Nov 1, 2010

GETTING THE YIDDISH SLURS RIGHT

A Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

Peter Beinart, the new darling of the liberal elite, a prolific writer, and thought to be an insightful analyst of world problems, returned from a summer trip to Israel with his family, and wasted no time attacking Israel for her intransigence on negotiating away land for peace. Beinart further knows that American Jews are not in sync with AIPAC and the old Zionist establishment that support Israel right or wrong. He holds nothing back in his painting Israel as doing no good for American prestige and power among Muslims. He accuses P.M. Netanyahu for treating Pres. Obama like a schmuck (yes, that's Beinart's use of the of the word) when they appeared at a joint press conference following their controversial and hurried meeting this summer, neither President Obama nor P.M. Netanyahu mentioned anything about their having discussed a Palestinian state or Gaza.

Well, in my mind, Beinart, Thomas Friedman, and others who think America should walk away from Israel, are the schmucks. They think they are doing Israel a favor by telling the world how wrong Israel's foreign policy is, and how it is damaging U.S. standing with Muslims. Beinart's arguments remind me of the Palestinian woman I heard interviewed on NPR who complained that the IDF does not rape Palestinian women, because their women aren't good enough to be raped by an occupying force. Whoever heard of such a thing, she screamed. Our women are not pretty enough or human enough to be raped by Israeli soldiers, according to this Palestinian knucklehead.

I think Beinart is confusing Americans' lack of concern about the survivability of Israel as a nation with a lack of interest by Americans. Sure there are existential threats to Israel, but Americans are worried sick and pre-occupied with our faltering economy, joblessness, and the high cost of health care if they can get it all. Israel has survived for more than six decades, and her future is not dependent upon the formation of another Palestinian or Arab state; that's just not high on the agenda of young Americans or American Jews. Could Israel be doing some things better? Of course Israel is not perfect, and her leaders say some awfully stupid things that a better public relations program at the very least would improve her image. But attacks from our friends demonstrate how free speech thrives in Israel unlike in her enemies' countries.

According to Beinart, a liberal cannot be an enthusiastic supporter of Israel. He doesn't define me or my politics. An American liberal can be for the war in Iraq and against it in Afghanistan; for pro-choice, unemployment benefits, child welfare support, and a n avid supporter of American aid to Israel. There is anguish among American Jews, but we always worry about everything, and no people has a greater guilt complex than Jews--thanks Mom. Mr. Netanyahu and Pres. Obama focused their public remarks on the Iranian threat of nuclear destruction in the Middle East and its potential for making dirty bombs that could be easily transported anywhere in the world. then you will see anguish. Beinart must have been too busy to hear the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. who publicly told Congress that the benefits of bombing Iran's nuclear program outweigh the short-term costs such an attack would impose (according to Eli Lake in The Washington Times). Or how about the reports that Egypt will not open it's locked and sealed borders crossings with Gaza, and pleads with Israel not to loosen her borders with Gaza for fear of Hamas getting too much a political jump start from winning political points while the P.A. festers.

For the record, Mr. Beinart, a schmuck is an insult usually meaning an obnoxious, contemptible person who is stupid, foolish, or detestable. Did you really mean to call our President that; or, did you mean he was treated like a shmendrick, best defined in The Joys of Yiddish as physically impressive but a weak person who has not yet grown up (politically wet behind the ears). A cute description would be of a woman who beat her shmendrick of a husband who crawled under the bed. "Come out!" she cried. "No!" he said. "I'll show you who's the boss in this house!"

No, Mr. Beinart, neither of these gentlemen is a schmuck or a shmendrick. They are two powerful leaders trying figure out how to survive in a world where the Flintstones have automatic weapons and nuclear bombs.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier, Chicago, Ill. hgoldmeier@aol.com Dr. Goldmeier was a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University where I earned a Doctorate in Education, and taught as an Assistant Professor at Tufts Medical School. He taught public elementary school, worked in government and education for nearly two decades, and in business for nearly three. I am married more than forty years, have children living in America and Israel, and a son who recently served with the Israel Defense Forces. He has published more than two dozen articles in professional journals and popular magazines and newspaper, is now a writer, consultant to government agencies, and to small businesses on economic growth and marketing. His articles have recently appeared in The Jewish Press, Haaretz, Open.Salon.com, and is a guest posts at LifeinIsrael.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. Quick correction - the person who criticized Israel for not raping Palestinian women was a Jewish Israeli student at Hebrew University:
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/124674
    There are some claims that are so idiotic that only an academic could say them.

    ReplyDelete

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