Monday, September 6, 2010

WaPo's Kathleen Parker's Wishful Thinking

Kathleen Parker - Facebook and social media offer the potential of peace

I'm not a regular reader of Kathleen Parker so it is possible that she comes up with a unique perception now and then. But with this article she convinces me that she and I do not live on the same planet Earth. She is preposterously out of touch.

Her first mis-perception: "Not far away, at a sidewalk cafe near George Washington University, four college students converse amicably. One is Israeli, one Palestinian, another Syrian, the fourth African American. (One of my young tablemates knows and identifies them.) Their iPhones join flatware among platters of couscous and falafel. They are speaking English, laughing, trading news and barbs. The scene just described is not rare in the nation's capital or in many other cities where colleges and universities attract diverse populations."

While I don't doubt that Israeli and Arab students can be friends, and while there are worthy peace projects that try to bring them together (see -- a film about one such project), I kind of think that the Israeli in this scene probably had to prove his anti-Zionist bonafides before being allowed at the table. Just a feeling I have. Is Ms. Parker not aware of the culture of anti-Israel intimidation on most elite campuses in this country?

Second mis-perception: Anti-Israel Facebook, My Space and Twitter accounts proliferate on the web. I don't have the statistics, but I would venture that there is probably a 100 to 1 ratio of anti/pro Israel accounts out there. And, honey, those accounts aren't out there to make friends.

Third (excruciatingly awful) perception: "Meanwhile, evidence mounts that sentiments are shifting among younger people, whose worldviews are broader than those of previous generations. Recent polling by Frank Luntz found that American Jewish college students are more willing than their elders to question the Israeli position. They resist groupthink and desperately want peace. Might Palestinian youth feel similarly? Alas, I could find no similar polls."

Need I say more?

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