Saturday, March 20, 2010

The "West" in the West Bank

Charles Krauthammer responded to the Obama Administration's manufactured emergency over the misspoken words of an Israeli bureaucrat about his country's plan to build new housing units in Jerusalem by asking, "Why did Pres. Barack Obama choose to turn a gaffe into a crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations?" After several paragraphs of pointing out the double standard by which the Administration judges Israeli policies and actions versus those of the Palestinians, Krauthammer returns to his opening question and answers with a shrug of his shoulders, "Who knows?"

Well, I think I know: Israel is an otherwise successful outpost of the West in a wilderness of mostly failed, but always hostile non-Western states. The mere existence of a Western state always grates on the sensibilities of your average self-loathing liberal. But the stark contrast of a successful Western state smack in the middle of the non-West drives them absolutely mad. Therefore, any occasion that affords the opportunity to at least embarrass the Western state of Israel is one they simply cannot let pass.

That's it. It's no more complicated than that. Don't waste your time looking for simmering subconscious antisemitism to explain it. That may or may not be present, but it's not necessary to understand what transpired the week before last. Expect more of it.

By the way, the always-too-short vacation was great. Thanks for asking.


  1. Glad you had a good's great to read "fresh" musings once again. And thanks for leaving gass skirts and strategically-placed coconuts to our imagination :) Welcome back!