Monthly Archives: January 2008

Contentions: The Norman Finkelstein Roadshow

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[Hat tip to Contentions]

Noah Pollak

“The Norman Finkelstein Roadshow”

Norman Finkelstein, freshly liberated from the humdrum of academic life by way of being denied tenure at De Paul University, has taken his hate-Israel routine on the road. He has gone to Lebanon to give lectures and to “hold two workshops in Palestinian refugee camps.”

At a press conference on Friday — Finkelstein must surely savor having the kind of attention lavished on him in Lebanon that few can be bothered to provide in America — he channeled Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizballah, in describing the 2006 Israel-Hizballah war:

However, it is also true to say that the Lebanese resistance inflicted a historic and well-deserved military defeat on the invading foreign army and its chief supporter.

He continued:

It should also be mentioned that after the war the US-based organization Human Rights Watch whitewashed Israeli war crimes and made false accusations against Hizballah. This cowardly and mercenary act deserves contempt.

Ah yes, Human Rights Watch, that steely defender of the Jewish state.

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American Thinker: Only Change Can Save Cuba

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[Hat tip to American Thinker]

Only Change Can Save Cuba

By John Mendez

If one believes he is still alive, January 1st marked the 49th anniversary of the uninterrupted, uncontested, tyrannical rule of Fidel Castro. Five decades in power might just be enough for the perpetual revolutionary. Granma, the state-run and not coincidently, only newspaper on the island, quotes the dictator as saying he will not cling to power. The monumental sarcasm of his statement is, unsurprisingly, lost on the “Commandante.” He will now impart grandfatherly advice to the young leaders of the revolution. Exactly why anyone would care to listen to the architect of one of histories great failures isn’t terribly clear. But such delusions are common in advanced stages of “megalomania.”

As Tenzin Gyatso (aka The Dali Llama) says, “”We each create our own reality and for that we are solely responsible.” And no one has created a more demented sense of reality than the bearded one, who along with his many apologists, has a sense of reality that departs radically from…well, reality.

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Efraim Karsh: After Annapolis

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[Hat tip Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs]

After Annapolis: What Chance for Agreement with Abbas and the PLO?

Efraim Karsh

  • In reality, there is no fundamental difference between the ultimate goals of Hamas and the PLO vis-à-vis Israel: Neither accepts the Jewish state’s right to exist and both are committed to its eventual destruction. The only difference between the two groups lies in their preferred strategies for the attainment of this goal.
  • Whereas Hamas concentrates exclusively on “armed struggle,” the PLO has adopted since the early 1990s a more subtle strategy, combining intricate political and diplomatic maneuvering with sustained terror attacks. In the candid words of Farouq Qaddoumi, the PLO’s perpetual foreign minister: “We were never different from Hamas. Hamas is a national movement. Strategically, there is no difference between us.”
  • Such attitudes are commonplace among supposed moderates, notably Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), Arafat’s successor and perhaps the foremost symbol of supposed Palestinian moderation. For all their drastically different personalities and political style, Arafat and Abu Mazen are warp and woof of the same fabric: dogmatic PLO veterans who have never eschewed their commitment to Israel’s destruction and who have viewed the “peace process” as the continuation of their lifetime war by other means.
  • By categorically refusing to recognize Israel’s Jewishness, the Palestinian leadership has effectively rejected the two-state solution, based, in the words of the UN partition resolution of November 29, 1947, on the creation of “independent Arab and Jewish States” in Palestine.
  • In his Annapolis address, Abbas insisted that “the plight of Palestinian refugees…must be addressed…in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.” Yet Resolution 194 (passed on December 11, 1948) puts the return of Palestinian refugees on a par with the “resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees” in other countries; indeed, that provision made the resolution anathema to the Arab states, which opposed it vehemently and voted unanimously against it because the measure was seen, correctly, as establishing no absolute “right of return.”
  • To deny the depth of the PLO’s commitment to Israel’s destruction is the height of folly, and to imagine that it can be appeased through Israeli concessions is to play into its hands. Only when Palestinians reconcile themselves to the existence of the Jewish state and eschew their genocidal hopes will the inhabitants of the Holy Land, and the rest of the world, be able to look forward to a future less burdened by Arafats and their gory dreams.

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American Future: Orwell, the Left, and 9/11

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[Hat tip to Marc Shulman at American Future. Not sure why I did not link to this sooner. American Future was one of the first blogs I frequented back in my “lurking” days. This post is from April 7, 2007.]

George Orwell was a rare individual for his time and place. Few if any of his contemporaries shared both his heartfelt commitment to socialism and his intense antipathy towards the British intellectual left. Throughout World War II and during the early years of the Cold War, Orwell forcefully and repeatedly castigated the Left for a variety of sins, including, among others, (1) a detachment from and disdain for ordinary people, (2) a lack of patriotic feeling that was manifest in its anti-British (and, relatedly, anti-American) sentiments, (3) a denial of the magnitude of the threat posed by Nazi Germany and subsequently by Soviet Russia, (4) an exaggeration of the impact of wartime measures on civil liberties, (5) a defeatist mentality, (6) a pacifism that placed fascism and communism on the same moral plane as democracy, (7) a failure to recognize the equivalence of totalitarianism and theocracy, and (8) an attachment to what would two decades later come to be known as Third-Worldism.

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