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Friday, October 03, 2014
" Despite not everything being perfect in the Holy Land, long term prospects seem bright. Israel is a vibrant democracy that prospers and maintains strong social cohesion. Its international status has improved while support in the United States, its main ally and still the foremost international power, has remained very high."
Moreover, the Jewish state is widely recognized as an entrenched reality, even by its Arab and Muslim rivals. It has built a mighty military machine that can parry all regional threats, and the IDF remains the most capable military in the region with the motivation, equipment, and training to overmatch the conventional capabilities of any regional challenger. Israel has managed to contain terrorist activities and has built an effective shield against missiles.
....Inbar concluded that “While peace is desirable, it is not a necessary condition for survival.”
Lustick’s dire prognosis also depends on misinformation. Israel’s version of two states, he insists, envisions “huge Jewish settlements, crisscrossed by Jewish-only access roads.” But this is utter nonsense. The West Bank is not currently crisscrossed by Jewish-only roads, and no credible Israeli proponent of a two-state solution calls for creating such roads, either in Israel or in a future Palestinian state. Lustick has seemingly dug up the old canard that describes roads on which Israeli Jews, Muslims and Christians can freely travel, but to which Palestinians have restricted access, as being Jewish only. Major media organizations that have made that mistake have subsequently published corrections.
But again, the key problem isn’t Lustick’s ridiculous argumentation or his dangerous vision, both of which he is entitled to, and both of which he has shared before. The real issue is with The New York Times decision-making. As Shmuel Rosner correctlypointed out, the foolish idea that the disenfranchisement of the Jewish people is up for debate is “based solely on the fact that a widely read and respectable publication has decided to print it.” It is an extremist concept that the newspaper is trying to push into the mainstream.
Times opinion editors will surely protest that they publish diverse views, and that they don’t necessarily agree with what is published. To some extent this is true. But this boilerplate defense does not justify the publication of anything and everything. No op-eds have made the case that the slaying of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School was actually a “false-flag” conspiracy. None have promoted female genital mutilation. None have revived the outrageous debate about the right to freedom for blacks in America. And none should revive the old debate about the right of the Jewish people to determine their own destiny in their ancestral homeland.
In other words — at least when it comes to issues that don’t involve the world’s one, small Jewish-majority country — free speech is not conflated with desirable speech. Arguments in The New York Timesnormally fall within the bounds of good taste and basic decency, and this guideline must be applied to the conversation about Israel, too.