Sandy Tolan, Slow Learner
Sandy Tolan is at again. The Berkeley monument to mediocrity is pretending to be relevant. Bush In Israel, Standing With One Side, published by the Huffington Post, is yet another example of how utterly out of touch Tolan is with the real world.
That should surprise one, of course. Tolan has found the goose that lays the Golden Egg- pious criticism of Israel that has an almost sacred appeal to the leftist Jews. They, like Tolan, believe their cause bestows a kind of divine morality without having to be actually be truly moral or accountable to God. Like Tolan, these progressive Jews (and Christians) are more intent on proving themselves to be righteous and progressive than anything else. They intend on proving their moral superiority without actually being moral (when some Jews and Christians embrace the current Arab ideologies and ignore the institutionalized racism, bigotry and hate, it is painfully clear they care little about the fate of Israelis and Palestinians).
A real hero is someone who acts out of concern not for him or herself, but rather, for the consequences his or her actions have on others. The fireman, policeman or average Joe goes into a burning building because in doing so, the consequences of those heroic efforts will impact the life of another. The real hero does not see him or herself as noble or as especially different. Rather, they see themselves as doing what needed to be done, no more and no less.
There is another kind of hero, with a very different motivation, best exemplified by the hard leftists. They act- or rather, pretend to act or demand that others act, with little or no concern about how the consequences of their efforts will impact others. The ‘heroism’ they focus on is centered around themselves. The see themselves as better or special.
Tolan's fancies himself above politics- his critique of George Bush is predicated in his 'morality':
Yet when President Bush steps off his plane to help Israel mark its 60th birthday, he will stride firmly into the past of one side. Officials of the Jewish state will sweep the president into their own powerful and compelling narrative: The birth of Israel from the ashes of the Holocaust on May 14, 1948; the invasion of the state, a day later, from Arab armies marching from the north, south, and east; and the loss of fully one percent of the Jewish state's population, in a fierce defense that evokes Israel's unofficial motto: Never again.
What the president won't hear is the Palestinian story. He won't be told that one side's "War of Independence" is the other side's "Nakba," or Catastrophe. And no one is likely to mention that Israel's heroic survival was, to the Arabs, a dispossession in which 750,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes.
Tolan does not mention the truth that the United Nations Partition Plan offered the Palestinians a state of their own, not does he mention the century of racism, bigotry and violence that targeted Jews prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. Nor does he mention the 750,000 refugees from Arab states who were forced not to leave by reason of conflict, but rather by reason of religious intolerance and persecution.
Sandy Tolan might argue that these were two separate events- and in a sense, he'd be right. Nevertheless, a lot can be learned about the Arab and Palestinian character. The persecution and demonization of Jews continues to this day, played out in Arab world media, in schools and often, preached from the pulpit. Tolan bemoans the 'cruelty' of the Israeli 'occupation' but never addresses the issues that Israel, the EU, the UN and the United States all agree would end the 'occupation' tomorrow
- Cessation of violence
- Diplomatic recognition of Israel
- Secure borders
Which of those things are too onerous of a burden for the Palestinians?
In fact, they would still be free to be as racist, bigoted and hateful as they are today. They would still be free to be establish a regime as corrupt and as failed as all the other Arab regimes around them.
Tolan speaks about peace between the Arabs and Israelis as if the players were moral equals, an idea as real as if the flat earthers were the equivalent of the rest of us. There is a better analogy- Tolan would argue that the Nazis were moral equivalents to the rest of us.
We noted in an earlier look at Sandy Tolan that
The only issue that merits criticism of the Israelis is why they have not responded more forcefully.
As we have noted, the fact that the Hamas government was freely elected is irrelevant. Adolph Hitler was elected in a free and democratic election in 1933. Being freely elected is no guarantee that a government will behave in a civilized way. In the case of Hamas, that is assured. They have continued to ratchet up their racism and bigotry, and they proudly proclaim their antipathy toward Jews. They endorse and remain sympathetic to goals of Hitlers National Socialism. They at once deny the Holocaust and in the same breath, praise the Nazi efforts to exterminate Jews, promising to ‘finish what Hitler started.’
The Israelis are under no obligation to fund, facilitate and aid groups that openly admit their wish to destroy them. That Mr Tolan is upset that the Israelis arrested members of a government sworn to destroy them, only indicates Mr Tolan’s detachment from reality...
Adolph Hitler had no track record, when it came to the Jews- only rhetoric. The Arab world has both the track record and rhetoric of hate and destruction. [The Nazis attempted to hide their agenda. The Arabs cannot be bothered- SC&A] If indeed, ‘the world sees the life of an Arab as infinitely less valuable than an Israeli’s,’ while that may be a tragedy, and bad for Palestinian self esteem, it is also an accurate reflection of reality. The Palestinians elected Hamas, the Palestinian Nazi Party. That is no different than the Germans electing Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party. The self esteem of the German volk suffered because of the choices they made, and rightly so. After the war, Germans had to come to grips with the evil they had wrought.
The Palestinians are suffering because of the choices they made. Nio one forced them- those choices were made freely and independently. As for the Israelis, their collective memory is remarkably clear: There has never been a great movement to save Jews by ‘concerned’ progressives. Tolan mentions not a whit about Arab anti Semitism, preached from the pulpits, racism and bigotry, taught in schools and hate and violence encouraged in Arab media. Why? Because he doesn’t give a damn. If he did, he would say so. In fact, Tolan’s silence on those realities make him an equivalent of Bull Connor, finding justification for his bigotry.
Can anyone imagine, any circumstances under which Israelis would indoctrinate their children to believe that killing was a religious obligation? Can anyone imagine Israelis instructing their children to act as human shields for gunmen? Can anyone imagine Israelis publishing textbooks instructing children to hate and slaughter? Can anyone imagine Israelis devoting media programming to extol the virtues of death and murder?
On a related note, reader VK sent us a note in which she states that
I am having a rather strong reaction to Obama's accusation that Bush attacked him in his Knesset speech. And I am seeing people like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Jamie Rubin jumping on this bandwagon.
My problem is the narcissistic worldview they display. Bush could only be talking about them.
My take is a little different. I see the US president speaking in an international forum, and I see him addressing not only the Israelis, but also residents of the former East Block, secular Turks trying to resist fundamentalist movements in their country, European pacifists who fail to recognize past failures of their own countries in standing against tyrannical forces.
I find it strange that those people who scream loudest about how Bush has damaged our status in the world are now saying that a US policy statement is really only a campaign ploy. Don't all these intelligent cosmopolitan people realize that many in the world will believe this or at least cynically use it? Don't they know that CNN is broadcasting all over the world that Bush's words are all about Obama? And don't they know that these same people are asking, "What about us? Can we count on America?"
"It is a good thing to be hated by evil people, be it in Iraq or the Palestinian Authority. It is a good thing to be feared by people whose stated aim is to do harm and it is a good thing to reviled by those for whom freedom and democracy pose a threat." Leftists like Sandy Tolan believe that they can negotiate or buy their way our of any confrontation with evil ('If we just give the Palestinians what they want, everything will be OK'). They cannot accept the truth that evil is defeated by defending and insisting upon a set of values and behaviors from everyone and standing firm.
When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.
Take a good look in the mirror, Sandy. You've heard this before.
Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.