If he’s not Jewish, maybe he’s a right wing fanatic… Sowell on Gaza

I made some remarks in a post about an op-ed piece by Harold Jacobson that it’s hard to find non-Jews who will come to Israel’s defense these days, so I’m posting one by Thomas Sowell.

thomas sowell
Thomas Sowell

He isn’t likely to be mistaken for a Jew, so if he’s going to side with Israel, he must be a right-wing fanatic, right?

Pretty Talk and Ugly Realities

No phrase represents more of a triumph of hope over experience than the phrase “Middle East peace process.” A close second might be the once-fashionable notion that Israel should “trade land for peace.”

Since everybody seems to be criticizing Israel for its military response to the rockets being fired into their country from the Gaza strip, let me add my criticisms as well. The Israelis traded land for peace, but they have never gotten the peace, so they should take back the land.

Maybe a couple of generations of Palestinians in Gaza living in peace under Israeli occupation and a couple of generations of the occupation troops squelching the terrorists— “militants” for those of you who are squeamish— would set up conditions where the Palestinians would be free to vote on whether they would like to remain occupied or to have their own state— minus terrorists and their rockets.

Casualty totals alone should be enough to show that the Palestinian people are the biggest losers from the current situation, where the terrorists among them, firing rockets into Israel, can bring devastating retaliatory strikes.

Why don’t the Palestinians vote for some representatives who would make a lasting peace with Israel? Because any such candidates would be killed by the terrorists long before election day, so nobody volunteers for that dangerous role.

We don’t know what the Palestinians really want— and won’t know as long as they are ruled by Hamas, Hezbollah and the like.

Whatever the benefits of peace for the Palestinian population, what are the terrorists going to do in peacetime? Become librarians and furniture salesmen?

So-called “world opinion” has been a largely negative factor in this situation. Nothing is easier than for people living in peace and safety in Paris or Rome to call for a “cease fire” after the Israelis retaliate against people who are firing rockets into their country.

The time to cease fire was before the rockets were fired.

What do calls for “cease fire” and “negotiations” do? They lower the price of launching attacks.

This is true not only in the Middle East but in other parts of the world as well.

Read the rest.

To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com. Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.

14 Responses to If he’s not Jewish, maybe he’s a right wing fanatic… Sowell on Gaza

  1. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Bad link : “the rest” links to a criticism of Thomas Sowell in Salon Magazine.

  2. Cynic says:

    “the rest” links
    Oh good gracious Greenwald. I wouldn’t waste my time with his rubbish.

    greenwalds-sock-puppets-the-worst-blog-scandal-ever

    Glenn Greenwald (2006). A bona fide nutroots hearthrob, Greenwald rises through the nutroots ranks thanks to his magical mix of turgid, dreary rants about creeping fascism and hysterical polemics against right-wing bloggers. His posts draw predictable responses from righties and equally predictable comments from various lefty trolls — many of whom, curiously, turn out to be posting from Greenwald’s own computer, using syntax similar to his own, within ten minutes or so of comments left by him on other sites.

    The New McCarthyism: Greenwald Exposed w/Address And Contact Information

    To know Greenwald’s motivation is dishonest – a complete sham, one need only look at Greenwald’s proud defense of the on line rhetoric of White Supremacist and hate-monger Matthew Hale. Hale declared war on a judge who was later murdered and Greenwald defended it; yet, he would now condemn, if not slander, bloggers like Charles Johnson of lgf, Michelle Malkin, Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, Powerline, me – and a host of others for their rhetoric, links and blog comments allowed, or over looked.
    Dean Esmay, Misha, Megan McCardle (a/k/a Jane Galt), and Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, along with the pundits and bloggers, led by David Horowitz
    His main argument with me seems to be this post, in which I simply linked and re-posted publicly available information. To inject a little honesty into the conversation, I’ll point out that that is precisely what he has done repeatedly. He, according to Technorati, has linked that post several times – perhaps three times more often than anyone else. And one of Greenwald’s main targets, Glenn at Instapundit, has never linked it at all. Well, Doh!
    I resent that he is using it to attack Instapundit. Every intelligent blog reader knows Instapundit is a genuinely Libertarian blog; yet, Greenwald incessantly and dishonestly casts it as Far Right Wing. Reynolds supports the ACLU, believes in Gay marriage and, aside from the war, holds many positions which are mainstream moderate or clearly Libertarian. Greenwald’s repeated lying about Reynolds represents the epitome of the contemporary McCarthyism cited above. It reveals Greenwald to be, just as McCarthy was accused of being, either a simple-minded demagogue, or a dangerous liar: perhaps Greenwald is actually both.

    If one goes back one can find many instances.
    Greenwald blatantly lies by linking this and suggesting Glenn Reynolds is guilty of engaging in some imagined form of dangerous rhetoric. All Reynolds does is point out an obvious error in the New York Times regarding the US position in Nicaragua circa 1985. Any inflammatory rhetoric appears to exist only in Greenwald’s befuddled and / or deliberately manipulative mind.
    He attacks Charles Johnson, not for his statements, but the free ranging discussions on his blog. One is left to wonder if there isn’t more than a bit of the fascist in Greenwald when it comes to political free speech with which he disagrees. And given his opposite position on Hale, some may be justified in calling him a self-hating Jew.

  3. Shimshon says:

    It is refreshing to read a pro Israel Article written by a non Jew. I do not think I will ever understand why so many people are so anti Israel even when they are mostly so wrong. Seems to me that when it comes to Israel the brain gets turned off.

  4. Cynic says:

    RL,
    I posted a comment yesterday to inform #1 of who the writer in Salon is.
    The comment appeared last night but now is missing.

    One should know about Glen Greenwald before reading any of his writing.

  5. oao says:

    I do not think I will ever understand why so many people are so anti Israel even when they are mostly so wrong. Seems to me that when it comes to Israel the brain gets turned off.

    that’s because anti-semitism is an emotional, not rational response.

    Have you studied antisemitism and its origins? they are not difficult to explain historically and why it is resurging now.

    the collapse of education (part. no classics, history, philosophy, logic, ethics), the islamic terror, the economic crisis trigger an emotional convenient response in people who are afraid but without the knowledge and capability to comprehend what is happening and how to deal with it.

  6. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ Cynic : thanks for the comment about Greenwald. I figured out by myself that he is some kind of nut, and I posted my comment after deciding not to read him.

    Your description of Greenwald assumes a very refined knowledge of the US blogosphere. I would appreciate if you took the trouble of giving a less technical description.

    By the way, I thought that the link should lead to an article by Thomas Sowell, and I guess I’m going to write to our gracious host for repairing it. The link to Greenwald’s ranting won’t be lost, since it appears under the words “right-wing fanatic”.

  7. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    Can you please elucidate less technical description.

    I thought that just a couple of quotes by some refined bloggers would be within reason to get some idea across quickly of this specie, as a proper fisking was off topic as well as in my case too time consuming.

    One aspect of the more conservative blogs that I appreciate is that unlike those media journalists who dredge up a dishwater soup of unnamed sources, an official, etc. is that their arguments are dished up with intel that one can research.

    Actually for anyone reading the blogs over the past 5 years or so should have come across his name already and his seedy behaviour.

    assumes a very refined knowledge of the US blogosphere.

    When time permits I read blogs from Europe (pity that the Frenchmen I worked with at the time annoyed me intensely that I desisted from learning a few more words :-) otherwise I’d be commenting on some of E.G.’s French links), South America and other places so I try to be as informed as possible.

  8. Cynic says:

    I should have said that the type of character discussed above is the epitome of the media stables RL is trying so hard to clean.

  9. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Technical: maybe a better description is that I’m missing lots of information, and I just can’t guess it.

    What is lqf? How does the sentence beginning by

    “Dean Esmay, Misha, Megan McCardle (a/k/a Jane Galt), and Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, along with the pundits and bloggers, led by David Horowitz”

    end?

    What does “it” refer to in the sentence

    “I resent that he is using it to attack Instapundit.” ?

    I am falling back on these low level linguistic questions because I am missing most of this scene.

    By the way, the comparison words “McCarthyist” and “fascist” strike me as excessive and somewhat inappropriate. If I remember correctly, Sen. Joe McCarthy had the power to subpoena people to the HUAC if he thought that they were part of some communist plot. I don’t think that Mr Greenwald has this kind of power. Re. fascism, you just use this as a hate word. Greenwald does not write as a fascist (I finally read his piece). He is not mentioning some leader whose word is total and perfect truth, and he does not have the standard references to strength, will and so on. OK, the rules of polemics writing involve name calling. But the choice of names is relevant. At least in Europe, we know that the antifascist fight was and still is a fig leaf for communist propaganda. We also know that there were lots of different fascisms. Therefore, the word fascism has lost its power in inappropriate comparisons, and it is used for the description of a historical phenomenon.

    We are quite unhappy when Israel is compared to Nazi Germany. And rightly so. However, I learnt a few years ago that in the Knesset of the first years of Israel, the representatives would call one another nazi and kapo – and at that time, lots of survivors were still alive.

    So, let’s not be innocent about polemics… and the metaphors it uses.

  10. Eliyahu says:

    * * * * * * *
    Michelle, Senator McCarthy became notorious for making false accusations that persons were Communists, for citing false numbers of Communists in high positions in various govt departments, etc. Unfortunately, when his frauds were brought to light, anti-Communism itself was discredited for many people. That is, McC helped the reputation of the American Communists over the long run and made people suspicious of accusations, even they could be proven.

    The HUAC was a committee of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Congress, whereas McCarthy was a senator, that is, of the upper house. The HUAC did many of the same things as Senator McC did, that is, making accusations. However, he was not part of it. However, McCarthyite is used for those who make accusations such as he did, albeit they do not have the right to subpoena witnesses, as you point out.

    You’re right that terms like fascist are often abused. What do you think of replacing it with Vichyite? After all, many French “pacifistes” who opposed the “bellicistes” did not share the full Nazi or fascist ideology. Many of them were socialists, even CPers and Trots, who eventually joined the Vichy govt of Petain. Think of Marcel Deat, Pierre Laval, etc. They were socialists and pacifists –and they joined Vichy and they helped send Jews to Auschwitz too. See link:

    http://www.netanyahu.org/peacmovthena.html

    Simon Epstein recently wrote a book on this same issue of socialists and pacifists who joined Vichy.
    * * * * * *

  11. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    Sorry but I excerpted bits to try and give an insight to the complaints about the person in question and provided the link so as to give the author his due rights.
    Anyway the posts themselves were rather long to paste in their entirety as a comment and take away the hits from the original site.

    I don’t think that Mr Greenwald has this kind of power. Re. fascism, you just use this as a hate word

    That is its current usage.

    As for Greenwald, he has a history which goes back some years, so no, in the particular article he appears one thing but his behaviour has displayed something else.

  12. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Eliyahu, sorry about my mistake regarding HUAC, and thanks for correcting it.

    Maybe we can use non historically marked terms, such as “authoritarian”, “dictatorial”, “useful idots” (I know that Lenin invented the term, but the part seems as old as mankind), “traitor”, “false friend”, and so on. In the case of pacifists who suck up to dictators, french history brings up lots of adjectives and comparisons. I do not know of a french word which could replace the obvious “munichois”, without the historical reference. Maybe unavoidable here. Kal vachomer, I don’t know of an english word, which could perform the job.

    Pacifists who turned nazis: best example is Jacques Doriot, former #2 of the french CP. I would know what doriotiste means, because I was born shortly after the war and received a good education. But very few people would know nowadays.

  13. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    However, I learnt a few years ago that in the Knesset of the first years of Israel, the representatives would call one another nazi and kapo – and at that time, lots of survivors were still alive.

    Have you been amongst a bunch of Jews, in this case Ashkenazim at morning prayers, arguing, where it became so heated that they started slinging the most atrocious epithets at one another, among which were exactly those words.
    I witnessed this with consternation, WWII still relatively fresh in our minds, and then to confuse everything for me there they were the very next day the biggest of buddies. Had they used knives there would not have been a next day.
    Emotion is a terribly strong factor and mostly overrides every other factor in human behaviour, unless of course one is dealing with a superbly self-controlled individual.

    With regard to So, let’s not be innocent about polemics… and the metaphors it uses. please bear in mind that not every one who has a blog is as disciplined as RL in posting.

    More upsetting to me is the fact that American Jews helped Turkey in avoiding the charge of massacring Armenians which has done more damage for the position of the Holocaust than slinging Nazi and Kapo around willy nilly. Has Chompskaya cottoned on yet?

    As time goes by words lose their meaning as one can witness in English for example unless of course one can Qur’animize them and declare them immutable with death for those who misuse them.
    Another thing that I have noticed is that while there is no thread being followed in a blog there is a memory chain linking adjectives applied in earlier posts to different ones of similar connotations.

    Unfortunately education is lacking to all intents and purposes and we have a growing population unable to communicate explicitly and even here one can find that people of different backgrounds apply different nuances to the words.

  14. oao says:

    More upsetting to me is the fact that American Jews helped Turkey in avoiding the charge of massacring Armenians which has done more damage for the position of the Holocaust than slinging Nazi and Kapo around willy nilly. Has Chompskaya cottoned on yet?

    but they got the appreciation from turkey, didn’t they? as they deserved.

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