The Saturday, July 22 number of The New York Times offers a handful of mini-op-eds on the current crisis of the Middle East. In order to rope a sufficient number of columnists to opine on the matter, the Gray Lady was forced to find a few ringers: Apparently Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, and Paul Krugman have not troubled themselves to discuss this subject, since they couldn’t come up with a way of blaming George W. Bush for the whole thing.
Tellingly, almost all of these short op-eds argue for “solutions” to the crisis that are anti-Israel in effect. Many pine for a ceasefire–just the thing to allow Hezbollah to regroup and strike again. And, of course, they hope a UN force can be added to the Lebanese-Israeli border, presumably so that its soldiers can rape underage girls after aiding the terrorists.
But surely the most feculent piece that besmirches the Times comes from the pen of Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Killing the Jews at Columbia University. It commences as follows:
Washington needs to understand the real problem in Palestine and Lebanon. Viewing the current crisis through the distorting lens of terrorism, as the Bush administration and the Israeli government do, leads to the unreflective use of force.
Delightful, is it not? We dimwitted Americans believe that acts of terrorism speak to problems related to terrorism. How benighted, eh? Just because its neighbors pine for Israel’s destruction through terrorist violence, doesn’t mean there’s any reason to get all hot and bothered about terrorism.
So, if the dastardly eliminationist dreams of Israel’s enemies are merely a red herring, what’s the real cause of this fuss? Thankfully, the ever-objective Mr. Khalidi is kind enough to inform us:
This crisis is rooted in Israel’s nearly 40-year occupation of Palestinian lands and its occupation of Lebanon from 1982 to 2000.
Excuse us, Mr. Khalidi, but this is dead wrong. In fact, this is exactly what this crisis does not demonstrate. After all, if “occupation” were truly the issue, why did Arab armies attempt to destroy Israel in 1948 and 1967–before Israel controlled Gaza and the West Bank? And why aren’t the Palestinians furious at Jordan and Egypt: They had control of these territories for some time, and they treated the Palestinians rather roughly.
But there’s more: If the Lebanese despise occupation so much, why aren’t they striking out at Syria, the power that occupied their country for years and still does so through Hezbollah, their surrogate? Pardon us for noticing, but the Arabs appear to detest occupations rather selectively.
In fact, if Mr. Khalidi is hell-bent on blaming occupation for the current conflict, we suggest the following: The US and Israel are still deeply disturbed about the Muslim occupation of Andalusia. And until they make amends for this, we’ll be compelled to use the red herring called superior firepower to take out our frustration.
(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently counting sifting the lies from the bigger lies in Rashid Khalidi’s oeuvre.)