Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Newsweek Vies with Time for Israel-Bashing Headline of the Year Award

From the Daily Beast/Newsweek: Is Israel Over?

I wish I could call up Benny Morris myself and ask him if he had any choice in the selection of "Is Israel Over?" as the headline for his current article in Daily Beast/Newsweek. I very much doubt it. I believe (hope) that this was the handiwork of Newsweek hacks in the spirit of competition with Time Magazine to come up with the most incendiary headline regarding Israel. Remember Time's Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace? Well this headline to Morris' article is in the same vein.

Read what he actually says in the Newsweek article and his companion piece in The National Interest: Islam's Stanglehold on Israel. He is describing a capitalist liberal democracy in a gigantic economic upheaval -- much like the US and Western Europe. And on top of that it has the anxieties and policy wrong-headedness (including settlements) caused by 64 years of unremitting assault -- in violence and propaganda -- from the Arab and Muslim world and their useful idiots abroad. Morris is deeply pessimistic about the tsunami he expects to be unleashed by the Palestinians' upcoming UN theatrical performance, and who can blame him? Yes, Israel is in trouble, but he ain't sayin it's over, much as the middle-brow intelligentsia would wish. Notice, also, that unlike the West's intelligensia, Morris does not place all the blame for its problems on Israel itself:

Benny Morris
"Since the West Bank and Gaza were conquered in 1967, successive Israeli governments have failed to fully withdraw from them, either unilaterally or with a peace deal. The Arabs may have been largely at fault—in 2000 Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat turned down an Israeli offer to withdraw from 95 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip—but Israel retains its stranglehold over these people and continues to expand its settlement enterprise.
"Now there looms the even greater threat of resurgent Islam, not just within Israel’s borders or the Palestinian territories, but across the region, where it is spreading like a brushfire. Many in the West have taken heart from the so-called Arab Spring, viewing the upheavals as heralds of democratic transformation. Israelis are less optimistic. The Islamist message that is coming out of Ankara, and moving to center stage in Cairo, includes a hard core of anti-Zionism usually accompanied by anti-Semitic overtones. (Egypt’s deposed president Hosni Mubarak is now denounced as a “stooge of the Zionists.” A photo of Netanyahu, dressed in an SS uniform, with a Hitler mustache, making the Nazi salute, appeared on the cover of the popular Egyptian weekly October on Aug. 28. Inside, the journal carried an article called “The New Nazis”—and it isn’t even an Islamist publication.)
"Netanyahu is creating a series of bureaucratic salves for the country’s economic ills. But they will be swamped, and rendered irrelevant, in the tide of Palestinian activism and anti-Zionism that will be set off by the Palestinian statehood bid. It will then trigger shock waves around the Arab and Islamic worlds. Months ago, Ehud Barak predicted that Israel will face a 'political tsunami.' Here it comes."

Have a look at some of my earlier posts about Morris here, here and here.

I hope you don't think it sexist of me but Tina Brown, now at the helm at both Newsweek and The Daily Beast, has a husband, Harold Evans, who gets Israel a whole lot better here and here than she seems to.


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