Archive for the ‘Eloquent Pig’ category

Look Up in the Sky…

January 12, 2007

“Victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world: a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties and answers to its people. A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them, and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and our grandchildren.”

-President George W. Bush

Moral Nihilism

August 2, 2006

Mark A LeVine, who is apparently a professor of modern Middle Eastern history, culture, and Islamic studies at the University of California, Irvine, has penned a critique of Michael Walzer’s recent piece on the justness of Israel’s war against Hezbollah. In the course of spelling-out a rambling argument, he uncorks this gem:

To begin with, Walzer utterly fails to understand that his descriptions of Hezbollah and Hamas– an “enemy whose hostility is extreme, explicit, unrestrained, and driven by an ideology of religious hatred,” or later as a movement that “does not recognize the legal and moral principle of noncombatant immunity” could, sadly, be used to describe the views of the Israeli government and the IDF towards Palestinians, and now Lebanese.

On Mel’s Passion

August 2, 2006

Dangerously worded as it was, Gibson’s drunken comment was, it could reasonably be argued, a statement against the arrogance of the Israeli military: “They started all the wars in the world.”

— Andrew O’Hagan, The Telegraph, August 2, 2006 (Hat Tip: Normblog)

David Gelernter and the Debasement of Jewish Politics

July 25, 2006

I have always found the assumption that American Jews vote first and foremost on the issue of Israel deeply offensive. The mere suggestion has an odious whiff to it, as though the Jewish vote can be wooed merely by toeing a particular policy in the Middle East. It also has an element of the absurd to it, as anyone familiar with the fractious ideological machination of the American Jewish community knows, there is no unified “pro-Israel” position for politicians to pander to. It is an old argument, a battle that has been raging for years in the pages of Commentary Magazine.

All of which brings me to an essay in the current issue of The Weekly Standard by David Gelernter. Gelernter (who is himself and profoundly fascinating individual) takes the opportunity of the violence in the Middle East to revive this stale argument and inveigh against the liberal proclivities of American Jews. He is somewhere between dismayed and appalled that a majority of American Jews are so “naive” that they are unable to gauge their own self-interest with the clear-eyes he brings to the table. Their behavior, Gelernter writes, “is a lesson in self-destructive nihilism.” Their offense? They do not support President Bush with all their heart and soul because President Bush supports Israel.

Now, Gelernter does offer the requisite caveat early on in his polemic: “Of course American Jews, like all Americans, define their interests in terms of many issues and not just one.” But he then proceeds to spend the next 1,217 words arguing as though it were in fact the case that American Jewish politics can be reduced to one (albeit important) issue.

Incoming

July 24, 2006

“Interestingly, Hamas is ready to stop launching rockets and return the captive soldier if Israel discontinues its assassination policy, releases Palestinian prisoners and returns to the negotiating table to carve out a peace agreement based on Israel’s withdrawal to its 1967 borders.”
-Neve Gordon