Posts Tagged 'Walt & Mearsheimer'

Remembering Why They Hate Israel – and Us

I have not been a big fan of William Kristol.  He often seems to derive too much enjoyment from being different and clever.   I have always put great stock in Burke’s commitment to avoid such things: “I assure you I do not aim at singularity.”  Kristol sometimes seems to aim for it. (Maybe all pundits have to do that these days.)

But his piece in the upcoming issue of Weekly Standard, entitled “The West Fights Back”, is a cogent and powerful reminder of something that is all too forgotten in America today: Israel and the US are both hated and attacked by the same people and for the same reasons.

The Walt-Mearsheimer hypothesis, embraced by right-wing Republicans and left-wing Democrats alike, says that Israel and the Jewish Lobby run US foreign policy for Israel’s benefit, to our own detriment.  Now this stuff is at least as old as the Zionist movement.  It was the thinking of FDR when he suppressed support for Zionism in order to appease Ibn Saud.  It was the mindset of the “realists” in the State Department who urged Truman to withhold recognition of the State of Israel.  (Their “realism” invariably fell back on the belief that Israel would require 100,000 US troops, “boots on the ground”, for its survival in the first year.  The “realists” were wrong, of course, but never acknowledged it.)

And it underlies the thinking of today’s administration “realists”, who think a little “daylight” between the US and Israel will somehow improve things in the world.

Kristol quickly and brilliantly lances the boil of this thinking.  The anti-Israel front doesn’t hate us because we support Israel; they hate us because we are LIKE Israel:  democratic, respecting free speech and religious freedom, willing to live in peace with our neighbors, modern, and economically successful.  Everything the Arabs and Iranians and their allies are not.

Anyway, I suggest you read Kristol’s column here.    And let me know what you think: click the “Comments” button up top.

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Can You Love Freedom and Hate Israel?

I was discussing philosophy recently with my friend Ben Finiti.  The queston arose of whether it is repressive “political correctness” to consider a person’s extreme prejudices (in this case, anti-semitism) when evaluating their position on a philosophical question.

Our initial reaction was that, if at all possible, the philosophical question should be considered separately.

This got me thinking about a question I often ask myself:  how can someone who does A also do B?  Specifically on the question of Israel and Zionism.

How can one preach democracy and hate the most democratic state ever to exist in the region?

How can one value freedom and yet hate the freest, arguably the only free state in the region?

How can one espouse peace and yet hate the only state in the region willing to establish peace with all its neighbors?

And finally, the most perplexing of all: How can one love God and hate Israel?

I know, I know.  Anti-Zionism and opposition to Israel is not the same as anti-semitism.  Supposedly, not every anti-Zionist advocate of return to the indefensible pre-1967 borders hates Jews.  Not every pious critic who screams “Apartheid” and “Imperialism” at Israel’s every measure of self-defense is an anti-Semite.  Not every college professor demanding disinvestment from all Israeli companies would be happy to see Hamas achieve its bloodthirsty dreams.  Not every anti-Zionist wants to see Israel swept off the map, or even the more moderate proposal of allowing Hamas missiles to be positioned 11 miles from Tel Aviv.

But still…

When I hear someone say “I am not anti-Semitic; I am just anti-Israel” I wonder.  Continue reading ‘Can You Love Freedom and Hate Israel?’


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