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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 26, 2003 / 26 Sivan, 5763

Traveling With Bad Companions: Western supporters of the Palestinian cause are morally blind

By Martin Peretz


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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Every failed revolution in modern times has had its fellow travelers, a phenomenon hard to define but easy to recognize. Picasso was one; Jean-Paul Sartre, another; FDR's vice president, Henry Wallace, a third. Two, three decades later, Susan Sontag would also put her words to work for the brutal engineers of soul and society.

There were literally tens of thousands of these influentials in the United States and elsewhere in the West. And the revolutions of the left did not have a monopoly on fellow-traveling. In the 1930s, there were lots of fellow travelers of Nazism, too: Charles Lindbergh, Ezra Pound, the duke of Windsor and many others.

Many fellow travelers went exuberantly from one decaying communism to another, seriatim, from the Soviet Union to the People's Republic of China to Castroite Cuba and Vietnam and then to Sandinista Nicaragua, never quite realizing they would soon feel the need to move on again.

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But move on they would, armed as always — as author David Caute put it — with their usual arsenal of "bifocal lenses, double standards, a myopic romanticism."

Of course, there is now no world revolution into which these deluded folk can vest their ardors, as yesteryear's fellow travelers did when extolling the nonexistent — but exemplary — democratic virtues of Stalin's Russia or of some other transformatory idyll. Only certified kooks are in the business these days of changing the nature of man.

So the present-day romantics, who at home typically despise the idea of the nation-state and the realities of national interest, are left with often contrived and almost always murderous nationalisms to adore. The nationalism du jour is Palestinian nationalism.

It was the British political historian David Pryce-Jones who, I think, first made the analogy between the old fellow travelers and the new, between those who romanticized the Soviets and those who now romanticize Palestinian (and Islamic) terrorism.

Not that all Palestinians are terrorists, not at all, although polls show an overwhelming proportion of them to be supporters of terrorism. But terrorism happens to be the defining paradigm of the Palestinian cause. Thus it is terrorism that is being supported by the American and British university professors who demand that their institutions divest from companies invested in Israel. And it is terrorism that is being supported by scientists and other academics who propose institutional and personal boycotts of Israeli intellectuals.

In any case, the political pilgrims from abroad drawn to the Palestinian cause seem, almost unfailingly, to be lured to those whose very vocation is terror.

Take, for example, the International Solidarity Movement, a nongovernmental organization ensconced in Gaza. The two British Muslims recruited by Hamas who blew up Mike's Place, a blues pub in Tel Aviv, moved in and out of Israel from the territories with remarkable ease, aided by ISM activists.

On its own Web site, the ISM admits to supporting the Palestinian right to "legitimate armed struggle." This did not keep much of the press from calling the organization "pacifist." Not surprisingly, Linda Gradstein, Jerusalem correspondent for NPR (now widely known as National Palestine Radio), is one of these. On "All Things Considered," she blithely characterized ISM as "committed to nonviolent resistance." Well, it cannot, after all, be committed to both. And it isn't. Its activities are dovetailed with the needs of Hamas. It stages media events for the murder militias, and sometimes its own volunteers get hurt — or even killed, as one American was by an Israeli bulldozer. The best you can say of them is that they are gulled. But this is not bravery; it is stupidity.

Unlike the deluded men who fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War and thought they were putting their lives on the line against Hitlerism while they were actually risking their lives for Stalinism, there are no such daydreams available to the partisans of Palestine.

Let us concede, as I do, that the Palestinians need a state. But let us also concede that, had not the Palestinians started a bloody insurrection in the midst of negotiations with Israel during the fall of 2000 and turned that into a Walpurgisnacht of unrelenting terror, they would already have a state and be on their way to as robust an independence as they could manage — contingent only on the peacefulness of their borders.

But why should the cause of independent Palestine resonate with idealists and international moralists? After all, there are dozens of historic nations and peoples, some more numerous than the Palestinians, who are stateless and powerless in the world. There are, living among the Arabs themselves, the Berbers and the Kurds, who have no established political power. Even in Europe, where the nation-state was born, there are nations deprived of independence. Do they and the more numerous stateless peoples of Asia and Africa not merit solidarity and support for independence? What is so special about the Palestinians?

Actually, nothing. Except that their neighbors are the Jews. There is certainly no reason to believe that independent Palestine will be an ethical advance over the other long-independent and, at best, autocratic states in the Arab world, some of them barbarisms.

The truth is that no one who has had a real hearing among the Palestinians has ever articulated a vision of Palestine that is premised on an idea of social justice, a new relationship between the classes, among the clans and tribes, between the sexes. Believe me, Palestine will not be a democratic state because Palestine is not a democratic or tolerant society. This is in devastating contrast to the Zionist enterprise that had true ideals about how human beings and political difference were to be treated, ideals that were turned to realities.

The contrast is not an abstraction. We've had nearly a decade of Palestinian rule in the West Bank and Gaza and, between 1976 and 1982, six years of Palestinian rule over southern Lebanon to judge this empirically. There is no mystery about how its courts are run and how its press is manipulated and terrorized. No one actually imagines an independent judiciary or a truly free and competitive press in Palestine. Even though Palestinians work enormously hard, there is no animating dream of what a productive and fair economy would look like. What one sees way in the future is a corrupt corporatism engineered by those who hold political power.

Palestine will soon have its political expression in statehood. On the night it happens, gunshots will echo throughout the Arab street — to the rest of the world, a peculiar way of celebrating. Still, it will be a celebration. And on the long morrow, there won't be much disenchantment because nothing truly fundamental will have ever been promised or even envisioned.

Dictatorship will settle its rule onto independent Palestine, as it had during the long struggle. Civil strife will follow, and likely another dictatorship will replace the first.

And the borders of Palestine will not be still.

But, by then, the fellow travelers of the Palestinian revolution will be gone, some of them on to other causes, most of them (like the veterans of the 1960s) nursing their heady memories for retelling to their children. Heady memories and lies.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Martin Peretz is editor-in-chief and chairman of The New Republic. Comment by clicking here.

© 2003, Martin Peretz