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« Israeli population surpasses 7.7 million | Main | What's wrong with this picture? »

Monday, 09 May 2011


Mannie Sherberg
We are dealing here with an obsession, a fixation, a ruling passion -- a conviction utterly resistant to logic, reason, or anything of significance in the real world. For the past half-century, a host of political figures -- including American presidents, foreign prime ministers, and an uncountable number of intellectual heavyweights -- have been in the grips of this obsession, which holds, quite simply, that Israel is the key to history, and that nothing happens in this world that is not in some way related to Israel. This is, of course, lunacy, but then much of the history of the 20th century was determined by lunatics, so that is nothing new. A perfect example of this lunacy or obsession can be found in yesterday's New York Times, where Gilles Kepel, one of the West's foremost "experts" on terrorism, opined in an op-ed on the killing of Osama that "the challenge is to take advantage of Bin Laden's death and push to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians -- a cloud over the prospects for Arab democracy." The sheer nuttiness of this sentence defies belief. It claims that Arab democracy is being retarded not by the Arabs -- but by the Israel-Palestinian conflict; in other words: a crucial link exists between Arab democracy and Israel -- just as a crucial link exists between everything else on the planet and Israel. If this isn't obsessional, then the word has no meaning. The same obsession, of course, is at the root of the Zivotovsky birth certificate/passport matter. An issue that shouldn't be an issue, a matter that under ordinary circumstances would not be worth five seconds of anyone's time, will now embroil -- perhaps for months on end -- the attention of the Supreme Court, the State Department, and a bevy of Ivy League lawyers -- all because it touches upon the state of Israel. Only a very deep-seated pathology -- or old-fashioned Jew-hatred, which comes to the same thing -- could cause putatively intelligent men and women to waste so much time and energy on such folly. Such madness on the part of our "leaders" will sooner or later destroy all of us.
In the final analysis the formulation of laws for all sorts of things about foreign policy. I proposes that Congress has enough power to write rules for the certification of birth abroad.

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