It's amazing: I thought nothing could get most U.S. Jewish Democrats to look at reality differently. A Democratic president has to have a real bad record on Israel to get most U.S. Jews in a district to vote for a Republican. Now it's happened, Turner creaming Weprin. And Dan Senor gives this rundown of Obama's record on Israel, emphazing that it's not a matter of spin or "messaging" but of facts.
The kind of "friends" who profess profound worry about the future of Israel's democracy ("demographic threat," blah blah) but can't get themselves to respect Israelis' electoral choices, to put themselves in our shoes for a fraction of a second, to stop worrying about our "soul" and respect our minds. This is a great article; I wish the answers to Stephens's rhetorical questions weren't so negative.
What has been learned since 9/11? Nothing. Even to talk about the fact that the Arab and Islamic world is--uniquely in our time--spawning a worldwide plague of terrorism and ask why this should be so, is considered bigotry and forbidden. People aren't learning because they're prohibited to learn. Read Prager's great column.
In a poll of "220,000 Arabs...carried out by the Al-Arabia television channel in Dubai and a British research institute." Only a small minority thinks Al Qaeda was behind it (the poll didn't ask how many think Iran was behind it--though emerging evidence now shows it played a considerable role). 220,000 is an impressive number of survey respondents. Nobody who follows what actually goes on in the Middle East can be in the least bit taken aback by these results.
It was never on a firm basis, as even the relatively moderate Mubarak allowed severe Egyptian anti-Semitism--virulent throughout the Arab Middle East, but with Egypt as a particularly fetid swamp--to flourish during the years of pragmatic "peace." My Frontpage article today reviews the debacle at the Israeli embassy in Cairo over the weekend, and suggests implications.
Then living in Jerusalem (now in Beersheva), I watched it, stunned, on TV. When Bush embarked on his wars against Saddam and against the Taliban, I could still be described as a neocon and believed--albeit with reservations--in the project of bringing democracy to these places. When the project encountered serious trouble, I became more attentive to writers on the Arab world and Islam who were gravely skeptical, if not outright dismissive, of such societies' democratic potential.
Now I understand better that they were right, and the reasons for it. And just now Western powers have been involved in a truly inane effort in Libya, while Iran keeps striding toward nukes. Here Kenneth Timmerman sums up what's now known about Iran's considerable contribution to 9/11. Winning a war when you don't have clear, realistic, and coherent goals, and more or less ignore and excuse the enemy's main stronghold--is pretty hard to do. It's a bleak picture.
The Jerusalem Post's editorial today is a nice rebuttal to Histadrut chairman and socialist demagogue Ofer Eini, whose prescription for the economic woes and dislocations that Israel has is...up taxes on the rich! (How did he come up with that? So original.)
I've already seen the figures for the U.S. and how raising taxes on the high earners, whether justified or not, just wouldn't come close to covering the mammoth deficit. This J. Post editorial gives the figures for Israel--re. whether such increases would cover the budget-busting deficit Eini is calling for (at present Israel does not suffer from a deficit and is a model of fiscal stability).
And, again, taking more from the wealthy folks wouldn't come close to covering even the relatively modest deficit Eini is pushing for.