Friday, December 15, 2006

VDH: Israel Did It!

It's been quite chic for many years to blame Israel for, well, just about anything. You need look no further than the pathetic Jimmy Carter, Worst U.S. President Ever.

Victor Davis Hanson has a marvelous piece in the NRO today, excoriating those who reflexively blame the Israelis for the failings of others.
These are strange times.

Perennially beleaguered Israel, for instance, was hit all summer long with rockets from Lebanon and Gaza, as the world watched and kept score in an absurd new game of proportionality: Israel was to be blamed because its hundreds of air strikes against combatants were lethal, while Hezbollah was to be excused for shooting off thousands of rockets aimed at civilians because of its relative incompetence.

This week Iran hosted an international conference on Holocaust denial. The gathering was as bizarre as a bar out of Star Wars, a collection of every crackpot anti-Semite the world over, all there for a scripted, tightly controlled hatefest advertised as a “free” exchange of ideas unknown in Europe.

Jimmy Carter, silent about Iran’s latest promotion for its planned holocaust, is hawking his latest book — in typical fashion, sorta, kinda alleging that the Israelis are like the South Africans in perpetuating an apartheid state, that they are cruel to many Christians, and, as occupiers, are understandably the targets of suicide bombers and other terrorist killers. Sadly, all that shields this wrinkled-browed, lip-biting moralist from complete infamy is sympathy for a man bewildered in his dotage.
The real problem is that Israeli success, and the resulting sense of failure in the surrounding Arab world, fuels much of the rabid hatred. Many of us have been writing exactly that for years and have been dubbed novices — and worse — who don’t understand the complex undercurrents of the Middle East. In January 2004, for example, I suggested in passing the following on these pages:

Instead, [Israel] stoked the fury arising from Arabs' sense of weakness and self-contempt. In the world of the Palestinian lobster bucket, Israel’s great sin is not bellicosity or aggression, but succeeding beyond the wildest dreams of its neighbors. How humiliating it must be to be incapable of even muttering the word “Israel” (hence the need for “Zionist entity”), but nevertheless preferring an Israeli to a Palestinian ID card.

To suggest primordial envy as a cause of the present conundrum is to be written off as a reductionist by the realists and Arabists of the State Department.

There's much more. Read it all.

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