I recently read “What Went Wrong: The Collapse of the Israeli Palestinian Peace Process,” which appeared (behind a firewall) in Political Science Quarterly in the summer of 2001. (The essay is available online to subscribers and those with access to various academic data bases). I’ve not seen anywhere a more careful and substantial debunking of the main talking points of Israeli hasbara, from the notion that the war was forced upon Israelis who in 1948 were otherwise all too happy to accept the UN’s partition resolution, to the idea that Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians everything they could conceivably have wanted for an independent state at Camp David in 2000, only to have Yasser Arafat walk away. Both propositions are simply false, though they have become–through constant media repetition—very nearly the American received wisdom. Since there is no reason to think that Bibi Netanyahu is more inclined to allow the Palestinians a viable state than Barak was, there really is little chance that Kerry’s mission will succeed—unless of course the Palestinian leadership has been sufficiently corrupted and bribed to sell out legitimate Palestinian aspirations.

Since Slater’s exemplary scholarship is not easily available on the internet, I will quote at length several of his paragraphs, which challenge the conventional wisdom but should be part of it.

The evidence is now irrefutable that David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, and the other leading Zionists “accepted” the UN compromise only as a necessary tactical step that would later be reversed, a base from which Israel would later expand to include all of biblical Palestine. In many private statements, Ben-Gurion was quite explicit, as in a 1937 letter to his son: “A partial Jewish state is not the end, but only the beginning. The establishment of such a Jewish state will serve as a means in our historical efforts to redeem the country in its entirety. . . . We shall organize a modern defense force . . .and then I am certain that we will not be prevented from settling in other parts of the country, either by mutual agreement with our Arab neighbors or by some other means. . . . We will expel the Arabs and take their places . . . with the force at our disposal.” A year later, Ben-Gurion told a Zionist meeting: “I favor partition of the country because when we become a strong power after the establishment of the state, we will abolish partition and spread throughout all of Palestine.” And “Palestine,” as understood by the Zionists, included the West Bank, Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights, southern Lebanon, and much of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

– from “Kerry’s Quest for an Israel-Palestinian Peace: What You First Need to Know

Dear Scott McConnell,

Here is a serious question for you and all the so-called conservatives at The American Conservative Liberal. Why would you be quoting someone like Slater who retails in slander?

I found that with a quick Google search…you and the editors should be ashamed of yourself.

Have you made any effort to get at the truth? Of course not — for some reason you decided that the Jews are the villains in the Middle-East and everything else falls into place after that decision.

Where are the adults at that magazine who are willing to stand up to this nonsense? Shameful.


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2 Responses to Shameful

  1. Kyl says:

    Amconmag has extracted Buchanan’s anti-Israeli foreign policy and replaced everything else with Beltway centrism. Which is OK except for the fact that they continue to pretentiously pose as the true, above-it-all conservative magazine, when all it amounts to is lazily namechecking dead conservative icons liberals supposedly respect, and inventing new creative ways the term “conservative” can be used, typically for something advocated by the Democratic Party.

    Their principles seem to be: foreign intervention (light or otherwise) bad, Israel bad, GOP dumb. Something something Burkeanism.

    I actually recall a McConnell article last year entitled “Bibi Bares Some Fang,” no charged language there. of course a lot of anti-Israeli commentators don’t seem to acknowledge anti-Semitism (or pandering to it) exists unless you’re a full-on Nazi.

    • Fake Herzog says:

      Great comment — I especially like your point about how the magazine has basically morphed into another mouthpiece for “Beltway centrism”. What none of their writers seem to realize is that their idol, Burke, would be horrified at today’s Washington and those of us who are arguing for conservative reform simply want to undo liberal damage!

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