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The flaw in Hazony's thesis

Reader comment on item: Immanuel Kant vs. Israel

Submitted by Alex Safian (United States), Aug 21, 2010 at 12:15

There is a profound flaw in Hazony's thesis. The people who oppose Israel supposedly because it's a nation state, support the creation of a new nation state -- Palestine, and even its replacing Israel. And these people also don't seem to have any problem with, say, the very nationalistic and authoritarian states of Iran and Cuba. And even more to the point, they didn't have any problem with creating a new nation state -- Kosovo -- in Europe, either. How does ethnic-Albanian nationalism somehow get a pass in Hazony's theory?

Over the years many people (though not necessarily Hazony), dismayed by the overwhelming demonization of Israel, have thrown up their hands and said it's not the facts, getting the facts right won't change anything, etc. And they suggest instead some new magic-bullet paradigm that supposedly explains everything, and that at the same time avoids the hard work of ensuring factual accuracy and media accountability. Israel is treated differently from other countries, and Israeli sovereignty is questioned when that of other states is not, for reasons that are specific to Israel and Jews. In particular, it is folly to ignore the massive anti-Israel efforts of NGO's -- literally hundreds of them (AI, HRW, B'tselem, ICAHD, NLG, Ir Amim, Binkom, PHR, Adalah, Al Haq etc.), which every day produce "reports" proving the "cosmic evil" (to use Bernard Lewis's phrase) of Israel. Most of these organizations are funded by the EU, NIF, Ford, Soros, etc. No other country faces this kind of blackening, and it has had an impact, especially because for more than 30 years Israel largely ignored the problem. (The only exception is that the Justice Ministry used to respond to AI and HRW reports.)

From the UN there are similar reports, decisions, websites and even entire departments devoted to defaming Israel. There is also the related problem of Arab funding and control of Middle East Studies departments. The "scholarship" of Ian Lustick, John Esposito, Rashid Khalidi, Joseph Massad, etc. also has an impact on perceptions of Israel. In the face of such a propaganda assault, it is surprising that Israel is not already universally viewed as a pariah. The answer to the lies about Israel is not a new paradigm, it is the truth, whether in sober reports demolishing the claims of AI or Khalidi, or in a satiric Latma video on youtube. There is no substitute for fighting back.

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