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Jewish World Review
March 21, 2007
/ 2 Nissan, 5767
Is Democratic Party leadership too supportive of Israel?
The hostile views that Nicholas Kristof expresses in his March
18, 2007 column correspond with those held by former president Jimmy
Kristof is distressed that the Democratic Party leadership is
too supportive of the State of Israel. He says that he prefers the view
of U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Barak Obama who recently
stated, "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people," for
which he says Obama was "scolded."
Kristof does not mention that Palestinian suffering has in large
part been brought on by the Palestinians' own actions. Their leaders
rejected the United Nations vote in 1947 dividing historic Palestine
into two states: one Arab and one Jewish. They supported or actively
participated in at least seven wars against Israel: the 1948 War of
Independence, the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1968 War of Attrition, the 1973
Yom Kippur War, the 1982 Lebanon War  and the 2006 Lebanon War .
Their leadership declared two intifadas (insurrections) in 1987 and in
2002, which still goes on.
Kristof blames Israel for all the troubles of the mideast citing
the speech of King Abdullah of Jordan as proof. The King stated, "The
wellspring of regional division, the source of resentment and
frustration far beyond, is the denial of justice and peace in
How do the King and Kristof explain the eight-year war between
Iraq and Iran, the war of Egyptian military forces in a military coup
creating the Yemen Arab Republic, the occupation by Syria of Lebanon,
the threatened war by Syria against Jordan stopped by Israeli tanks, the
invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, and the genocide currently engaged in by the
Sudanese Arab government against the black Sudanese of Darfur? They
don't. Surely they were not the result of Israel's existence. Kristof
says, "Though widely criticized, King Abdullah was exactly right: from
Morocco to Yemen to Sudan, the Palestinian cause arouses ordinary people
in coffee shops more than almost anything else." Kristof is implicitly
defending the Palestinian suicide bombers who have killed over a
thousand Israeli civilians and maimed many more.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) under Yasser
Arafat and the Palestinian Authority (PA) under its current Prime
Minister Ismail Haniyeh, elected by Hamas, actively support and
currently engage in terrorist acts against the State of Israel.
Kristof denounces President Bush for treating Israel as an ally.
He writes that he would prefer the relationship that existed before the
Bush administration with the U.S. role as "an honest broker in the
Middle East" and having a "tradition of balance."
He has kind words for Harry Truman, forgetting that Truman on
behalf of the U.S. recognized the State of Israel before any other
nation did, despite the threat of then Secretary of State George
Marshall to resign. He has kind words for Lyndon Johnson, forgetting
that Johnson sent the U.S. fleet to the Mediterranean at the side of
Israel as a warning to the Soviet Union then militarily threatening
Israel. Ronald Reagan, one of the greatest friends of Israel second
only in my opinion to George W. Bush, is given kudos by Kristof and an
exemption from criticism probably because of his great popularity. Had
Kristof been writing a similar column in 1939 or at any time before
December 7, 1941 and Pearl Harbor, would he have denounced FDR for
making clear his intention to assist Great Britain against Hitler's
Germany? Would he have urged instead that the U.S. remain neutral and
assume the role of an impartial honest broker? If Kristof had been with
Charles Lindbergh in Madison Square Garden denouncing the Jews and the
U.S. support of Great Britain, would he have applauded or been repelled?
Kristof denounces Israel's building "a better fence" or seeking
"more weaponry." What does he mean? That in his opinion Israel may not
erect a fence to help keep the terrorists out? Does he suggest that the
U.S. should deny the sale of new weapons to Israel unless it also makes
them available to the Palestinians? Kristof's tortured reasoning led to
the fall of the Spanish Republic to which we would not sell arms to
defend itself from Franco's fascist armies which were supported by
Hitler and Mussolini.
Ultimately, Kristof predicts, the Palestinians will turn to
"chemical, biological or radiological weapons." In my opinion, the
Palestinian radicals are now an extension of the Islamic terrorists
seeking to bring Western civilization, including Israel, to its knees.
Hamas continually refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the State of
Israel; it refuses to recognize agreements with Israel agreed to by
prior Palestinian governments; and it refuses to renounce violence. The
European Union has declined to provide funds to the current Palestinian
government until it meets those conditions. Does Kristof opposes those
Kristof clearly wants the U.S. and the Democrats seeking the
presidency to end what every president since John F. Kennedy has called
"a special relationship" with Israel that of an ally and create a
new climate of neutrality. Even the Arabs have accepted that special
U.S. relationship with Israel; nevertheless, they have asked the U.S. to
take the role of mediator/broker, knowing that only the U.S. would be
able to get Israel to make concessions based on hopes and promises
rather than concrete confidence-building measures by the Palestinians
and their supporters.
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© 2007, Ed Koch