You’re Both Right, and You’re Both Wrong!

Shmuel Rosner touches base with the Dershowitz-Phillips debate, designating himself as mediator. Conclusions? Typically, both are right and both are wrong. My opinion is that Rosner is sympathetic to Dershowitz, however, while keeping Melanie Phillips at a respectful arm’s length. Here is his conclusion:

Here’s George W. Bush, from January the 10th, 2008, on the same topic: “It should happen and could happen by the end of the year”. Was Bush also the kind of leader that Phillips would call “lethal for both Israel and the free world”?

Compare to my own:

Israel pulled out of Gaza when George W. Bush was in the White House and Ariel Sharon in the Knesset. Would this today not be labeled “suicidal” by Melanie Phillips?

So Rosner and I are on the same page, which is good news as far as I’m concerned.

Yaakov Lozowick takes a stab, as well. I like Lozowick because he has the deft touch of making criticism sound breezy, even if he’s sticking a finger in your eye. He writes words that make a point without stooping to name-calling. Obama’s more vocal critics could learn a thing or two from him.

I’m of the camp willing to cut the Obama administration some slack on their diplomacy of winning hearts by respectful gestures. I doubt it will work, and I hope that once it doesn’t they’ll recognize the significance of the failure, but I don’t see the harm in trying. Learning through experience is the best way there is. At the end of the day, however, the purpose of the new diplomacy is to have results. By alienating the large segment of Israeli society who are his natural allies, Obama is needlessly reducing the chances of his own success.

So pull up a seat. It’s going to be a long summer. And if you get bored with this debate, try this one.

Staring Evil in the Eye

Alan Dershowitz recently published his impressions of Durban 2:

Last week I came face to face with evil, as I stood just a few feet away from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We were both staying in the same hotel in Geneva. He was there to be the opening speaker at Durban II, a review and reprise of Durban I, the United Nations sponsored conference on racism that had turned into a racist hate fest against the Jewish people and the Jewish state. I was there–along with Elie Wiesel, Irwin Cotler and others who have devoted their lives to combating bigotry–to try to prevent a recurrence of Durban I.

Some of us, upon hearing the word “evil”, cringe in fear–not of the evil, mind you, but of the use of such a polarizing term. It’s one of those words that has gone out of fashion. It’s one of those words that has been consistently overused in order to defeat ideological enemies. I remember reading in one of Oriana Fallaci’s post-9/11 books (the ones that turned so much of the world against her, as if she had been the author of the attack on New York) her memory of having “met” Osama Bin Laden in a Beirut hotel lobby in 1982. She described (I’m writing from memory) having looked into his eyes and “known” that she was looking into the eyes of evil: calm, determined, almost laughing eyes.

On 9/11 that memory came hurtling back to her in all its prophetic gloom.