January 20, 2004

Even the brightest are suffering from delusions!

I read Alan Dershowitz' much discussed book "The Case for Israel".

Different from Phyllis Chesler's The New Anti-Semitism, on which I commented earlier, The Case for Israel is a good book and well worth reading.

Not that there is anything mind-bogglingly new in it, but even the well-worn pro-Israel arguments presented by such a sharp legal mind leave one reeling.

Dershowitz wrote that book for the Left and he isn't yet prepared to say goodbye forever to the delusion that it just needs some substantial information to make the Left, whom he regards as Israel's better supporters, change their minds.

He is wrong.

He reduces the Right to "the religious right", whom he, not totally without reason (at least so I think), only trusts to see the Jews as potential material for proselytizing.

The strongest point of the book, something that Dershowitz outlines with rare clarity, is the fact that the Palestinians elicit continuous international sympathy in spite of what ever they do or -- for that -- don't do. Absurd as it may be, it is precisely through their use of violence that Palestinians achieve the status of the world's most cherished underdog, and Dershowitz leaves no doubt WHY this is so.

Dershowitz ends the book by justifiedly concluding that the case for Israel is strong indeed. It's impossible to disagree with him -- he meticulously and conscientiously de-bunks virtually each and every one of those manifold hackneyed accusations that are made against Israel again and again on a daily basis.

Dershowitz wrote the book for the Left -- "his" Left. It obviously breaks his heart to see people, with whom he went a long way together and still otherwise agrees about a lot of serious issues, signing, kind of automatically -- and drooling like Pavlovian dogs -- anti-Israel petitions without, so it seems, ever having read them. But he is shunning (yet) the only feasible option. If he is really seeking support for Israel he will have to make a turn to the Right.

Sad, but sadly a fact.

(Big nod to Duni who gave me the book!)