Magazine article In These Times


Magazine article In These Times


Article excerpt

Demonizing Israel

In These Times has recently published at least three very one-sided articles about Israel.

Frida Berrigan writes that Israel used illegal weapons in Gaza ("Aiding and Abetting War Crimes," Sept. 2009). If true, Israel is in the wrong. But she neglects to mention the election of Hamas and the years of on-again/off-again shelling of civilian areas in southern Israel, despite Israel's complete withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

In Robert Hirschfields interview with Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy ("Israel's Gadfly," Sept. 2009), Levy referred to the Six-Day War as "the time of big lies: lies about the great danger that lay at our doorstep-a danger that was bogus or inflated-and lies about the territories that were temporarily 'liberated,' to be used as bargaining chips for an ill-defined peace that "we may not have really been aiming for even then."

Levy was only 14 years old at the time and he's no historian, yet he's still so cocksure about this. As he's also sure that Israel never intended peace during the Oslo process-meaning that Rabin was murdered by a right-wing fanatic for no reason and that Israel allowed a Palestinian Authority to be set up and Arafat's PLO veterans to return from exile and to recruit 40,000-plus armed paramilitary security personnel for no purpose.

Finally, Slavoj Zizek has no special knowledge to write about the settlements ("Making the Illegal Legal," Oct. 2009). He is correct that the occupation has a "Kafkaesque" quality to it, with a bureaucracy that works to the detriment of Palestinians, but his attack on "Israeli liberals" is gratuitous and his attack on Israel's Supreme Court is at least partially unfair; the court doesn't negate the occupation but it does provide recourse against some of its excesses. …

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