Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Israel at 60, plus Nerd Analysis on 1948 by Benny Morris

The nation of Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

As Mark Steyn reminds us, various publications are filling pages and spilling ink by rather wolfishly wondering if Israel can survive.

Here is a quote, though, that expresses one of my thoughts:
It’s darkly ironic that Israel was the first state to be created by the United Nations and ever since has endured a unique and sustained campaign of attempted delegitimisation. For the dictatorships and sclerotic monarchies that rule much of the Arab world, criticism of Israel is the best diversion from examining their own dismal human rights records.
Hm. Look, I'm not saying that Israel is perfect -- it is far from it, and indeed it's riddled with problems and contradictions. (One headline even uses the phrase "a Jekyll and Hyde nation.") Still, I dare say part of that is because it's constantly riddled with bullets and rockets from people determined to destroy it outright. Anyway, at the risk of receiving angry comments, I note Israel's 60th birthday and trust that it will have many more.

Meanwhile, here's some new nerd analysis by well-known and occasionally controversial Israeli historian Benny Morris, who has a new book on the events of 1948 (from Yale University Press). Morris, by the way, is one of those academics who's been both loved and hated in the political sphere: adored by some on the Left, abhorred by some on the Right. In this, his latest publication, Morris seems to have finally realized that the war in 1948 was not only a territorial dispute, but also about an attempt to annihilate the Jews.

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