Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Who Are the Real Friends of Israel?

Matthew Yglesias makes the obvious point from Leon Hadar: for his work at Camp David during his presidency, Jimmy Carter is one of the best friends Israel has ever had. By contrast, let me make the point that the writers for the New Republic--along with all the others who coquette with the annexationist fantasies of Likud, and tell Israeli politicians that occupation of the Golan Heights and settlers on the West Bank are a source of strength rather than weakness for Israel--well, you can call them many things, but you cannot truthfully call them real friends of Israel.

Here is Matt:

Matthew Yglesias / proudly eponymous since 2002: This week's Two Minute Hate seems destined to be directed at ex-president Jimmy Carter who's written a book called Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. I don't like the title, either, and, frankly, don't plan to read the book. Still, Leon Hadar (Via Jim Henley) seems to me to have the best overall take on this: "I'm not sure whether Carter doesn't like Israelis or hates Jews but from my perspective, he would go down in history as someone who made a huge contribution to Israel's security through his successful mediation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty."

Quite so. Compare this to the strategic "thinking" of Carter-hater Martin Peretz: "Baker has already informed us of what a successful negotiation between Israel and Syria would mean: a return of the Golan Heights to Damascus. Why would this satisfy the Syrians? They launched their war against Israel when they possessed the Heights. It was theirs." By this "logic" of course, not only were Carter's efforts on behalf of peace between Israel and Egypt misguided, but the Camp David Accords must have been impossible. After all, Egypt went to war with Israel when it already had the Sinai Peninsula, so how could Egypt possibly agree to peace in exchange for getting the Sinai back? Indeed, by Peretz's line of reasoning it should be impossible, in general, for countries to stop fighting wars with each other -- France and Germany would just be doomed to an endless series of armed conflicts.

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