Is The Dish becoming a fact-checker’s paradise?

A lot of errors over the last several days . Are the “underbloggers” so-overworked, they can’t  comb through any text about Israel, and search for Andrew’s factual shortcomings or potential/inadvertent ethnic stigmatizations?

Anyway, I’ll try to get to the recent mistakes as best as I can, but I might as well quickly interrupt a mini-rant on The Dish, since the underbloggers are not so good at creatively stimulating Andrew’s second lines of thought:

Yes: the site of the massacre by far right settler hero, Brooklyn-born Baruch Goldstein, deemed as holy by Muslims and Jews, will become a “Zionist heritage site”. Sensitive timing, no?

The mosque is the site of the massacre. Not the Caves or the synagogue above them (same compound as the mosque), which are the Jewish holy sites.

The photo Andrew includes of a group of Israeli soldiers is a low-angle shot, backlit by the sunlight, which implies the possibility that the soldiers are in some dramatic standoff with an angry crowd. They’re always there guarding the compound, but the Islamic community has jurisdiction over it. Goldstein is contemned by the vast majority of Israelis; the government prevents his grave from becoming a shrine to the crazies.

Then, for good measure – just as Mitchell was shuttling forth between both sides – this:

Mr. Netanyahu took the opportunity of the approaching holiday of Tu Bishvat, a Jewish arbor day, to reaffirm Israel’s claim to the Etzion bloc of settlements just south of Jerusalem.

Jews actually owned most of the Gush Etzion bloc territory before Jordan took it from Israel in the 1948 War. Jordan held it for 19 years.

“Our message is clear,” he said during a tree-planting ceremony there. “We are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here. This place will be an inseparable part of the State of Israel for eternity.”

The same settlement bloc is the one about which Jimmy Carter remarked:

This particular settlement is not one that I envision ever being abandoned, or changed over into a Palestinian territory. This is part of the close settlements to the 1967 line that I think will be here forever.”

So Netanyahu says “eternity,” and Carter says “forever.” But either way, Andrew doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge that Gush Etzion is connected with pre-’67 Israel, not appropriating more land in the West Bank, all the building and rebuilding is happening inside and upward.

The man is either a fanatic or a politician who has to cater to fanatics.

Carter or Netanyahu?

This follows the Dubai assassination

— which if Israel did not do, would not be a tribute to its disregard of the peace process … or to its belief that Hamas’s getting long-range rockets from Iran is detrimental to the peace process. For all we know, the assassination could have been the work of the Benneker gang.

and a refusal by the far right foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman to meet some US congressmen because they were escorted by J-Street.

The allegation has been made against Deputy FM Danny Ayalon, not Avigdor Lieberman. (Correction, please.) And the allegation has been undercut by the strong possibility that it’s J-Street hype, as I mentioned here — and this blogger treats the hype possibility from another angle.

If people cannot see how radical and a dangerous the Jerusalem government is increasingly becoming, they have blinkers on.

When, one wonders, is the US going to stand up to these brazen acts of contempt for an ally and deliberate attempts to poison relations so that no peace process has any chance of starting?

Why are these “acts of contempt” against the U.S. but only attempts to make relations worse with Palestinians?

But this raises an interesting question: Is Netanyahu only guilty of malfeasance here because of timing; would these declarations Andrew is railing against be appropriate in other circumstances?

If that is so, then the egregiousness of Netanyahu’s actions is in the eye of the beholder, the beholder that is the Palestinian and Arab countries. But what affirmation of Jewish religious sites or Jewish rootedness in contiguous land where there are not Palestinian communities, i.e., a minority’s insistence that all land in the Middle East is not inherently “Arab land” or “Muslim land”?

As for The Daily Dish — What kind of affirmation would Andrew find acceptable, while the peace process is still unfinished, or in abeyance?

Should government officials just suspend all displays of Israeli pride, religious heritage and rootedness past the Green Line — not even in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem? Should it stop doing open government business in Jerusalem until the peace process makes it the mutually recognized capitol of two nations?

I think that would present an unfair disadvantage to the Israelis during negotiations, preventing them from showing their attachment to the positions they’re bargaining for, so that each Israeli compromise looks cheaper and less significant than it is.

Andrew doesn’t care much about giving Israel enough space for negotiating strength that just might be essential to the peace process. Since, it doesn’t seem to enrage Muslims in the short-term, he’s willing to give (wisely, in my opinion) that space to Iranian reform politicians:

What we have to understand – and what I have come belatedly and painfully to grasp – is that our collective narcissism can be an obstacle to successful statesmanship. In blunter terms: This is not about us.

“Collective” narcissism sounds a bit too self-charitable a diagnosis.

My guess is that Andrew thinks that public Jewish-Israeli pride is on hold if it relates in any way to the 3 main settlement blocs it’s going to keep. That’s the only way to be sufficiently pro-peace and pro-Obama.


One Response

  1. […] paradise? ctd Posted on February 24, 2010 by justquoting I’ve already set down some relevant questions about this […]

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