The title of this post came to me as I was trying to assimilate Jeffrey Goldberg’s typically beside the point column in today’s N.Y. Times. The only thing I can say for it is that it’s not as wrongheaded as most of his work about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict usually is.
But the following passage brought to mind the title of the Canadian Jewish film, Lies My Father Told Me, because here Goldberg shows that he’s laboring under terrible delusions and completely misunderstands the current political environment in Palestinian society, especially Gaza:
“There is a fixed idea among some Israeli leaders that Hamas can be bombed into moderation. This is a false and dangerous notion. It is true that Hamas can be deterred militarily for a time, but tanks cannot defeat deeply felt belief.
The reverse is also true: Hamas cannot be cajoled into moderation. Neither position credits Hamas with sincerity, or seriousness.
The only small chance for peace today is the same chance that existed before the Gaza invasion: The moderate Arab states, Europe, the United States and, mainly, Israel, must help Hamas’s enemy, Fatah, prepare the West Bank for real freedom, and then hope that the people of Gaza, vast numbers of whom are unsympathetic to Hamas, see the West Bank as an alternative to the squalid vision of Hassan Nasrallah and Nizar Rayyan.”
Goldberg actually believes that Fatah can lead the Palestinian people to “freedom?” How? What has it achieved on this long road to freedom so far? And you’ll notice that he only goes so far as to say that Fatah’s “friends” among the nations should “help” prepare it for freedom. Prepare? What does this mean? How long will this process take before anyone actually deigns to give Palestine its freedom? Really, Goldberg is quite ridiculous.
Further, Goldberg calls feebly on Israel and the U.S. to “help” lay the groundwork for such freedom. Like they’ve “helped” up till now? In the past eight years, tell me one thing Israel in particular has done to help Fatah appear to be a more attractive choice to the Palestinian people?
But the portion of this passage that really takes the cake is the one in which Goldberg claims, with absolutely no proof whatsoever, that there are “vast numbers” of Gazans who are “unsympathetic” to Hamas. Perhaps Goldberg might want to take a walk in the streets of Gaza right about now, if he could avoid being hit by one of his country’s missiles, and ask the average Gazan whether they are “unsympathetic” to Hamas. This notion is part of the Israeli delusion that by bombing Gaza back to the Stone Age this will somehow turn the Gazans against Hamas. Anyone with eyes in their head can foresee that the only party they will turn against and blame in this situation would be Israel.
What do the Times’ editors see in this guy? They print the propaganda and delusions of Benny Morris and Jeffrey Goldberg as if they were oracular wisdom about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s little short of sickening.