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Andrew Sullivan’s Litany of Israel: Paranoid, Utterly Arrogant, Fueled by a Sense of Impunity…a Steaming Mess

Posted on June 3 2010 7:00 pm
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Andrew Sullivan is one of the Left’s most prolific and popular bloggers. He enhances his quirky persona by donning the mantle of Catholicity with all the legitimacy of a vegetarian Jeffrey Dahmer. (Allegiance to a religion generally requires intellectual assent to and compliance with at least one doctrine and moral ordinance.) Since the terrorist attempt to dismantle the Gaza Blockade, Sullivan has gleefully taken his wrecking ball to Israel:

“Here’s what Israel killed nine civilians for: Toys, some wheelchairs and a lot of used clothes.”

“But when you look at the full range of blockaded goods, you realize that this is a de facto act of collective punishment, depriving Gazans of the ability to feed themselves, rebuild their shattered infrastructure, or construct a functioning state. Has it weakened Hamas’ grip? Not so far as one can tell.”

“’Bit by bit, Israel is becoming less of a strategic asset for America,’ – Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, today. And Netanyahu seems determined to drive the point home.”

“How deranged are many neocons? This deranged. Jennifer Rubin believes that Israel’s attack on a flotilla carrying goods for impoverished Gazans by a bunch of activists, armed only with bric a brac from their ship, was self-defense. Moreover, this attack took place in international waters, and the people on board were fully entitled to defend themselves. You have to invert every single principle of law and morality to give Israel the benefit of the doubt in this inversion of normal morality.”

“This analysis is a function of a mindset warped by paranoia, enabled by utter arrogance, fueled by a sense of impunity. And the primary collateral damage is done to the West as a whole, to the US’s interests in the Middle East, and, of course, to Israel itself.”

After page upon page of such comments, Sullivan showcases an article by David Grossman:

“David Grossman writes a heartfelt, nuanced cri de coeur:

“With a combination of excessive military force, and a fatal failure to anticipate the intensity of the reaction of those aboard the ship, it killed and wounded civilians, and did so – as if it were a band of pirates – outside its territorial waters. This assessment does not imply agreement with the motives, overt or hidden, and often malicious, of some participants in the Gaza flotilla. Not all its people are peace-loving humanitarians, and the declarations of some of them regarding the destruction of the state of Israel are criminal. But these facts are simply not relevant at the moment: such opinions do not deserve the death penalty.”

These facts are not relevant? This is like saying that the Holocaust was not relevant to the civil disruption caused by the Warsaw Uprising.

“Israel’s actions are but the natural continuation of the shameful, ongoing closure of Gaza, which in turn is the perpetuation of the heavy-handed and condescending approach of the Israeli government, which is prepared to embitter the lives of a million and a half innocent people in the Gaza Strip…and this closure is the all-too-natural consequence of a clumsy and calcified policy, which again and again resorts by default to the use of massive and exaggerated force, at every decisive juncture, where wisdom and sensitivity and creative thinking are called for instead.”

The only “again and again” in the non-negotiable destruction of the state of Israel that began in 1948, is the Arab consistency in  matching Israeli diplomacy and land concessions with terrorism and violence.

Andrew, I challenge you to present one single documented example of “wisdom, sensitivity, and creative thinking” on the part of the PLO, Hamas, or Fatah. All we have are 62 years of, “We were here first, we want to go back, we will kill you until you get off our land.”

“And somehow, all these calamities – including Monday’s deadly events – seem to be part of a larger corruptive process afflicting Israel. One has the sense that a sullied and bloated political system, fearfully aware of the steaming mess produced over the years by its own actions and malfunctions, and despairing of the possibility to undo the endless tangle it has wrought, becomes ever more inflexible in the face of pressing and complicated challenges, losing in the process the qualities that once typified Israel and its leadership – freshness, originality, creativity.”

“…losing in the process the qualities that once typified Israel and its leadership – freshness, originality, creativity?”

I would suggest that Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Grossman immerse themselves in Discover the Networks. For example, Conflict in Gaza with Hamas, and Issues: Mid-East War 2006.

These articles would give them a basic understanding of the extent that the Arabs co-operated with the former freshness, originality, and creativity of previous Israeli leaders. Rather, they reacted according to their fundamental, constitutive goal to expel the Jews from what they consider to be their own land.

Again, I challenge Mr. Sullivan to produce a single example of Hamas freshness, originality or creativity in the service of a lasting, plausible resolution. I have a feeling it might take Mr. Sullivan longer to find an example of constructive behavior on the part of the “victims” than it did for him to compile his list of insults for Israel.

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