...Is it the liberal cocktail circuit’s come-hither? Is it the Lucullan mindscape of Harvard University—where, interestingly enough, Islamic facilitators and academic revelers like Roy Mottahedeh (Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program) and Noah Feldman (Bemis Professor of International Law) prance about, without Dershowitz’s pushback? Is it the inability to reverse a lifelong commitment to an ideological cause? Is it Obama’s liberal-left agenda that attracts socialists and socialites alike, irrespective of massive failure? (American Jews are especially prone to this aberration.)One more possibility: Obamalove makes you stupid (even when you're smart).
Maybe Dershowitz sees himself as a gentle mentor to the president, coddling him toward a more profound grasp of Middle East complexities? Are we dealing with what Czeslaw Milosz in The Captive Mind, borrowing from the Arabic, called “ketman,” the false stance adopted by a person “in order to find himself at one with others, in order not to be alone”? Or adherence to a social convention that issues in the evasion of unpalatable truths which are not in themselves that obscure, in other words, the usual politically correct response to the problems of the age? Or perhaps a cognitive scotoma, a blind spot that blots out an emotionally unacceptable part of reality? “I know Obama’s views on Israel,” says Dershowitz, “I don’t agree with all of them, but he is definitely not anti-Israel.”...
Monday, January 3, 2011
How can an ardent advocate for Israel continue to pledge allegiance to non-fan-of-Israel (putting it mildly) Barack Obama? David Solway suggests the following possibilities: