Cross-posted at The Progressive Zionist
Here is what happens when the Right Wing gets desperate. As we see from the train wreck that is the Romney/Ryan campaign, when the situation gets tough, all Republicans can seem to do is both lie in the extreme, and turn on each other through casting blame every which way for their own failures. In the case of the Lunatic Fringe Rightist element of the American Jewish Polity, the failure of their effort to turn Jewish voters has lead to the fringe freaking out completely and doing both - lying AND blaming their own community for the fact that we simply aren't stupid enough or crazy enough to vote for Mitt Romney.
In a piece at the Times of Israel Hard Core Right Wing Activist Mike Lumish (formerly a Kossak) goes over the edge combining a series of lies and simple ignorance to guide his arguments. Arguments he then turns back on the Jewish community to show in some way that he far more the "Good Jew" than they are.
Lumish names gives five categories where he thinks that Liberal / Progressive Jews have "betrayed" their own kind. Now all five topics are chock full of hyperbole, exaggerations, paranoid ravings and of course, outright lies. More than that they are plainly based on ignorance and a complete lack of any coherent analysis of political problem solving.
The first one of these categories that Lumish cites states that Jews who support President Obama, ignore "inconvenient truths". And what pray tell are these "inconvenient truths"... Well let's just let Lumish speak for himself:
Obama wrecked whatever potential there may have been in the peace process and then blamed the Israelis for his own failure. He ushered the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt and then said, in effect, “Oh, well. Egypt is no longer an ally. Not an enemy, really, but not an ally.” Obama is perfectly fine with the idea of a Judenrein state of Palestine and feels that he has the right to tell Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live, and thus build, in both Jerusalem and Judea.NOW... let's see how many lies one person can fit into a single paragraph. I count five lies.
Lie # 1 and # 2 - Obama wrecked whatever potential there may have been in the Peace Process and then blamed the Israelis.
No... the Peace Process fell apart because both sides were not particularly serious about making it work. During this time the Americans got the Israelis to agree to a 10 month moratorium on all building in the West Bank, something that the Israelis agreed too and enacted to a degree.
BUT, for the Israelis, they were determined to continue building and adding on to settlements in Jerusalem in a move to consolidate their position in a City that has been annexed (though this annexation has never been recognized by anyone in the International community including the U.S.). Even though, the Palestinians see Eastern Jerusalem as their capital and take any continued settlement process in and around the borders of the City as defining terms and boundaries (which the Israelis will not declare), the Israeli government felt it necessary to continue their consolidation of this territory. Why, they could not stop building during this time is baffling to me.
The Palestinians for their part felt that the continued building in Jerusalem was a "slap in the face" (so to speak) and showed that the Israeli building process was meant to grab more territory and "create facts on the ground". With that presentation by the Palestinian leadership and community, continuing talks while construction was going on was seen as fruitless and humiliating. However, the Palestinians jumped into negotiations nine months into the process rather than starting out right away. Had they truly been serious here they would have started on day one.
So in my opinion both sides screwed this up. BUT... to say that Barack Obama did this is nonsense. This process was going nowhere before the President got involved. By requesting a settlement moratorium the President was articulating a position held by Palestinian President Abbas. Here:
On July 12, 2009, Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian media that he would not cede any part of the West Bank to Israel, that he would demand territorial contiguity between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and that he would never waive the Palestinian right of return. In a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, Abbas demanded that any peace deal be based strictly on the 1967 borders and the Arab Peace Initiative. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected any "middle ground solutions", saying that the Palestinians would reject any deal between the U.S. and Israel that would allow any construction to continue in Israeli settlements.A further reading of the timeline shows that BOTH sides were unwilling to compromise on major points (Israelis on building in J'slem and Palestinians on recognizing Israel as a Jewish State). It was NOT President Obama that torpedoed these talks.
On 23 August 2009, Netanyahu announced in his weekly cabinet meeting that negotiations with the Palestinians will begin in September 2009 and will be officially launched on his visit to New York, after he had accepted an invitation from President Barack Obama for a "Triple Summit" there. He added that there is progress with special envoy George Mitchell, though there is no full agreement on everything, and there will be more rounds of meetings until September. On the same day, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas said there would be no negotiations so long as Israel continued West Bank settlement construction.
On 20 September 2009, the White House announced that it will host a three-way meeting between President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas, within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly, "in an effort to lay the groundwork for renewed negotiations on Mideast peace." The meeting took place on 22 September, in New York. Afterwards, Netanyahu said that he agreed with Abbas during the meeting that peace talks should be relaunched as soon as possible.
As for Blame nowhere did he solely blame the Israelis. That is simply made up. He was disappointed that the Israelis would not stop building in the negotiation phase. That is reasonable. In the end the President blamed himself and both sides for "not really wanting it". That is a far more accurate assessment. The WaPo has an interesting piece on what really happened. SO...what we have here are two lies in one sentence and BOTH are based on ignorance.
Follow me under the squiggle for lies 3, 4 and 5.....
Lie # 3: President Obama "ushered" the Muslim Brotherhood into power and then waffled.
This is sheer nonsense. Of course, in other places Lumish has gone on and on about how the President supported the M.B. from the beginning and wants Iran to have nuclear weapons, so really how seriously can we take this clown?
The truth of the matter is that the President stayed neutral in the transition of the Egyptian people from dictatorship under Hosni Mubarak to a democratically elected Brotherhood government. The President acted appropriately but certainly took no partisan stand one way or the other regarding the Egyptian transition. To think that had the U.S. supported Mubarak (as Lumish and others have said we should) that there would have been no change shows a distinct lack of understanding of Egyptian politics, and really a distinct lack of knowledge regarding the region in general.
The President was very clear about it's priorities in this. He wanted a transition to Democracy with a government that would act in concert with our interests in the region. He wanted the Peace Treaty with Israel upheld, he wanted an Egypt that would stand with the U.S. against Iranian hegemonistic aspirations. When he saw that this might not happen the President spoke against the Brotherhoods plans. There was no "waffling" the President supported the rise of democracy in a country that has never really known democracy. He then dealt with it accordingly, and in a reasonable manner.
Lies # 4 the President is perfectly fine with a "Judenrein" (Jewish Free) State in Palestine.
This is what happens when you A. Learn politics and history from the Michelle Bachmann school of Foreign Policy AND B. Simply pull stuff out of your ass to try to make a point.
The President diplomatically follows traditional American policy which does not see the Occupied West Bank as part of Israel. The President has never said that "Jews cannot live in the West Bank". Not once. What he has done is stated that Israelis should not settle on land that is not internationally (or recognized by Israel itself) as its own. Israel has not annexed the West Bank. BUT yet it sends people in who are Israeli citizens to live there.
Now it is true that the Palestinian Government does NOT want any Jews living there. Selling property to a Jewish person (not Israeli - the law says Jewish) is punishable by death (though this has not been carried out). And it is true that PLO Representative Ariekat had this to say:
"Answering questions on minority rights in a future state, Areikat was quoted by USA Today as saying on the possibility of a Jewish minority: "After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated."However, the White House never supported that (Lumish is simply lying here) and accordingly quoting the Obama Administrations official position:
The Obama administration has repeatedly condemned instances of Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israel: “We have repeatedly raised with the Palestinian Authority leadership the need to consistently combat all forms of de-legitimization of Israel, including denying historic Jewish connections to the land.”18Finally we have Lie # 5: President Obama feels that he has the right to tell Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live, and thus build, in both Jerusalem and Judea.
NO... The President is simply echoing U.S. policy since 1967 which states that the territories taken in the 1967 War are NOT Israel's territory and are currently under Occupation. As mentioned previously, even the Israelis won't officially claim that the Occupied Territories are Israeli National territory. Therefore the President does not support the building and expansion of Israeli settlements on land that is not officially their land. He is not telling Jews where they may or may not live, he is telling Israelis that they should not build anywhere outside of their declared and recognized borders. How that gets translated to telling Jews where they can and can't live is simply mind-boggling (and false).
But even funnier (using Lumish' twisted logic) you know who else says that "Jews can't live wherever they want"?? The Israeli government itself by declaring most of the West Bank off limits to Jewish / Israeli settlement.
So in the end YES most Progressive, Liberal and Moderate Jews ignore Lumish' "Obvious Truths" because simply put they are neither obvious nor true. AND rather than focus on the candidate that he supports, rather than showing what he thinks Mitt Romney will do that would be positive he demonizes his own group. Of course, the fact that Mitt Romney offers no alternatives, solutions or leadership on this issue is an embarrassment to Lumish and other Right Wingers leaves them high and dry. They have nothing and so have to resort to lies and demonization to make their points.
Too bad for them that most of us (the Jewish American Polity) can see through this and are not as ignorant or as easily led as Lumish and his supporters.