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Posted in: Israel

Published on Jun 10, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Judt, Obama, Erdogan, Join Forces Against Israel


He is at it again. Actually, they are at it again.

I am talking about the New York Times and their daily—sometimes twice a day—poisonous rants against Israel. And I mean: Day after day, month after month, and year after year until all those who read the Times as if it were their "Bible" (and it truly is) believe that Israel is to blame, Israel must be punished, Israel may have to go.

This time, it is none other than the infamous Professor Tony Judt who has published a four column (15"x 9") op-ed piece in which he recommends a really "tough love" policy toward Israel. The piece is filled with bias, double standards, inaccuracies, lack of historical context, false moral equivalencies, false even-handedness, etc. Judt reveals his hand only at the end of the piece when he demands that America cut its ties with Israel; "sever the umbilical cord" is how he puts it.

Does he contradict himself? He sure does—but prick him, will he not bleed? Here, in 2010, Judt disingenuously, finally writes that "Israel is a state like any other, long-established and internationally recognized." In 2003, Judt wrote that he, personally, was willing to give up his right to return to Israel or rather, that he was willing to turn over his (undesirable) right of Jewish return to the Palestinians whose claim of return was a more righteous one. In 2003, Judt also concluded that "the very idea of a 'Jewish state'—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded—is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism."

Excusez-moi: Aren't Christians and Muslims Israeli citizens too? Doesn't Israel protect the religious sites and practices of all religions in a way that does not exist in the Arab and Muslim world? But I quibble. Judt is with Helen Thomas. He believes that Jews should go back to where they came from: Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Drancy, Kiev, etc.

Many will say: Judt himself is Jewish, thus his piece cannot be anti-Semitic.

Oh yes it can. If women can be sexists and we are, we are; we have internalized sexist values just as men have—read my book Woman's Inhumanity to Woman to understand the phenomenon; if dark-skinned people can be racists and they can be; they, too have internalized preferences either for light-skinned or for dark-skinned people; then surely, Jews, an imperfect "perfect" people can internalize anti-Semitism/Judeophobia.

Just last night in New York City, a Jewish man, Brooklyn-born Adam Shapiro, who is the founder of Free Gaza and the co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement—the very man who, in 2002, stayed with Arafat in Ramallah when he was under seige, spoke in favor of the Turkish "Free Gaza" Flotilla movement; no, he did not factor in the Turkish terrorist mercenaries on board who planned to—and who did—violently and viciously attack the Israeli soldiers. Why would he? Shapiro favors a "violent resistance" to Israel and has written that the demolition of Palestinian homes and the closure of offices servicing Palestinians reminds him of Kristallnacht.

And today, I've just read that German Jews (yes, you've read that correctly) will be funding a flotilla-like ride to Gaza as well in order to break the Israeli blockade. The German Jews believe that Israel is withholding "candy and children's food" from Palestinian children.

Finally, this past week, three very different kinds of Israeli Jewish feminists came to see me. Each one came to lobby me for a woman's rights agenda but they "laid out their wares" with no apparent awareness of the existential danger which Israel now faces. Yes, I am entirely sympathetic to their goals but their blithe, almost cult-like inability or refusal to convey an awareness of a doubled reality, truly unnerved me. When I dared raise this other, perhaps more historically demanding reality, one feminist immediately, softly, gravely, agreed with me. Two others turned on me as a dangerous "right winger."

The Jews indeed have troubles.

But now back to our other sorrows.

Is the New York Times working for the White House? Possibly, yes. Today, in the same issue that carries Judt's piece, another article shows President Obama in a grave and thoughtful pose (modeled after The Thinker), sitting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Obama has pledged new aid (400 million) for Gaza and the West Bank, and is urging Israel to "loosen its blockade." One wonders who will administer the aid specifically earmarked for Gaza. Abbas certainly cannot do so.

Has President Obama been on the phone with Judt lately? I ask, because yesterday, quietly, oh so quietly (at least as far as the mainstream American media is concerned), Obama pulled both the money and the American engineers out of Egypt. According to Debka's military files:

"After eight months of back-breaking work, the American military engineers helping Egypt build a steel anti-smuggling wall along the strategic Philadelphi Route dividing Gaza from Sinai were suddenly recalled–signaling the collapse of Egypt's blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Washington thus abandoned its half-a-billion dollar investment in the joint Egyptian-Israeli siege project…What Biden is proposing now is to virtually abandon US and Egyptian attempts to block the arms smuggling tunnels altogether – a proposal, Debkafile's military sources predict, will bring to an end the Israel-Egyptian blockade of Gaza and allow Hamas to resume its unfettered arms imports through those tunnels."

So much for protecting Israel from Hezbollah and Hamas, and so much for allowing Israel to protect herself.

President Obama is busy on another front as well. He is busy falling all over himself for Turkish Prime Minister's Erdogan's "Israel card" play.

Erdogan is ready to go to war with Israel because the IDF killed nine paid Turkish mercenaries in self-defense and in battle? Erdogan calls this "a bloody massacre." Erdogan—the man who continues to deny the Turkish genocide of Armenians and who only last year defended Sudanese President al-Bashir who has been indicted "by the International Criminal Court as a war criminal for killing half a million Sudanese Christians and non-Arab Muslims." Steven J. Rosen, in today's Wall Street Journal, concludes that Erdogan is already planning his re-election campaign; that (indoctrinated) Turkish opinion is strongly against Israel, the West, and America; and that "the flotilla incident demonstrates that igniting this tinderbox of hostility towards Israel.. does not take much of a spark."


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