NEWSWEEK'S HISTORICAL REVISIONISM
The Palestinian narrative has come to dominate the historiography of the Arab-Israeli conflict, particularly concerning the events surrounding Israel's birth in the period 1947-48. Presenting Israel as born in "original sin" makes it that much easier to delegitimize all of Israel's actions in the following six decades. That is why it is so important to correct historical inaccuracies such as this in Newsweek's online photo history of Gaza.
In slide #4 the commentary, referring to the 1947 Partition Plan, states that: "once the British withdraw in 1948, both Arab and Jewish leaders reject the plan and launch military land-grabs."
In fact, the Jewish leadership accepted partition while the Arabs rejected a plan that would have led to the creation of a Palestinian state as far back as 1947. Instead they chose to launch a war of annihilation against the Jews.
Indeed, there would not be a Palestinian refugee problem had the Arabs accepted the Partition Plan and devoted their energies towards building a state of their own rather than trying to drive the Jews from the region.
I was duly impressed with the comments made today by Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud):
"Israel does not take orders from [Barack] Obama."While he is not the top voice of the Netanyahu government, he is respected and close to the Prime Minister. Erdan, who is also the liaison between the cabinet and the Knesset, praised Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beiteinu), who only last week said Israel was not bound by the Annapolis talks because it had never been approved by the cabinet.
It seems to me that while Netanyahu must keep himself above petty comments, Erdan served his purpose very well.
He added, "In voting for [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu the citizens of Israel have decided that they will not become the US's 51st state," said Erdan, who was representing the coalition in a Knesset discussion of Lieberman's controversial statements. He added, however, that "Obama is a friend of Israel and the United States is an important ally, and everything between us will be the result of communication."
Well, I don't necessarily agree with that last statement. But I am enthused that after suffering through the abomination that was the Olmert/defeatist leadership, the Israeli people (and their government) is beginning to wake yup from their false sense of security.
I find it very telling that the Obama administration immediately came out in attack mode as soon as Netanyahu was named Prime Minister, as if he could do to Israel was he did to General Motors. The Israeli people know better what is right and wrong and they do not share Obama's appeasement mentality (thankfully).
In every situation, when Israel shows weakness, they have been attacked by their enemies in the Arab world and by their enemies at the United Nations. But when they show strength, it's the Americans and the West who become aghast. The Arabs, on the other hand, demure. They understand that when Israel means business, it's time to pull back.
Unfortunately, since Oslo and the failure that is the so-called "Road Map," Israel's leaders have grown much, much weaker. With any luck, Netanyahu learned from his past governance and will prove to be the leader Israel really needs.
It's good to see baseball again. While I am a huge football fan, I know that this country and baseball have a long held love affair. Football may be the most popular sport - according to the TV ratings - but baseball is poetry and the stuff of legends.
Of course, it helps when my favorite team, the Texas Rangers, win on opening day. I have written in the past about my misery as a lifelong Ranger's fan and I won't do it again now. But I have followed them every year since they moved to Texas in 1972 and I am as excited about the future of this team like I've ever been before. Don't get me wrong - I really do not believe they will finish better than second or third this year. But with the top-rated minor league system (according to Baseball America) and a terrific, young lineup, this team could - and should - compete for a number of years.
Whoda thunk it?