israel an occupying predator sounds like something you learned in the "How to criticize Israel" pamphlet of the day. Lobbing Qassam-like insults like that is pointless, and doesn't help the Palestinian cause in an unbiased way.