Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sarah Palin on Middle East Policy

Doubtless because she lives in the wilderness, Sarah Palin missed the memo explaining that the primary obstacle to Middle East peace is … Israeli settlements.

Worse yet, Palin seems not to have taken her moral equivalence pills yesterday.

That is the only possible explanation for her remarks to Greta Van Susteren last night: “Why is it in that the past, too often, the U.S. government has told Israel that they’re the ones, the Jewish community, that they need to back up, they need to back off or there will never be peace.. ..Why aren’t we putting our foot down with the other side and telling the Palestinians, If you’re serious about peace, quit the shellacking and the shelling. Quit the bombing of innocent Israelis.” Link here.

Is she right? Has American foreign policy always put the onus on Israel, telling Israel to make more concessions and offer more compromises, while absolving the Palestinians of all responsibility for its recalcitrance and its love of terrorism?

Have successive American administrations been so worried about being perceived as an honest broker that they have failed to place the burden for failed peace talks on the Palestinian side?

Or have these administrations been so concerned about offending Arab sensibilities (and OPEC) that they have felt obliged not to appear too closely allied with Israel?

And have they gotten so used to thinking of the conflict in terms of moral equivalence that they have come to believe it?

Have our best and brightest foreign policy mavens read the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through a narrative in which Israel is oppressing the Palestinian people? Do they all believe that the Palestinians, once liberated from the yoke of Israeli oppression, will live in peaceful harmony with Israel?

If so, then perhaps it takes an innocent, someone who has not been imbibing the conventional wisdom, to state the obvious: that the primary obstacle to peace is that the Palestinian side does not really want it… unless it is a  stepping stone on the road to eliminating Israel.

How can America fight a worldwide war on Islamic terrorism while failing to take sides with the state that is the primary target of such terror?

How many Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist at all? And how many believe that the land called Israel must eternally belong to Allah, because it was once conquered by Muslims. After all, Osama bin Laden believes that Andalusia must be returned to Islam because it was once conquered by Muslim armies.

In passing, let’s not ignore the fact that yesterday Egypt Air redrew its map of the Middle East in order to eliminate Israel. Score one for the Revolution that was bringing liberal democracy to Egypt. Link here.

So, the girl from the North country, the innocent Sarah Palin seems to have contradicted decades worth of American foreign policy wisdom. She affirmed her wholehearted support for the one free market liberal democracy in the Middle East and placed the blame for the conflict with the Palestinians.

Given the Obama administration’s policy of chastising Israel for its settlements, and making them the primary obstacle to peace, Palin was clearly rebuking the administration.

As policy debates go, this one is clear and well-defined.

That, of course, is only part of the story. The rest resides in the comments that appeared on the Politico site.

One can only characterize them as a mix of vituperation and vitriol. The ones that are reasonably nice denounce Palin for being a cynical political opportunist… who is pandering to evangelical Christians.

No one, it’s fair to say, thinks that a full-throated defense of Israel is going to garner her any support within the Jewish community.

Other commenters excoriate the former governor of Alaska for being an ignorant fool.

This means that it’s still open season on Sarah Palin. When criticizing Palin, rules of decorum and civility do not apply.

You need not consider the substance of her arguments. It suffices to say that she is so ignorant that her arguments cannot have any substance.

I continue to be amazed at the blatant misogyny of these attacks. 

To those who fear her and despise her, Sarah Palin is very much like a witch. The minute they see her they run screaming for their stash of garlic. Then they wave it around to ward off her profane presence.

God forbid they would engage in serious debate with a woman. Better to follow the example of Bill Maher and dismiss her with some sexist invective.

For my part I was most impressed by the statement that NOW issued after Maher insulted Palin. While NOW felt pressured to denounce Maher’s language, it made clear that it was not going to get into the business of defending Sarah Palin.

After all, the National Organization for Women, averred that Sarah Palin was not one of them.

Isn’t it about time that we got over the notion that NOW was anything more than a vehicle for leftist ideology? If a woman does not share that ideology, then NOW will never give her any more than lip service.


Malcolm said...

I find it odd how many people hate and fear Sarah Palin.

Here are 4 essays by Ben Dror Yemini regarding Israel that are must reads if your interested.

Anonymous said...

TO: All
RE: [Slightly OT] On Policy

The Clinton legacy—of redefining English—lives on....

-- the Obama Administration on Libya

I would guess that if we use this approach to impose newspeak, e.g., double-speak, on US, 'assassination' isn't murder, it's 'kinetic political discourse'.


[Power does not corrupt man; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power. -- George Bernard Shaw]

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks for the links, Malcolm. They are well worth everyone's attention.

Susan said...

Very apt expression : "moral equivalence pills." Chapeau!

Sarah Palin spoke at a Now rally when she was the vice-presidential candidate, and Now gave her some support (although they backed Obama). I watched her very good speech and also that of Now's president (Eleanor Beale?). What a pity they lost the little good judgment they had.

Therapy Culture said...

I thought Sarah quit her job?

If so what is she doing on a Middle Eastern Policy Tour?

Trying to stay relevant?

She should go back to community college and actually get that degree she dropped out of when she got knocked up - out of wedlock.

The fruit never falls far from the tree. Like mother, like daughter.

Well, at least the mom eventually MARRIED the dude her knocked her up.

Only in America...... or Italy or France could such morals (or lack thereof) be lauded in politicians.

Don't even get me started on how lax we are as a people regarding education and the educational levels we expect (or not) of our politicians.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Glad to see that you have mastered the art of the ad hominem. Unfortunately, you have not addressed her ideas.

Gift Economy said...

Israel's only function should be as a religious Disney Land for spiritual tourists of the Abrahamic faiths.

Sam L. said...

I didn't know garlic worked against witches; I thought is only repelled vampires...and people who don't like garlic.

Sarah, now...nothing works on her. Sarah lives in the heads of the libs, the Dems, those who think they're part of "the elite", because nothing works on her.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I am told, I hope reliably, that garlic works against both vampires and witches.

At least, Palin brings out the worst in liberals... and keeps on doing it.

Technomad said...

The Israelis are our friends the way Brutus was best buds with Julius Caesar. One thing I've never been in tune with the rest of the right wing about is the fetish so many right-wingers have for Israel.

I remember the Lavon Affair, the USS Liberty, and a lot of other events that showed the true nature of Israeli friendship. Israel is a foreign country, and Americans whose primary loyalties are to it should move there.