Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekly Commentary: Beware of policy recommendations from snake oil believers

Dr. Aaron Lerner
22 October 09

Its worth repeating because it is to fundamental to understanding the policy
recommendations of so many radical leftists - be they academics,
journalists, politicians or politicians-in-waiting in uniform: the true
believers among them hold as an article of faith that a full Israeli
withdrawal to the '67 lines would herald utopian peace.

This is not subject to discussion.

It is not subject to analysis.

It is an article of faith.

What causes otherwise intelligent people to make such a leap of faith?

Yossi Beilin once explained his views to a reporter by noting that he couldn't
see living in a world in which peace couldn't be reached with the Arabs.

There are religions with all kinds of beliefs that appear bizarre to those
not sharing the faith. This faith in withdrawal is no different.

So what's the big deal about a "withdraw-to-the-'67-line-brings-utopian-peace"
religious belief?

If withdrawal believers just went around proclaiming their faith or even
trying to share it like a missionary then the concept would find its place
in public discourse. A place of ridicule among the overwhelming majority of
Israelis. But a place nonetheless.

The problem starts when these believers try to manipulate the policy debate
in an attempt to push policy towards the withdrawal they yearn for rather
than simply proclaiming their faith in withdrawal.

Thus we have withdrawal believers misrepresenting the security consequences
of a given arrangement because they don't think that such questions are
relevant since once Israel pulls out, it will be secure thanks to the fact
that it pulled out.

And we have journalists who are frustrated with non-believing politicians
who they see standing between Israel and peace-in-our-time.

These are not snake oil salesmen.

A snake oil salesman knows his wares are impotent.

These are snake oil believers.

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