He’s back! Martin Peretz, the rabid supporter of Israel who left the New Republic in disgrace after saying “Muslim life is cheap,” and lots of anti-Arab comments —
The “general afflictions of Arab politics are the principal resistance to compromise . . . the endless patience for vengeance.”
is given a platform at the Daily Beast to spout— well, lots of generalizations about Arabs! They’re given to fantasy and metaphor and fratricide and women don’t count to them. The usual spiteful tone runs throughout his column, which is about Obama’s peace initiative coming to nothing, because of– the Arabs, of course. Peretz:
Egypt has for the moment robbed the headlines from Syria, although the Syrian fratricide is still the real measure of Arab politics….
Targeting fellow Arabs is what Arabs have been doing for many decades. In 1938, George Antonius—Lebanese born, Egyptian raised, British schooled, Palestine domiciled—published a book called The Arab Awakening, arguing the essential unifying nationalism of the otherwise religiously sundered Arabs. The volume became their bible against Zionism. It was popular in England and the United States. It even attracted the support of wealthy Judeaophobic Americans, who influenced Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, to offer Antonius a job. Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser took from the book’s tenets his ambition to unite the Arabs, finally joining his own country, Egypt, with Syria and North Yemen in the United Arab Republic. The union lasted all of three years. Then he initiated the disastrous Six-Day War against Israel. Such armed action with Israel is now utterly unfeasible. So the Arabs are driven to fantasy and metaphor…
All that is left of Obama’s diplomacy in the Middle East is John Kerry’s stubborn and heroic effort to keep its Israel-Palestinian scope alive. Despite the rhetorical mischief coming out of certified troublemakers in the Israeli government, Netanyahu is ready to go not perhaps the extra mile, but the extra half mile. The Palestinians, however, are aware that all of their Arab brothers—there are no relevant sisters!—are otherwise engaged. This is the moment of truth for the Arabs of Palestine, perhaps the last moment. They will have to sign on to what Israel will give up. Obama cannot help them. And it might just be that, after all of the soppy rhetoric about the disinherited people, he also doesn’t really care.