Who is the real extremist?
Dana Milbank calls Israelis "extremists" in his editorial "America's Jews are watching Israel in horror" (9/23/18). Milbank adapts the perennial straw man approach, this time using his rabbi, whom Milbank brags comes from a long lineage of rabbis. Milbank quotes this rabbi as saying that under right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there is "religious extremism and an upsurge in settler violence." This, one week after an Israeli "settler" Ari Fuld was stabbed in the back and murdered by a 17-year-old Palestinian. The Palestinian would have killed more had it not been for the dying Fuld shooting at him as he went down. Is it really that hard to identify the extremists in this conflict?
Milbank claims that "Netanyahu, with President Trump's encouragement, leads Israel on a path to estrangement and destruction." He provides no evidence of this. The Washington Post and its editorial staff have been repeating this apoplectic warning about Israel causing its own demise for decades. Israel has only grown stronger!
Netanyahu, according to Milbank, "is dissolving America's bipartisan pro-Israel consensus" along with Trump creating this "division." Is it really Netanyahu and Trump causing the division or those whom Milbank supports?
Why am I not surprised that Milbank adds a quote, that he says he agrees with, claiming that Israel "aims to advance its own expansion through seizure of land, violation of international law, exclusion and discrimination"? Israel is 0.1% of the Middle East; it violates no international laws; and it has less discrimination than any country in the region, if not the world.
Milbank ends by saying Netanyahu is creating an "ultranationalist, apartheid state" and declares that American Jews cannot and should not sustain support for it. If there is any anti-Zionism out there, it comes from Milbank and his compadres. I wonder why he keeps going to his crystal ball, which has never been right about the future – especially regarding Israel. Israel remains the bastion for freedom in the region for gays, Muslims, Christians, Bahá'í, and other minority groups despite Milbank's name-calling. Muslims have greater freedom of speech, press, and even religion in Israel than in any Arab country. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with an increase in the Christian population!
Classic Israeli-haters and anti-Semites don't come out as strongly against Israel as Milbank.