A Race Toward Irony

Posted on January 22, 2009



Three items from the NYT lead the pack in today’s ironical news statements:

Third Place:

“But many Middle East experts are eager to hear whether the Obama administration will try to create a credible, unified Palestinian government that could negotiate and enforce a state-to-state relationship with Israel, the essence of the so-called two-state solution that has dominated peace negotiations.”

Isn’t it funny how these Middle East experts never seem to understand that its this continual effort to create “a credible, unified Palestinian government” enforcing “a state to state relationship with Israel” that’s at the core of the problem facing the region? A consortium of hegemonic interests might indeed face difficulty in convincing Palestinians that the government created for them through military violence and political manipulation is credible.

Second Place:

“He’s [George Mitchell] neither pro-Israeli nor pro-Palestinian,” said Martin S. Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel and an adviser to the Clinton administration. “He’s, in a sense, neutral.”

Yes, that’s Martin S. Indyk, the former research director for AIPAC, former US ambassador to Israel and former assistant to Bill Clinton on Arab Israeli affairs. Would that be neutral in the congressional sense of “vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel” neutral?  Or neutral, like not supporting either side of an argument, fight, war, etc.” the way its written in the freakin’ dictionary, neutral?

But, of course, the winner hands down, is this excellent Op-Ed by Muammar Qaddafi–yes, that Qaddafi–which is by far the most reasonable, well-informed commentary on the conflict that has appeared in the paper in quite a while. You know when a guy who dresses like the bassist for Earth, Wind and Fire is schooling you, you’re doing something wrong.

In other news: I found this devastating critique of the Israeli apartheid state in an unlikely place–a right wing anti-Arab hate site that I found in my travels about Google.  This old Nightline clip features a youthful Ehud Olmert debating the disgusting, departed genocidal enthusiast Meir Kahane about the demographic problems posed bythe Jewish state’s Palestinian citizens.

I didn’t recognize the young Kahane at first, and actually thought he was a Palestinian advocate because of his frank description of Israel’s obvious shortcomings in the democracy department. Kahane it seems was hated by the Israeli establishment because he dared speak aloud what Israel’s leaders seemed to know–that Israel’s democracy is a sham by design, and that even a mild acknowledgement of electoral pluarality would ultimately force the nation to enshrine its apartheid system in law or expel or otherwise do away with Israeli-Arabs. Kahane, who enthusiastically pointed out that Israel was not historically a democracy–and that it was not meant to be–wanted to take care of the problem via expulsion and transfer of Israeli-Arabs sooner rather than later.

Note here, Olmert’s delusional conclusion that Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, then some 15% of the population at 700,000 would never be in a position to grow to, as Koppel presciently points out, 1.6 million, the current population tally. The Israeli-Arab population in Israel is over 20% when Palestinians in Jerusalem are counted, and the birth rates among Palestinians are about double or triple that of their Israeli Jewish counterparts.

But Olmert’s goal in this  clip was to prove that it was possible to have a democracy while enshrining only the rights of an ever-decreasing majority, while leaving the representation of the growing minority in doubt. Kahane and Koppel, arguing from vastly different perspectives, clearly show Olmert and those with similar beliefs to be living in a fantasy world.

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