Friday, May 27, 2011

Jonathan Kay Can't Figure Out Netanyahu's 'Script'

Jonathan Kay didn't like Bibi's speech to Congress, apparently because he (Kay) doesn't get where Netanyahu is coming from:
Israel's more militant supporters are thrilled by Mr. Netanyahu's hard-line approach. "Isn't it great that at least one world leader is willing to stand up to Islamo-fascism?" one reader told me. But the PM's rhetoric, however emotionally satisfying, is short-sighted. As I argue, the case for a strong Jewish state -like the case for its Palestinian equivalent -rests on a clear and coherent narrative tied to a particular moment in history. You can't just recite slogans about Israeli security -however heartfelt -and expect the world to agree with you.
Insofar as Israeli leaders and supporters (including this newspaper's editorial board) have stuck to the Green Line benchmark, they have had that coherent narrative, with the script going as follows: "We want a twostate solution, true to the spirit of what the world community originally intended more than six decades ago, and would be happy to hammer one out, but Hamas and the others want to destroy us instead." They also add in the fact that Palestinian leaders refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, teach anti-Semitism in schools and mosques, and distribute maps showing all of Israel as Palestinian territory. All of this is true and genuinely worrisome.
But since early 2010, I really have had no idea what script Mr. Netanyahu is arguing, or on what historical benchmark he is relying for his positions...
Um, I'm pretty certain he articulated what "historical benchmark" he's relying on--on a 4,000 year-old claim to this land, Jewish land.

All the other "benchmark" crap Kay seems to put so much stock in pales next to that. And unlike Kay, I totally get where Bibi is coming from. He is willing to play along with the negotiating/benchmark charade, but he knows for certain that there can never be progress until Palestinians and their abettors are able to come to terms with the reality of Jewish sovereignty over land claimed in perpetuity for Islam. (I get where Bibi is coming from. Jon Kay's provenance, on the other hand, is utterly baffling.)

Update: Closet Conservative thinks Kay is "naive".

7 comments:

Ms. Doubt49 said...

Jon Kay's argument was like aConspiracy theory to me. Much crap.

scaramouche said...

As a secular, non-practising Jew, Kay doesn't "get" religious belief. That, I think, is the source of his blindness. Then again, he did spend a lot of time researching conspriracy nuts, so maybe a bit of their thinking rubbed off on him.

Carlos Perera said...

Obviously, Israel--aren't Israelis lucky--has become Czechoslovakia, Part II, with Obama playing the part of Neville Chamberlain. (Though, I admit, this is an unfair comparison to PM Chamberlain, who was sacrificing Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany for the sake--or so he thought--of British security. The Big O, on the other hand, appears to be doing it out of sheer ideological malice.) The only controverting factor in the historical analogy is that Netanyahu appears to be made of sterner stuff than BeneŇ° was. Still, Israel, like Czechoslovakia, is a small nation that must have some outside support in order to survive against the fanatical determination of much larger neighbors to exterminate it. I fear that, if the O is not voted out of office in 2012, Israel's chances of survival are dim indeed. (America's are too, IMHO, but that is the subject of another comment.)

scaramouche said...

Right. Israel, like Czechoslovakia, is expendable.

RickAtNight said...

"...All of this is true and genuinely worrisome..." Hmmm, one wonders if the Palestinians refused to accept Israel as a gay rights state, taught homophobia in schools, and circulated maps showing all of Israel as homosexual free it would be "worrisome". I suspect it would be a good deal more, but hey, you know how us Joos are...

Anonymous said...

"As I argue, the case for a strong Jewish state -like the case for its Palestinian equivalent -rests on a clear and coherent narrative tied to a particular moment in history."

Uh no, not necessarily. Facts on the ground change.

"You can't just recite slogans about Israeli security..."

Kay considers articulating security concerns "slogans".

Not only is he way off base in this article, there's something so patronizing about his writing it makes me want to slap him.

scaramouche said...

I find Kay's comments "worrisome." It's as though he thinks Israel is required to justify its existence. It does not. It's also as though he thinks Israel's enemies are playing by the rules. They are not. They have thrown away the rule book and are telling out and out Goebbels-esque lies. There is no "narrative" that can fight that in the same way that there was no "narrative" that could justify the Jews' existence to the Nazis. That's why all the prattle about "benchmarks" and "narratives" is so absurd. You would think (you would hope) a bright guy like J. Kay would be able to see that.