Gleanings, 23.02.11

Lee Smith: Stateless (MUST READ)

Things have been trending badly for Israel for some time now, but Hosni Mubarak losing control of Egypt makes the Jewish state untenable. That’s right: Israel is no longer feasible. I don’t mean that in the manner the international left usually does—that nationalism is passé and we must move on to higher forms of communal existence. I mean it in the old-fashioned way of nations and peoples who are vanquished when the balance of power tips against them. And I mean it strategically—a tiny country with a Jewish majority of 6 million can’t survive surrounded by enemies and forsaken by its superpower ally.

Martin Kramer: Marwan Musasher cuts the number of Arab moderates, drastically: “Moderation is a Western construct that when used in describing the Arab world, focuses on a single issue—the Arab-Israeli peace conflict… I am proposing a new definition for Arab moderation that cuts across all issues of concern to Arab citizens and includes aspects like reform in addition to peace, rather than focusing on only one issue.”

Philip Carl Salzman There is a third consideration: religion. How many “moderate” Arab states keep religion and governance separate? I won’t even ask how many are secular. And what percentage of the populations in these countries favour separation of church and state?

Barry Rubin: Egypt: The Most Moderate Democracy Advocate Speaks And Says A Lot

As I said, Sandmonkey is a good guy. He is among the most moderate one-hundreth of one percent of the Egypt people. (I didn’t pick that statistic at random.) That’s another factor that doesn’t make me feel so reassured.

Kevin Myers: Little hope of democracy as Arab despots overthrown

Short-term good seldom results from revolutions. It certainly does not result from revolutions in Muslim societies in which the local imam is usually the font of both civic and criminal law, and where tolerance of others is merely conditional … Had the US journalist Lara Logan been grabbed and sexually violated by a mob of Israeli men, feminists across the world would rightly have been protesting. But she was instead the victim of a frenzied sex attack in Cairo by a score of Arabs, and there is accordingly silence. In an ever-changing world, some things never change: and to the western liberal mind, the only real villains in the Middle East can only ever be Jewish.

ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE: Gullible amnesia

“The Yuppie Revolution in Egypt is Over, the Islamist Revolution Has Begun,” captured the essence of Egypt’s 18-day upheaval. It was what Cornell Law School’s William A. Jacobson’s blog called a “Legal Insurrection.” The Muslim Brotherhood’s greatest asset: Gullible Westerners on both sides of the Atlantic.

Asaf Romirowsky: Why Israel Worries About Jordan

The rise of the Brotherhood would mean instability for Jordan. But it would also mean instability for Israel. The Brothers flatly rejected the 1994 peace treaty with Israel and have questioned it ever since. However, the gravest danger could be the Brotherhood’s exploitation of Jordan’s Palestinians, estimated at 70% of the population … One feared scenario for Israel, and a clear indicator that the monarchy would be losing its grip, is one in which King Abdullah allows the Brotherhood, together with its Palestinian supporters, to have a controlling stake in Jordan’s governance. This would create a joint Palestinian-Brotherhood stronghold in Jordan.

Jeffrey Goldberg: Sheikh Qaradawi Seeks Total War

Mark Gardner and Dave Rich did yeoman’s work not long ago, analyzing the Egyptian cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi’s 2003 book, Fatawa Min Ajl Falastin, or Fatwas on Palestine, and came to the conclusion that this putatively moderate Islamic cleric argues clearly and consistently that hatred of Israel and Jews is Islamically sanctioned, and that the destruction of Israel is mandated by God…

7 Responses to Gleanings, 23.02.11

  1. Lorri says:

    Smith is way too pessimistic for me. Israel has survived in the past with enemies all around and is pretty damn good at defending itself.

    On the other hand, if Israel’s enemies do succeed in causing Israel’s disintegration, I just hope that someone has cameras ready to capture the look of utter shock on the faces of the Islamists and far-far leftists and other utopianists when they discover that no, the world hasn’t suddenly become a paradise and no, Israel wasn’t causing all the world’s problems.

    • oao says:

      No, you’re an optimist, Smith is a realist. He grounds his position in facts that are salient and unarguable. Prove his grounding wrong if you can.

      In the 30’s the jews relied on the same past-based optimism and the reality was the holocaust. Israel and the jews are making the same mistake now.

      I would not want to be a jew living in any part of the world if Israel is destroyed. And, in fact, not many jews will be able to.

      In the 30’s the crisis was limited to Germany and it ended up causing 6 million jews to die. How many do you think will survive with the whole world in crisis and with the same knee-jerk reaction that the jews are to blame?

  2. […] richly deserved Dick of the Week. (h/t David G, Zach N, Yisrael Medad, Richard Landes’ excellent linkdump, Suso, Martin […]

  3. Walter Sobchak says:

    Smith’s intro to the article needs to be read carefully:

    This week I argue that Israel is in big trouble … Next week I’ll make the opposite case: that Israel’s power and influence in the Middle East will only grow.

    I am not that pessimistic. First, Americans have mis-read the Egyptian situation. There was no revolution. The Army runs the country, just like it has for most of the past ten centuries, other than when foreigners ran it. They let the Cairo middle classes blow some steam off. They dumped Mubarak, who was aging and ill, and whose sons they wanted gone. And, now they are back in the saddle. There will be something resembling elections, but they will still be running things when the dust settles.

    They won’t change Egyptian foreign policy, because they don’t want to loose American money, and they don’t want fight Israel, because that is too dangerous.

    They won’t let the Brotherhood loose, because the Brotherhood are a bunch of violent cuckoo clocks who will destroy the tourist business, and make the Army guys individual lives miserable — they are fond of their whiskey. They won’t let the gates to Gaza open because that would give the Brotherhood a refuge, and that would be a bad idea.

    There will be no meaningful changes inside Jordan either. Syria is immune to change as long as Iran is run by the mullahs. Syria will not attack Israel, because they cannot afford to let their Army off its real full time job of oppressing the Sunni majority.

    As for America, BHO is a total disaster, but he has a very limited ability to affect foreign policy. look at how he has lost control of Afghanistan policy. Furthermore, he cannot act on his own preferences which are anti-Israel, without risking a major portion of the funding for his 2012 campaign. The other half of that funding comes from the unions which may or may not be able to help that much.

    • oao says:

      Yes, I noticed that intro. It has more to do with the fact that Smith is smarter than other pundits and realizes that things are not that predictable in these circumstances and wants to cover himself up as a precaution. If you read him regularly you pretty much can tell where his bets are. Just take a look at his latest, A weak horse in the WH.

      What most people don’t understand is that the danger is not that the MB will take over. Rather they will infiltrate and indoctrinate the society, including the lower echelons of the army — these are essentially subversive operations. That’s what Mubarak and the top army command were preventing. It’s hard to see how the army will now apply the same level of suppression that will prevent such subversion.

      What is more, read Bernard Levy interview in the Jerusalem Post. As he correctly points out nobody in Egypt has the mechanism that they have at their disposal: the mosque. And as Barry Rubin points out they are already replacing current clerics with their own.

      Lewis also explains that the west talks the language of freedom arabs understand the language of justice. They talk past each other. It’s Qaradawi that speaks their language. Compare his clear statement on Khadaffi — kill the son of a bitch — with Obama’s pathetic consultations with — get this — Erdogan.

      When the Arab League and Sarkozy take the lead you know that the world has changed.

    • oao says:

      Here’s a first glimpse at the priorities of the Egyptian army:

  4. Walter Sobchak says:

    Unfortunately, you do not have a preview button, nor an edit feature. I did not mean to block the paragraphs after the first quote from Smith.

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