Friday, February 06, 2009

Rosner's Domain of Wishful Thinking

I've met Shmuel Rosner and read his work for years -- he is clearly an intelligent man and a fine journalist. But he has an unfortunate tendency to be very generous, almost pollyannish, about disturbing political developments in Israel, without any corresponding generosity towards Palestinians. Recently when settler thugs perpetrated a pogrom against Palestinians in Hebron, he argued that this was actually "encouraging" and merely "proof that the settlement movement is crumbling and that the fear some people shared--that the state of Israel will not be able to deal with the possible need to evacuate settlements--has no basis in reality." Counter-intuitive like a fox! Needless to say, when Palestinian terrorists shoot rockets into Sderot, I do not see Rosner arguing that this is actually encouraging because it means the terrorists are getting desperate and are therefore not a serious threat or anything to get worked up about.

And now here he is saying it's fine if the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party gets more mandates next week than Labor. Don't worry, you silly American liberals, Israelis are only voting for Lieberman because they're dissatisfied with the other candidates, certainly not because there might be a cancerous ultra-nationalism welling up in Israeli society. Would that it were so!