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Worse than a Lie

golan

from Daniel Greenfield and Sultan Knish, Israel and the Terrorist Rug Merchant:

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie; deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth; persistent, persuasive and unrealistic,” John F. Kennedy said. The mythology of the peace process is the enemy of the truth. Its “reassuring repetition of stale phrases” prevents what Kennedy called, “the difficult, but essential confrontation with reality.”

“Mythology distracts us everywhere,” John F. Kennedy said. “In government as in business, in politics as in economics, in foreign affairs as in domestic affairs.”

The mythology of the peace process is a giant distraction. It allows for the same worthless commodity to be sold and resold, again and again. And that commodity is hope. The Israelis have been compelled to trade territory and lives for hope. Now the trade is beginning all over again, this time with a peace plan put forward by a country that is behind much of the terrorism around the world.

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Mazel Tov to Scarlett

scarlett

from NBC News Scarlett Johansson quits Oxfam over SodaStream criticism

LONDON — Actress Scarlett Johansson has quit her role with the charity Oxfam after it criticized herpromotion of drinks company SodaStream, which has a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Israel-based drinks company SodaStream has its largest factory in Maale Adumim, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law, and Oxfam has a policy of opposing trade with those areas.

The West Bank factory employs both Palestinians and Israelis. SodaStream cites it as an example of the two peoples working side-by-side. “Approximately 500 Palestinians work at our Mishor Adumim facility, supporting several thousand people and their families,” Yonah Lloyd, chief corporate development and communications officer for SodaStream, said in a statement to NBC News.

HKO

So Oxfam pretends to boycott Israel by taking a stand against a company that hires 500 Palestinians.  How stupid is this? More posing-  actions without results, and preaching without helping anyone.

Here is the ad:

 

another view from Debbie Schlussel –  Scarlett Johansson, Israel, Oxfam & SodaStream: Starlet’s No Hero; History of Hanging w Israel Boycotters

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An Atoll of Prosperity

telaviv

from The Israeli Spring by Victor Davis Hanson in The National Review

excerpts:

In terms of realpolitik, anti-Israeli authoritarians are fighting to the death against anti-Israeli insurgents and terrorists. Each is doing more damage to the other than Israel ever could — and in an unprecedented, grotesque fashion. Who now is gassing Arab innocents? Shooting Arab civilians in the streets? Rounding up and executing Arab civilians? Blowing up Arab houses? Answer: either Arab dictators or radical Islamists.

Secretary of State John Kerry is still beating last century’s dead horse of a “comprehensive Middle East peace.” But does Kerry’s calcified diplomacy really assume that a peace agreement involving Israel would stop the ethnic cleansing of Egypt’s Coptic Christians? Does Israel have anything to do with Assad’s alleged gassing of his own people?

In comparison with the ruined economies of the Arab Spring — tourism shattered, exports nonexistent, and billions of dollars in infrastructure lost through unending violence — Israel is an atoll of prosperity and stability. Factor in its recent huge gas and oil finds in the eastern Mediterranean, and it may soon become another Kuwait or Qatar, but with a real economy beyond its booming petroleum exports.

Israel had nothing to do with either the Arab Spring or its failure. The irony is that surviving embarrassed Arab regimes now share the same concerns with the Israelis. In short, the more violent and chaotic the Middle East becomes, the more secure and exceptional Israel appears.

HKO

Imagine this outcome being planned.  Why involve our forces in a conflict where two of our enemies are killing each other?  Just arm whoever is the underdog long enough to sustain the carnage as long as possible.  Imagine if we could have planned for the Iranians to be at war with Al Qaeda.  While terribly unfortunate for the civilians it is these two parties that have carried their hatred beyond military guidelines.  The more they exhaust their resources on each other the less they have to threaten those outside of the region.

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No Risk, No Solution

Victor Davis Hanson writes The Age of Tokenism in The National Review, 1/29/13

Excerpt:

No one knows how to break the cycle of Middle East violence, much less how to address the tribalism, statism, lack of transparency and freedom, gender apartheid, religious fundamentalism, and intolerance so ubiquitous in the Arab world and so much at the heart of its wide-scale poverty and violence. To attempt any such discussion would be caricatured as neo-colonialist, imperialist, racist, naïve, or culturally ignorant.

Iraq and Afghanistan have been too costly to serve as models; Libya is now a hushed-up embarrassment; our positions have changed so much on Syria that there now are no positions; and Mohamed Morsi’s achievement in Egypt will have been to create nostalgia for the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak. No need to touch on the events in Algeria. The French, alone, are leading from the front in trying to save Mali from Islamists. Who would wish to wade into these morasses, or even talk about them with any degree of honesty?

It is far easier to focus on the Israelis: They are few. They have not until recently had oil or gas; the world hates them; and their government is lawful and Western. The result is that demonizing Mr. Netanyahu as the nexus of Middle East violence carries no risks, and offers no solutions, and therefore is preferable to the dangers of candidly crafting a policy to attempt to deal with the pathologies of the modern Arab world. If it is a question of attempting to deal fairly with Netanyahu or declaring jihad a personal spiritual journey, the latter wins every time.

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Why Democracy Fails in the Middle East

Daniel Greenfield write a bit of profound analysis of Democracy in With a Pocketful of Democracy in his blog Sultan Knish

Excerpt:

In an amoral society, democracy is one of the few things left to us by dead white men that is held to be a virtue, rather than a vice. It goes unquestioned because to most people it represents the power of the common man over his rulers, even if the common man no more rules his rulers than he did some two-hundred years ago. But democracy for the grandfathers of the salesmen goes deeper than fact. It represents a classless society where one man is as good as another and there are no lords or kings.

This however is not the effect of American democracy, it is rather the cause of American democracy, particularly in its Jacksonian flavor. And that old Scots-Irish flavor can be served locally, but it can’t be exported. The ballot box is not a society of rugged individualists, it is not a classless society where no one bends a knee before lords or the ascension of the common man. Those are features you can see in the showroom, but they don’t come with the device.

In our democracy salesmanship we never really troubled to ask ourselves why the Muslim world would want democracy and what it would do with it. Saddam Hussein bought 4000 Playstation game consoles, not because he was trying to train suicide bombers on copies of Sonic the Hedgehog, but because some of its components could be used in weapons. Those Muslim groups most interested in democracy were looking to weaponize it as well.

To the Muslim world, democracy did not mean individualism, it meant majority rule. Our democracy salesmen conceived of the Muslim world divided between the rule of its dictators and the will of its people.

The innate assumption in that use of “the people” as applied to people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds is very American. When used by the left, “the People” carries it with the ominous resonance of a collectivization that transcends all individual attributes. But when used by that old fashioned creature, the pre-post-America ‘American’  it throbs with the assumption that the people of a free society will unite around their freedoms, rather than around their identities. That assumption may be outdated, but it is still what we expected Iraqis and Egyptians to do. And our salesmen never really got around to asking what being a people meant to Iraqis and Egyptians, rather than Americans.

HKO

We assumed that democracy would begat the moral virtues of a free and open society. We were wrong.  Without the established moral virtues of freedom, tolerance, individual rights, and a classically liberal respect for reason, democracy is just another form of tyranny.  We saw this in the guillotines of the French Revolution and with the missiles launched hourly from Gaza.