Excellent Israeli self-critique

An excellent critique of the Israeli response in the Hezb'allah war is given by Ari Shavit at Haaretz.

This will sound very familiar to Americans. Shavit identifies two pervasive problems: Political Correctness and the illusion of normality during wartime. Because Haaretz is normally left—wing, the critique of PC is especially important. Writes Shavit:

A simple thing happened: We were drugged by political correctness. The political correctness that has come to dominate Israeli discourse and Israeli awareness in the past generation was totally divorced from the Israeli situation. It did not have the tools to deal with the reality of an existential conflict... with a reality of an inter—religious and inter—cultural conflict. That is why it focused entirely on the Palestinian issue. It made the baseless assumption that the occupation is the source of evil. It assumed that it is the occupation that is preventing peace and causing unrest and perpetuating the instability.

At the same time, political correctness assumed that Israeli strength is a given. That Israel is insanely strong. Therefore, political correctness disdained any attempt to build and maintain Israeli strength. The defense budget was cut, the values of volunteerism were mocked, the concepts of heroism and fortitude became despicable. Since the Israel Defense Forces was identified as an army of occupation — rather than as an army defending feminists and homo—lesbians from the fanaticism of the Middle East — they had reservations about it, they shook it off and became alienated from it.

Read it ——— to understand ourselves and Europe as well as Israel. There is already a heated debate about Israel's political and armed performance ——— even though the guns  have not yet stopped firing. But Israel cannot afford to be overconfident — ever. War and politics are always dynamic. There is a new challenge, right on the border, by two Tehran—sponsored murderous tentacles, Hamas and Hezbollah. The enemy will quickly absorb the lessons of this war, and the West must as well.

When it comes to PC and the illusion of normalcy, Europe is in very bad shape. The US is somewhat better off. But no nation can afford either one, not in the face of a massive cultural challenge from Islamic fascism. If you doubt it, watch Mike Wallace grovel to Ahmadinejad on Sixty Minutes and then pretend we are prepared to defend ourselves as a nation and a culture.

Our armed forces are magnificent, but they are not getting the sustained, longterm, serious support they deserve. In my opinion this administration has been magnificent on the serious issue of survival, and flawed in many other ways. But President Bush got his top priority absolutely straight, even while he is constantly sabotaged by the usual suspects. If the Democrats don't get a serious bloody nose in the upcoming election cycles, the West will be reeling against Islamist imperialism, both at home and abroad.

Shavit's critique is not about Israel alone. It is also about the United States, and about decent civilization. Spread the word.

James Lewis    8 13 06

An excellent critique of the Israeli response in the Hezb'allah war is given by Ari Shavit at Haaretz.

This will sound very familiar to Americans. Shavit identifies two pervasive problems: Political Correctness and the illusion of normality during wartime. Because Haaretz is normally left—wing, the critique of PC is especially important. Writes Shavit:

A simple thing happened: We were drugged by political correctness. The political correctness that has come to dominate Israeli discourse and Israeli awareness in the past generation was totally divorced from the Israeli situation. It did not have the tools to deal with the reality of an existential conflict... with a reality of an inter—religious and inter—cultural conflict. That is why it focused entirely on the Palestinian issue. It made the baseless assumption that the occupation is the source of evil. It assumed that it is the occupation that is preventing peace and causing unrest and perpetuating the instability.

At the same time, political correctness assumed that Israeli strength is a given. That Israel is insanely strong. Therefore, political correctness disdained any attempt to build and maintain Israeli strength. The defense budget was cut, the values of volunteerism were mocked, the concepts of heroism and fortitude became despicable. Since the Israel Defense Forces was identified as an army of occupation — rather than as an army defending feminists and homo—lesbians from the fanaticism of the Middle East — they had reservations about it, they shook it off and became alienated from it.

Read it ——— to understand ourselves and Europe as well as Israel. There is already a heated debate about Israel's political and armed performance ——— even though the guns  have not yet stopped firing. But Israel cannot afford to be overconfident — ever. War and politics are always dynamic. There is a new challenge, right on the border, by two Tehran—sponsored murderous tentacles, Hamas and Hezbollah. The enemy will quickly absorb the lessons of this war, and the West must as well.

When it comes to PC and the illusion of normalcy, Europe is in very bad shape. The US is somewhat better off. But no nation can afford either one, not in the face of a massive cultural challenge from Islamic fascism. If you doubt it, watch Mike Wallace grovel to Ahmadinejad on Sixty Minutes and then pretend we are prepared to defend ourselves as a nation and a culture.

Our armed forces are magnificent, but they are not getting the sustained, longterm, serious support they deserve. In my opinion this administration has been magnificent on the serious issue of survival, and flawed in many other ways. But President Bush got his top priority absolutely straight, even while he is constantly sabotaged by the usual suspects. If the Democrats don't get a serious bloody nose in the upcoming election cycles, the West will be reeling against Islamist imperialism, both at home and abroad.

Shavit's critique is not about Israel alone. It is also about the United States, and about decent civilization. Spread the word.

James Lewis    8 13 06