Likelihood of Success

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Bad for the Jews

Posted by Ron Coleman on September 1, 2008

Instapundit:

JOHN MCCAIN: Bad for Israel?

Not quite.  Not unless you believe that the opposite — “good for Israel” means (1) being against the Iraq war and wishing Saddam Hussein were still around, because his loss as a counterweight has empowered Iran more than his removal has made the world, and the region a better place; and (2) the few policy decisions of the Bush Administration, which would presumable have been made and whose like would yet be made by a McCain Administration would not have happened under an Obama Administration.

Both of these propositions are highly debatable.  As to the first, it wasn’t that long ago that, when the Iraq War was widely “recognized” by smart opinion as a dumb, losing proposition, it was Israel’s fault that it happened in the first place — the “neocons” were handmaidens for the Zionists.  Now winning it was dumb, because it’s bad for Israel!  Not quite blame the Jews, but an interesting variation.

Regarding the second, Jeffrey Goldberg would have us believe that something like the following would never, ever happen if the Party of Carter were back in the saddle:

Recall that it was Bush who insisted, over then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s strong objections, that Hamas participate in elections in Gaza and the West Bank.  This was part of Bush’s brilliant neocon-inspired plan to democratize the region.  To state the obvious, that turned out badly for Israel too, and Hamas is now in control of Gaza and becoming a graver threat to Israel every day.

We’re supposed to believe that this dovish, idealistic policy would never come out of Barack Obama’s White House?

Israel today is in more peril than it was eight years ago.  In fact, it is in more peril than it has been since at least the Yom Kippur war of 1973, and perhaps even since its War of Independence.  So color me skeptical that Bush’s policies have been “good for Israel,” as the refrain in my community goes.  It is unfair, of course, to assume that Israel’s situation today is the result of Bush’s policies merely because they have coincided with his terms in office.  So let’s not assume; let’s look.

Like a good Zionist, Goldberg looks everywhere for Israel’s disastrous state but the most obvious place:  Israel.  The vast majority of its awful policy decisions, whether in terms of defense, international relations, tactics, economics and domestic policy, are not in any way decided or even on the radar on Pennsylvania Avenue.  They are the result of a string of breathtakingly incompetent governments purporting to run a depressingly corrupt kleptocracy to please an obsolescing and self-loathing elite that lacks the will to even purport to lead a confused and mainly unmotivated populace that obsesses on a slim minority of practitioners of its own religion in its midst as the bogeyman that explains its existential hopelessness.  A preposterously irrational and self-destructive foreign policy is almost besides the point and is hardly a surprise — but a secular Zionist can hardly be expected to wrestle with this honestly when there are Republicans to blame and election in the air.

Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain will do anything about that, nor can they.  But to suggest that there’s anything about Obama’s election that would be good for Israel is to believe that Jimmy Carter and Jim Baker really have Israel’s “best interests” in mind as they sell it down the river with “tough love.”  Don’t buy it.

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8 Responses to “Bad for the Jews”

  1. Bob Miller said

    Obama has had more militant Muslims around him over time than your average presidential candidate.

  2. […] Coleman disagrees and provides an alternative hypothesis: Like a good Zionist, Goldberg looks everywhere for Israel’s disastrous state but the most […]

  3. Mobius said

    As to the first, it wasn’t that long ago that, when the Iraq War was widely “recognized” by smart opinion as a dumb, losing proposition, it was Israel’s fault that it happened in the first place — the “neocons” were handmaidens for the Zionists. Now winning it was dumb, because it’s bad for Israel! Not quite blame the Jews, but an interesting variation.

    This is not an argument. This is playing games. I can point to plenty of sources, such as the CATO Institute, that in the run up to the war identified the invasion of Iraq as bad policy, stam, not bad policy because it was “a war for Israel.” (Mind you, the first person to fire that salvo was Pat Buchanan, who is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a Lefty, let alone a Democrat.) Furthermore, you will find few on the Left or on the Paleoconservative Right who are worried about Israel’s security prospects.

    The vast majority of its awful policy decisions, whether in terms of defense, international relations, tactics, economics and domestic policy, are not in any way decided or even on the radar on Pennsylvania Avenue.

    While this is true, to suggest that the U.S. doesn’t bear heavy influence over Israel’s security positions defies reality. Just Google “A Clean Break” for starters.

    And this…

    self-loathing elite that lacks the will to even purport to lead a confused and mainly unmotivated populace that obsesses on a slim minority of practitioners of its own religion in its midst as the bogeyman that explains its existential hopelessness.

    …is self-righteous Orthodox blustering. FWIW-The majority of Israelis define themselves as religious, even if they don’t see themselves as halakhic or devout. And to suggest that the members of the Israeli government are self-loathing, well… when I heard Peres speak in Jerusalem in May talking about “the eternal, undivided capital of Israel,” he sounded more like Zev Jabotinsky than Israel Shahak.

    But to suggest that there’s anything about Obama’s election that would be good for Israel is to believe that Jimmy Carter and Jim Baker really have Israel’s “best interests” in mind as they sell it down the river with “tough love.”

    Jimmy Carter is the only U.S. President who ever negotiated a stable peace between Israel and one of its hostile neighbors. You would do well to remember that.

  4. Mobius said

    BTW-Jeffrey Goldberg didn’t write the piece you cite and attribute to him. It was written by Hillel Levin, who, by Google’s account, is either a law fellow at Stanford or a religious settler living in Shiloh (or both).

  5. I respond to this in a new post!

  6. […] Comments Ron Coleman on Bad for the Jewsmary on Times Square, Eleventh HourAnonymous on Why hasn’t Keith Olbermann […]

  7. Howard said

    OBAMA = BETRAYAL
    Obama supporters are foolish to think that he will never betray them.
    Obama was a close friend of Pastor Wright for TWENTY YEARS.
    Obama threw Wright under the bus for personal ambition.
    McCain would not betray his country even after 5 years of torture.
    You can put lipstick on a traitor, but he’s still a traitor.

  8. […] by Ron Coleman on October 30, 2008 We’ve been here before, and then some.  Now we’re back in multimedia!  Well, one medium.  Medium […]

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