As the mad folly known as the peace process heads into its eighth year, every one of the assumptions of its architects and supporters has been shredded. Most recent to go: Israel's willingness to make dramatic concessions (in contrast with Arafat's refusal to budge) will earn it brownie points with those fashioning public opinion. But Israel's formerly unthinkable readiness to divide Jerusalem and to find "creative solutions," like turning over the Temple Mount area to the UN, have earned it nothing but further opprobrium. Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount area -- a visit perfectly in the right of any Israeli -- is treated in the world press as an affront that could only have been expected to set off massive Arab rioting. Indeed the BBC in its hour long World News, broadcast by public television in the U.S., never even mentioned the rain of stones on the heads of worshippers at the Western Wall in the hours before Rosh Hashanah. The BBC went straight from Ariel Sharon's "provocation" to bullets by Israeli police against children. (Can one imagine the response of a UN administration to complaints by worshippers at the Wall that stones were being hurled on them? There is no need to imagine -- endless complaints have gone to the UN about the stones hurled daily from Lebanon at Israelis.)
All that the endless Israeli concessions and Arab intransigence accomplish is to convey the message that Israel does not value its patrimony while the Arabs place high value on what they claim as their patrimony. Remember, King Solomon too ruled that the mother who caredwho would not divide her child -- was the real mother.
The response in Israel to Yoram Hazony's book The Jewish State has been amazing. Here is a book published in the United States (Basic Books) that thus far no Israeli publisher has seen fit to translate into Hebrew, which is nonetheless being scurrilously attacked on a daily basis in Israel's "newspaper-of-record" Ha'aretz. Haifa University economics professor Steven Plaut points out that for weeks Ha'aretz has given space to one New Historian after another to launch ad hominem attacks on Hazony "for daring to question their Revisionist history textbooks." A favorite charge, invented by journalist Akiva Eldar and then repeated endlessly by the New Historians to whom Ha'aretz turned over its pages, was that Hazony was a closet follower of the late Meir Kahane. Unable to counter Hazony's chapter and verse on their own activities, Israel's cultural elite seeks to discredit Hazony by linking him to a man widely demonized in Israel.
The entire basis for the charge was an obituary Hazony had written for the Jerusalem Post ten years ago following Kahane's murder in New York. It turns out the title of the obituary cited to prove Hazony was a Kahanist was "Farewell from a Non-Kahanist."
Of course that has not stopped the attacks: Plaut observes that a recent op-ed is devoted to accusing Hazony of being a "McCarthyist" for daring to expose what Israel's left elite has wrought in Israeli textbooks.
To be sure, Hazony's fine book is not without flaws. They have nothing to do with the unwarranted attacks of Israel's New Historians in Ha'aretz, but with a simplistic portrayal of Ben-Gurion's Labor Zionism (see your editor's review in the May Outpost) and with Hazony's surprising neglect of Ze'ev Jabotinsky (see Eugene Narrett in this Outpost).
In recent years, the ADL has betrayed its mandate by defaming friends of Jews and Israel, notably in its ill-considered 1994 report "The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism in America." Now it is betraying its mandate by failing to condemn the most glaring manifestations of anti-Semitism.
In an exchange that would be amusing if it were not horrifying, Aaron Lerner on September 19 interviewed the ADL's spokeswoman in Jerusalem, asking if the ADL, which had invited the Palestinian official in charge of education to the opening of its new offices in Jerusalem, was satisfied with the schoolbooks used by the
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Outpost - 2 - October 2000