Reports of advisors to the new Obama Administration are not good. No, I don’t think that Obama will prove himself an enemy of Israel but I do wonder if his thinking isn’t the same mismash of blithe arrogance, naiveity and liberal cognative egocentrism that we typically see in US and British academia.
Here’s the passage, “Unless he is prepared to adopt a policy that is tougher, fairer and smarter than both of his predecessors you might as well hang a closed-for-the-season sign on any chance of America playing an effective role in defusing the current crisis or the broader crisis,”
“tougher”? He can’t mean Hamas -so does he mean Israel? He could just mean that the new administration’s assault will “fight” harder to achieve a peace settlement, otherwise known as blind arrogance and self-deception. Or he could mean leaning on Israel to sacrifice its own interests in favour of terrorist groups in the desperately foolish attempt to persuade them to give up arms…
“fairer”? What on earth does this mean? We supply Israel with weapons and money and political support, we’ll do likewise for the terrorists Palestinians? Surely no one would be so stupid as to arm Israel’s sworn enemies – no wait – the Bush administration, in one its bouts of “realism”, did just that with the Palestinian Authority – and those weapons ended up being used by Hamas… Ok, let’s try and think pro-Israel? Well, he could denounce the anti-semitism in world and especially leftwing discourse – but that’s not going to happen. I think that “fairer” means recourse to the “land swap for peace” notions – that is the most likely angle. This will be pressure to shut down settlement in Judea & Samaria and remove the security infrastructure that has kept terrorism at bay for a few years now. Nothing terrible unconventional in that – for leftist thinking…
“smarter” Ah, now I don’t think that this actually applies to anything in particular in terms of policies. No, it generally expresses the supreme self-confidence that derives from a very selective and arrogant view of the world. Terrorists must be poor because people express their discontents with economics in the Arab world through violence… Nevermind that this has repeatedly been shown to be nonsense, nothing more than a socialist/marxian fantasy about third world freedom fighters. The terrorists (the committed ones) broadly tend to be middle class, well educated and highly politically (or religiously, it amounts to the same thing) committed. The terrorists of Bolshevism were middle-class pseudo-intellectuals. The terrorists of the Nazi party were failed intellectuals, while the communist aligned terrorist groups that attempted to terrorize Western Europe until the 1980s were middle class pseudo-intellectuals.
So if not poverty, what? Foreign policy? No, that doesn’t work with Islamist terrorists. Give them retreat and mildness, they attack out of contempt. Stamp on them and after a fight (often vicious) and they retreat and slowly become discredited.
“smarter” catches it for me. This is not about anything other than the tunnel vision afflicting the liberal-left, their blithe arrogance is often a front for a mocking insecurity – look at how they have resorted to intellectual terrorism and legal censorship to silence debates, whether this be in universities (speech codes and legally privilaging the “victim of hegemony”) or using anti-terrorism laws to spy on people’s bins… In power, the liberal-left oscilate between blind mania and spiteful lows. This means for Israel the possibility of a US administration treating the word of Hamas and Fatah as honourable and intended as such, when they both will be lying through their teeth while treating with contemptous disdain Israeli fears.
Someone else said it before me, we’re in for a rough four years. Jimmy Carter Mark II, if these leaks are anything to go by.