As expected, Martin Sherman has replied at length to my analysis of his article blaming
Israel’s Shin Bet security service for mishandling the investigation of the terror attack that killed a baby and his parents in the Palestinian village of Duma last July. Here’s his column–it appears every Friday in The Jerusalem Post. Friday’s paper is like the Sunday paper in the West, with by far the largest circulation. Mine ran Thursday, so more people would have seen his original and his reply than saw my analysis.
A friend asked me why I didn’t link to Sherman’s original column when I posted my reply. I responded that i didn’t see it as my role to make it easier for people to read that diatribe. It’s easy enough to find as it is. This week, on the other hand, I’m guiding you to the reply for two reasons.
First, and less important–his response just repeats his arguments, tries to refute some of mine by labeling them this or that, insults me here and there, ignores my conclusions and endorses one that he claims not to understand. Lame. I would have expected better.
What stands out here, though, is the tone both of the original and of this reply. It’s angry, petulant, persecuted. That’s typical of thinking and writing from his side of the Israeli political spectrum. Their main mind set is that they are surrounded by enemies who are out to get them, just as they believe Israel as a whole is surrounded by enemies out to get it.
Israel’s station in the world is a topic for another article, and you can get a hint about how I see that by reading my post about BDS and its ineffectiveness.
It’s the attitude of the right that puzzles me. The Israeli right has been in charge here since 1977, except for few brief brief stints. Yet the right lashes out at perceived enemies as if the entire right wing were about to be swept up in a massive Shin Bet raid and locked in a windowless dungeon, while the hated left ruins the country.
Perhaps without this persecution complex, they lose their fire, their main reason for fighting on. Certainly Israel’s left, decimated by the failure of the peace process with the Palestinians, is not a worthy enemy anymore, divided among those who want to be just bit more liberal than the regime, those who cling to outmoded hopes for peace with the Palestinians while blaming Israel, and those who want to shift the focus to domestic issues. As a result, Israel’s left is so marginalized that there’s no reason even to pay attention to it, much less build it up into a life-threatening monster.
It’s time for Israel’s right wing to grow up and accept responsibility for the condition of the nation, both the bad and the good, instead of looking all over for others to blame. Their latest target is European governments that fund pro-Palestinian NGOs, a bit of an irritant but far from a game-changer.
Israel’s situation, as I’ll write in that upcoming article, is actually pretty good, and that’s either because of or in spite of the leadership of the right for the past three-plus decades. It’s logical that Israel’s leaders and their right-wing followers would take credit for that, instead of looking for the next perpetrator of the next witch hunt against them.